SDS celebrates 25 years

Since we started we have moved to new offices and grown to 30 employees, and now have clients all over the UK, as well as Guernsey and Australia.

SDS specialises in providing the social housing sector with tools to help them deliver more affordable housing. This is achieved via the latest development software, created by our in-house team, and consultancy services with an emphasis on financial control and monitoring. SDS is best known in the UK for SDS ProVal, SDS Sequel and SDS Landval; the leading financial appraisal and project management packages used by over 300 housing associations, local authorities, private developers, and consultants.

We are proud of our friendly, creative, problem-solving ethos that uses our housing expertise and in-depth market knowledge to provide high-quality software tools, excellent customer support, accredited training and professional services.

The company has been part of the evolution of technology in our industry and pride ourselves on innovation, creativity and longevity. For example, the grant funding initiative for shared ownership in the early 2000’s allowed the profits made on the sales to fund more development of social rent units. This drove a significant change to ProVal; new models were required that not only assessed both tenures independently but that could also combine both tenures, so that the value of the cross-subsidy could be measured appropriately.

During this time, it became clear that there was a heavy reliance on Excel spreadsheets to manage development programmes, so SDS started working on a solution to this, which became SDS Sequel. We spent two years visiting clients to gather requirements and distil common best practice and feedback to include in the user interface, and Sequel was launched in 2005.

By 2008, when successive security patches from Microsoft were causing increasing compatibility issues with Excel, we began to discuss creating a stand-alone version of ProVal that would store the appraisals in a central database rather than as documents in a file system. Out of these challenges, ProVal LS was born.

Along the way, SDS Catalyst was modernised and changed from an Excel spreadsheet solution to an entirely online benchmarking club with real-time results.

As part of our R&D effort, we make time to build prototype apps in new technologies. This investment enables us to determine appropriate coding usage and how efficiently they work, and especially how fast they are to use. This has allowed us to ensure we keep up with the latest technology developments, and continue creating innovative software for the social housing sector.

A few words from CEO Phil Shelton

"I find it hard to believe I have been part of SDS for over 16 years, the time has flown by! The sector is constantly faced with new challenges, regulations, tenures and government policies (not to mention housing ministers!), and it is a pleasure to work with people in the sector who continually rise to these challenges and exceed them. I love what we do and I know my Dad would be proud to see the business continuing to grow."

A few words from CFO Rob Shelton

"As a relatively recent addition to the SDS team I have been continually impressed by the dedication of the team we have here, and their ability to adapt our product and service offerings as our customers’ needs change. The landscape in this market is continually evolving, but the core values of customer service, innovation, and integrity instilled by our father are more relevant than ever."

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