News: Section Councils

Technical And IT Section Council Spotlight: MLS PIN Technical IT Best Practices

Friday, April 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: CMLS
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by Victor Lund, CMLS full member business partner

This is the first article in a series from the Technical and IT Section Council that explores how member organizations are leveraging  CMLS Technical And IT Best Practices  documentation at their MLS. The goal of the first article is to provide information from the perspective of an MLS that develops and maintains its own MLS system and their experience regarding the CMLS IT Best Practices document.

MLS PIN is a Massachusetts-based provider of MLS services to approximately 35,000 customers. It is an active participant in the Council of MLS and their team volunteered to share their experience with leveraging the CMLS Technical IT Best Practices checklist. The observations of the document and the evaluation of the process come from Ritual Patel, director of information technology at MLS PIN.

What is the Technical IT Best Practices Document?

MLSs are big and small. Some have more capabilities than others and excel at some areas better than others. However, fundamentally, the Technical IT Best Practices document is designed to preserve effective stewardship of operating an MLS.

Too often, we hear stories that MLSs are finding themselves in a disaster or outage and have little prepared in terms of a planned response. The Technical IT Best Practices document is a guideline not only for operation effectiveness, but also for system documentation and disaster management.

How Should You Review The Document?

MLS PIN is “in-house developed.” The staff at MLS PIN manages the back end and front end of all MLS systems and services, server hardware, and application development.

“The best practices checklist is very effective for our environment because these are things that we look at every day,” says Patel, who added that being an all-in-one organization gives MLS PIN greater latitude of control over the systems than other MLSs may have using outside vendors.

An MLS that has a vendor would need to collaborate with their vendor for the answers to many of the questions in the IT Best Practices document because they are responsible for many of the contingencies outlined in the document.

“The technical questions that are asked are things that every MLS should be aware of and should speak to the appropriate people about,” says Patel. “Don't make any assumptions. Having that keen awareness is a component of good vendor management.”

How Long Does it Take?

The length of time to complete the checklist will vary depending upon if you are an in-house MLS or use an MLS vendor. The importance of the checklist is to be thorough and have all of the questions answered.

What if your building burned tomorrow? Would you be prepared?

“Absolutely!” says Patel. “We are a mobile workforce and we can all remote in. So even if the building disappears tonight, we are still in business.”

Final Words

Many thanks to the staff at MLS PIN for sharing their story about how an in-house developed MLS can leverage the Technical IT Best Practices document to maintain their focus on excellence. In our next article in this series, we will be hearing from an MLS vendor on their experience reviewing the document. Be sure to subscribe to stay informed as we continue the quest for shared learning among the nation's leading providers of MLS services.

*Victor Lund is a founding partner of WAV Group and serves on the CMLS Technical And IT Section Council. CMLS posts press releases and other items from member organizations and posting does not indicate endorsement. Please see posting guidelines  here .