Boston, January 27, 2014
With over 100,000 employees working in over 100 countries globally, Microsoft is one of the largest occupiers of commercial office space in the world. With a strong commitment to continuous improvement in the workplace, the company is currently implementing the latest iteration of its Workplace Advantage program. Recognizing the need for data-driven approach to make strategic workplace decisions, in early 2015 Microsoft began the deployment of Boston-based software company Rifinitiâ„¢â€™s Optimoâ„ workplace business intelligence analytics at 150 office locations worldwide, a total of over 19.3 million square feet.
Optimoâ„ software-as-a-service will provide Microsoftâ€™s workplace strategy team with robust, granular analytics on the actual utilization of offices in near real time on their portfolio, while preserving occupant anonymity. Such analytics are not available from any CAFM or IWMS solution, and cannot be derived manually using spreadsheets. Optimoâ„ analytics will enable Microsoft to continue to optimize office space to meet the needs of its occupants and increase space efficiency while improving employee satisfaction and productivity. Over 300 Microsoft locations could eventually by monitored and reported in Optimoâ„ .
Brian Collins, Workplace Advantage Operations Manager for Microsoftâ€™s Real Estate & Facilities group, comments that â€œWe had a good metrics program for our office space and were looking to take it to the next level when we learned about Optimoâ„ .â€ After a detailed evaluation and validation during which Microsoft used the software to continuously monitor several large sites for more than six months, Brianâ€™s team determined that Optimoâ€™s off-the-shelf features would enable Microsoft to accurately analyze office space utilization with greater timeliness, precision and confidence. â€œOptimoâ„ gives us access to the up-to-date insights about utilization that we need in a highly accessible, intuitive user interface, using â€˜big data.â€™ We no longer have to wait for a utilization study, or look at an out-of date report.â€
Today most workplace managers have little or no visibility into actual utilization. CAFM or IWMS systems track only â€˜occupancy,â€™ or number of assigned seats, but not utilization. Rifinitiâ„¢â€™s president and chief product officer, Irina Mladenova, observes that â€œsome companies are able to derive â€˜attendanceâ€™ from spreadsheet analysis of unique badge swipes each day or limited observational studies. With Optimoâ„ , executives have 24/7 continuous monitoring of multiple locations using existing data sources that are analyzed by advanced machine learning algorithms to generate unique insights into utilization, employee mobility, and a host of other key performance indicators.â€ Such continuous benchmarking rather than ad-hoc, point in time studies by consultants or FM personnel, is critical to ensure continuous portfolio optimization.
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