All property management firms, no matter their size, play the game of “connect the technology dots” between the corporate office and remote locations. More than a decade ago, multi-family apartment management company HMI Property Solutions, Inc., won that game with help from the ITility by Novatech Solution’ “anytime, anywhere,” remote access technology. Today, ITility by Novatech has become more valuable than ever, and company management says they cannot imagine operating without it.
“At the time we began working with Novatech, we had property management software running at eight remote locations,” says HMI Enterprises, Inc. President Hugh M. “Don” Inman, Jr. “The software worked fine in its own silo, but the team in our corporate office didn’t have access to the data except through printed reports. Novatech developed a solution that brought the data into the office so the corporate team could access it. This streamlined our ability to operate.”
What began as a solution to centralize isolated data has grown into a fully hosted solution that also enables HMI employees to work from other locations, as well. Today, Novatech manages and maintains all of HMI’s applications, including the original property management software. Novatech handles all software updates and license renewals, as well as monitoring and maintenance of any solution-related hardware located at the HMI office. For this service, HMI pays a preset monthly fee, per user.
Employees at all HMI-managed or owned properties access data and applications via a secure, dedicated interface, not only at the corporate or remote offices but at any location, any time they choose. This enables work-shifting, letting employees access email, applications and other data outside of office hours and locations to facilitate performance of their jobs.
“ITility by Novatech gives us the ability to work with our employees and their schedules,” says Inman. “One employee in our corporate office works from home on Fridays due to childcare-related issues. If I can’t get into the office, I can just pop onto my home computer and not have to lose a day of work. It affords us incredible flexibility.”
Inman says ITility by Novatech not only expand HMI’s functional footprint; they also make company operations—and his work day—more productive. “I can measure the success of our relationship by how infrequently I have to speak with them,” Inman says. “It’s seamless. We are heavily reliant on the system being up and available and that has never been an issue. They provide all of the support and the virus scanning and backups—everything. It’s great because I don’t have to worry about it.”
Inman also reports that adding and removing users is a breeze. “In our industry, there is a fair amount of turnover among workers at the site level. When a new employee comes on board, one call sets that person up, and if he or she has any familiarity with computers, the solution is straightforward and simple. We don’t have to worry about that user not being ready to go as soon as they hit the ground.”
Ready to Work, Now and in the Future
“Because of our remote locations, If we had to bring applications and data hosting and management back in-house today, it would be a train wreck,” Inman says. “We don’t have the technical expertise or scale to have an internal IT department. I don’t need to know what Novatech is doing, and that is the beauty of it.”
Novatech is currently helping HMI expand its use of technology to better communicate with tenants and the public at large. The ITility by Novatech solution is providing the hosted access platform for other solutions that will invite tenants to send maintenance requests to leasing offices and pay rent online, and enable prospects to view apartment pricing for various floor plans in real time.
“We have been very pleased with the ITility by Novatech solution, and we would highly recommend them,” says Inman. In fact, he says he has already given other companies good reports regarding the firm. “I am in a position to give Novatech a very positive reference,” he notes.
“I’m in the business of running a business, not of being an IT expert,” Inman concludes. “With Novatech, this is one of the aspects of running a business that I don’t have to worry about. And, if I did have something to worry about, I would know who to call.”