• What is the R-SAB?
  • What does the R-SAB aim to achieve?
  • R-SAB: a force for good
  • Next steps

Collaboration is the key to success in any industry and the housing sector is certainly no exception to this rule. As a business within this sector, have you ever felt that we would all benefit from a more joined-up approach, where forward-thinking professionals come together to discuss best practices and ensure housing systems and solutions thrive?

If your answer is yes, then you’ll be intrigued to find out more about our new ROCC Strategic Advisory Board (R-SAB). Here, we will take a look at what the R-SAB is, the benefits it can have on performance in the sector and how to get involved.

What is the R-SAB?

In June 2022 the inaugural R-SAB meeting was held at the Mallory Court in Royal Leamington Spa. The meeting, led by our Business Operations Director, Peter Luck, brought together inspirational thought-leaders from some of ROCC’s most dynamic and progressive partners across the UK.

Everybody on the board is hand-selected to ensure a diverse range of ideas, perspectives and personalities, in the hope that different challenges and opportunities get brought to the table. This has enabled ROCC to work collaboratively with its customers, who now have the opportunity to sit down with senior management and influence the outcome of upcoming projects. It also creates a space for smaller companies to innovate with bigger companies, an opportunity they may not get otherwise.

“We work with ROCC towards a common goal, towards whatever we need. ROCC is interested in what every individual is doing, so we feel listened to and that our opinions are valued,” Kevin Scutter, Systems Support Manager, Sovereign, and R-SAB member.

What does the R-SAB aim to achieve?

Members of the R-SAB come together every three months to discuss a whole range of issues, with a focus on complete transparency, honesty and confidentiality to ensure everybody can openly discuss our businesses and challenges together. The key areas of focus include:

  • Sharing business successes and failures
  • Advising other members on best practice
  • Discussing industry challenges
  • Talking about current and future issues (including legislation)
  • Looking at what each business needs to improve.

We then use these learnings to dig more deeply into what the ROCC system can do, what more it should do, and to look into what new products and solutions we can create to more comprehensively address the needs of our housing association colleagues and customers.

At this point, we then revert back to our board members, who hold a vote on the enhancements they want now and the ones they want in the short term (six months to one year), medium term (one to three years) or long term (three to five years). This then helps us to build out ROCC’s five-year product development roadmap.

With those priorities in mind, ROCC will then manage the development of the solutions with our in-house software design and development team. After ongoing collaboration from the whole R-SAB group to tweak the designs, sign off on features and carry out beta testing, the software is made available to all of ROCC’s customer base and to the market in general.

“ROCC is passionate and driven, but our relationship is what makes a difference – it’s like a family. Without them, we fail, and without us, they fail. It’s a partnership,” Ian Thompson, Applications Specialist, Thirteen Group, and R-SAB member.

R-SAB: a force for good

We are pleased to report that our very first R-SAB was a huge success and the feedback we received showed just how valuable the learnings and ideas we discussed were. The energy on the day, coupled with the encouraging feedback, means that we can carry this optimism into future meetings.

We spoke to Peter Luck, Business Operations Director, ROCC, about R-SAB and his vision for the group.

Why did you want to introduce the R-SAB?

Peter Luck (PL): “The concept of the R-SAB group originally came from a suggestion from one of our strategic partners during discussions about how we could give better visibility of our five-year product roadmap and how our customers could work together to directly influence how we prioritise our new developments. We saw this as a great opportunity to allow a group of forward-thinking customers to part own the ROCC product roadmap and directly influence what we do and when for the benefit of all our current and future customers.

“All software suppliers think they know what is best for their customers and the market, but having a completely transparent and customer-owned roadmap means that ROCC can truly deliver exactly what our customers need and when they need it.”

What are your hopes and ambitions for the R-SAB?

PL: “We’ve had an amazing start that really represents our culture. We’ve had a dedicated group of partners putting huge amounts of time and energy into forward planning our product enhancements, but it’s been done in an open, honest and fun way. We’ve all had a great time on this journey so far and I hope it goes from strength to strength with more customers showing interest in joining the group. I think the future could easily become one of a fully customer-owned product roadmap with large numbers of our customers driving new enhancements for the benefit of all.

“I can see the potential, and possibly even need, as the group grows for specialist teams within the larger group to focus on the different enhancement streams required to ensure our products continue to be market leading. I’m really looking forward to getting some focus on those emerging game-changing technologies, some of which are here and some we haven’t even dreamed up yet, to see how they will ensure our partners continue to meet the challenges of providing exemplary service to residents with continuously pressured budgets.”

How pleased were you with the inaugural meeting in June?

PL: “The initial meeting was more than we could have hoped for. With the initial members of the group, we knew we would achieve so much and get amazing ideas on the table but the collaboration shown between ROCC partners who have never met each other and with differing business demands was outstanding. The creativity and the energy throughout the event were phenomenal and it never dipped even after lunch!

“What made us feel so humble was the love in the room. We work hard to be more than just suppliers to our customers and this was evident in how the whole event played out. It wasn’t a dry supplier/customer event, it was like a group of old friends had gotten together and spent a productive day working hard and an evening of purely enjoying each other’s company.”

Following on from the success of your first meeting, how do you plan to shape future sessions and continue to grow?

PL: “The first session is going to be a hard act to follow but we’re committed to ensuring we keep the positive energy going by hosting the event at inspiring, motivational and fun locations. We’ll bring in new ways and people to encourage lively debate and discussion and we’ll be bringing fresh ideas to tease out all that creativity that is in abundance within the group. We’re also looking to grow the group by bringing in new partners, but this will be done slowly to ensure we don’t negatively affect the tight team that has been created.

“Ultimately though our partners (members of the R-SAB group) will have the final say on future changes and improvements, it is for their benefit after all and they need to have full control.”

Next steps

If you’re excited by the prospect of R-SAB and want to get involved, then the good news is that there will be opportunities to do so. ROCC partners wanting to join the group can start by initially reaching out to our Customer Success Team or by contacting Pete Luck directly to express interest. ROCC will then present the case for any new members to the R-SAB group. From here, there will then be a process of assessing any new requests and ultimately the R-SAB group will determine who can join.

We shall look forward to hearing from you!

Find out more about ROCC today and get in touch with our friendly team