From elevators to conference rooms, forward-thinking landlords are turning to “as-a-service” businesses to meet increasing demand from tenants for enhanced user experience. (Software-as-a-service, IT-as-a-service, etc.)
An article in the Wall Street Journal this week, highlighted how elevators as a service offerings are enabling landlords to pay for maintenance and fees on a subscription basis and better enable user experience for tenants in New York’s Hudson Yards.
The as-a-service approach involves providing a leased product and service rather than an installed product and eliminates the need for specialist skills required for integration with new systems. As-a-service offerings also avail clients the ability to design and deliver a customized set of tech solutions based on the end-user.
Tangible benefits of as-a-service offerings include the ability to eliminate costs and headaches of hiring staff to maintain tech infrastructure. They also allow landlords and enterprises to transition CAPEX ownership costs to OPEX by removing them from the P/L ledger- ultimately enabling a company to focus on its core business.
“As the demand for advanced technologies increases in buildings and office spaces, owners are trying to figure a way to provide them without having to hire an entire IT staff to support,” said Mike Gleason partner and director at Netrix, a Chicago-based IT services firm that offers a gamut of office tech solutions including AV-as-a-service.
Netrix owns, designs, installs AV equipment in commercial offices and corporate campuses, and enables clients to pays monthly for its use while outsourcing the complexity of managing troubleshooting and upgrading tech services.
“We have seen a lot of success in helping class B or class C building owners who need to get up to class A to attract tenants. Whether that’s through a video wall or AV for a tenant lounge, gym, or some outdoor environment,” said Gleason.
Gleason says that the company’s customers are asking for an array of on-demand tech services such as AV, wireless, collaboration, and workspace utilization. It’s about bringing those technologies on fast and efficiently.
Customers are also looking for fully automated experiences and analytics. “Meeting spaces, conference rooms, and state of the art boardrooms should not require an IT guy to run. In today’s world where we can communicate in seconds via smartphones and facetime, it shouldn’t take more than the push of a button to perform these tasks. “ Gleason said. “Clients also want to know how to optimize workplaces through analytics” he added.
Whether it is providing services to a children’s hospital, a large coworking provider, or three of the top corporate real estate companies in the marketplace, Gleason says that the Netrix’s key focus is on the end-user experience, not the product cycle.
“Since we are vendor-neutral, we work with clients with a focus on what technology solutions can help them achieve their ROIs without pushing solutions or products. For us, it’s about working with their existing tech investments without having to rip or replace and designing services that enhance user-experience and enable landlords to achieve higher tenant satisfaction to fill out their spaces faster,” Gleason said.
Unlike ten years ago, spaces today are being used for multiple purposes, and the technology architecture must support numerous use cases as the building evolves. The key to achieving this result is to envision how the technology will adapt to the user preferences and demands over the years and not build it out for a specific room function.