Deloitte CRE Management Information Roundtable in London: What Is the Right Integration Strategy?

Nancy Johnson Sanquist's picture

It was less than a month ago that John Leet and I taxied from Trimble's Covent Garden office to the New Street Square Development Office Complex to attend a Deloitte meeting featuring presentations on OSCRE Standards. This is a sparkling new neighborhood in Mid-town London with a cluster of sustainably designed mixed-use buildings utilized for office, retail and restaurants around a public square.

On one of the top floors of 2 New Street which overlooks the changing building scape of the city, 20 people joined Deloitte consultants, OSCRE and invited guests for a presentation by Chris Lees of Zurich Financial and an introduction and discussion facilitated by Ian Cameron of OSCRE on four different models for CRE information management and the involvement of their outsourcing partners. The audience consisted of end users, consultants, service providers, and software firms which made for a lively debate.

Management Information + Outsourcing Strategies

An OSCRE Perspective on the Options

Ian Cameron, OSCRE's CIO, gave the first presentation which described the various strategies for CRE information management in combination with outsourcing. These include:

  • CRE Data Warehouse Model (Zurich Insurance)
  • Service Provider as an Integrator (CBRE for Microsoft)
  • CRE IWMS utilized by multiple service providers (such as Tririga for GE)
  • CRE IWMS as a single integrated suite for aggregation and reporting where service providers use their own systems which feed into the IWMS (Manhattan Software for Nokia Siemens Networks)

GE and NSN implementations were well known to Ian as he worked on both and with Zurich in implementing their OSCRE Exchange Standards as a core component of their operating strategy.

Ian also described the components of a CRE Information Management Strategy necessary to ensure the right results for an organization which include:

  • The operating model
  • A sourcing strategy
  • A management information (MI) strategy
  • An integration model
  • The Implementation (and I would add phasing) approach

The OSCRE Forum–Innovating with Information

A Conversation with Chris Lees and David Clute of Zurich Insurance Group and Ian Cameron of OSCRE

Chris Lees gave the next presentation on the strategy that Zurich Insurance Group (a 143 year old company) chose in their efforts to transform their management information and sourcing strategies at the same time in an initiative which began in 2012. Their CRE portfolio consists of 13 million square feet composed of 900 buildings in 45 countries and serviced by 610 FTEs and a daily supplier workforce of 3,000 FTEs.

Chris and David's strategy consisted of creating a data warehouse and integrating best of breed (BOB) systems for their information architecture consisting of real estate and lease data, as well as space management, finance, people/organization, spatial hierarchy, health and safety, customer satisfaction and will add projects addressing environmental performance, FM services and resource reservations. Using OSCRE Standards for space management and RE/lease management, OSCRE currently accounts for 84% of their real estate data by volume. A core element of Zurich's data model is OSCRE's Space Classification Hierarchy. In the future, Zurich will apply OSCRE to IFM and TCO (total cost of occupancy). OSCRE is becoming Zurich's method of choice for data exchange amongst the various stakeholders and business partners.

The reasons that Zurich chose the data warehouse model is that since they are partnering with best-in-class service providers (such as JLL for RE and Sodexo for FM), they could not dictate the software technology they should use, but rather could demand the use of the OSCRE Standards for ease of integration and exchange.

The Conversation

For the next hour, and into the cocktail hour, a lively discussion occurred with input from all areas of the industry represented in the room - end users, investment managers, software providers, outsourcers, and consultants. One large multi-national corporation described their strategy of implementing an IWMS to address the fact that the value of their real estate is extremely high as it was revenue producing and part of their core business. To control their data, manage costs and risks, they did not want to be dictated to by the outsourcing providers.

John and I described how our end users agreed with this strategy in many cases and did not have the IT resources to do the complex integrations required to piece together disparate systems. We both are looking forward to further discussions with Deloitte and OSCRE on this very important topic to Trimble and the industry at large and thank Deloitte and OSCRE for inviting us.


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