Alertacall - Digital Switchover

Communicating the plan to residents - the key to success As with most service changes, one of the key factors in generating a successful response from residents and staff members is clearly demonstrating ‘what’s in it for them’. There are a number of very positive messages around the changes Digital Switchover will bring about, especially if your plan includes taking the opportunity to enhance the way you manage properties and your overall service delivery. It is critically important to focus on the benefits that will be seen instead of simply focussing on new equipment and maintenance requirements. Examples of positive messages might include: • ‘The hard wired alarm and warden call system on the wall is coming to the end of its useful life and instead of passing the cost of replacing it on to you, we have found a better approach that continues to protect you and reduces the cost too.’ • ‘We want to look at improving door entry and security into the building, and also modernising the way we detect smoke alarm signals using the latest technologies.’ • ‘We know that a significant number of you do not like the hard wired alarm and warden call box on your wall and think it looks old fashioned, therefore in time these will be removed from your property, which we hope you think will make it look smarter and more attractive.’ • ‘We wish to put services in place that are more focused on improving contact with you, and helping us focus our time on those people who need it the most, this is something that residents have often requested.’ • ‘We know that not everyone wants or needs an alarm so instead of forcing you all to have one, we are going to give you the individual choice. Be assured, if you do want an alarm you can still have one, it just will not be through the fixed unit on the wall.’ Increase digital engagement - video messaging and apps For housing providers who have their own app or self service portal in place, how do you get residents to engage with these regularly given that many don’t have access to WiFi or a device? Alertacall’s system offers residents portable touchscreen devices with connectivity built in to them that use the mobile telephone network, allowing one touch access to connect to apps. Alternatives also exist that offer extensive messaging capabilities, with the ability to send video, audio, text or images to individual residents or defined groups of them. For example, a message could be broadcast about a meeting or that ‘workmen are onsite today’. These systems dramatically improve the ability to communicate, compared with traditional hard wired alarm systems. Some have APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which enable information to be imported or exported from those systems, or integrated with a housing provider’s own housing management system and other software. 15 Digital Switchover