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by Mark Hazelwood 04 Dec, 2017

If you had a blank sheet of paper to build to an FM technology environment right now, where would you start in terms of applications? Would you follow the conventional wisdom and put a CAFM/IWMS at the core, or do we need to think differently in this new world of IoT and more customer centric models?

In reality is the full promise of a large ‘one stop shop’ application ever delivered? Can you clearly demonstrate that the burden of supporting such a system has a direct link to the quality and efficiency of FM services?  Is there also a risk that traditional models of FM software, by focussing on assets, reinforces a ‘disconnect’ from the end user in a building? Can we also argue the real client value lies with the customer experience and a traditional focus on asset led CAFM completely ignores large chunks of service provision that these users most care about?  

Functionality gaps are met by a variety of ‘point’ solutions, but these hold a further administration burden and often require interacting with a variety of portals/management information solutions to get the single holistic view of a workspace.

Also, at a corporate level how does the software provision from FM integrate to become an extension of client’s wider IT architecture to work more seamlessly and prevent duplication? Is the reality of a lack of integration a myriad of manual processes that exist to marry FM IT outputs to the required client IT inputs?

Lastly, how are we going to address the new world of the smart building where outputs from IoT devices, workspace user apps, external data feeds and machine learning to draw real value require far more interconnectivity between applications and management information? Is it time to look at the basis of FM technology environments in a different way, that starts by considering single standards for integration and reporting ahead of specific application functionality? Could a focus on workflow tools also assist in creating structured bridges between applications that ensure data integrity and unify FM and client processes?

An environment underpinned by sound approaches to integration and management reporting also may better place you to take advantage of new technologies as they develop. In terms of applications you can then source the best and the brightest to perform the things you require now and into the future, reducing the risk and cost of change.

This evolution does not necessarily mark the death of CAFM/IWMS, but may mean a re-focusing of these applications on core functionality as the key part of an integrated architecture that support the full needs of the workspace and all its stakeholders. In terms of future IT investment in FM perhaps there is just a need to sit back and consider where the focus should lie in world where increased inter-connectivity and rapid technology change are going to be the norm.
by Peter Stock 16 Nov, 2017
Mark Hazelwood, Managing Director - The event really focused attention on how tech can support the ‘smart building’ and open up new opportunities. For Active Workspace, it was the ideal place to showcase how we can guide people through this maze of evolving technology and make it work for each individual organisation.

Read full article  http://www.smartbuildingsmagazine.com/news/first-smart-buildings-show-is-great-success
by Peter Stock 08 Nov, 2017

The companies I interact with in my home life understand that I might want to interact with them in many ways and truly embrace multi-channel communication. From generation x to z, the smart phone app is often the channel of choice. Companies offer a myriad of apps that are tailored to often quite niche specific needs, with us thinking nothing of having large numbers of these installed. Take a brand like Amazon for instance, you might have Shopping, Alexa, Kindle and Music all installed on your device, because they are apps that allow you to easily do the very thing you want to do at that point. It must be quick and easy, without wading through the irrelevant. An app just needs to work, if you had to download and read an accompanying manual, you would just delete it. Despite there being a numbers of app offerings often from large organisations, what is important, is that they understand it’s about me across all of them. I get a bespoke experience but I don’t have to duplicate faff about my identity.

When it comes to our work lives and particularly how we interact with the workspace, then interaction becomes less intuitive and multi-channel is often just not an option. Where there is technology in place it often requires a level of FM expertise from a workspace user that they simply don’t have or have no desire to attain. Take provision to log a simple reactive request, I might have to navigate through a menu asking me whether I am logging a HVAC issue, when that means nothing to me and I am just cold and I wanted it sorted out. You would not expect at home to have to study the language of technical telephony to instigate a contact to get your broadband installed, but at work this is acceptable? Where there are more co-ordinated apps, these often become over-burdened with complicated functionality and trying to push out an FM led agenda to users to defend a service position. Like it or not, FM is not incredibly interesting to a lot of people, they just want to access the services in their workspace easily so it adds some value through their working day.

We need to start interacting with workspace users in a far simpler way, where we provide intuitive multi-channel access to services and leverage the new channels of choice, which is highly likely to be a smart phone. Get this right and there is a real opportunity to have a direct effect on well-being and productivity and in the increasing world of agile working environments, make the un-familiar familiar and support people in informal and home working settings. Yes, there are issues of data security and privacy, but that is no reason not to advance and have the opportunity of a far more holistic view of the workspace. By understanding how people truly interact we must open real opportunities in delivery models. An eco-system of apps of purpose, which preclude the need for a wholesale change in workspace applications coupled with a smart integration layer is something that is readily achievable and will create some real flexibility into future, especially important in a time of rapid technology change.

So, going forward does there need to be a change in the paradigm, where the start point is workspace user experience when it comes to some FM tech and we look to our out of work lives as the benchmark for how strong that experience should be. If we can get workspace users interacting with space better, surely there is an opportunity to derive more value from that space. Into the future, why can’t we be using 'Alexa' or 'OK Google' like functionality further enhance interaction, but as a starting point we first need to understand the language of the customer.

Author, Peter Stock, Director & Co-Founder, Active Workspace Management Ltd.

Follow me via @PJStox   and  Active  @activeworkspace  and linkedin  

by Mark Hazelwood 16 Oct, 2017

With the rise of IoT has FM fallen into a trap of focussing on installing hardware to measure a myriad of metrics, rather than starting with a clear set of business requirements that intelligent deployment of technology might support? So, we can now measure loads of stuff in real time and generate huge amounts of data, but unless that has a direct effect on the management of the workspace and more importantly aligning that to achieving key corporate goals then we have just added further complexity to an already confusing world of multiple siloed data sources. Data only has value if it generates insight and that tends to come from having a real strategy around how you create that value and insight, rather than just capturing more and more sources without context. How can the industry create more of a focus around creating that contextual holistic view of the workspace that will ultimately derive so much more value at every level out of exciting new areas like IoT?

To not fall into the trap of being data rich and insight poor, there needs to be a shift change where FM truly has the skills to manage and provide real value from data at a level that moves beyond the management of the day to day and supports the achievement of client strategy goals within their property portfolio. A workspace is merely an empty vessel that should support people to achieve things that the occupier of the building sets out to do when they occupied that building, so surely supporting our clients to get to those outcomes should be FM’s primary focus.

For FM to truly deliver this for clients, there is going to be a requirement to think beyond CAFM/IWMS augmented by a bit of IoT and create that true pulse of the workplace by integrating data sources beyond those that FM would generally hold or understand. Has the industry right now at its core moved much beyond using data to defend a KPI position? If FM can elevate itself is there an opportunity to form a new level of relationship with clients: one where the perception of value goes beyond what services cost. The industry needs to create a new way of articulating the FM offer so the client truly buys into a new proposition – one that is based around ‘value’ as it relates to the needs of each client in a unique way, procuring to achieve specific goals as to user satisfaction, space utilisation, asset longevity and not simply a commoditised approach.

There is a real risk that IoT will be the shiny thing that goes in the innovation section of tender documents, but does not fundamentally change anything. Other industries draw so much more value from data, so do we need to be more open from learning from outside the FM bubble and becoming an industry that does not just deliver clean buildings, but is fundamental in our clients achieving their corporate goals? IoT is a real opportunity to enhance the understanding of the workspace, but it’s a small part of a required insight eco-system that will drive the real value out of the new world of oceans of data. Could this shift change create a whole new way of perceiving the FM service that reforms that nature of the relationship with the client?

Author: Mark Hazelwood,  Managing Director @ Co-Founder, Active Workspace Management Ltd

Follow me via @MDHaze or Active at @activeworkspace  and linkedin

by Mark Hazelwood 01 Sep, 2017
Active workplace management is a new way of overseeing your workspaces. By putting your corporate goals at the heart of the approach workspaces can be far better aligned to achieving the needs of your organisation rather than the normal maintenance based FM approach.

A key element to this strategy is taking ownership of data and enhancing it with live monitoring of spaces and interaction with users, to give clients the whole value from the data currency they have and use it to drive the right delivery.

Mark Hazelwood, Managing Director of Active, commented, "Active is an opportunity for clients to put what they are trying to achieve corporately at the centre of FM delivery and then continually monitor whether spaces are meeting this aim.

This moves the discussion in FM away from buildings and to where the value for clients actually lies."

by Mark Hazelwood 04 Dec, 2017

If you had a blank sheet of paper to build to an FM technology environment right now, where would you start in terms of applications? Would you follow the conventional wisdom and put a CAFM/IWMS at the core, or do we need to think differently in this new world of IoT and more customer centric models?

In reality is the full promise of a large ‘one stop shop’ application ever delivered? Can you clearly demonstrate that the burden of supporting such a system has a direct link to the quality and efficiency of FM services?  Is there also a risk that traditional models of FM software, by focussing on assets, reinforces a ‘disconnect’ from the end user in a building? Can we also argue the real client value lies with the customer experience and a traditional focus on asset led CAFM completely ignores large chunks of service provision that these users most care about?  

Functionality gaps are met by a variety of ‘point’ solutions, but these hold a further administration burden and often require interacting with a variety of portals/management information solutions to get the single holistic view of a workspace.

Also, at a corporate level how does the software provision from FM integrate to become an extension of client’s wider IT architecture to work more seamlessly and prevent duplication? Is the reality of a lack of integration a myriad of manual processes that exist to marry FM IT outputs to the required client IT inputs?

Lastly, how are we going to address the new world of the smart building where outputs from IoT devices, workspace user apps, external data feeds and machine learning to draw real value require far more interconnectivity between applications and management information? Is it time to look at the basis of FM technology environments in a different way, that starts by considering single standards for integration and reporting ahead of specific application functionality? Could a focus on workflow tools also assist in creating structured bridges between applications that ensure data integrity and unify FM and client processes?

An environment underpinned by sound approaches to integration and management reporting also may better place you to take advantage of new technologies as they develop. In terms of applications you can then source the best and the brightest to perform the things you require now and into the future, reducing the risk and cost of change.

This evolution does not necessarily mark the death of CAFM/IWMS, but may mean a re-focusing of these applications on core functionality as the key part of an integrated architecture that support the full needs of the workspace and all its stakeholders. In terms of future IT investment in FM perhaps there is just a need to sit back and consider where the focus should lie in world where increased inter-connectivity and rapid technology change are going to be the norm.
by Peter Stock 16 Nov, 2017
Mark Hazelwood, Managing Director - The event really focused attention on how tech can support the ‘smart building’ and open up new opportunities. For Active Workspace, it was the ideal place to showcase how we can guide people through this maze of evolving technology and make it work for each individual organisation.

Read full article  http://www.smartbuildingsmagazine.com/news/first-smart-buildings-show-is-great-success
by Peter Stock 08 Nov, 2017

The companies I interact with in my home life understand that I might want to interact with them in many ways and truly embrace multi-channel communication. From generation x to z, the smart phone app is often the channel of choice. Companies offer a myriad of apps that are tailored to often quite niche specific needs, with us thinking nothing of having large numbers of these installed. Take a brand like Amazon for instance, you might have Shopping, Alexa, Kindle and Music all installed on your device, because they are apps that allow you to easily do the very thing you want to do at that point. It must be quick and easy, without wading through the irrelevant. An app just needs to work, if you had to download and read an accompanying manual, you would just delete it. Despite there being a numbers of app offerings often from large organisations, what is important, is that they understand it’s about me across all of them. I get a bespoke experience but I don’t have to duplicate faff about my identity.

When it comes to our work lives and particularly how we interact with the workspace, then interaction becomes less intuitive and multi-channel is often just not an option. Where there is technology in place it often requires a level of FM expertise from a workspace user that they simply don’t have or have no desire to attain. Take provision to log a simple reactive request, I might have to navigate through a menu asking me whether I am logging a HVAC issue, when that means nothing to me and I am just cold and I wanted it sorted out. You would not expect at home to have to study the language of technical telephony to instigate a contact to get your broadband installed, but at work this is acceptable? Where there are more co-ordinated apps, these often become over-burdened with complicated functionality and trying to push out an FM led agenda to users to defend a service position. Like it or not, FM is not incredibly interesting to a lot of people, they just want to access the services in their workspace easily so it adds some value through their working day.

We need to start interacting with workspace users in a far simpler way, where we provide intuitive multi-channel access to services and leverage the new channels of choice, which is highly likely to be a smart phone. Get this right and there is a real opportunity to have a direct effect on well-being and productivity and in the increasing world of agile working environments, make the un-familiar familiar and support people in informal and home working settings. Yes, there are issues of data security and privacy, but that is no reason not to advance and have the opportunity of a far more holistic view of the workspace. By understanding how people truly interact we must open real opportunities in delivery models. An eco-system of apps of purpose, which preclude the need for a wholesale change in workspace applications coupled with a smart integration layer is something that is readily achievable and will create some real flexibility into future, especially important in a time of rapid technology change.

So, going forward does there need to be a change in the paradigm, where the start point is workspace user experience when it comes to some FM tech and we look to our out of work lives as the benchmark for how strong that experience should be. If we can get workspace users interacting with space better, surely there is an opportunity to derive more value from that space. Into the future, why can’t we be using 'Alexa' or 'OK Google' like functionality further enhance interaction, but as a starting point we first need to understand the language of the customer.

Author, Peter Stock, Director & Co-Founder, Active Workspace Management Ltd.

Follow me via @PJStox   and  Active  @activeworkspace  and linkedin  

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