The HOPS Support Licensing Scheme was launched in 2016 and is now part of Advanced HOPS. It is designed to support users in the use of HOPS, and facilitate its future development.
Advanced HOPS delivers two key benefits: Support to clients in their use of HOPS, and access to advanced software features.
There is a subscription fee to enjoy the benefits of Advanced HOPS, and with many organisations contributing to the costs of the collective development scheme, tools are delivered at a fraction of the market price.
The purpose of HOPS has always been to facilitate and support improvement of governance of operations, people and assets.
HOPS has become an instrument not only of operational planning, but also of commercial organisation. In the former capacity is has shown great return in volunteer hours saved and redirected to other tasks, and in the latter capacity a direct financial return. There are now over 20000 HOPS users.
In order to continue to support and develop HOPS as our users wished us to, the Support Licence Scheme was developed as an opportunity for heritage organisations to contribute collectively the development of an instrument to support their own growth. The opportunity to enjoy a robust level of HOPS support that is required and regularly expected, to maximise the organisations's return, and the opportunity to push HOPS to continue to develop for everyone's benefit.
HOPS has a proven track record of delivering quality, time-saving, money-saving processes. A volunteer may take 2 hours managing a process on HOPS, or 20 hours doing it manually, and either way it won't cost the organisation any money. But time is money, and volunteers aren't free. That person could be doing something more productive in those 18 saved hours (this is even more valuable if the task is being carried out by a paid member of staff).
HOPS does not try to replace volunteers, it provides a tool to make processes simpler, smarter, sharable and transparent.
A volunteer may manage group bookings or purchase ordering, but it only takes one missed group booking because of an overloaded volunteer and potentially a booking worth £500 or more is lost.
That HOPS services provide numerous significant benefits to the heritage industry is in no doubt, as evidenced by its track record over the years since it was launched in 2010.
- The first and most-valued service is a defined service level agreement for the response to support requests and bug fixes etc.
- Telephone support for urgent issues
- Access to the additional HOPS functions and services that have been developed with funds raised from Advanced HOPS subscriptions
- Access to the SMS templates from HOPS best-practice workshops
- Support to the client's HOPS Administrator
- Set up and configuration support
- Out of hours cover for 'emergency' issues
- Support Ticket System for tracking of support requests
- Telephone support in office hours
- Input into and steering of future development
- All the existing HOPS advanced features made available to the contributing organisations.
- All future developments made available to the contributing organisations only.
Many organisation that use HOPS take advantage of the Advanced HOPS. The support it provides gives peace of mind that issues and queries can be dealt with promptly and also that future capital development of HOPS is enabled.
With the ever-increasing external legislative and commercial pressure on heritage railway (and other) businesses it is now more important than ever that we work together, and HOPS is one of the foundations that facilitates that.