Grubb Properties

By on Dec 13, 2017 in People

When Grubb Properties decided to upgrade its Yardi Voyager property management and accounting platform to the latest version, the company knew it would meet a littlegrubb banner 2 resistance from its staff. Iris Esguerra, Grubb’s Information Technology Business Analyst and Yardi Project Manager, says, “While Grubb embraced the benefits of moving to 7S, our Voyager power users were a little nervous about the potential disruption an upgrade can cause. With a change management strategy that included a lot of communication and documentation through the testing process to go live, Grubb experienced a successful transition.”

Our Upgrade Like a Rock Star series shares insider tips for the move to Yardi Voyager 7S. In this installment, Esguerra tells how Grubb made the conversion for its 4,448 multifamily units and 28 commercial properties.

Testing and Training

The upgrade process began in the fourth quarter of 2016 with a target to go live in late March 2017. Grubb relied heavily on its Yardi Consulting Practices contact, Tricia Wyatt, to stay on track and achieve a smooth transition to 7S.

Esguerra says that Wyatt was instrumental in helping Grubb through the upgrade by supplying testing materials and guideline documents for each Yardi module. Relevant documents were distributed to keep testers focused. Since the upgrade would greatly impact the look and feel of the platform, the documents provided a clear breakdown of functionality which users tested and became familiar with in the stage database.

Esguerra explains the process, “As the project manager for Grubb and single point of contact for the implementation upgrade, I was provided a project plan and testing checklist workbook. The workbook showed a timeline of goals to hit each week prior to the go-live date, testing results for each module, a list of Yardi root menu sets to compare the company’s custom menu sets against, instructions for permissions preparation and plug-in upgrades that tied in with the core upgrade.”

The project plan and testing checklist were updated each week with results and notes, and the updated workbook was reviewed during a weekly call with Yardi leading up to the go-live date. Staggered deadlines were set for each department to submit test findings, and all power users were invited to join the weekly calls.

While front-end power users were testing their day-to-day functions, back-end admin permissions and optional packages were reviewed, added and tested in the stage database so Grubb would be positioned to take full advantage of all 7S enhancements.

Favorite New Features

Esguerra elaborates, “A large part of the upgrade build was to consolidate menu sets per user group. Users had to switch between roles to use only one or two functions. With the rebuild of primary menu sets per user group, the system became a ‘one-stop-shop.’ Users no longer had several roles to switch between because everything they needed was accessible via an all-inclusive dashboard at login.”

In addition to the one-stop-shop environment 7S provides Grubb, Esguerra shares the company’s enthusiasm for the new look and feel. Esguerra explains, “Functions are better laid out and workflows are more cohesive. One of the best advantages of the core upgrade for Grubb is enabling a single sign-on. We are currently testing that capability and plan to go live with it soon.”

With a single sign-on and all applications in one place, Grubb is able to work with greater efficiency than ever before possible. Esguerra adds, “We love that there’s no more hopping around to separate weblinks and no need to re-enter usernames and passwords for every application we use.”

For more information on Voyager 7S, join a webinar.