Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Highrise has reached the Star!!!


I've been waiting for this news article for a while now, and finally it's on today's 14 July 2009 the Star online. The following link will lead you to the article, or see below full article:

The news article (in blue) is written by journalist Joanne Timbuong of the Star newspaper:

Online tool for residential communities

KUALA LUMPUR: Voicing and handling complaints concerning neighbourhood issues can be thoroughly confusing, especially when there are multiple complaints about the same thing or there’s a sudden flurry of dissatisfaction.

Such situations led Adrian Teh of Leanis Consulting Sdn Bhd and business partner Yuvan Kumar Danabalan to build a software solution that organises complaints from neighbourhood residents while helping to bring the people closer together.

The solution is called Highrise and is a web-based collaboration tool for residential communities.

As a member of a condominium joint-management committee (JMC), Teh realised there was a need for a platform that allowed residents to share information and discuss matters concerning their residential areas.

“Part of the committee’s job is to get opinions from the residents which isn’t always easy, so why not develop a private portal where residents can voice their opinions,” he said.

Teh regards Highrise as an empowerment tool that enables residents living in gated and guarded communities to collaborate towards the better management of their residential community.

But Highrise’s use is not limited to these communities only. “It can also be used in more traditional residential communities such as a kampung. All we need is a single point of communication, in this case, the village headman would be a good candidate,” Teh said.

People’s portal

Each residential community is given a private web portal to voice their opinions. And best of all, this is offered free of charge.

The portal allows residents to post announcements, opinions and complaints and also helps them keep tabs on paying their utility bills. There are also discussion forums where they can talk about issues or even exchange household tips and recipes.

Users must first prove that they are a resident in a neighbourhood, though. “Users are required to fill up a form, and the information will be verified by the condominium’s management office or JMCs.

“The users will then be issued a username and password each,” explained Teh.

Highrise also aims to bring neighbours closer. Teh said Malaysians living in high-rise buildings sometimes go about their daily activities without knowing who their neighbours are.

“We know that practically everyone has a Facebook account these days so why not have a similar platform for a residential committee,” he said.

Teh believes that it is always good for neighbours to be familiar with each other. “You never know when you may need their help, or when you can lend them a helping hand yourself,” he said. He has experienced such situations himself.

Ad space

There are plans to further improve Highrise. Among these is to market the portal as an advertising medium.

“It can be an option for advertisers that want to target specific demographics living in a certain location,” Teh said, adding that the money earned could help covering Highrise’s development costs.

Highrise is already in use at Platinum Lakes 10 in Setapak and the community there is pleased with the solution.

It’s JMC chairman, See Quai Seen, a 54-year-old teacher, likes the way Highrise helps the committee keep abreast of its tasks.

“Residents post their complaints and we get to work on them. The residents can also keep tabs on what’s being done to resolve their problems or other issues,” he said.

However, he said Highrise is only as effective as the JMC that employs the solution. Residents would still need an active and responsible JMC.

One resident there, who wanted to be identified only as Lilan, 49, said Highrise has made things easier for him and the other community members.

“You can make a complaint or suggestion to the management from anywhere and at any time,” he said. “In the past, you had to make your way to the management office and only during office hours.”

For more information on Highrise, surf to

Update, Update!!!
It's now published!!! Check your The Star newspaper today, 28 July 2009, page IT13.

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