Smart Buildings

A Complex Landscape of Workplace Platforms Provides the Foundation for Office Apps

This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori. The complex landscape of workplace platforms can be a source of confusion for the buyer of office apps, according to our latest report "The Global Market for Workplace Experience Apps 2020 to 2025". Over 100 suppliers in the global market compete for attention offering a range of variously named digital solutions aimed at building occupants, irrespective of whether they are employees, tenants or visitors.   Our report focuses on building occupant-centric apps with a link to workplace infrastructure and therefore excludes solutions aimed exclusively at facilities management professionals and also those apps which are solely focused on employee communications, without any link to workplace infrastructure. We concluded that there were six types of platform providing the foundation for mobile solutions:   Workplace Experience Platforms. The primary focus of Workplace Experience Platforms is to act as an interface between workplace systems and their users, allowing occupants to access a […]

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This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.

The complex landscape of workplace platforms can be a source of confusion for the buyer of office apps, according to our latest report "The Global Market for Workplace Experience Apps 2020 to 2025". Over 100 suppliers in the global market compete for attention offering a range of variously named digital solutions aimed at building occupants, irrespective of whether they are employees, tenants or visitors.  

Our report focuses on building occupant-centric apps with a link to workplace infrastructure and therefore excludes solutions aimed exclusively at facilities management professionals and also those apps which are solely focused on employee communications, without any link to workplace infrastructure.

We concluded that there were six types of platform providing the foundation for mobile solutions:  

  • Workplace Experience Platforms. The primary focus of Workplace Experience Platforms is to act as an interface between workplace systems and their users, allowing occupants to access a range of services related to the environments in which they work.
  • Tenant Engagement Platforms sit between landlord and tenant and tie together multiple offerings with the goal of increasing tenant satisfaction while providing the landlords with real-time analytics and insights, enabling them to engage and retain tenants.
  • Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) are aimed at Commercial Real Estate owners addressing five specific functional areas which can be integrated into a single platform: space management, energy and maintenance management, capital project planning and lease administration.
  • Building Internet of Things (IoT) Platforms are those which integrate a range of building and facility management applications including mobile workplace experience apps, occupancy analytics or location-based capabilities, connected with the building management system.
  • Coworking Platforms. The primary focus of Coworking Platforms is to provide software and services to manage members and processes in the flexible workspace, coworking and serviced offices sector.
  • Access Control and Visitor Management Systems. The primary focus of Access Control and Visitor Management systems is to provide software and services to enable businesses to control entry to buildings and manage visitor access.

The focus of each platform is distinct, although there is a level of overlap between these categories and some suppliers are providing solutions across these categories. Our report highlighted 32 suppliers of Workplace Experience platforms, offering mobile apps to their clients. Vendors in this category include Lane, SpaceOS, CXApp, Jooxter, Flowscape, SmartSpace Software, Robin and FreeSpace.

Building IoT platforms represent the next platform type with 20 vendors offering mobile apps.  The leading building systems vendors, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Distech Controls, a subsidiary of Acuity Brands and Priva are represented in this category, offering IoT platforms for commercial buildings of all types, including offices.  

As lease terms continue to shorten globally, building owners are now increasingly recognizing that retaining tenants by providing vibrant, connected and engaging workplaces and quality customer experience ultimately results in asset value uplift and increased Net Operating Income. Tenant Engagement Platforms are consequently being offered across the full spectrum of real estate types.  Our report focuses on 15 vendors who provide platforms for commercial real estate applications, including Equiem, HqO, Rise Buildings, subsequently acquired by VTS, Sharry and Cohesion.

Coworking platform providers offering flexible workspaces and serviced offices can deliver a range of back-end administration, accounting and IT management solutions together with member services such as automated bookings, billing, door access and online marketplaces. Our report identifies 12 suppliers of coworking platforms with mobile apps, including the two leading providers, IWG (International Workspace Group) and WeWork.

 We identified ten vendors of Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) including Spacewell, SpaceIQ, Rapal and iOffice. 

It is notable that workplace platforms have become a focal point for M&A activity this year with six acquisitions already taking place in the first 5 months of 2021, followed by a further four since the publication of our report:  iOffice merged with SpaceIQFSI acquired by MRI SoftwareiOffice acquired by Thoma Bravo and Rapal acquired by Ørn Software.

Access Control and Visitor Management Systems are point solutions that many workplace apps have chosen to integrate into their offering in order to gain adoption. The user benefits are widely accepted, with most occupants agreeing that using a mobile phone to gain entry instead of a separate access card is more convenient. A representative selection of 13 brands of Access Control and Visitor Management Systems are covered, including Proxyclick, Openpath Security, Sine, Spintly and Traction Guest.  

Within its 149 pages and 31 charts, this new report filters out all the key facts and draws conclusions, so you can understand exactly what is shaping the future of app technology within commercial office space. The report also includes 4 detailed spreadsheets (supplier listings, deployments, funding rounds and M&A) at no additional cost. For more information, visit: https://memoori.com/portfolio/the-global-market-for-workplace-experience-apps-2020-to-2025/

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