Philadelphia housing agency taps Oracle

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has deployed Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications to better manage incoming calls and service requests.

The authority, known as PHA, installed Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and PeopleSoft Enterprise Support to handle a daily call volume of more than 4,000 inquiries. PHA leases housing to city residents with limited incomes, managing 16,000 apartments.

Before the PeopleSoft deployment, the authority had difficulty managing calls and maintaining adequate customer relations, noted Carl Greene, PHA’s executive director.

The CRM system, however, tracks inquiries from tenants, applicants and vendors. The recent addition of interactive voice response provides answers to frequently asked questions and access to information on housing waitlist status. CRM also provides PHA employees with a caller’s inquiry, case history and rent information, according to Oracle.

PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM’s Field Service module, meanwhile, manages maintenance requests. Greene said the Field Service system is integrated with time and labor, general ledger and inventory modules from previously installed Oracle systems. That linkage lets PHA analyze the cost in time, labor and materials of performing maintenance work.

“We’ve been able to do a significant amount of integration,” Greene said, noting the links between the CRM system and Oracle’s financial, human resources and supply chain applications.

The Oracle application also helps PHA serve more customers with fewer employees, Greene said. PHA laid off 22 percent of its workforce in January, citing steep cuts in federal funding.

PHA tapped Oracle Consulting for assistance in the CRM deployment. The authority called on that group’s functional design specialists, systems architects and developers, Greene said. He said the authority opted to bring in consultants as needed, rather than establishing a separate systems integration contract.

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