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Defence Housing Australia provides housing for Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families across Australia. A government business enterprise, Defence Housing Australia is responsible for supplying, managing, and maintaining a US$9.8 billion portfolio consisting of 18,000 properties across the country. It is entirely self-funded, thanks to its sale and leaseback operations, which involve marketing housing to property investors and managing those properties. Working in conjunction with the ADF, Defence Housing Australia is also required to develop 10-year forecast models to meet housing demand.
Defence Housing Australia chose Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus to improve visibility into its business and property assets. The organization has fast access to up-to-date property information, which has helped to cut vacancy rates to a record low of 2% and increase revenue. Defence Housing Australia was also able to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for monitoring the efficiency of external property valuers. Response times to valuation requests have improved by up to 15%.
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus was a natural fit for Defence Housing Australia, which was already running Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition 11g. According to Mike Hehir, system support manager, Defence Housing Australia, Oracle’s perpetual licensing option made Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus a good fit for the business.
“The licensing models of some of Oracle’s competitors meant we almost would have had to repurchase the tool every time we did an upgrade,” said Hehir. “With Oracle, we have a perpetual license, so we buy it once and get the upgrades as we go along. This gives the business surety with our planning.
“Our engagement with the local Oracle office during the evaluation phase was also an important contributing factor in choosing Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus,” he added. “They were very willing to work with us and demonstrate different aspects of it. That engagement has continued as part of our implementation, ensuring that we get the most out of our investment.”
Defence Housing Australia began implementing Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus in May 2011. The application went live in February 2012.
The implementation involved building a number of dashboards and incorporating the existing legacy reporting system within Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus. The first stage of the implementation was developing dashboards on vacancy and valuation, followed by stock portfolio and tenancy.
“Rather than rush, we took our time to understand what we wanted to achieve with these new Oracle tools and develop a strategy,” said Shane Nielsen, chief information officer, Defence Housing Australia.
“As we spent time with Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus, it became clear that it would enable us to change the culture of the organization. We wanted to give our people intelligence, rather than simply data. Highlighting KPIs has been crucial to the success of business intelligence at Defence Housing Australia.
“It’s difficult to measure the cultural change that Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus has had on Defence Housing Australia,” said Nielsen. “However, it’s telling that more and more staff, who had never previously asked for reports, are suddenly asking for them because they see the value the Oracle tools offer. The application has reduced our vacancy rates to a record low of 2%. How things are done today, compared to how they were done 12 months ago, is chalk and cheese.”