Why did Bear Cloud Software aka STR Helper and Host Compliance choose to merge?

There were several factors that led to this decision, including:

  • The economic reality that building and maintaining a first-class software platform requires significant financial and engineering resources and STR Helper simply didn’t have the scale and balance sheet needed to continue to operate and fulfill its product vision as a stand-alone entity

  • Host Compliance’s and STR Helper’s product roadmaps were converging and customers were telling us that they would be better off if we could combine our collective engineering resources and build new features instead of simply making two versions of the same product

  • By combining Host Compliance’s technical strengths with STR Helper’s operational insights and decades of local government experience we will be able to develop even more powerful and user-friendly products and services than each company would be able to build on their own

Who will support us day to day?  Will it be the same team that we have been working with?

Yes, the same service and support team that has supported you and your implementation up-to now will continue to work with you going forward.

Can I continue to use the STR Helper software platform?

Yes. In the short-term, there will be no changes and we will continue to support both software platforms.

What are the long-term product plans?  Is there a plan to migrate everybody over to the Host Compliance platform?

In the long-term, it simply does not make sense to support two software platforms that essentially do the same thing.  The question therefore comes down to which platform is better and more future-proof. At this point, we feel the Host Compliance platform is the better of the two platforms and it will allow us to continue to grow and serve our clients’ future needs.

That said, all functionality currently available on the STR Helper platform will be implemented on the new architecture so there will be no loss of material features.  Moreover, given the combined resources of the new company, we will be able to develop a far more robust and user-friendly product, far faster that either company could possibly have done independently.  In the end, we therefore strongly believe that everybody wins with this combination.

We use the STR Helper call center and really like it.  Will the call center be preserved, or do we need to move over to the Host Compliance call center?

The STR Helper call center will remain in place for now but over time we will integrate it with Host Compliance’s more advanced call center offering which includes cutting edge technologies for automatically requesting evidence from complainants and create instant recordings of all calls. In transitioning the service, we will work with each client to make sure that their needs are met.

I have report formats and report information I really value and rely on.  Will these reports be preserved?

Yes. All reports you use in your day-to-day work will be migrated to the new platform.

What will be the effect on our existing data when we move to the Host Compliance platform?

All data – including licenses, registration, property validations, property histories, etc. will be preserved. Moving to the new platform will therefore be seamless.

What will happen to my online registration portal?

Functionally, nothing will change.  That said there may be changes to the look and feel as we create a more modern version 3.0 of the portal architecture. In the process we will also improve the payment processing capabilities and user-experience of the platform so we can take additional payment types including ACH (electronic checks) and avoid annoying re-directs and pop-ups. Based on our testing, these enhancements will dramatically reduce “cart-abandonment” rates and increase collections.

Is my existing contract still valid?  Will my contract need to be renegotiated?

All contract terms and conditions remain in place and there will be no need to make any changes to your contract until it is up for renewal.  Prior to the time of renewal we will reach out to discuss your particular needs and situation and work with you to develop a migration plan that accommodates your specific needs and time-constraints.

When I migrate off of the STR Helper/Force.com architecture, what will I be giving up?  What will I be gaining?

All functionality will be preserved, while adding substantial new functionality.  Some of the new areas of focus will be integration of an artificial intelligence engine to both speed delivery and improve accuracy of property validations, as well as to provide dramatically improved tax remittance and tax fraud detection and audit capabilities.  A host of new features are also planned.

My implementation is midstream.  What now?

For any customer that is in the midst of implementation, we will in the interest of time, continue to implement on the STR Helper platform.  We will then work directly with you to develop a long-term migration plan that gets you re-implemented on the new and better platform on a timeline that works for you.

Did you put out an official press release to announce the merger?

Yes. You can read it here.

Who should I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

Please contact your dedicated project manager/implementation contact anytime. For more strategic questions please contact Bob Peterson or Ulrik Binzer directly. All of them will be available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have.