Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCCHA) was established in 1967 by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors to locally administer federal rent subsidy programs authorized under the United States Housing Act of 1937.

Through its affiliate entities, SCCHA manages approximately 2,600 affordable rental units across 26 housing developments throughout the County of Santa Clara and administers approximately 17,000 vouchers. The large population and critical need for affordable housing has made SCCHA one of the largest public housing authorities in the country.

Since July 2019, Avèro has provided project management and support services for the reimplementation of SCCHA’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, developing optimized business processes, as well as staff collaboration and change management strategies. Avèro continues to serve as the primary liaison between SCCHA and its software vendor to ensure that all project deliverables align with the agency’s vision.

Weekly check-in meetings are conducted by Avèro with the SCCHA project team to report common issues and workarounds; this communication method is vital to create an environment of learning.

Reimagining the Owner Portal

Avèro has worked with SCCHA to assess the owner portal’s functionality and use. The plan for a relaunch has been pursued as the portal was not being used to its full potential. Avèro has assisted with updating key features and making the portal visually appealing and fully functional.

System Upgrades

Avèro currently advises SCCHA’s IT Department in developing best practices for server upgrades and patching. The Elite server is going through a series of large patches being tested and debugged during production hours. Avèro serves as the primary liaison between SCCHA and the Emphasys Elite Customer Support for all topics, including current bugs and future patches. Avèro also provides project management assistance and help desk services to alleviate the workload on the IT department.

Redesigning and Implementing a Customized Help Desk System

SCCHA initially used a primitive help desk process that utilized emails and phone calls only, and with low reliability; there was no process for managing support for Emphasys Elite operations when the project was kicked-off.

Avèro immediately designed and implemented a customized, full-featured support management system, brought the related processes to maturity, and led change management through regular stakeholder meetings and user group sessions.

When SCCHA information technology infrastructure improvements were implemented with Avèro’s assistance, the Elite support process was migrated to SolarWinds Service Desk in the summer of 2020. Avèro continues to provide full management of the support process for housing operations at SCCHA, including Avèro employees embedded with SCCHA support staff on a full-time basis.

This has produced significant improvements in response times and resolution to support issues, including unburdening non-technical staff from engaging with Emphasys to work on long-term Elite projects. Avèro handles the entire product support process so that SCCHA can focus on its organizational functions and goals.

Reconfiguring SCCHA’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

SCCHA currently utilizes Emphasys Elite for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. SCCHA is satisfied with the product itself, but they requested consulting and support services for reconfiguring the software for improved functionality.

Avèro currently assists SCCHA’s IT department in vendor relations and customer service. SCCHA has found that the customer service is deficient; routine items would get an immediate response, but urgent items would be postponed.

Avèro has aided in pursuing the vendor to maintain the agreements set forth during the contract negotiations, including topics covered under the provided maintenance and customer support. The future vision of the software is in cloud computing.

Strategic Planning for Cloud Computing

Avèro has assisted SCCHA in strategically planning for implementation into cloud computing. Project tasks consist of upgrading the Elite servers to the current version, redesigning Elite server topology, assistance needed from Elite developers, and a patching plan for cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and data backup.

The roadmap also includes the desired methodology for IT security infrastructure upgrades to allow clients access to the cloud while maintaining cybersecurity best practices and availability.

Managing Staff Training

Avèro participates in managing and overseeing staff training for Emphasys Elite to engage SCCHA staff in the success of product use and increased confidence in the workflow. This project management also allows for a dedicated software expert to be always available to staff for issues regarding software or vendor support.

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Deep experience in technology and design thinking to bring peace of mind to the public sector.

We help local governments identify the best way to use internal resources and where to invest in new technology and infrastructure.

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Avèro Advisors combines science, strategy, technology and design thinking to create handcrafted solutions specific to each problem and with the agility to confront them head-on. From automated billing systems to streamlined interfaces with the government, our experience and expert knowledge makes us the premier partner in modernization and digital transformation.