CHICS X – Upgrade information for CHICS 9 users

 

Introduction

CHICS X (please say ten or CX for short) is in fact our third housing management package, following on from our long established and very successful CHICS 9. The original CHICS (some of you will remember) was a DOS based system, very advanced for its day, and can still be run on the most recent MS platforms!

This document details how existing CHICS9 users can move to the new system.
This, as delivered, will cover all the functionality of C9. We have built in several new features, and organisations with 'specialist' rent requirements will find the ledger management and analysis much more comprehensive. Above all CX provides the platform for moving into the new data handling environments of 'Cloud' based services - eg remote working, mobile communications and delivery.

The upgrade is essentially straightforward, but the user will be transported to what may appear as a quite different way of working. Thus, we are anticipating that each user will need a few hours help to move to the new system. This can be done over the phone, but especially for larger organisations we recommend a visit from one of our team. See last page for 'How to Update'

There will have to be some costs associated with the Upgrade - please note this section below is an initial attempt to assess how to be fair and cover our costs - they may be changed with experience.

Following the upgrade and introductory training, we also expect that you will need a certain amount of 'hand-holding' for the first month or so, to become fully acquainted with new ways of working.

Our timetable

The process started in 2013. At this stage (Aug 2017) there are 12 clients on CX. We do not think all clients will have moved until the end 2018.

As in 'Rent Ledger Issues' below, we will have to be mindful of your needs on how to accommodate the upgrade with your financial systems. We will talk with you on an individual basis to make whatever arrangements necessary.

Your Installation

Installation and data transfer -
CX can be installed directly from our downloads page:

http://www.chics.co.uk/downloads.htm

Just unzip the installation file and install. If necessary we can provide an installation CD. Advice on installation is available at the end of this document - 'How to Update'

What it looks like

In CX, your accounts will each have a separate page as in C9, with the b/f balance as the first transaction.

You will have to keep a C9 system in place to allow printing of Statements and all rent ledger records prior to the upgrade. Once you have completed the first year end of CX, the old C9 should only be needed for Tenant Statements or Stock Condition.

Your maintenance data will all be present, and Works Order and Invoicing is similar to C9. The new listing methods are used to give you easier navigation and information retrieval.

Rent Ledger Issues

CX will only bring in b/f balances from your old rent ledger. Historical rent transactions will not be transferred. Your old C9 system will have to be retained for access to all ledger detail prior to the transfer date. Large organisations may want to carry out the upgrade at the start of the finance year, and we will do our best to accommodate this. However, as you will appreciate, this is not going to be possible for all organisations within the timescale. We see no reason why small organisations cannot effect the upgrade at any stage during the year, and a section of this document describes how you may collate documentation for a full years accounts using the two systems (not yet in place - (Jan '18).

Custom Components

If we have created Custom reports or screens, these may have to be redone for CX. We will advise on timescales and charges for this work.

Documentation

CHICS X Manual, CX Quick Guides - we will send you these, and they are available from our website. Help Screens - context sensitive - Press F1

Costs

CX has been a very big step for us. We think it will provide all of our clients with the facilities they need to move ahead to the new areas of communication which their tenants, managers and committees/boards will want in the years ahead.

We will have to ask for some small recompense for this development, and below summarises how we anticipate this will work. We will have to reserve the right to modify these costs and structure as the upgrade experience necessitates.
As above, installation for a single PC or small network is straightforward, and can be carried out through CHICS website.

We will offer every client 2 calls adding up to not more than 1 hour to help with this, free of charge.

Thereafter Upgrade support will incur these costs - (please note costs exclude vat)

  • *Fully Supported Small Clients Phone Installation and Training Help £200
    (less than 150 units) 4 Calls adding up to 2 hours.
  • Fully Supported Larger Clients Visit Installation and Training Help (3hrs) £400
  • Non fully Supported Clients Installation and training help   POA

We would think that many of you would wish to have a visit to help carry through the Upgrade installation. This will be available at normal rates currently £120 per hour + callout £35

*Fully supported clients will have had an ongoing consistent support relationship since original C9 installation.

In addition we will be reviewing annual charges. We have maintained these slightly behind inflation now for 20 years, and it is time to look at how other software houses deliver pricing.

Also, as above under 'Transfer of Data', lengthy consultation work 'cleansing' your C9 data may be charged - we will always advise and get your consent before such work.
Finally, again as above, work on re-creating Custom components where necessary will be charged.

Cloud Installation Option

For CX, we also have the option of providing 'Software as a Service' using a 'Cloud' provider. This allows more flexibility for how you use Chics. Remote access means you can use it anywhere you like.

Licencing

CHICS 9 support was delivered for an annual support charge. It has been possible to run CHICS without paying this support charge, but we have continually underlined that we didn't consider that this was a cost effective option to get the best from the system.

CHICS X will only be available to use with a valid licence.
All licences will run annually from April. A part year charge may be applied.
All licence charges are based on no of properties and modules in use - Rent, Maintenance, Tenant, Asset.

Initially we intend to adhere to the existing support systems and costs, but we are considering a more flexible range of options, outlined below.

This will include options for further charges and extra facilities, or reduced charges for a limited service. We are aiming for a balance between something to suit everyone while not too complicated.

Please Note - charges below are very provisional and still to be settled - per module:

  • Free Licence No support, 20 property limit. Limited printing.  No Charge
  • Use Only Licence Nosupport or website access update option   From £100
  • Upgrade Licence No support, full website access   From £200
  • Support 1 Licence Telephone support 3 annual incidents   From £300
  • Support 2 Licence Unlimited telephone support   From £500
  • Support 3 Licence Telephone & Remote workstation support   From £600

Per incident help option available as at present.

Our Prices Sheet will contain confirmed figures for these options as they are finalised.
Cloud remote 'Software as a Service' charges also on Prices Sheet.

What to do

If you would like to arrange a place on the programme please contact us for deeper discussions.

Other Information

Data which will not come in at present (with anticipated delivery year alongside)

  • Stock Condition   2018
  • Shareholdings   2018
  • Committee Membership  2018
  • Previous tenancies history  2018

 


Click for a guide for CHICS X Upgrade