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A Platform For Your Workplace

Wednesday,14 June 2017

There’s a theory that an organization’s products mimic their internal structure. Companies that work in strictly divisional groups tend to produce stand-alone services and products that work well in isolation, on well-defined boundaries. Companies that work in functional groups without divisional barriers tend to produce unified sets of products that work well together. Neither approach is wrong. Some places build empires out of isolated well-defined services and modules. Others get ahead by creating an ecosystem that is cohesive and works as one.

Another theory is that an organization’s ability to collaborate and work together is as good (or bad) as the tools they use. Business productivity tools have wised up to this – many office products offer rich collaboration and suites of tools that work well together. However this has not expanded to the tools that people use for their workplace and environment.

Currently, the tools you use to enable collaboration and functioning workplaces are all point solutions. Specific applications that do specific tasks in silos. Attempts to integrate them are costly and fragile, and are hampering productivity.

You have one service for room booking, one for hot-desking, one to manage visitors and another to manage facilities. If you’re serious about automation, you have a separate BMS tool to manage the health of your infrastructure and to automate energy, lighting, and safety (or if your workplace is new, you may have invested in an IoT platform that does a few fancy things but none of them well).

Some of these point-solutions may grow a few new branches to peek into other areas and may expose an API and call it a day, but they still don’t provide the kind of deep integration that gives your staff and workplace a fluid seamless underpinning.

When you book a meeting room, can your invitees show up in your visitor system? When your IoT or BMS system detects a water leak in Floor 2, do all your meeting hosts get notifications and visitors get warned?

All apps eventually evolve to run on a platform. Those that don’t are replaced by ones that do. Platforms provide the underlying plumbing to allow seamless integration and future expansion.

We designed and built iviva to be such a platform – a platform for your workplace, connecting spaces and people, enabling tools for collaboration and to evolve with your needs.

iviva started life at the hardware integration end of the spectrum. We have over a decade of experience in SCADA, fusing software with physical spaces and equipment though protocols like Bacnet, Modbus, OPC and more, talking to PLCs, ELV devices and enterprise systems. Our customers wanted to extend that functionality to their workplace system as well.

And so we did. We built equipment and facility management systems that were aware of the physical stuff around them. When customers were dissatisfied with their room booking systems and their ability to work with the building, we built that integration and slowly, we had the underpinnings of a platform.

And we continued to build on top of this platform – with simple apps for small workplaces, complex enterprise apps for Fortune-50 companies, and tools that power entire smart cities.

The advent of the cloud, the consumerization of technology and the coming of IoT is ushering in a lot of new capabilities to take advantage of.

We believe the value of IoT is not from simple workflows to turn on the lights when you come home. The power of it is to move technology to the background, make it disappear, and let people collaborate more easily and become more productive.

iviva Smart Spaces is our attempt at this. We are packaging up our complete workplace solution on top of our platform and making the whole thing available to everyone. Hope you’ll give it spin.

Author: Haran Shivanan

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