The changing real estate management sector sped up Retta's change programme
The real estate management sector is undergoing considerable changes. The aging of the residents, real estate managers and buildings, the increasing environmental awareness of the customers, the changing legislative requirements and the employee and customer experience requirements, which are increasing with digitalisation, are reverberating through the entire sector. In 2019,
Retta, the largest Nordic expert service group specialising in the trade and management of apartments, properties and business premises, started an extensive real estate management change programme.
The goal of the programme is to focus on harmonising Retta Management’s operating methods and modernising the systems so that they better support daily real estate management work and enable the offering of more efficient service for customers.
In the initial phase of the change programme, Retta’s existing, partly outdated information systems were not readily expandable to accommodate the implementation of the desired change in operating methods. The target time frame for the project also did not allow the completion of a heavy IT project in which the existing background systems would have been renewed and replaced with entirely new systems on a large scale.
Renewing enterprise resource planning
Retta decided to adopt a new, quickly and iteratively developed ERP system where business information management and processes were built on cloud-based low-code architecture. In addition, the new ERP concept involved as a central piece a cloud integration layer through which Retta’s key business software could be quickly integrated under harmonised enterprise resource planning.
In 2020 twoday was selected as Retta’s partner in designing and implementing new systems to support the operating method change. The choice of twoday was influenced by its business- and user-driven approach and extensive Microsoft cloud competence, which combines modern utilisation of low-code platforms in robust Azure PaaS development and integration competence. The first development sprints of the cooperation were taken in 2020, and a new ERP system based on the Microsoft cloud was adopted for production use already during the autumn of 2020.
Key changes in the early implementation stages included the management of real estate management’s work processes, by which new uniform working methods for multi-channel management of real estate management’s service requests were adopted in all of Retta’s real estate management operations. The implemented solution has already changed the everyday life of nearly a thousand Retta employees.
Integrations at the heart of architecture
At the centre of the architecture of the new ERP system is a Power Platform-based information layer in which key real estate management business processes and concepts have been modelled into a Dataverse-based data platform. The solutions make use of the capabilities of the Dynamics 365 Service software, for example, in service request management.
The central user interfaces for the real estate managers and Retta’s other personnel have been expanded through the use of Power Apps (Canvas And Model Drive), and Power Automate is used to support process automation. During the ongoing additional development phase, among other things, Office 365-based real estate management document management and digital meeting workspaces will be integrated into the system.
A central starting point for Retta’s new ERP architecture has been the utilisation of various existing systems’ information through integrations. The integrated system has included Visma Tampuuri in real estate register management, the OmaRetta self-service portal, a payroll administration system and a data warehouse to support reporting. Azure Integration Services (incl. API management, Logic Apps and Azure Functions) and Power Automate have been used in the implementation of the integrations.
The solution is a fully cloud-based Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS), by which Retta’s new ERP system’s information layer with its integrations is built in its entirety in the Microsoft cloud.
Experiences on implementation and the roadmap of the future
By the end of November, over a hundred thousand service requests have been created in the new system, which tells of the solution’s effective implementation into everyday use in real estate management. In accordance with its plans, Retta is determined in driving this significant organisational change programme and ongoing process forward.
Key benefits of the implemented solution have already been recognised. These include more efficient processing of work requests, better customer experience through improved transparency and a more proactive approach to the planning of operations. The step-by-step additional development of the solution is progressing according to the roadmap.
Our ERP project is an excellent display of the agility and speed that the modern Microsoft cloud makes possible in the modernisation of business software and innovation of new operating methods. twoday offers us holistic partnership and an agile development team whose competence we can rely upon also going forward in the implementation of our ERP roadmap,” says Harri Karjalainen, CIO at Retta.
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