Demonstrating the Art of the Possible for Optivo

Optivo is a housing provider dedicated to creating affordable homes across London, the South East and the Midlands. With more than 46,000 homes, the not-for-profit organisation is a member of the G15, making it one of London’s largest housing associations.

Reinvesting the money they make, Optivo’s strategic plan is ambitious, with the organisation’s sights set on having 5,500 new homes under construction by 2025. Optivo are passionate about building communities and invest heavily in neighbourhood programmes, assisting their residents with training and careers advice to encourage them to lead fulfilling lives.

With an on-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM widely used across some areas of the organisation – and not so widely in others – Optivo were considering a move to a more modern, cloud-based Dynamics 365 platform.

As a forward-thinking organisation that places people at the heart of its work, Optivo were keen to introduce a platform that would not only bring advantages for employees and improvement in performance, but an enhanced customer experience for residents, too.

Exploring business priorities

With a need to understand more about the doors Microsoft’s cloud technology can open, Optivo engaged with Microsoft Solutions Partner (then Microsoft Gold Partner), Tisski, on an envisioning and planning programme known as Microsoft Catalyst.

Centred around the I.D.E.A. (inspire, design, empower, achieve) framework, Catalyst engagements entail workshops led by business transformation and technology experts from ‘Catalyst accredited’ partners.

To kickstart the engagement, Optivo’s key stakeholders were encouraged to think about their future state, exploring things they’d like to achieve and prioritising their organisation’s objectives. These initial workshops didn’t solely focus on technology, but the organisation’s desired outcomes as a whole.

Together, Optivo and Tisski explored areas where the organisation shone, where there’s room for improvement, and key challenges they’re looking to overcome.

Showcasing the art of the possible

Discovering the importance of resident and colleague satisfaction, Tisski carried out a business value assessment, demonstrating how Optivo’s goals can be achieved when they invest in the right technology.

A solution assessment was then carried out using a scoring system to determine technical priorities. Tisski’s technical consultant mapped each technical priority to a Microsoft solution that can help them achieve their end goals. This was then presented to Optivo’s key stakeholders to demonstrate what can be achieved.

With resident self-service a key priority, Dynamics 365 Customer Service was highlighted as a platform that could help enhance resident satisfaction, with a resident portal and omnichannel chat functionality providing a streamlined online service.

The introduction of Power Virtual Agents could take this a step further, allowing residents to check their rent balance, book repairs and more in a matter of seconds via a ‘chatbot’. This can save time not only for residents, but for the Customer Experience team, who can focus their attention on high-priority tasks.

Strategic focus and tech transformation

By engaging with Catalyst – which was funded by Microsoft – Optivo were able to explore key processes across their organisation in great detail and discover ways Microsoft technology can help deliver vast improvements to resident experience and internal ways of working. Customer Service and Power Virtual Agents is just the start.

Troy Francis, Director of Operations at Optivo, said: “Engaging with Tisski on these Catalyst envisioning and planning workshops has been a real eye-opener. We already had a Microsoft CRM but hadn’t realised exactly what we could achieve by modernising the system.

“This process has given us true strategic focus and the knowledge we’ve come away with will certainly transform how we use Dynamics 365 in the future.”

Nicola Johnson, CRM Manager at Optivo, said: “The workshops Tisski hosted were invaluable in helping us take a step back and think about what we want to achieve as an organisation, before delving into the technology and taking a look at just how many possibilities there are.

“It’s so important for us to deliver an experience that our residents are pleased with, and the Tisski team have done a fantastic job of demonstrating exactly how we can be using Dynamics 365 to help us do exactly that.”

Supporting the business case

With the solution assessment complete, Optivo are equipped with the information and insight needed to put together a compelling business case for a move to the Microsoft cloud.

“The list of benefits of upgrading our on-premise Microsoft system is incredible,” said Troy. “The Optivo team and I are looking forward to seeing our ambitions elevated and our processes optimised as a result of this Catalyst engagement.”


Find out whether you’re eligible for Catalyst funding

Find out whether you’re eligible for Catalyst funding

We may be able to help you discover the value of Microsoft technology by delivering funded Catalyst workshops. Get in touch to find out whether your organisation is eligible.

Get in touch