In our latest Spotlight interview, we spoke with Christopher Chave-Cox, Chief Strategy Officer of IWP Group. Christopher shares the company’s journey so far, how they are keeping up with industry trends and what truly makes a space smart. “An intelligent workspace, to me, is somewhere that everything feels seamless. Users will often notice elements that provide a stunning experience but when an intelligent workspace is designed correctly, many of the key services just work so well that you don’t have to think about them at all.”
Q1- IWP group offers support with workspace technologies across different platforms, can you tell us a bit more about how IWP started and how the products and solutions have evolved over time?
IWP was founded to help companies and workspaces design and navigate their technical transformation roadmaps. We knew a wide range of technologies are needed alongside a truly agnostic approach to ensure that our team carried the tools with which to design the best solutions. It was also clear that helping companies integrate technology solutions was an underserved niche with huge demand and one where our team’s experience would be in high demand. Whilst our core service is helping companies with integration projects from a vendor agnostic position, every design we present is heavily focused towards what will deliver real commercial value to our client
We have developed three products of our own so far, all based on clients coming to us with specific problems and asking us to help solve them. These have ranged from Sustainability and Energy Management via our SENS-AI platform, to our ProxScan platform that brings together Warranty, Asset Tracking and Geo-Fencing and lastly, we have developed EntrAI; a powerhouse that integrates facial recognition, ID authentication, payment processing alongside access control with smart camera technologies to deliver massive change into the stadia and venue sectors. This has been hugely exciting and rewarding period for the team.
Q2-Workspaces are evolving and so are the needs of an organisation, how is IWP group keeping up with industry trends and staying ahead of its competitors?
Speaking with both clients and industry connections remain the most important methods to stay on top of what people need. That said, we keep a close eye on the latest technology and academic research particularly behavioural scientific studies that enable us to understand the changing needs of how people want to interact with their workspace/company or building. Joining organisations such as UKPA, where it’s easy to discuss with industry peers is always useful and enjoyable. Whilst there is always competition for business, I’ve found there being more a general trend towards higher levels of cooperation between tech businesses of late.
Q3- How does a partnership between IWP group and a respective organisation foster a culture of innovation and contribute to improving tenant experience?
Understanding what non-technical outputs are required to deliver a successful outcome for all the stakeholders in any project is key and this only comes via a very open approach during initial discussions. Additionally, using a scoring-based approach during the design phase and remaining highly collaborative ensures we are clear on shared goals and agreed objectives which can be measured fully throughout the process. We have learned by building a highly collaborative safe place for joint discussion during the design phase helps clients become willing to work in partnership with IWP and further drives innovation. Our clients are also grateful that we consider and document all risk mitigations at every step of the process.
Q4- Smart buildings are at the centre of industry conversations, with property developers to investors looking at what makes a space truly smart. What does an intelligent workspace look like?
An intelligent workspace, to me, is somewhere that everything feels seamless. Users will often notice elements that provide a stunning experience but when an intelligent workspace is designed correctly, many of the key services just work so well that you don’t have to think about them at all. For example, most people only really pay attention to Wi-Fi when it’s an unpleasant experience but take it for granted when it just works. Whilst there are great certifications at building level such as SmartScore, there aren’t target standards at an office level, to me an Intelligent Workspace needs to be able to communicate with the building it resides in and for a building to be truly smart there needs to be open data sharing between tenant systems and landlords systems, in short I see it as Open API driven systems working collaboratively are key to all stakeholders in making a place truly smart.
Q5- Lastly what does the future hold for IWP group? What does the year ahead look like?
We have just opened our offices in Dubai to better serve the demand for our services across the middle-east. As an organisation we have had to remain agile and focus on our ability to support clients, services and projects in several key international locations. This expansion is likely to continue with key global cities being our focus in the coming year. For a business like IWP that is constantly pushing the limits of integrated technology can offer, it seems inevitable that we will have further exciting products in development to share with you in the months ahead. We have recently established the IWP Group alongside a strategic merger which will help us accelerate our international expansion plans as well as our aid our unending hunger to deliver more services and greater reach to our global client base.
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