Smart Buildings

Deployment of Workplace Apps Driven by Hybrid Working Models

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

Inpixon, an indoor intelligence company, recently announced that its smart office app, acquired in the recent CXApp acquisition, had been selected by a major European-based commercial and retail banking firm with more than 50,000 employees for implementation across more than 75 locations.

This deployment supports the banking firm’s hybrid return-to-work initiative.  The app aims to deliver an enhanced work experience for employees regardless of their location, whether working from the office or remotely, and will offer desk booking for more than 30,000 workspaces plus conference room booking, hoteling, indoor navigation, news and event feeds, and employee notifications.

This is one of an increasing number of technology solutions put in place to address the change in working styles in the post-pandemic environment.  Driven by hybrid working models, our latest report on Workplace Experience Apps highlights the step change in adoption of this technology.  

Investment in workplace experience apps has moved beyond pilot projects as firms implement technology to support the return to the office and future working. In the last three years up to May 2021, we have identified over 75 office building deployments that have been augmented with a workplace experience app.

Vendors are continuing to see strong demand for solutions which bring together a number of work functions into a unified, employee-friendly mobile experience. They can support a safe return to the workplace for employees during and after the pandemic and lay the foundation for more agile and future-oriented working. 

As the Inpixon example described above demonstrates, implementations are moving beyond single buildings and campuses towards projects across real estate and enterprise portfolios.

In 2020, Siemens announced the deployment of its workplace experience solution Comfy across its global offices, targeting approximately 600 company locations. More recently, in March 2021, Siemens Smart Infrastructure announced that it would roll out Comfy at Arvato Financial Solutions’ 30 European offices. Arvato Financial Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany-based Bertelsmann, is a European Fintech company with 7,000 employees in 15 countries. The roll out of the platform and app will begin immediately, starting with two of Arvato Financial Solutions’ main offices in Germany: This will be followed by other locations in Germany and Scandinavia later this year. All other offices will be enabled with Comfy through the end of 2022. The Comfy platform will cover around 63,000 m 2 of office space.

Flowscape, a Swedish public company founded in 2011 describing itself as “the modern office flowmaker”. recently supported WSP to roll out an integrated Smart Office solution across its 21 offices in the UK.  WSP, one of the largest professional services firms in the world, formulated an ambitious plan with the key objective of transforming the utilization of its offices globally. In the UK, this involved over 7,000 staff using 33 offices totaling 41,427 sqm., with 5,800 desks and 150 meeting rooms. Flowscape delivered its largest UK project over four phases during the second half of 2020.  WSP is also working with Flowscape in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Sweden.

HqO, the US provider of a tenant experience operating system for commercial office buildings, is providing portfolio-wide property technology services for Columbia Property Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust that creates value through owning, operating, and developing Class A office buildings in gateway U.S. markets. The Columbia Gateway mobile app connects and engages office workers in each building with the amenities, conference rooms, service providers, and transit in their building and the surrounding community.

Willow, the Sydney, Australian company offering digital twin solutions for the built world, deployed their Experience application across 13 buildings in the Investa portfolio.

Our report also highlights the diversity and range of over 100 suppliers in the marketplace, backed up by profiles of each firm highlighting their deployments, technology or business model, client base, recent product launches, partnerships, acquisitions and disclosed funding where available.

Workplace Experience Apps are fast becoming a key software tool in future-proof commercial real estate. In the Post-COVID era, with many occupiers exploring options for downsizing or moving to hybrid working, a growing number of landlords are eager to tap into the opportunity for a more digitized workplace experience.

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