2021 saw a lot of activity around enabling a safe return to the office and preparing the workplace for hybrid work. The pandemic forced all of us to rethink not only building operations but also how and where work is organized. It prompted organizations to re-imagine the workplace and explore how it can be supported by software and technology-driven transformation.
Some big trends:
- Workplace safety, cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, and indoor air quality monitoring came into focus
- Capacity planning and workplace scheduling, supported by robust reservation systems, became a must-have
- At the same time, the shift to increased workplace flexibility continued, including flexible seating arrangements to avoid empty seats and desks
- Workflow-based automation, mobile tools, and remote device control became more important than ever
- The value of the building IoT became even clearer, as it provides reliable utilization data for decision-making and empowers employees with real-time data to better navigate an agile work environment
- Organizations started reassessing their real estate needs and evaluating how much space they would still need in the future world of work
- With hybrid work potentially leading to an oversupply of office space, smarter buildings now offer landlords a clear competitive advantage
These trends and your feedback steered our innovation process. Our product design teams were on the ball to help you mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 and adapt your workspaces. Not just in response to the crisis but also to build long-term workplace agility.
Major Spacewell updates in 2021
1. An elevated employee experience
In April, the new Spacewell Workplace App was launched on Google Play for Android and Apple’s App Store. With new workplace measures in place, Spacewell wanted to give employees an app that elevates their workplace experience. In the post-COVID era, we’ll see increased flexibility in the office, with shared spaces, desks, and seats. With its digital floor plans and real-time data visualization, the workplace app really comes into its own in these agile environments. It enables employees to easily find and directly book spaces and associated services. Stand-alone services and equipment (e.g., projectors, pool cars, lunch) can also be booked without the need to link it to a room or desk reservation. Just select a pick-up point, check out, approve the costs, and go.
To complement its range of end-user touchpoints in the workplace (smartphone app, kiosks, and meeting room displays), Spacewell also introduced status lights. These small inexpensive LED lights change color to indicate the status of rooms or desks. You can use them in three different scenarios: indication of the CO2 level of a room, room and desk reservation status, and occupancy of desks and rooms as detected in real-time by sensors.
2. Dynamic workplace analytics
In August, we introduced the Opportunity Simulator dashboard, which dynamically simulates space optimization scenarios and calculates space savings. This dashboard is a great extension to the Space Monitor. Thanks to this powerful new tool, workplace leaders can eliminate wasted space and better align the workplace with new work patterns and employee needs.
We’ve also extended the range of available dashboards in 2021 in the areas of reservations, space usage, building statistics, service requests, maintenance (inventory/operations) and financials (expenses/revenues). All dashboards offer advanced interactive features. You can use drill-down functionality and filter for time periods or specific attributes.
Furthermore, you can now also benefit from ‘Bring your own BI’ capability. Companies that want to use their own corporate analytics solution can connect the BI tool of their choice through API Connect.
3. Faster solution development thanks to public cloud infrastructure
The Google Cloud migration of Spacewell’s Smart Workplace IoT platform as well as its workflow-based IWMS Axxerion happened in the spring/summer. Next-gen solutions that integrate real-time data from IoT generate large and complex data sets. To harvest the power of this ‘big data’, cloud-native data platforms such as the Google Cloud provide clear advantages in terms of scalability, reliability, security, and speed. With Google Cloud, we can develop new capabilities faster. For example, we rebuilt and redesigned the sensor management platform from the ground up. Completely responsive and modern, it offers a simple user interface to manage your sensors and add new sensors in a single step. Users also get automated alerts when sensors need attention to keep them in optimal condition. It now also allows you to steer the appearance and behavior of Spacewell’s Workplace App and Kiosk.
4. Energy intelligence
In December 2020, Spacewell acquired Dexma, a provider of innovative SaaS solutions for energy data management. By joining forces with Dexma, we could offer you in 2021 an AI-powered Energy Intelligence solution that allows you to accurately track energy in your buildings, lower costs, and minimize your environmental footprint. Dexma’s modular platform is primarily aimed at ESCOs, Utilities, OEMs, Energy Consultants & Green Corporates, helping them to optimize their energy transition and reach their sustainability goals.
5. IWMS with embedded BIM for FM: MCS release 2021
MCS is an IWMS platform offering embedded BIM and IoT connectivity. It enables the import of spatial and asset data (incl. revisions) from BIM into IWMS software. It provides two-way integration with BIM collaboration platform Bimplus (bidirectional syncing and updating). Moreover, the Asset Information Model is also fully integrated with work orders. The MCS 21 release brought enhanced capabilities in space management, workplace reservations, maintenance, and business intelligence.
6. Workflow-based SaaS for FM and RE management (Axxerion)
Spacewell’s workflow-based cloud software for facility and real estate management, Axxerion, continued to evolve. Its responsive web design lets you use it on desktop and on the go, anywhere, anytime. With its SaaS delivery model and automatic updates, you know you can always benefit from the latest features. It also integrates fully with the supply chain, giving everyone access to the right information at the right time.
After the migration to the Google Cloud platform, the Axxerion self-service portal received a series of new features. One of these new features is the ability to assign a corporate identity per user profile. This enables customers to support an unlimited range of branding skins within a single Axxerion self-service portal. Also noteworthy is the announcements feature, enabling admins to publish textual & visual content (news items) on the user’s home page, thereby using Axxerion as a (unidirectional) communication channel towards their users.
The Axxerion Facility Management baseline also started supporting order management and supply/stock management. From an (imported) catalog users can order goods, and the system supports a wide range of order-approval mechanisms such as maximum (monthly) order quantity/price per user and approval by a manager. Via stock management, stock levels can automatically be replenished based on various replenishment strategies.
Preview 2022: What you can already look forward to
We’ll continue to focus on supporting you with your workplace challenges. We’ll help you unlock the utilization data to underpin your future workplace strategy. And we’ll provide the tools and intelligence to deliver frictionless workplace experiences in the post-COVID era.
With that in mind, the 2022 roadmap includes features such as location rules and permissions, enhanced parking management, and zone and group-based workplace booking. We’ll also continue our developments in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring to ensure that your spaces are and remain healthy.
We’ll keep you posted with regular product news updates.
Do you have suggestions, questions, or comments? Please contact us.
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