Clarity in the Cloud


Article originally posted on the Yardi Blog and re-printed with permission.

Wilson Blanchard Management Inc.

By Leah Etling on Dec 8, 2015 in Technology

Moving to Yardi’s cloud-based Voyager 7S platform was a big leap for Wilson Blanchard Management Inc., a Canadian condominium overseer. With responsibility for nearly 37,000 units in the Toronto and Golden Horseshoe area and offices in Toronto, Hamilton and Cambridge, the company is one of the largest and most respected condominium management firms in Canada.

The company’s transition to the 7S platform was a big deal because not only were they moving away from a self-hosted software solution, but they jumped from a much earlier version of Voyager, Voyager 5, to the vastly improved and more intuitive 7S.

“That was a big challenge, both from our standpoint and I think from Yardi’s standpoint also,” said Jeff Lack, manager of financial reporting for Wilson Blanchard.

But moving to the cloud turned out to be one of the best technology decisions that Wilson Blanchard had ever made since the company began 20 years ago. Not only did it produce nearly immediate cost savings, but it saved time, enhanced productivity, and generated peace of mind.

“The cost of being self-hosted, both the cost from a hardware standpoint and a maintenance standpoint, just wasn’t worth it anymore. It didn’t make sense to continue putting out that amount of money for servers, maintenance, software upgrades, and server upgrades,” Lack said.

Transferring the responsibility for those items to Yardi created a streamlined system for troubleshooting and eliminated miscommunication between software provider, client and a third party IT provider.

But there haven’t been many issues to troubleshoot, Lack relayed.

“We really haven’t had any cloud specific issues, at all. There has been no downtime, no data issues,” Lack said.

Among the efficiencies generated by Voyager 7S that Wilson Blanchard has appreciated are fast report generation using SSRS reporting.

“It’s almost instant. A report is created instantly, whereas before we had to wait for it to process, and then download it,” said Paula Davis, the company’s CFO.

Wilson Blanchard continues to improve the efficiency of their business practices. This fall, they moved from sending paper arrears letters for condominium fees, and began sending those notices via email. The cost savings over time is expected to be significant.

“With postage, envelope, etc., the hard cost alone is about $1 per letter. So we’ve started emailing those and we’ll see how that goes,” Davis said.

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