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Be ready for digitisation and innovation with an IWMS Open Application Platform

Keep up with the high pace of digitisation and innovation in the world of real estate & facility management and learn more about Planon's open platform strategy.

With the increasing focus on measurable business value and the need for operational excellence alongside today’s additional challenge of enabling a safe return to the workplace, the use of supportive software solutions for real estate and facility management has become widely accepted and common practice. The business case for these software solutions is usually based on themes like portfolio transparency, control, processing efficiency, cost reduction, organisational agility, customer value and compliance.

However, many organisations have had problems choosing the right software solution, evidenced by the fact that some software implementations do not deliver the planned results. Reasons for failure can be very diverse but typically include: gaps between expectations and reality, underestimating the effort needed during implementation and change management, and unexpected complexity in IT technology and operations.

Changing times demand a revised approach

Back in 2016, buying software solutions to automate real estate and facilities management processes was approached quite differently. Pretty often the competition was between point solutions (for solving a single problem) and integrated solutions: Either you chose to embed a number of point solutions that together tackled all the requirements in the most effective way, or you tried to cover as many functional requirements as possible with one integrated software solution. Now, in 2021, it is time to look at it differently. A huge wave of various technology innovations is becoming available in the real estate market – referred to as Property Technology (PropTech). They represent a fundamental move towards digitisation around buildings and offer highly specialised functionality for each business problem, providing a better experience to the users and becoming easier to deploy and to replace.

Therefore, we are moving away from an either/or to a both/and attitude: viewing point solutions as complimentary to integrated solutions. In this new vision, your starting point to future-proof your real estate and facility management, is deploying an IWMS as an open application platform with a seamless connection to PropTech. An important prerequisite is that an IWMS must have the fundamental capability to easily connect with those new technologies and embed them in the processes they support. When positioning it like this, an IWMS platform really functions as the ‘single pane of glass’ for real estate and facility management professionals to manage their business. It provides corporate-wide solutions and ensures data quality and consistency with one single source of truth that also includes data from all required specialised applications and local building technology. In that case an integrated solution and point solutions can go hand in hand.

Planon as an Open Application Platform

Originally an IWMS was developed around the integration of real estate and facility management business functions, like real estate management, asset and maintenance management, service management and others. The consequence of the emergence of PropTech, is that these IWMS solutions must not only now add the fundamental capability to connect and integrate the new technologies that relate to the specific processes they support, but they must also be able to handle the increased diversity and variety of technology and solutions across an organisation’s real estate portfolio.

For organisations with larger real estate portfolios it is almost impossible to avoid diversity and variety, because often each building or location has a different infrastructure, technology (BMS and IoT) and maybe even its own rules and regulations.

This has led Planon to position its IWMS as an Open Application Platform to become an even more sustainable option for the future. As well as providing the functionality to support all workplace management related business processes, it offers customers and partners the ability to connect (PropTech) solutions directly onto the platform technology stack for seamless interaction with the business processes supported by Planon’s IWMS.

This enables your organisation to move into the digitised era of real estate and facility management. The IWMS functions as the integrator on a technology and business level, by offering the highest flexibility for ongoing adoption of new technologies and possibilities for maximum support of end-user needs, and maximum contribution to the business processes that run in one single source of truth.

Geert-Jan Blom, Solution Marketing Director at Planon with experience in IT and services industry.

Geert-Jan Blom

Solution Marketing Director

Geert-Jan Blom started his career in facilities management, solution design and software implementation with Planon in the early 2000s as Pre-Sales Consultant. He progressed within the company to the role of Senior Business Consultant and currently works as Solution Marketing Director.

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