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Firstly, buyers looking to replace a roster of legacy and outdated systems with an IWMS have lots of choices.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.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Accruent continues its acquisition spree with Lucernex


On 9 August 2017, real estate, facilities and asset management software provider Accruent announced it has acquired Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) vendor Lucernex. Genstar Capital-backed Accruent plans to use this latest acquisition to target emerging lease accounting opportunities, as the major accounting boards FASB and IASB require organizations to bring all leases on the balance sheet in 2019. This follows a furor of acquisition activity by Accruent, with its 2016 purchases of BIGCenter, Mainspring Healthcare Solutions, and Verisae

Accruent now owns a roster of industry-specific and specialist software solutions for managing real estate and facilities. As it runs a product integration program through to 2018, it is positioned to provide a platform that is not only broad but also offers a lot of depth and industry-specific functionalities. With prominent IWMS vendors fighting to deliver the most complete software for real estate and facilities life-cycle management, all eyes should be on how well Accruent manages to integrate its various software solutions into a powerhouse IWMS platform…

[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.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Will space management deliver big real estate savings?


Real estate directors and heads of estates are always looking out for what will drive the next wave of office improvements and cost efficiency. Space management is one of those hot topics at the moment. There has certainly been a flurry of deals between vendors offering space management solutions, all aiming to offer end-users more options on how to make better use of every square foot they occupy.

But behind all the deals there are two distinct questions being answered: (1) How do I reduce space-related inconveniences like occupants struggling to find spare meeting rooms or desks, and (2) How do I reduce the amount of space I use whilst allowing my business operations to run smoothly?

FM:Systems updated its space reservation app and floor plan viewer, and Condeco integrated its room booking module with Creston’s scheduling software and touch screens. ISS is piloting a self-service app for room booking. iOffice launched Hummingbird, which offers wayfinding and reservations through an app… IWMS vendors like Accruent are also tapping space utilization vendors such as Serraview for reseller partnerships

[Admin: This post is related to the 04.12.17 post about IWMS partnerships. To see other related posts, use the FM:Systems tag, Serraview tag, or Verdantix tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Can predictive analytics work in commercial real estate?


Improving maintenance procedures through predictive analytics has recently seen many notable developments. Siemens is integrating IBM Watson Analytics into its MindSphere platform to help implement predictive maintenance schemes. Rockwell Automation recently launched its predictive analytics capability for factories and machinery. And PTC and Deloitte Digital announced that they are jointly developing predictive maintenance solutions for factory operations.

These developments are hardly surprising. Predictive analytics enables users to detect if, and when, machinery is likely to breakdown. For example, predictive analytics enabled Duke Energy to identify a slight increase in the turbine vibration of a steam turbine – after maintenance was performed. The subsequent repairs resulted in $4.1 million of potential power generation loss being prevented. Facility managers at plants and factories are therefore likely to be looking for such solutions to keep things running.

But is predictive analytics a natural sell in the world of commercial real estate? There is certainly some evidence of this. Since 2009, UK-based retailer Sainsbury’s has used software provider Verisae’s (now part of Accruent) predictive maintenance solution to reduce product loss from refrigeration failures. Since 2016, engineering firm KONE has partnered with IBM Watson to embed intelligent analytics in its elevators and escalators to improve their performance and reduce instances of unplanned maintenance.

Nevertheless, such examples are not necessarily the norm. According to our 2016 Global Energy Leaders Survey, 46% of the 250 facility managers surveyed said improving the collection, analysis and reporting of energy data from their electrical assets is a very important priority. In contrast, more granular asset-level energy management was only considered very important by 22%. And in our 2015 Green Quadrant for Building Energy Management Software, only 18% of the customer panel we interviewed considered maintenance scheduling and predictive maintenance to be a very important asset management functionality.

The average facility manager is therefore more likely to be concerned with basic data capture than advanced solutions like predictive analytics…

[Admin: This post is related to the 07.13.17 post and 03.16.17 post about IBM Watson Analytics, and the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Solution providers step up IT security in smart buildings


One of the biggest barriers to growth in remotely accessing building management systems (BMS) – one of the key features of a smart building – is IT security.

The IT industry has established a sophisticated process for monitoring and protecting IT networks, but these concepts are not as well developed in building systems and many of the equipment that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, there is often lack of communication and collaboration between the IT department and the facilities department. There is also increasing pressure on service providers to provide an out-of-the-box security solution.

Smart buildings are particularly vulnerable as every added connected device is another potential door into the building’s wider network. Even one of the most high-tech companies in the world, Google, was hit by a cyberattack in 2013 through a building management system. Retailer, Target was hacked through the HVAC system in 2014. This year, we have seen severe ransomware cyberattacks, such as the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected computers in over 150 countries.

This type of attack now feels very regular with a similar one occurring as we write. Individual buildings such as hotels have also been targeted and hacked through building automation systems (BAS) – witness the attack on a luxury hotel in the Austrian Alps in February, where the card system got breached, shut down, and a ransom demanded to restore the system to enable guests back into their rooms…

To learn more about the market for remote monitoring solutions see our recent report – Now Is The Time To Implement Remote Monitoring Solutions.

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Smart Buildings tag or Vulnerability tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Employee-facing tech makes buzz at World Workplace


Verdantix attended IFMA’s World Workplace Europe conference on 31 May to 01 June. This major event for the facilities management sector had almost 400 attendees including facilities and workplace management professionals, service providers and technology companies.

So, what was the hot topic? One major theme of the event was how to connect people to the workplace using digital technologies. For example, we heard that facilities management firm ISS is piloting a digital concierge service which assists occupants in managing everyday tasks such as room booking or organizing catering. It is based on providing occupants self-service apps, as well as chatbots which simulate conversation to respond to worker requests.

Engaging occupants has become a hot theme across real estate, energy and facilities management software markets. For example, incorporating crowd-sourced insights on temperature preferences is gaining momentum in energy management applications, witness Energy Deck or Honeywell’s Vector Occupant App.

In the integrated workplace management system (IWMS) space, developing modules to engage everyday office workers has become a recent focus. For example, in May 2017, IWMS provider iOffice launched a set of employee experience solutions which can be layered on legacy IWMS solutions, to quickly make systems more employee-centric…

[Admin: This post is related to the 06.30.16 post about ISS and IBM transforming the management of 25,000 buildings. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag or iOffice tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: 83% firms used energy management to optimize assets


According to the 2016 Verdantix annual survey of 250 energy and facility decision-makers, 17% of firms continue to separate energy and asset management processes, 58% use energy management to inform asset management, while the remaining 25% of firms have fully integrated energy and asset management…

The landscape of vendors providing solutions for improved asset management is broad and highly competitive. Firms range from integrated workplace management system (IWMS) providers such as Accruent, iOffice, Planon, Qube, and Trimble Manhattan; to computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) providers, such as Dude Solutions and eMaint; to building energy management software providers, such as Envizi, Schneider Electric, and Siemens; and smart building platforms, like Switch Automation. The next five years will see an increased emphasis on partnerships as vendors seek to provide additional value add capabilities including advanced analytics and enhanced data capture functionalities

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

Continue reading