The Verdantix Buyer’s Guide on Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) has been released today. The report reviews the latest product developments from 13 major IWMS vendors, building on our Green Quadrant IWMS benchmark published in 2017. What are the new insights for customers looking to invest in real estate and facilities management applications or to rationalize real estate IT with an IWMS platform?
Firstly, IWMS functionality for space management has evolved rapidly over the past year. Today, solutions will not just show how space is allocated to staff and departments, they also provide a visual analysis of space utilization metrics via heat maps and dashboards. Vendors such as ARCHIBUS, FM:Systems, MCS Solutions, Planon and Trimble have been running projects with customers to help them get a detailed view into space usage based on data gathered via sensors at their largest sites. Verdantix finds that IWMS vendors not able to capture data from occupancy sensors or badge swipe systems now lag behind in the market.
Secondly, IWMS vendors have launched further improvements to their lease management functionality to help customers respond to accounting changes coming into force in 2019 under FASB and IFRS. The latest updates from IWMS vendors include improved data entry forms that aim to ease the pain for real estate managers entering lease data into the software. Some vendors have also extended their lease accounting functionality to cover equipment leases and more complex agreements. For example, Tango extended its lease accounting functionality to cover percentage leases, when retailers pay rent to landlords based on a percentage of their monthly sales volumes.
Thirdly, the study shows the quality of user interfaces (UI) remains varied across IWMS solutions. Our Green Quadrant IWMS (2017) revealed some users are dissatisfied with the UI of their IWMS and look for vendors to improve the ease of use of their complex solutions. In May 2018, Trimble launched a full revamp of its UI – including new search-based navigation to help users quickly locate functionality in the software. iOFFICE continues to make improvements to its employee-facing workplace mobile app, with the greater application of icons to supplement and replace text to improve the usability for workplace users. Buyer should ask vendors how often they plan to apply updates to their UI in the future; the most user-friendly solutions will benefit from annual UI upgrades. ARCHIBUS is currently prioritizing its user interface and self-services tools in its product development as its looks to provide a more employee-centric UI for its desktop and mobile apps.