Archive for January, 2012
It’s not always about technology. In fact, I love to say that Discover is, above all else, a customer service company…and only a technology company secondarily. But sometimes we can leverage technology to really improve customer service in a big way, and those are sweet moments indeed. This is one of those. Feel it?
As promised, a test site is available for the Corpus Christi committee responsible for testing & evaluation of the new Discover software prior to cutover. On this site, the data is synchronized from MLXchange in near real-time, so it’s possible to do side-by-side comparison of agents, offices, and listings to ensure the conversion is thorough and accurate. We will now spend several weeks working with Corpus leadership to resolve any conversion flaws, and when it’s time to cut over in April, there will be no scary, final data conversion. Rather, the Discover system will have been up & running — and vetted — well in advance.
Some vendors call this “running parallel”. Although that term is typically reserved for a case where the MLS allows all of its users to access the new system for some time prior to cutover, the workload for the vendor is the same either way…whether 10 or 10000 users bang away on the parallel system, the data has to be converted and kept in sync, and that’s the hard part. Make no mistake, it is hard.
Our philosophy, however, is that the extra effort up front is worth its weight in gold, since it’s a lot easier for a customer to test a new system in advance when the data is current and the new site can actually be used for day-to-day work. Duh. It’s not like we’re the first to comprehend that. In fact, it’s why almost any vendor will offer parallel when they can afford to do so. But, because it’s so challenging, it’s usually only offered to the largest MLS’s. Not any more!
Discover is proud to offer a “data sync” approach for every MLS conversion we ever do again, regardless of size. In fact, if your current vendor will provide us access to other types of data in RETS (such as clients, auto-prospecting searches, etc), we will even sync that. Why? Because we can. Our extraordinary toolset makes this possible at the same cost for most vendors to do a traditional data conversion. And more importantly, I would argue: because we should!
You can choose to offer your fully-synchronized test system to just a committee or task force of agents who will represent your membership, or you can choose to expose the system to your entire membership. Either way, we’ll back it with sufficient hardware to handle the load, even before launch.
Doesn’t the industry deserve this kind of customer service? If you’re going to switch MLS systems in 2012, shouldn’t you expect it? Why on earth would you do a conversion without it?!