Verdantix: Accruent to be acquired by Fortive for whopping $2 billion


On July 31, 2018, industrial technology solutions giant Fortive announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Accruent, a real estate and facilities management software provider, from private equity firm Genstar Capital. Fortive will pay $2 billion in cash and expects Accruent to generate revenues of $270 million in 2018. This will come from its suite of software products used by Accruent’s 10,000 customers. Upon completion of the acquisition, Accruent will become part of Fortive’s portfolio of Field Services solutions alongside other brands such as Fluke, Gordian (RSMeans), and Industrial Scientific. Verdantix finds this is the biggest deal to date in the $4.9 billion market for real estate and building management software, which we define further in our recent report

What does the deal mean for the broader real estate and building management software market? The deal shows the market is consolidating at a rapid rate. The largest real estate software vendors MRI, RealPage and Yardi have been locked in an arms race of acquisitions to further bolster their scale. Meanwhile, IWMS vendor Planon has pursued targeted acquisitions to support international expansion. This latest deal also highlights the emerging push by software vendors to make greater linkages between software used during the construction and operational phases of buildings. Witness Elecosoft, a construction software provider, acquiring Shire Systems, a CMMS vendor, to offer the construction firms and property investors it engages with a maintenance management solution…

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and IWMS competitors. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag or Accruent tag.]

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Planon: From Smart to Learning Buildings with Machine Learning


Organisations and more specifically, their facility and real estate managers are constantly looking to improve our work environment and the buildings that we work in. They want to be cost-efficient, increase productivity, and create a healthy and attractive workplace for their employees.

The Internet of Things and Smart Buildings are providing interesting opportunities to improve our work environments. Achieving this, however, is a big challenge for organisations. What Smart Building solutions are organisations looking for? What is the real value to organisations? How will organisations realise these benefits?

From a reactive to a proactive approach through “machine learning”

The ability of buildings to measure every action or change in behaviour by the building or its occupants is changing rapidly. Nowadays, affordable sensors are available that measure for example space occupancy, air quality, usage of specific spaces or the state of building installations. Data collected from these sensors provides information about these items. We can use this data to make improvements to the work environment, building or user experience.

For example, when sensor measurements show that a meeting room that was reserved is actually not in use, it can immediately become available for a new meeting. In addition, when sensor measurements show that a specific toilet area is used less than expected, the cleaning schedule can be adjusted. However, these useful examples are based on an “If This Then That” scenario, meaning that if an event occurs we react to that event. This is a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach, so can we really call this “smart”?

[Admin: This post is related to the 11.01.17 post about designing smarter buildings that learn. To see other related posts, use the Planon tag or Smart Buildings tag.]

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Verdantix: IWMS vendors extend reservations with digital signage


IWMS (Integrated Workplace Management System) vendors continue to launch a flurry of new products aimed at helping employees better navigate workplaces and book space. Some of the latest product releases make interactive kiosks and touch screens central to the proposition – providing employees tools that can be easily accessed while moving through buildings.

Witness FM:Systems launching bookMe in October 2017 which enables employees to use digital signage and mobile apps to find and reserve space, and Trimble launching LiveSign Pro Touch Panels in November 2017 powered by Manhattan software, enabling the convenient booking of space. Other IWMS vendors such as ARCHIBUS and Planon also make their reservation solutions on touchscreens.

What is interesting about these emerging digital signage solutions is the focus on engaging employees beyond the desktop. This is a different mindset to what’s occurred historically, when many IWMS applications were designed for desktops with mobile apps added later. Why is that important? It allows for solutions that are designed to be used by employees on-the-go, with a very specific specification around engaging building users with simple and intuitive user interfaces…

[Admin: This post is related to the 10.31.17 post about FM:Interact bookME. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag, FM:Systems tag or Mobile tag.]

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Planon: How do you create the best workplace for millennials?


Research by PwC (Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace) shows that from 2020, half of all employees will be millennials (roughly speaking, those born between 1985 and 2000). The workplace expectations of these new talents would appear to differ from those which organisations have been used to so far. What should a facility manager take into account now that the number of millennials preparing to enter the workforce is growing?

The workplace is more than a place to work

Organisations which only offer flexible workplaces need to devote some thought to other methods of making millennials happy in the workplace. This might be done by offering supplementary facilities; for instance, 36 percent of those asked thought the presence of a wellness or relaxation area is important, while only 14 percent of organisations actually offer this. Other issues which millennials consider important include an eating facility, coffee bar, sleep/rest area, and the provision of greenery.

These observations are supported by recent research by Deloitte (the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey). This survey concludes that millennials are open to flexible workplaces, but are however fearful that their workplace will become sterile and impersonal as a consequence. They feel the workplace should be a cozy place where they feel at ease. By offering more than just a place to work when setting up the workplace, organisations take these concerns seriously…

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Planon tag or Workplace tag.]

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Planon: Can IWMS and BIM become your organization’s library?


Integration with BIM

Wouldn’t it be great if software supported the total lifecycle of all your buildings? Can it be your organisation’s memory? Going deeper still, wouldn’t it be beneficial to ensure that all the materials in a building were being used to their full potential and were a valuable part of this lifecycle – an initiative that the Dutch institution Madaster advocates?

An important piece of the puzzle to realise this vision would be to integrate Building Information Modelling (BIM) information with, on the one side, the daily user processes of an IWMS, and on the other side, all of the changes in your buildings, spaces and installations, available in BIM. It will become possible to access the memory of the organisation at any time: find which malfunction happened at which installation in which room, reported by a certain user, fixed by a service provider who was part of a service contract at that time…

[Admin: This post is related to the 09.28.17 article by FM:Systems about the cost of interoperability. To see other related posts, use the BIM tag.]

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Verdantix: Three takeaways for IWMS buyers in 2017 and beyond


The Verdantix benchmark of Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) has been released following a six-month research process. The benchmark assesses 14 vendors and their platforms on 71 criteria spanning real estate portfolio management through to maintenance management and 40 criteria relating to vendor success factors such as number of deployments and product strategy.

As part of the research, Verdantix interviewed a panel of 19 real estate and facilities management directors who select, implement and use software. What are the key takeaways for customers looking to invest in real estate and facilities management applications or to rationalize real estate IT with an IWMS platform?

Firstly, buyers looking to replace a roster of legacy and outdated systems with an IWMS have lots of choices. In our benchmark, seven vendors made it into the Leaders’ Quadrant: Accruent, ARCHIBUS, FM:Systems, IBM (TRIRIGA), MCS Solutions, Planon and Trimble (Manhattan), as they demonstrated an excellent breadth of functionality and strong market momentum…

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA, and the 08.22.17 post by Verdantix about IWMS competition intensifying. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

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Planon: How do you set up your contract management repository?


Without a proper contract management repository, you and your organisation are at high risk and not in control of supplier obligations, associated costs, and contract terminations or regulatory compliance. A structured contract registration allows you to proactively manage suppliers, validate contract-related cost and performance, ensures timely contract cancellation or change, and delivers valuable information to improve contracting policies.

Setting up your contract management repository starts with an inventory of contract categories such as activity-based contracts, performance contracts or framework agreements and the contract applications such as maintenance, services, procurement, lease or any other. For any contract, you have to collect, register and maintain a set of basic data, such as:

  • Internal information such as contract owner, department and cost centre.
  • Supplier information such as company details, address and contact person.
  • Contract status information such as active, in negotiation, for approval, or terminated.
  • Date information such as start date, notice, end date or cancellation options.
  • Asset reference, linking the contract to one or multiple assets in your asset repository.

On top of the basic data, the contract category determines the next level of contract data and information. For an activity-based maintenance contract, you have to register information about:

  • The individual activities that are contracted.
  • The timing and eventual frequency of the activities.
  • The associated budget for the contract or fixed cost per activity.

As performance contracting is a completely different concept for outsourcing maintenance, the performance contract includes different types of data and information, such as:

  • Performance definition in terms of availability and quality of assets.
  • Detailed service levels, times to start and times to complete.
  • Performance measurement methods, supplier bonus or penalty agreements, and billing parameters…

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Planon tag or Contracts tag.]

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