Spica is a digital workplace solutions provider. Its model is to help corporate real estate (occupiers, owners and managers) respond to the changing needs of the workplace through connected digital technologies, benefiting the health, wellbeing and productivity of building users as well as driving operational cost reduction.
Spica’s GemEx® products help to ensure the experience of working in a building is the best it can be by providing apps for people and supporting employee satisfaction. The data collected by Spica-managed sensors and other building management information systems makes it simple to reserve a desk in an optimal position in an office based on personal preferences for current lighting or heating situations, to make a room booking based on which are nearest to your location in the building, and currently unreserved/vacant, to way-find around the building, to see in real-time the car parking situation and to offer wrap around services like catering options for employees. Spica’s software makes life easy and enjoyable for a building’s occupants.
When you consider that the operational running of a building including energy costs amounts to under 10% of total spend for most organisations, with 90% of costs typically being attributed to employees in terms of hiring, salaries and benefits, it’s easy to understand why Spica’s focus is on the technology that affects human capital.
Increasingly businesses recognise the link between the working environment they provide for their employees and their investment in and retention of the best people. An organisation’s employees and the positive experience they can have whilst at work bring enormous benefit to any organisation.
Building a cost-effective eco-system
As an independent software vendor (ISV), Spica wanted to connect with a channel distributor that could deliver a cost-effective, scalable and flexible model for provision of Spica’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud hosted GemEx® platform for its customers. The company wanted to move from a direct relationship with AWS to provisioning its software via ArrowSphere, Arrow’s cloud delivery and management platform. The move will also open up opportunities to work with with Arrow’s software providers, Arrow channel customers, as well as new IoT hardware vendors. ArrowSphere provides a comprehensive cloud provider catalogue and allows Spica to manage its customers’ AWS cloud services from end-to-end as well as help it to build an ecosystem of IoT related opportunities to tap into.
“The less vendors we require to deliver our solutions to customers, the better,” explains Tim Streather, CEO of Spica.
“We can power the hosting of our GemEx® solutions end-to-end with ArrowSphere, and over time, we will look to provision not just AWS, but other public cloud environments and third-party solutions in order to drive consumption of our workplace wellbeing solutions.
“ArrowSphere brings simplicity to the delivery process in terms of providing the AWS Platform as a Service, which gives us the ability to offer preferable cost models in terms of multi-year contracts – but also makes it easier to monitor spend thresholds in a secure environment.
“There is also the added benefit that we can work with other Arrow channel customers, those who may have existing IoT hardware to complement our GemEx® product offerings which can open new doors to driving sales and increased opportunities – we’re very much part of a wider ecosystem working closely in collaboration with Arrow.”
Ongoing benefits of Digital Workplace in the cloud
ArrowSphere undoubtedly delivers speed to market for Spica – the platform is set up and processes are already in place – almost at the click of a mouse. This leaves Spica to do what it does best in terms of workplace solutions for its customers leaving billing, security, provisioning, training and maintenance to ArrowSphere. The relationships with large software vendors such as AWS are already set up, delivering a comprehensive skill set and multiple technologies to tap into.
Spica has peace of mind knowing that it has enterprise grade software underpinning its technology with proven scalability and security. Working in the cloud also means that the building management systems of old that only delivered data in silos are a thing of the past.
“The granularity of the data produced is real-time, accurate and provides a closed-loop building management system with a point-in-time view of facilities for employees to make decisions upon. Employees can personalise their experience of working from the office to suit their schedules or life choices,” explains Tim Streather, CEO of Spica.
How many desks are currently in use? Where are they? What’s the temperature in that room? Are there any car parking spaces available at the moment? Should I work from home today instead? Which days are quieter in the office than others? How busy is the canteen/restaurant right now? What’s on the menu? Where’s the nearest printer? How do I get to it? Can I sit near a colleague? The information delivered in real-time to employees is limitless, saves time in a working day, increases productivity and promotes wellbeing. ‘Best workplace’ is much sought after by organisations who want to attract and keep the best employees. There are many awards and rankings for such an accolade – and employee retention rates are undoubtedly improved when Spica’s platform is deployed in a customer’s building.
There are also wins for a corporate real estate user who can see how a building is performing, what its occupancy is like and how well the building is being used. Spica’s solution delivers hard ROI figures that determine how well offices are being managed and provide a mechanism for making changes where there may be room for improvement.
“Ultimately, ArrowSphere allows us to focus on responding to the changing needs of the workplace and delivering a personalised experience for employees. The overall solution benefits the health, wellbeing and productivity of building users as well as driving operational efficiencies. Digital transformation in the world of property and buildings should be clearly focussed on the people using them and that’s what working with an organisation like Arrow allows us to do,” concludes Tim Streather.
Richard Holmes, Business Development Director IoT, Arrow Electronics also spoke on the new business relationship.
“As well as being a valued customer in its use of services such as ArrowSphere, Spica brings invaluable domain expertise to our Arrow IoT ecosystem. The team at Spica is a great example of this new breed of IoT organisation that Arrow finds itself working with today – crossing both the operational and information technology sectors, delivering innovative and repeatable solutions to the line of business teams who have an increasing say in how digital technologies are adopted in their organisations.
“As Spica’s solution has elements of technology which can be deployed all the way from the client’s office, connecting to other systems and up to public cloud providers, Spica has an interesting set of requirements which utilise the skills of the wider Arrow business. We help to simplify and bring value to what can be complicated, multi-vendor supply chains behind IoT deployments and support their continued growth in the property technology sector.”