Can Technology Keep Up With the “Space-On-Demand” Needs of Today’s Mobile Workers?

Office space on demand
Office space on demand

The profile of today’s mobile office workers has changed from predictable to spontaneous, especially amongst those young, Gen-Y entrepreneurs who cheerfully eschew traditional business hours in exchange for working where and when they choose. When it comes to selecting serviced office space, it is no longer sufficient to provide them with a couple of photos, information and a phone number to book the space. Today’s road warriors want to decide if and when they need a quick place to meet a client, hold an impromptu event, or just find a quiet corner to re-group. When they do decide, they want fast access to available space and the capability to price it and book it now, whether “now” is 1:00 p.m. on a Tuesday or 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday.

These user demands place a huge burden on the serviced office space providers to find ways to keep pace. Often they can’t. There are several reasons. Part of it is mindset. Many operators continue to run their “back end” systems as silos without the proper integration necessary to enable dynamic access and updates in real time. Ideally the back end should become the central “engine” with an API or toolset for the web developers to connect to the site. The truth is that creating this new “on demand” transaction environment falls beyond the capabilities of traditional booking and billing systems. Many centers continue to spend time and resources in an attempt to “bolt together” a disparate assortment of applications and databases in an effort to create a more seamless solution. Unfortunately that solution usually requires some heavy lifting from IT to adjust and maintain. Furthermore, these systems are not truly cloud-based, an absolute imperative by today’s standards.

More critical is the potential loss of business for those centers with deficient online systems that require a prospect to take too many steps and are slow to process information and commands. As consumers, we know what people will do — abandon and move on to another site.

The race is on for technology that supports both the needs of the “space-on-demand” client and those office space providers who want to capture their business and better serve them.

Currently at the front of the pack is RJmetis, a London-based technology firm with a tradition of forging close collaborative relationships with their clients. This culture, along with a creative and highly skilled team of innovators, has led them to create what may be the first fully integrated solution that seamlessly serves both the client and the office center. Called Spacedadi, the system starts with space promotion and allows for the progression of transactions from online pricing to booking to billing to ongoing client relations. The cloud-based system enables clients to book offices, meeting rooms, desks or any space via the office space website. Not forgetting the needs of the operators, the Spacedadi online scheduling software manages bookings, generates invoices and takes secure online payments. All bookings can be viewed within a single calendar format, tracking space utilization in real-time. Spacedadi also makes it easy for web developers with a set of “widgets” that can be used to customize and brand the system front end interface as desired.

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According to Justin Harley, Managing Director of RJmetis, the volume of bookings during non business hours is rapidly growing. Currently 13% of all online bookings occur outside normal business hours. To capture this business, having integrated, flexible technology such as Spacedadi is no longer a “nice to have” but an essential piece of operating equipment for center owners and operators fighting for this rapidly growing client demographic.

Spacedadi is currently in Beta and RJmetis is interested in securing additional Beta users who fit their testing qualifications. With offices in London and Hong Kong, RJmetis is embarking on an aggressive global marketing initiative to expand their presence into the North American marketplace. They are also in discussions with major industry players including ABCN, LiquidSpace and OpenDesks to integrate Spacedadi into their websites for real-time calendar access by their users. Justin Harley welcomes U.S.-based operators of serviced office space, co-working offices and business centers to contact him for more information. “Now more than ever it is important to provide automated tools to enable random, at will access to space selection, pricing, booking, and billing, especially with Gen Y mobile workers,” says Harley. “We are excited about the opportunity to let the world know what we are doing and to make a positive impact on those seeking space and those providing it.”

More information about Spacedadi and Beta testing the software is available by registering your interest at www.spacedadi.com.

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