Over the last 12 months we have made real progress on the Objective Build platform. The first GoGet Council went live last August with the new applicant module, with five more following them. Most recently, several AlphaOne Councils have gone live, including the West Coast Councils on the South Island and Tauranga City Council on the North.
These Councils have led the way and provided a much-needed template to achieve consistency across the country for building consents. We have appreciated the willingness from these Councils to be the first, providing us with incredibly important feedback that has allowed us to make significant improvements to the platform. A big thank you to Central Hawkes Bay, Masterton, South Wairarapa, Waitaki, Hutt, Western Bay of Plenty, Buller, Grey, Westland and Tauranga Councils for being on this journey with us.
One of the big changes currently underway is moving both GoGet and AlphaOne under the Objective Build umbrella. As we have started to speak about this, the biggest question is “what does that mean for my Council?”
Based on our feedback from applicants, BCAs and council IT teams, a cloud first approach is being taken. We want all customers to get the most out of the solution, and we can only do this if we have the ability to continuously roll improvements out, which cloud-based technology enables, with no additional upgrade requirements on BCAs or their IT teams. We will be having conversations with all customers over the next 12 months about this change. I want to assure you that GoGet and AlphaOne are not disappearing anytime soon. However, we do want to make sure we’re keeping our customers informed.
Creating a sustainable solution
What does this mean if we are currently using AlphaOne?
We will be talking with individual Councils about their individual circumstances over the coming months, but generally speaking:
- We will: The current AlphaOne portal will be replaced by the Objective Build Applicant Module. The Build applicant module only requires applicants to sign up once across the country. As more Councils are connected, applicants will be able to apply to BCAs with the same account. There are several new features also and we have more released fortnightly. You can keep an eye on the features released here.
- We won’t: Unfortunately we can’t continue to maintain 2 portals in the long term, if we want to drive the innovation we believe can benefit this industry. Once each AlphaOne BCA has a scheduled date for their move, we will communicate the date that support for the AlphaOne portal will end. If you haven’t had a conversation with your Account & Customer Success Manager yet, we will be talking with you to discuss the options for the move. Please feel free to reach out if you want to have the conversation now. Our desire is for all councils to have moved prior to the end of support.
- Why? We want to ensure we are investing in the products and getting the most out of them. In order to do this, we need to have the engineering (development) team focused on building a platform, not multiple platforms.
- What about Alpha? The AlphaOne processing engine and the code behind the solution is being used as the foundation for Objective Build’s processing module. A new inspection module is currently being developed and will be available this financial year to replace the existing Alpha inspections tool. As part of the implementation of the Objective Build Applicant Module, the branding within AlphaOne processing will be updated to Objective Build. Finally, this codebase for Build Processing will move to AWS in the near future, to target performance and functional improvements.
- When? We are working through the schedule to complete the Alpha upgrade. If you would like to move ASAP, or have a date in mind, please reach out to your Account & Customer Success Manager.
What does this mean if we are currently using GoGet?
We will be talking with individual Councils about the shift in the next couple of months but a general overview of the changes is below:
- We will – Continue to maintain the GoGet solution, where there are improvements that are valuable for multiple BCAs, or where they are required to facilitate innovation for Objective Build, we’ll consider these requests.
- We won’t – Unfortunately, we can’t continue to develop individual BCA requests for new enhancement or features. However, we can take these requests and add them as an upgrade request for the new Build platform.
- Why? – GoGet is installed at each BCA on premise. Each time a request is made for site-specific development, it diverts resource away from innovation and development of the new Build platform. It also creates less consistency in consenting processes, which proves challenging for applicants across multiple BCAs, and the industry as a whole.
- Can we move to Objective Build? Yes, Objective Build is available now. It is up to each BCA when they choose to move, and we would be happy to have the conversation with you if you’d like to discuss the reasons or logistics behind the move.
- What does it mean if I have recently implemented Objective Build and GoGet? As we said above, GoGet will continue to be maintained and supported for the foreseeable future, there are no plans to ‘retire’ the product. However, our focus is on driving improvements and innovations into Objective Build, across the applicant module, processing and inspections. We’ll continue to engage with you about the move to Objective Build so you are across all developments, and can get the most out of our solutions.
Moving to a more sustainable pricing model
Objective have been working towards a more sustainable solution for all customers using GoGet and AlphaOne. In parallel, we have also been working towards a pricing model that is both fair and equitable AND ensures there are less barriers to entry, by having an innovative way of paying for the solution that allows for continuous improvements without upgrade costs.
The pricing model is transaction based, as is common for Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses, and the fee is charged on a per application basis, as applications are submitted through Objective Build. These fees are for the life of the application - covering all costs including applicant support, software, maintenance, cloud hosting and all continuous innovation. Once you are on the Objective Build solution, new functionality and improvements are available without an upgrade, or upgrade cost. These per consent fees are directly related to the value and complexity of the application, allowing BCAs to charge appropriately and transparently.
The application fee model ensures continuous improvement is at the core of the solution and that Objective Build is as relevant in future years as it is on the day it goes live, improving and changing with the industry.
How is the pricing model innovative?
- Continuous improvement is built into the solution, with more than 20 percent of revenue re-invested annually back into the platform.
- Application forms and checklists are all managed centrally, removing the need for Councils to make updates as and when regulation changes occur. In one example we saw a single Council spend over $100,000 of time on a single building code change, which is completely removed with the Build solution.
- A full support team based in Palmerston North is associated to Objective Build. These subject matter experts not only support the BCA staff using the system, but also provide applicant support. This extensive team ensures exceptional customer service, providing confidence and security. This reduces the time and effort required by the Council / BCA to manage applicant calls that are related to the solution. Objective Build will also have a self-service inspection booking system planned for future development that will reduce the call center burden to BCAs.
- The Objective Build product has an increasing number of subscribers, allowing more and more investment in the future. The Council or BCA being part of this shared investment reduces the individual burden of cost, driving industry efficiencies and constant innovation.
Objective Build will continue to focus on its four key pillars of consistency, transparency, quality, and efficiency which all have benefits for the industry. We have seen significant improvement already with the time taken to apply, familiarity of the process, efficiency created from applicants being able to manage their own world, and the list goes on.
We want to continue to push and develop new innovative solutions to the market and Objective Build has all the ingredients to do just that. We’re seeing it happen in real time and we are looking forward to being on the journey with Councils and the industry.
As always, our customer success team are more than happy to have a chat or answer any questions you might have. So please feel free to reach out to either myself or your Account & Customer Success Manager.