Post Go-Live Support
Purpose of the “Mind-the-Gap” (MTG) Solution Model

The transition from implementation to being Live on Yardi Voyager can be abrupt.  For approximately 6 months, Lupine Partners is on the job leading you from your current system over to Yardi Voyager.  Once the final conversion and training occurs, our obligation under the implementation-only proposal ends.  You are live on Yardi Voyager – but for the most part we have moved on down the road…  Over time we have come to discover that many of our clients suffer from separation anxiety because we have played such a strong role in the overall migration effort.  Can we call you if we need you?  How do we move forward?  Will you stay on and run our status meetings?  I don’t think we can do this without you!  What if we make errors?  It is somewhat analogous to when we were all learning how to ride a bike and our parents took off the training wheels…

The institutional change to go on to a new software platform is difficult.  We have been doing this for a long time, and have seen the same post go-live behaviors and struggles.   It is difficult, if not impossible, for you to know whether you will struggle at this point in the process – particularly since you are just getting started.  We created the MTG model to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the post go-live anxiety and to serve as a full-protection software insurance policy for our clients.  It is an elongation of the traditional software implementation model to soften the transition from implementation to being a hands-on software user.  You will be buying lower cost consulting dollars and amortizing that cost over a twelve month period.  You will be supplementing your staff with a fractional share of a Yardi software expert – our team of consultants at Lupine Partners.

We also created the MTG model to reduce the amount of time necessary to get a higher return on investment for your annual Voyager license expenditure.  Almost all of our clients suffer from Post Implementation Exhaustion Syndrome.  Clients know somewhere in the back of their mind that there is more that they should be doing with the software; however, they can’t seem to get the energy or the focus to:  One, start the implementation project back up, and Two, decide what to work on, or even where to start.

The problem is further magnified by the fact that Yardi continues to do a terrific job of adding functionality through product development and acquisition – which may lead you to suspect that there are aspects of the system that you could be utilizing to create efficiencies in your organization.  This means that you could be paying for functionality included in your Annual License Fee from which you are not actually getting value.  Or, said another way, you are not optimizing your Return on your Annual Software Investment.

The goals of the MTG model is to eliminate the lag between the implementation go live and the implementation of a Best Use strategy for Yardi Voyager.  The fact is you can be considered to be Live on the software just by being able to:

  1. 1. Issue financial statements at the end of the month
  2. 2. Enter invoices
  3. 3. Issue checks
  4. 4. Bill tenants
  5. 5. Collect money
  6. 6. Train the user base on the relevant modules

Many clients wait approximately 18 months after they have gone live on Voyager to re-mobilize and begin the process of wringing more functionality out of the software.  With MTG, Lupine Partners will be ‘on staff’ to move you aggressively forward, thus insuring post go-live success.  Our talent, experience, and peripheral consulting materials will be at your disposal.

BONUS SERVICES & PRODUCTS You will not be charged for these following products and services.  These are a value add and an expression of intent on Lupine Partner’s part.  We want you to be successful.   These services and tools will be made available to you and your staff as long as you are working under the terms of this solution model:

  1. 1. Copies of David Wolfe’s 3 books on software and information technology
  2. 2. Our Yardi report writing DVD series
  3. 3. Our Do-It-Yourself Guide to Implementing Yardi Voyager video series
  4. 4. Twice-per-month ‘behind the scenes’ tips on using Yardi Voyager
  5. 5. Free use of our training center located at Lupine HQ
  6. 6. Access to our internal Yardi Voyager resource guides and videos

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MIND-THE-GAP SOLUTION MODEL

Please delineate between implementation and post go-live services.  Imagine a horizontal time line with your implementation months on the line.  Now imagine a vertical line going down at the go-live point of the implementation.  Everything to the left of the vertical line will be considered to be implementation services and everything to the right will be considered to be post go-live.  Implementation services are typically project planning/kickoff, module design, training, data conversion, setup help, and project management.  These services are outlined in detail in implementation-only proposal.  Post go-live services are everything else.  Examples of these services have been described on page 3.

Who will be assigned to my account post go-live?  Will it be the same person who was on my implementation?  There is no way to know at this point.  All of our consultants are very experienced with the Yardi suite of products.  We do resource-fit by module expertise, but sometimes the consulting assignment is made by consultant availability.  If you go the MTG route to begin with, it gives us a longer time period to plan for your post go-live support going forward.

Tell me more about the Best Use review that you would perform?  First, we review your database for data incongruences and the findings are documented.  This review is done offsite before meeting with anybody in your organization.  One of the many complaints heard about the software is that the reports are sometimes ‘wrong’.  This is almost always related to data issues, and not a programming issue.  Every real estate vertical, and every client, has their own version of what is congruent and what is not with regard to their data.  After the database review, a list of all possible data issues is presented for your consideration.

Second, all relevant system users from all levels within the organization are interviewed individually and asked questions like:

  • How do you use the system on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis?
  • What is working for you and what is not? What slows you down?
  • What are your frustrations with the Yardi system?
  • Present the reports you are using – for both internal and external purposes.
  • What functionality do you think you should be using in Yardi, but aren’t?  Why?

The interviews are easy – only lasting 30-90 minutes, and are facilitated in a safe, secure, and non-judgmental environment.  An interesting dynamic that has played out over and over again is the disclosure by interviewees of things that they will never tell you.  With the right questions and techniques, their unique truth will surface.   In order to do maximize system usage, and accordingly Return on Investment, you need their truth…

Third, the data incongruences, your disclosures, our observations, and our experience and knowledge will be combined to create a tailored plan with an emphasis on these 3 areas:

Gaps.  An analysis detailing where there is a functional ‘gap’ between your uses of the system and the available functionality will be performed.  This gap analysis will contemplate the Yardi development roadmap.

Recommendations.  The review findings will be documented and accompanied by recommendations telling you what you should do.  The recommendations may, or may not, include the consideration of other Yardi offerings.  Our deliverable is usually in the respectful 7-15 page range – containing only hard-earned, direct advice to you.

Strategy.  A roadmap telling you how to get from ‘here to there’ will be created…similar to what was created during the initial implementation.  There are always some tasks that can be done immediately and provide quick pain relief.  Those items may appear at the top of the list followed by critical priority tasks.

Four, we jointly take action based on the roadmap created for you.

How do you know we are going to need help?  We don’t know it unequivocally, but almost every client has asked us for additional service once we are ‘done’ with the implementation.   And, this is after 20 years and over 250 clients.  How many services will you need?  There is no way to know – maybe none.  There are many different factors that go into this determination:  client employee turnover, desires of management with regard to software usage, desired ROI rate on technology investment, in-house technical expertise, number of property takeovers, and the abilities of the overall client staff to name a few.

Why do most companies wait 18 months before they do a Best Use review?  The biggest reason is fatigue.  They want to rest once the implementation is over.  It’s understandable.   A second reason relates to money – this is one of the reason we finance the fees on the post go-live services.  It smooths out the cash flow.

If this MTG model works for us, and we fulfill our 12 month obligation, how does the relationship work going forward after the 12 month period ends?  The same as it has been except it will go forward in monthly installments instead of an annual one.  Each month you will have 34.16 hours available to you.  Or, we can tailor the relationship to your needs – you can sign up for another year or we can come up with a time period that works for you.  However, if no notice is given, the relationship will move forward on a month-to-month basis.

Can I make an investment of more than 8 hour per week?  How about less?  You can buy more, but you cannot buy less.  Eight hours per week is the minimum.

I was going to hire a ‘Yardi Guy’ on as a full-time employee.  How would this work if we also engage Lupine Partners to work with us post go-live under the terms of MTG?  We have seen clients rush this hire during the implementation due to fear of going live and not having the necessary support in place.  Under this model, we are the support, thus freeing you up to find the best resource on a less accelerated time frame.  We would work with you in hiring this person – putting them through their paces to make sure that you are hiring somebody who actually has the requisite skills.  We would help get them trained, and then begin to transition out.

How does this solution model compare or conflict with the support hours we have purchased from Yardi?  Their services are geared towards software issues – i.e. the software is not working as it should.  Our services are geared around return on investment, strategy, best use, and as-needed pinch hitting – with an occasional system fix.  In general, if you were calling them, you would not be calling us, and vice versa.

What if I used the entire 416 hours in the first 3 months?  How would this work?  Once the 416 hours are used up, our support ends.  However, you would continue to make your monthly payment.  If you decide that you want more support, you would need to make a cumulative payment to pay off the remaining months.  At that point, we would sign a new agreement covering the additional desired support.

Why would you agree to finance all of this over the implementation term plus 12 months?  What is in it for you?  First of all, there is no ‘catch’.  We understand that this entire software implementation endeavor is expensive, and we want you to be successful.  We know we can help you be more successful and that at some level you are probably going to need us as you move forward.  We have the financial resources to offer this financing model.  Clients have appreciated this financing and support model and we have accrued long term loyalty from our clients as a result.  Come by our office and see all of the testimonials on the wall as proof…

BONUS SERVICES & PRODUCTS You will not be charged for these following products and services.  These are a value add and an expression of intent on Lupine Partner’s part.  We want you to be successful.   These services and tools will be made available to you and your staff as long as you are working under the terms of this solution model:

  1. 1. Copies of David Wolfe’s 3 books on software and information technology
  2. 2. Our Yardi report writing DVD series
  3. 3. Our Do-It-Yourself Guide to Implementing Yardi Voyager video series
  4. 4. Twice-per-month ‘behind the scenes’ tips on using Yardi Voyager
  5. 5. Free use of our training center located at Lupine HQ
  6. 6. Access to our internal Yardi Voyager resource guides and videos