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Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), Asset Management and Facility Management software have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to streamline real estate, facilities, and asset management processes. As organizations look to adopt these solutions, they often have several questions about the technology, its capabilities, and how a partner can help their organization implement them as painless and efficiently as possible.
In this article, we will address the top 6 questions that customers ask us about IWMS and other platforms.
1. Why should our organization invest in an integrated solution like Archibus over a point solution?
At AFS, our goal is to develop a deep understanding of your workplace technology needs before recommending a solution. Here are just a few of the differences between an IWMS like Archibus by Eptura and a point solution such as Envoy that AFS can help you consider:
Point solutions typically meet a single functional need using best-of-breed features. An integrated solution provides multiple capabilities across different business functions.
For example, a point solution like Envoy enables your organization to manage occupancy in a hybrid work environment and calculate your lease cost per employee. But that’s all. You will need to integrate with other systems if you want to understand the total cost of your office space, including furniture and equipment assets, and maintenance costs.
An IWMS like Archibus enables you to manage and visualize your complete space costs, including assets, maintenance, and utilities, in one integrated system.
Point solutions are generally less expensive, simpler to deploy, and require minimal IT involvement. An IWMS is typically more complex and requires more customer IT resources and time for deployment.
Due to their low cost and simpler operation, point solutions can be ideal for newer organizations with a small amount of space to manage and limited IT resources. However, rapidly expanding organizations sometimes outgrow their initial point solution in a few years or sooner.
2. What is the typical implementation time?
Depending on the size of your organization and the amount of office space in your portfolio, AFS can complete onboarding for a point solution in less than two weeks.
For an IWMS, your AFS consultant will guide you through an in-depth discovery process to configure and deploy the solution to meet your organization's specific goals. Depending on complexity and size,deployment can take approximately 8-12 weeks for SaaS onboarding and 10-16 weeks for on-premise installations.
3. Can you help us integrate with other systems like Workday and SAP?
Yes, systems like Archibus come with a powerful set of connectors and integrations, which allow the platform to talk directly to other systems in your ERP suite. This allows us to connect to Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle HCM Cloud or any other platform. Point platforms, such Envoy, have integration builders and connectors as well which also allow for maximum flexibility and integration options.
Whether it’s a simple flat file data transfer, a complex ETL process, or a modern real-time API, AFS has the expertise and experience to meet all your systems integration needs. Our expereince has helped organizations integrate their facility management solutions with disparate systems, eliminating data silos and providing a “big picture” overview of their operations. We can also help you design and build data analytics reports and dashboards using industry-leading solutions such as Tableau and PowerBI.
4. How much is this going to cost?
Our unique business model enables us to work within most any organization’s budget. We offer everything from low-cost solutions like Space Connect to full-featured IWMS products like Archibus and iOffice by Eptura. Our goal is to help you find the most cost-effective solution to meet your business needs.
Desk Booking and Space Management point solutions like Envoy and Space Connect average around $5 per desk per month. The cost for more robust solutions such as Archibus can vary greatly depending on the scope, so it’s best to work with us for an initial cost estimate. That said, for a medium-sized organization with less than 150,000 square feet of office space considering Archibus SaaS, you will need to budget for onboarding and annual recurring SaaS fees based on your square footage.
5. What values does a Value-Added Reseller bring?
A VAR brings value to the process by focusing on clients versus the next technology trend. They take the time to get to know your organization’s specialized needs and work processes, they know the industry well, and they represent their client base to the software manufacturer as a whole versus as a single client.
When a company develops a software application, they need to:
- Market, sell, demo
- Stay current with the industry and technology trends
- Maintain the application and the technology stack
- Make enhancements
- Respond to the market (planned and unplanned needs like tools for managing COVID)
- Some platforms also cannot be purchased directly from the development company. A VAR is your only route to implementing.
- …and the list goes on.
Add to that having to do full implementation projects and Tiers 1-3 Tech Support, and now your resources are being spread pretty thin. Can they maintain the product roadmap and technology stack while also implementing for different customers on a project by project basis?
Working through a reseller allows the software manufacturer to focus on the application and the reseller partner to focus on efficient and speedy onboarding and on the day-to-day needs of customers.
It is the role of the reseller partner, we
- are trained not only in implementation but because we build the relationships with, we are your first line of support.know the industry well and understand your data and how your industry works, allowing us to do the heavy lifting for you and helping guide clients on data integration.
- serve as a liaison to the software manufacturer. Many times industry knowledge comes from knowing who to talk to, how to present questions and concerns, and how to get items on the roadmap. Navigating a large software manufacturer isn’t something you will tackle during your implementation, and as an end user, you will likely be kept at arm’s length from key technical personnel.
In addition to our technical staff, we have team members with backgrounds in architecture, facility management, and furniture planning and installation. This allows us to understand our client base and their needs better, clean up and set up their data in a useful manner; work on drawings and 3D models, and teach them the best way to set up the application based on how they want to work and report.
6. How easily are product upgrades handled
This is where it’s important to interview the reseller/implementation partner you will be working with. There are many different ways to approach upgrades to the applications, and “what it takes” is based on every decision you make from day one. It’s common for clients to say they do not want ANY customization. Then meeting after meeting, they discover what they really want is customization.
A good partner will want to understand the business case for each customization, can educate you on how that change will affect the upgrades, and if there is a cost to that customization. Partners should also be able to provide alternative ideas on how to implement your needs without customization if there is a strong business case for it.
At AFS, we know the products well so that we can use the system as it was intended, and work with our clients to do as little customization as possible. We want their product experience to be positive from the beginning and through each upgrade.
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In conclusion, Absolute FS offers comprehensive and innovative facility management solutions that address the diverse needs of our clients. Whether it's through our maintenance services, energy management solutions, or our advanced technologies, we are dedicated to providing reliable and efficient support to help our clients achieve their goals. Because of our broad solutions portfolio and expertise, AFS is uniquely suited to help you develop a long-term technology roadmap. When the time comes, we can help you migrate from an initial point solution to a more robust IWMS, ensuring you don’t lose your investment in data while minimizing disruption to your business operations.
With a focus on customer satisfaction and continuous improvement, we strive to be the leading provider of facility management solutions in the industry. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable and experienced team.