With businesses facing entirely new utilization and wellness challenges in the aftermath of Covid-19, next-generation technology will play a significant role in the ‘new workplace’—not just in keeping employees engaged and safe by maintaining social distancing and creating a productive environment, but also in maintaining buildings, maximizing space, and analyzing costs.

For years, increasingly sophisticated workplace management technology has been helping organizations to streamline processes and maximize workspace utilization. In the Covid-threatened workplace, that same technology is now being used to safely return employees to the workplace.

Next-generation Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS)—such as Trimble’s ManhattanONE software suite—make it easier for CRE and facility management professionals to gain a clear understanding of the optimum workspace capacity for each setting. Integrated space planning tools enable users to model different scenarios—from setting safe physical distancing limits between desks to splitting common functions between different floors and/or buildings to reduce risk.

Before the pandemic, some organizations were turning their premises into “smart buildings”, using different types of sensors to provide accurate, real-time data for improved automation and control.

Today, sensors can also be used to support a safe, phased return to work for employees. When combined with an IMWS solution, organizations can leverage sensors to collect and report on key data for monitoring and planning workspace occupancy, usage, and cleaning.

With combined IWMS and sensor technology in place, companies can analyze data to plan and deploy a successful back-to-the-office strategy and optimize safety in a pre-vaccine workplace.

Sensors can deliver information about sound, light, temperature, humidity levels, air quality, when and how space is occupied, and how people interact in specific spaces. The latest advanced sensors use optical technologies that allow for artificial intelligence (AI), including image recognition and machine learning technology. For example, an advanced sensor with AI can distinguish how many employees are using a set of desks. If the organization’s seating density and safe distancing protocols are not being met, space managers can be alerted.

Adding sensor technology to the mix can help organizations to understand, in real-time, which areas have been occupied and need to remain unoccupied until they are cleaned and sanitized. This data can be used to auto-request cleaning and will provide cleaning staff with a clear indication of where people have been working.

Sensors can also track evolving usage and utilization, monitor policy versus culture, and highlight hotspots.

The risk of Covid-19 transmission is highest in non-assigned common areas which may have a greater density of people—such as lobbies, elevators, washrooms, kitchens and break rooms. The tracking capability and powerful analytical tools of ManhattanONE, for example, can monitor adherence to an organization’s safe distancing policy in these hot spots. The system automatically captures the data through integration with sensors or other indoor location technology.

Sensors can also deliver accurate, real-time data and usage that interfaces with the system’s space scheduling module. Space booking tools that rely on sensor data—like mobile apps—give employees the ability to find an available space quickly—or book a safe desk in the same area as a colleague with whom they need to collaborate.

To find out more about how ManhattanONE can support your return-to-the-office strategies, book a demo or post your questions to us here.

I’m excited to announce that Retransform—a global leader in real estate business management services with over two decades of specialized expertise— has partnered with Trimble Real Estate to initiate technology solutions designed to help businesses through the challenging transition to the post-Covid workplace.

Retransform is one of many leading organizations to join our growing Global Alliance Program—a community of industry experts who have joined forces with us to provide implementation services and business strategy to customers around the world.

“We are happy to be one of Trimble’s partners to offer implementation services for their real estate suite of products,” said Pinkesh Shroff, Retransform’s Vice President, Digital Transformation and Technology. “We continuously learn and innovate to improve our customers’ businesses. We never stop looking for solutions to optimize real estate portfolios and enable digital workspaces, as well as options for customers’ return-to-the-office business plans.”

As a result of their desire to innovate, Retransform will now be an implementation partner for ManhattanONE – our next generation, flexible IWMS solution for centralizing key real estate functions and data analyses essential for optimizing real estate performance, improving decision-making, and enhancing employee experience.

“The ManhattanONE product is a platform which truly provides customers with the required flexibility to automate their business processes using the powerful workflow engine and also secure the application by defining hierarchies and role-based security,” said Retransform’s Pinkesh Shroff. “It also provides an inbuilt reporting tool—with pre-built reports—and an ability to connect with other applications using their open APIs.”

He added: “Trimble’s room booking and ‘business continuity’ modules provide features such as automated physical distancing, workspace management and staggered scheduling to help organizations to reconfigure and manage their workplace to help return employees to the office and safeguard their well-being.”

“With the suggestion of more hybrid workplace strategy models on the horizon, the need to enhance flexibility into leasing contracts as well as staying on top of breaks and options has never been more important.” said Simon Blenkiron, Trimble Real Estate. “By building on our relationship with Retransform we can deliver joint initiatives that help customers adopt best practises with technology as the enabler; where data robustness, process adoption and analytics will help business leaders innovate more freely and define new ways to work.”

For more information about Retransform, visit: www.retransform.com

For more information about our  Global Alliance Program, visit: realestate.trimble.com/partners

When we were planning our 2020 Trimble Manhattan User Conference venue and agenda, little did we know what was around the corner.

This week we should have been in Denver meeting our customers face-to-face, sharing best practices and enjoying a cocktail or two, but the global covid-19 pandemic changed all of that.

The good news is we took the conference digital, with over 1000 delegates attending our re imagined online event of live daily sessions related to the ‘new normal’, continuous improvement, and guidance for helping organizations reopen offices with confidence.

Connections Live kicked off with a keynote on exploring the link between truth and data, given by Vik Bangia, a corporate real estate leader and CEO of Verum Consulting.

In his keynote address, Vik spoke about the inherent biases that can get in the way of making informed decisions and how the combination of truth and data can help achieve business success, especially in a post Covid workplace environment.

“Truth and data will be absolutely necessary to power business resilience in the workplace.” said Vik. “When truth and data are combined one reinforces the other. The presence of evidence or truth based information helps to build trust and it helps leaders employ sound business judgments when developing and modifying their office reopening plans.”

On the following day, we held a live discussion titled ‘What keeps CRE leaders up at night’. We were joined by an expert set of panelists starting with Francisco Acoba of Deloitte, Holly Law Eve from Commonwealth of Virginia, Murad Bhatti from Royal Bank of Canada and last and certainly not least Nestor Rindone from Morgan Stanley. Some of the questions answered by the panel included:

  • As you prepare to reopen your physical workspaces and buildings, what are your main priorities?
  • Decommissioning excess space will be a huge undertaking. What are some tips you can offer to our audience members?
  • What sources of truth will you implement so every employee builds trust and confidence in the company’s plan? How will these be rolled out and communicated across the enterprise?

Watch the recording to hear our panels answers to these questions and more

On Day 3, we were excited to announce the availability of our next-generation Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) with the launch of ManhattanONE™ – a comprehensive software solution for organizations looking to optimize their real estate portfolios and use integrated technology to enable their return-to-the-office initiatives.

“We are transforming what we do and how we work with our customers and partners.” said Suresh Sundaram, Trimble Real Estate, GM. “We are transforming our products so that they solve your critical business problems. We are transforming our implementations so that they are faster and easier so that you can reach value more quickly. And finally, we are transforming how we engage with you from a sales services and support perspective.”

We ended Connections Live with a dedicated advisory session by Deloitte. Titled ‘The Journey to Transform the Workplace’, this popular presentation delivered key insights and guidance on the new challenges facing real estate and key considerations as organizations return to work.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our industry friends and presenters for making Connections Live a success and for helping produce our latest series of real estate and workplace thought leadership content.

Don’t forget you can watch all of the recorded sessions on our ‘Power Business Resilience’ webinar hub page here: go.trimble.com/powering-business-resilience

Who would have thought that so many CEOs would be giving reporters interviews to the NYT and the London based FT about the significance or non-significance of the office and do we return when the hammer of the shut-down is lifted? But that was actually what has happened in the last few weeks where opinions ran the gamut from getting rid of all offices and employees will all have to work from home, to a mixed office and remote working arrangements and finally to a whole rethink of office design.

Read my second article in the series of Trimble Real Estate sponsored articles on the ‘new’ normal.

Deloitte recommends not making any major transactions right away, like canceling all your leases or selling those high rise office towers. The office is not dead, but we can do what is recommended in this second article during this first period when we are planning for re-entry which is happening sooner rather than later as the hammer comes up and businesses are reopening in many cities around the world.

With whatever plan the “dream team” of FM,CRE, HR, IT and finance comes up with, hopefully at least you have implemented some technology (we recommend CAFM or IWMS as you need the existing building and HR information which is critical for making plans on evidence-based data. This information will let you execute the short term plans by executing “what if” scenarios on comparing capacity to demand, testing various space plans to include social distancing, ensuring you have as healthy a building as possible and new procedures (aided by digital workflow), project management scheduling, as well as move and maintenance schedules.

Look for the final two articles to follow as we transition into a ‘learning environment’ (as Microsoft has recently called it) in Phase Two: Recovery and as we track what does and doesn’t work in planning for the Phase Three of Resilience and Thrive.

If you have an immediate need to address the unique workplace planning and management challenges created by Covid-19, please contact the Trimble Manhattan team at realestate@trimble.com for a demo or more information.


Connections Live Workplace Management


I am excited to announce a series of Trimble Real Estate sponsored articles – themed “Put down the hammer, and start dancing” – on the ‘new’ normal and the role of technology during the pandemic in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The first article and introduction to the series uses this metaphor of the hammer, the lockdown of a country’s population for almost two months which each city is lifting today in our Response to Covid-19. During this time while shutting buildings down, we are also preparing for the ‘dances’ we have to choreograph for the next two phases, Recovery and Resilience.

These dances are a collaborative effort by what CoreNet would call the ‘dream team’, of FM, CRE, HR, IT with the C-suite. These dance moves are designed due to our new requirements for social distancing, testing, new concepts for space planning and for physical and financial scenario planning. They are often quite complex as those dance moves of modern dancers, but these need to be created using the tools of our new era being the one of the 4th Industrial Revolution. This is a concept of Karl Schwab, the host of the World Economic Forum every year, he presented in Davos, Switzerland in 2015.

Schwab named 12 technologies which he thought were going to revolutionize our world and this may happen sooner rather than later, as we now have the heightened opportunity to deploy big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning and we would add, Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) and building information models (3D) in our dance of rethinking and reopening the workplace in this new era.

The next article in this series will focus on the response stage and the need to focus on scenario planning and operational management of real estate, covering topics from seating scenarios and new workspace configurations to facility restrictions and visitor management.

If you have an immediate need to address the unique workplace planning and management challenges created by Covid-19, please contact the Trimble Manhattan team at realestate@trimble.com for a demo or more information.


Connections Live Workplace Management