Hot Springs Village is in the midst of a transfer to a new management software application that affects all POA members. Although the POA has been working on this project for a year or two, the actual Northstar software transition began on Thursday, January 25, and will continue through Monday, January 29. This means that the POA administrative offices are closed for that time period. Northstar is scheduled to go “live” on February 1, 2024.
On Thursday, January 25, Will Rainwater, IT Manager, conducted a well-attended lab at the Coronado Community Center to help Villagers experience and learn the new software on the members’ side of Explore the Village website. For the sake of simplicity, Explore the Village appears to be one website but consists of two websites, one for marketing and the other for the members. In the past, the lines were blurred as to what was posted on the public site and what was posted on the member site. The public site is available to anyone online, and the member site can only be accessed by logging in. Pam Avila, Communications/Revenue Growth Specialist, oversaw the Explore the Village public site’s reorganization to clean it up and give it a fresh look.
Rainwater was thankful that attendance at the lab was much greater than anticipated. While helping numerous villagers, he stated, “I wanted people to come in and be able to play around with this, so we have some subject-matter experts in the village. They can hop online and say, ‘Hey, if you need help with this, let me know. I can help you out.'”
Lab attendee Pete Loughlin said he and his wife love living in the Village and have been property owners since 2019. By the end of Pete’s lab time, under the tutelage of the IT Manager, Pete seemed to have a good grasp on the improved software.
Villager Jerry Garcia said, “I think it’s pretty good. There are things that people will resist because change is not easy, even good change. But over time, I think people will say, ‘yes, this is better.'”
Why the Change?
When asked what prompted the transition to the new software, Rainwater stated, “Our existing software just wasn’t doing what we needed it to do. It was creating too many difficulties for us, and the support we were getting from our existing company was waning. We used so many disparate software packages for fleet management, building maintenance, compliance [now called Community Support], accounting, etc. The new software incorporates all of these separate software applications.
“It will take us a while to sunset the old applications, but we will consolidate from 17 to five applications. Consolidation will save us well over six figures a year in the long run.“Will Rainwater, Hot Springs Village POA IT Manager
There will be a Learning Curve
“I understand there will be a little bit of a learning curve. By human nature, people don’t like change; they live their comfortable habits, and I know this throws a wrench in the works of those habits and routines. However, you can create new routines with the new software within a month or two.” explained Rainwater.
There Will Always be Hitches
“There will always be hitches. Expect it because these things never go off without a hitch. But expect those to be corrected over time, and in a month or two, the new member portal for Explore the Village will be the ‘best thing since sliced bread.’ We ask Villagers to bear with us, and we will get through this all together. Hopefully, in the next several weeks, we’ll be fine.”Will Rainwater, Hot Springs Village POA IT Manager
If you have an issue when using the new website, call (501) 922-5556.
Cover image: (L) Jerry Garcia and Maureen Morgan try out the improved Explore the Village member website at a portal lab conducted by Will Rainwater.
By Cheryl Dowden