Part III: A New Business Model for Delivering Next-Generation CRE Technology

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By way of review, we began this blog series by outlining the primary challenge organization’s face when it comes to deploying CRE technology. These organizations have traditionally had to choose between deploying a point solution, which promises to deliver deep but narrow and discrete functionality, or an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). Each model has its shortcomings, whether it’s the lack of integration inherent to a point solution or the inadequate ROI many organizations realize from their IWMS investment – a problem often traced to the business model employed to deliver the technology.

We then introduced a new business model for CRE technology delivery, one that promises to reduce licensing and implementation costs, improve functionality, reduce time-to-value and reduce implementation risk.
 
Next, we focused on the promise of functional improvement; how a pre-configured and pre-integrated IWMS and Business Intelligence (BI) solution can provide superior business process flows or “playbooks” for delivering real estate and facilities services, improve data management and reporting, and improve the user experience.
 
Now, we will examine how this delivery model positively impacts the implementation process, namely its speed-to-value.
 
Streamlining Implementation with pre-configured, pre-integrated next generation CRE Technology
 
The time required for a CRE organization to onboard a new service provider for brokerage, lease administration, project management or facilities management is about three months. Add to this the fact that implementing a single IWMS module traditionally takes 6-12 months and one can understand why many CRE organizations are tempted to take the easiest path, choosing a simpler-to-implement, but ultimately inferior, point solution.
 
The premise of the business model for the next generation of CRE technology is that the vast majority of technology configurations could be standardized. With this concept of a pre-configured and pre-integrated IWMS / BI solution, the implementation time can be reduced to approximately 12 weeks for one or multiple modules. Therefore, deploying robust IWMS capabilities suddenly becomes a viable alternative to implementing a series of limited, discrete point solutions, even for a lean CRE organization.
 
This promise of a streamlined implementation process applies to both the underlying technology and to data migration. By virtue of pre-configuration no customization is required; set-up is limited to updating the solution to align with client-specific or industry-specific nomenclature, such as location names, cost center and General Ledger (GL) structures, and field names. The focus quickly shifts from a large technology project to improving data quality – a goal of most CRE organizations. Most data can can be migrated directly from commercial point solutions if the underlying data is considered to be high quality (and legacy vendors cooperate). If not, existing property data can either be re-abstracted or keyed within the implementation window depending on the size of the portfolio. The BI capabilities of the new technology provide data quality indices to measure and improve data quality over legacy technologies. New transactions, projects, work orders and other requests would begin in the new technology solution with historical records viewed only in the BI environment for trending.
 
In this new business model for the next generation of CRE technology, the focus on data management ensures that the technology is fully utilized and the user community achieves higher productivity faster, accelerating the return on investment. Speed-to-value ensures data becomes a strategic asset for the CRE organization, with a primary focus on decision support to improve the portfolio’s performance. 
 
Faster, easier CRE technology implementations yield a corresponding benefit: risk mitigation, a topic we’ll examine in my final blog in this series. Look for this blog in the next few weeks.

Alan Nager
Executive Managing Director, Technology

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