Creating their software solution involved a charter group of customers for about a year, says COO Sagers, “The group that helped us shape what the product would look like was comprised of six housing agencies of different sizes, diversity, and types of assistance programs they manage. And we probably talked with 40 housing agencies to develop the requirements for it.” He adds HSS also had their own requirements for what would be needed in a financial system.
Extensive research also led HSS to choose Acumatica, according to HSS’s Financial Solution Architect, Francesca Buonocore: “We did a full, in-depth process—this is not something we took lightly.” She reports, “We started out with five or six ERP systems and narrowed it down to three.
We compared the offerings of these businesses to our requirements and how well we felt these products would integrate into our operational system.”
Acumatica stood out for a number of reasons. First, COO Sagers says, “We were really looking for a company that was around for the long-term, that had a commitment to being in business, and was substantial enough in size that we knew that we would have a partner that wouldn’t be bought out.”
Also, with Acumatica, he says, “There was a lot of flexibility. We have to service all of our Members—there’s very small organizations with five people all the way up to organizations with a thousand—so we needed to have a cost structure that was scaled accordingly.”
Additionally, Financial Solution Architect Buonocore says, “We wanted a cloud-based application that aligned well with our technology and our operational system, because we knew it would help us more easily integrate the two systems.”
Ms. Buonocore also praises “the people and the culture of Acumatica,” saying, “They are all deeply committed and do whatever they can for the client. That’s consistent. We really felt as though we could work well as partners and get the attention we needed.”
HAI Group signed on with Acumatica in December 2013 and went live with their HousingHub® solution in April 2015. If they’d gone with another platform, Mr. Sagers believes, the implementation could have taken twice as long: “It would be years, at least three years, I would imagine.”
As part of the implementation, HSS worked with software developer Itransition to integrate HousingHub® with HousingHub® Finance. Ivan Fomin, Chief ECM Advisor at Itransition, reports, “We have worked with different ERPs (Itransition is a Microsoft and SAP partner), but we are especially impressed with Acumatica because the system is easy to configure and customize, while also boasting scalable architecture and great developer API and support. With such partners as HAI Group and Acumatica, the project was destined to be a big
success, and we are appreciative of having an opportunity to work with such strong players in the business.”