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.
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.