In recent months, there has been a hive of activity across employee engagement apps in the real estate and facilities management software market. For example, iOffice launched “Hummingbird”, an employee-centric layer for IWMS, IBM and ISS are piloting a digital concierge service which assists occupants in managing everyday workplace tasks such as room booking or organizing catering, and MCS launched a virtual personal assistant “Sumi” that can support the booking of rooms.
The latest product launch from UK-based software firm FSI is “Concept Advantage” – a series of user-focused apps which can be used alongside FSI’s Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software. The initial range of apps includes “ChatLog” – a facilities help-desk that resembles common social media platforms, and “OurSay” – a crowd-sourcing and voting tool to enable workers to contribute to facilities management decisions. FSI believes the app will also reduce the time that facilities help-desks spend receiving calls around building issues.
The recent innovation around purpose-built user-focused apps represents a break from traditional practice. For many decades, the user interface of IWMS and CAFM software has largely been built around the needs of “power users” such as Real Estate or Facility Directors. Whilst it has been possible to configure the user interface to simplify it, the result is not always a clean and intuitive user experience. The recent user-centric product updates are likely to be welcomed by customers.
We continue to hear that buyers look for a high-quality user interface from their facility management software…