In our latest Members Spotlight Interview, we spoke with Jon Seal, Managing Director at technologywithin, an IT communications brand offering managed Wi-Fi, superfast fibre internet, voice and CRM software solution services to the UK coworking, flexible workspace and commercial real estate sectors.
Jon discusses the problem their trio of services help solve, insights into their partnership with Great Portland Estates, what makes them unique in the market space and how they see technology evolving at technologywithin…
Q: technologywithin are in the business of IT-enabling flexible and coworking space with WiFi, superfast internet and workspace management software. Can you tell us more about the problem you are solving?
A: Operators of shared workspaces have a unique need to manage internet and voice services for multiple tenants. This includes issues like different security requirements, internet bandwidth expectations and voice service preferences. Therefore, they need to be confident that their network is resilient and secure enough to handle multiple users and know that they can quickly and easily set up new tenants or flex bandwidth for a client.
Our experience of working closely with operators means we understand that they need to provide easy-to-use portals which allow them to react quickly to their clients’ requests, such as forwarding their phones to their mobile or updating a bill. They must manage these requests through effective tools which save them time and money whilst also providing the excellent end user experience and service that flexspace clients expect.
I’m proud that our trio of services – meshdata, mojovoice and twiinworkspace – offer a complete solution for managing workspace for our customers and I’m confident that they do solve the problems.
Q: Great Portland Estates recently chose to partner with technologywithin when refurbishing their Elm Yard offices in London’s Clerkenwell. Can you share insights into what this partnership involved?
A: Landlords like Great Portland Estates have a huge portfolio to manage and many elements to consider when creating a great client experience within their buildings. One thing they don’t want to worry about is the fibre being connected and a secure and reliable internet service being available on the day a new client moves in. They just need things to work.
By working with us and using our meshdata landlord service they know that this is all taken care of, as well as billing, which is a real time saver for them. It’s such a win-win.
Q: What makes technologywithin unique in the market space?
A: That’s an easy one for me to answer as our clients are always very clear about it in their feedback – our people. We pride ourselves on just being nice to deal with. This has underpinned our growth and now means that we are the largest provider of data management services to the UK flexspace sector, something I never tire of saying!
Our technology also plays a part of course. The flexibility of our approach really makes us stand out and again it’s core to our belief that we listen to our clients and deliver what they need, rather than impose our vision. So, whilst we offer a full suite of solutions for flexspace operators and landlords, from twiinworkspace (workspace management solution) to twiinmeet (meeting room AV solution), you won’t find us insisting on clients taking everything. We are incredibly open to integration with other providers.
I think our approach is best described in our mission: To deliver easy to use technology that enhances the workplace experience every day for our customers and their clients.
Q: How do you see technology evolving at technologywithin?
A: Our product design team is in-house (we’re not known as #geekswithabusiness for nothing!), so we certainly never stand still in terms of continuing to improve our services. We also have a clear strategy for the next two years with the goal of creating a unified user experience for our products that will make it easier for our clients to manage all services from one interface.
At the same time, we also have exciting plans for new services, which will give our clients a range of simple-to-use tools to manage their network, staff and client experience.
Q: Lastly, where do you see the industry headed in 2-5 years?
A: Through adversity comes major opportunity and this is especially true of the current COVID-19 crisis. Both landlords and flexspace operators are certainly finding it very tough at present, with clients not using their offices, not re-signing leases or – in the case of flexspace – just cancelling and walking away. Predictions of what the new office will look like are rife but eventually a new way of working will emerge and with it will come huge potential.
I think there will be many surprises ahead, but what’s abundantly clear is that the demand for flexible workspace is only going to be accelerated by the pandemic and landlords are going to need to be nimble to compete. The desire to work closer to home, have space that’s stimulating and rewarding and, perhaps most importantly, an office that is completely flexible to your business needs and requirements will be on every company’s wish list.
Whilst the world of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” might be an anachronism, the need for a central place to meet, chat, socialise (and stock up on stationary for home!) is never going to be redundant and PropTech’s role will be to make that central hub as attractive a place to work as possible.
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