Conifer Realty Case Study
Dealing with an outdated IT infrastructure, Conifer looked to the Real Estate IT Solutions Consultants at iV4 to develop a five-year IT strategy and implement SharePoint.
Conifer Realty is a nationally ranked, full-service real estate company specializing in the development, construction, management and ownership of high- quality, affordable housing communities. Conifer owns and manages over 14,000 multi-family units in five states, with over 700 employees.
Conifer presented a unique IT challenge to iV4. While the company had grown steadily over the past 6 years, it had not addressed the IT infrastructure and workflows to sustain their growth rate. Since each property operated as a separate entity with its own P&L, each individual property needed to run like a small business. Yet, Conifer needed to standardize so that their properties operated synergistically within a single corporate overlay.
Their legacy systems and processes were increasingly adding work for employees and provided them with limited visibility and connections. Conifer needed a roadmap that could look at each level of operation, facilitating business flow now and in five years with a design and architecture that would be secure, dynamic, mobile, interactive, and scalable.
The question was: how could Conifer pull together all the moving parts of the separate entities and create a holistic IT solution that allowed each to operate freely but stay connected?
iV4 started by interviewing each business unit to understand their business goals. With four corporate locations and over 220 properties, there was a complexity to assessing and coordinating the many different systems. iV4 then created a cohesive plan based on the IT footprint and created a five-year strategy. All IT was outsourced to iV4 who stepped in as the virtual CIO. They provided 14 engineers and staff members for on-site support and company help center.
"It was critical to involve the entire organization from executive staff to department managers, to property managers to understand best ways to architect and reengineer their IT plan," said Jeanne Morelli, iV4 Senior Consultant and VP. "The iV4 team was constantly asking, 'how do we facilitate a better plan for work flows and life cycle management?'"
The company was moved to cloud-based solution Office 365 for security, portability, and mobility. SharePoint became a key solution in workflow and document management. By having a SharePoint solution in place, which was carefully designed based on company and employee feedback, they were able to substantially reduce excess and repetitive work. “As we built these work flows their eyes lit up as they realized how much work will be taken off their plate by eliminating the things that are repetitive,” said Morelli.
“As we built thes workflows their eyes lit up as they realized how much work will be taken off their plate by eliminating the things that are repetitive.”
Leveraging iV4 IT expertise and onsite staff, allowed Conifer to focus on what they do best, real estate. The right plan was achieved by constantly reviewing and working along side Conifer and including all levels within the company to get the insight and process feedback.
They now have an infrastructure that is more secure, collaborative, and scalable as the company continues to grow. Their new five-year goal is to be the best place to work. Most of all they have a dynamic plan and partnerships that can support their needs now and in the years to come.