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April 23, 2015

Explicit focus on experience, made possible by implicit technologies

Walking around Hannover at the CeBIT 2015 conference and exhibition floors, I clearly see two worlds coming together.

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One world is about technology, with impressive opportunities in the domain of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Mobilization, Security, Industry 4.0 and much more. CEOs, CTOs and VPs Research & Development are presenting their vision on how these trends and techniques are conquering the world of consumers. And I have to admit, it is awesome. You can hardly imagine what is possible nowadays and what will be possible in the near future.

The other world is the world of guests and customers, who are also a consumer in their non-working life. They are already influenced by these technologies as a consumer and this will continue exponentially in the coming era. It is already increasing their demands on hospitality, work environments, and the state of your facilities.

Most of the technology themes appear behind the scenes and proving themselves to be subtly useful. For example, as a consumer you are hardly aware that moving lines in stores are tracked by multiple technologies (beacons, sensors, wifi signal tracking, etc.). This data is captured and used by large B2C companies who build entire product market strategies around you. A weekly personal buying suggestion can be found in your e-mail inbox when you have accepted all conditions. Do you care? Are you concerned about these trends? No, because it helps you. It makes your life easier and you don’t need to spend valuable time on silly decisions.

I challenge you as a Facility Manager to imagine that your colleagues are your consumers. You have a shop: a store with products and services. Most of it is available online and preferable able to be bought online as well. Imagine what you could offer your consumers if you start using consumer focused technologies like the IoT, Big Data and Mobilization… Your guests and customers can be proactively informed about their ideal workplace, in their favorite building. Knowing that their colleagues will start working in that same spot, enjoying their favorite coffee, with no worries about available parking lots. Interactive kiosk screens are telling them the shortest way to the meeting room, and by the way, it presents information about the air quality, temperature, humidity and noise. And oh... the coffee machine is currently being cleaned, so be aware that you have to wait a few minutes before you can get fresh coffee. On their way to the meeting room, their app provides them indoor navigation, information about the waiting queue for the coffee machine and who of their colleagues are already on that floor.

Lots of data is captured in the process I just mentioned, but I am sure that as long as it helps your guests and customers explicitly, these implicit technologies have a huge value for you and your Board of Directors.

Do you have the guts to accept this challenge?

Bram Aarntzen
Former Business Consultant Planon Netherlands