The buzz surrounding Yardi Voyager 8 has been palpable in recent months as Yardi prepares to debut the software upgrade from Voyager 7S to Voyager 8. To learn more about the enhancements of Voyager 8, we had the opportunity to have a Q&A with Brian Sutherland, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing at Yardi. Welcome to the REdirect blog, Brian!
Q: Can you provide some background on yourself and your role at Yardi?
A: Absolutely. I'm Brian Sutherland, Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing at Yardi. I've been with the company for nine years, serving in various roles, including leading the strategic direction of our commercial solutions and launching products like Yardi Elevate and CommercialEdge. Prior to Yardi, I was self-employed for 17 years and was involved in several dot-com startups. I'm based in Santa Barbara, where Yardi's headquarters are located.
Q: Your current ERP platform is Voyager 7S. Can you give us a sense of its adoption?
A: Yardi Voyager 7S is the most widely adopted real estate ERP platform globally. Currently, it's used by approximately 6,000 real estate organizations, with around 500,000 end-users logging in daily.
Q: At your recent user conference, you announced a new platform called Voyager 8. Can you provide some background?
A: Voyager 7S is a mature and stable platform with about 10 years of development behind it. However, its user interface and user experience have become somewhat antiquated and outdated. We're excited to launch something modern and updated. We already have experience with this approach, as we've upgraded over 2,000 customers to Yardi Elevate, which is built on the same framework.
Q: What can Yardi customers expect to see in the new platform?
A: From an end-user perspective, the new platform offers a refreshed experience with fewer clicks, improved screen design, and numerous new capabilities. On the commercial side, we've introduced many new dashboards, enhanced reporting, tenant COI management, activity feeds, improved communication tools, bad debt management, enhanced sub-lease functionality, and many other features. From an accounting perspective, there are reporting enhancements, an AR calendar, a receivable dashboard, a month-end dashboard, usability improvements, and enhanced communication tools.
Q: Can you talk to us about the upgrade process from Voyager 7S to Voyager 8?
A: It's important to note that it's an upgrade, not a conversion, from Voyager 7S to Voyager 8, and it's designed to be an easy upgrade. The unique aspect of our approach is that users can work in either Voyager 7S or Voyager 8, making the transition smoother. We've been rolling out upgrades in phases, starting with property management and then finance. However, we will work with each client to determine the proper approach for their needs.
Q: What's the timing of the release?
A: From a commercial perspective, early adopter implementations will start at the end of November 2023. In Q1 of 2024, we'll move into general release in the US, followed by beta testing in Canada and the Netherlands in Q1. We'll also have a beta test in the UK in Q2 and, finally, a beta test for multi-currency in Q3.
Q: Your announcement mentioned that Voyager 8 enables AI. Can you elaborate on this?
A: Certainly. In the spring of 2024, we're set to launch Yardi Voyager 8 Virtuoso, a groundbreaking addition that seamlessly integrates AI and machine learning into our platform. Virtuoso leverages the wealth of data stored in your Voyager accounting environment and harnesses platform-agnostic large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT. This empowers us to work with vast datasets and maximize the capabilities of AI.
We're extending our machine learning capabilities to our clients, delivering significant time savings estimated at an impressive 97%, particularly in areas like invoice processing. Moreover, Voyager 8 Virtuoso will introduce lease abstraction capabilities, further enhancing our offering.
Additionally, we've recently upgraded our chatbot technology with natural language generation powered by ChatGPT. The most remarkable feature is the Voyager 8 Virtuoso assistant, which allows end-users to prompt the platform for tasks like generating reports, creating work orders, and seeking specific information, such as, "Show me my exposure in this market, including the largest tenants expiring in the next 12 months."
To say we're enthusiastic about AI is an understatement—it's a central focus for our leadership team. Personally, I recently completed an MIT AI certificate program titled "Implications for Business Strategy," which equipped me with both a foundational AI knowledge base and insights on applying AI within the Yardi organization.
Q: Can you talk about security as it pertains to Yardi Virtuoso?
A: Data governance, security, and integrity are top priorities for us. We have stringent protocols in place to ensure the security of our AI framework through Yardi's cloud. Our goal is to augment our clients' efficiency and enhance their customers' journey and experience.
Q: Is there anything in closing that you would like to mention?
A: We're extremely excited about the next version of our core platform and are confident in our approach to bringing it to market. The enhancements will be noticeable, and our clients will certainly benefit from the upgrade. In addition to new features and improvements, Voyager 8 will offer a streamlined experience for user provisioning and enhanced security administration. We appreciate the partnership with REdirect and thank you for giving us the opportunity to discuss our new platform.
Learn More About Yardi Voyager 8
REdirect is proud to be a partner with Yardi and is here to help support your business with Voyager 8 every step of the way. Contact us with any assistance needed with Voyager 8 or further optimizing your Yardi software.