Browse Tag: ibm

Telecommuting Turnaround: IBM Changes Its Tune On Remote Working

Home office

Telecommuting or remote working enabled by technology and online access has long been a commercial real estate market worry. The phenomenon of employees skipping on commutes and avoiding distant offices has raised fears of a softening national demand of office space since at least 1996. As reported by Global Workplace Analytics, regular remote working at home among the non-self-employed population has grown by 103% since 2005. From 2013 to 2014, the population of all employees grew 1.9% while the population of telecommuters grew 5.6%,  putting the growth in telecommuting employees at more than double the rate of all employees.

Anecdotally, the telecommuting trend has contributed to disruption of office space demand patterns over the years, depending on locality. Also, we’ve covered the telecommuting trend here at CRE Blog before.  While it is tough to put the effect of remote working into terms of a market’s absorption rate or development pipeline, the technology industry’s line about remote working has been more or less unchanging, touting reducing real estate costs and overhead as a boon to tenants and space consumers.

But now, one of remote working’s chief technological enablers has decided it won’t be “eating its own dog food” after all. IBM has taken the dimmest possible view on telecommuting for its own business, proclaiming that its employees must return to their offices or find work elsewhere. As reported by Ars Technica, the tech giant has nearly 40% of its workforce under remote work policy, and that policy is coming to a close.  This week is the deadline for those employees to return to their cubicles with Big Blue, or, alternatively, to leave the employ of the upstate NY-headquartered company.

Clients whose business operations include significant telecommuting might well take note about the distinct split in IBM’s very recent remote working advocacy vs. its practice. Will that mean a reclaiming of unused rented space, or will it mean a hunt for new digs?  Only great relationships with your clients will give you the business intelligence to know where the remote working saga is headed.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TRIRIGA: Big Blue Does Commercial RE

If you watch industry press releases and social media, sometimes it seems the commercial real estate software business is dominated by a mix of relatively recent applications that were born on the internet. A closer look can show a different view. Sometimes we are reminded that, dot-com whizbang IPOs aside, the fundamental financial and legal plumbing work of commercial real estate portfolio management is really an older set of well-known problems. Problems requiring breadth and depth to solve best.

Consider: professionals managing property portfolios —  either as tenants or landlords — above all need decision support.  They need to be able to put their eyes on exactly the piece or pieces of portfolio information that inform the business question of the hour — or the minute — so as to steer the ship into calm waters.

What won’t get you there is a pile of spreadsheets, schedules and word processing docs scattered everywhere.  Icebergs have a funny way of introducing themselves to the hull of your ship while you or your team spend days distractedly lining up just the right view of contracts, contacts, events and leases.

Building a software tool for ship-steering from a corner office is a software design goal that usually means expensive development and extreme depth of experience in the various niches of the business. That kind of depth and expense comes not from last month’s loudly-trumpeted startup, but rather from venerable giants, giants such as IBM.


IBM’s TRIRIGA is Big Blue’s entry into the real estate management market. Because Big Blue means big business, unsurprisingly, TRIRIGA has the look and feel of a Cadillac dashboard. It brings depth and breadth and ease of use to commercial space needs in five main areas:

  • Real estate management
  • Capital projects
  • Space management
  • Facility maintenance
  • Energy management

Check out the video to see what Big Blue means when it builds a commercial real estate management solution. And before you ask, yes, you’re talking a Cadillac price: five figures a month. It’s no dot-com free service, but a review of the offering is a beautiful tour into the command centers of commercial property empires, one worth taking even if only to stimulate the imagination.