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Innovation Will Roar Ahead In Real Estate, Energy And Facilities Management Software In 2017

The market for real estate, energy and facilities information management (REEFIM) solutions is in an exciting phase marked by a further convergence of solutions, a slew of M&A activity, new entrants and technology advances. So, what’s in store for 2017? Based on ongoing Verdantix research into software for optimizing real estate and facilities, Verdantix predicts:

1. Suppliers will scramble to develop proof points to make a link between facilities management, well-being and worker productivity.
Through 2016, numerous software vendors and facilities management firms launched new offerings around the theme of enhancing occupant well-being and comfort. As an example, Honeywell launched the Vector Occupant App, which provides facility managers insight into occupant comfort levels based on user feedback. In 2017 we expect that suppliers will focus on developing real-life proof points around the tangible financial benefits based on improving work productivity, reducing absenteeism and reducing staff attrition.

2. A new wave of space optimization solutions will take off based on better occupancy data.
For many years, tracking the utilization of space has been a laborious task based on collecting data through manual audits and inputting it into a spreadsheet or software platform. With the availability of low-cost, long-battery-life occupancy sensors (part of the Internet of Things trend), there is now an alternative way to collect occupancy data automatically, on an ongoing basis. Serraview has already been innovating in this space - witness its real-time space utilization platform based on data gathered through Condeco wireless sensors in workstations and conference rooms.

3. The battle to manage maintenance will intensify across many software segments.
Software categories including energy management software (EMS) and enterprise asset management are moving deeper into maintenance management. This provides EMS vendors the opportunity to manage a cost base that is approximately twice the size of energy expenditure. EnerNOC and Ecova have already been expanding their energy management software to broaden the value proposition into facilities optimization including maintenance management. This will put pressure on computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) suppliers that not invested in their platforms.

4. Acquisitions will continue at a rapid pace.
Since 2014, acquisitions across the REEFIM market have been roaring ahead as large IWMS suppliers such as Accruent and Trimble have bought point solutions to fill capability gaps and get access to industry expertise. We estimate deals across the market totaled almost $1.8 billion over the past three years. Activity has already started – on January 3, 2017 CBRE acquired Floored, a provider of interactive 3D graphics for space visualization in the commercial real estate sector.

5. Continuing momentum of onsite power generation will create opportunities for new services.
At the global level there has been significant investment in renewable power generation over the past decade. This is creating opportunities for new services to support investment decisions and monitor the performance of the assets. One interesting proposition is Schneider Electric’s New Energy Opportunities (NEO) Network which helps buyers to review the value of renewable technologies across different geographies based on real-life case studies, as well as be matched with local, expert providers.

For more insight into how the market for real estate, energy and facilities information management solutions will evolve in 2017, tune into our upcoming webinar: Predictions, Risks And Opportunities: What Should Real Estate And Facilities Software Executives Watch Out For In 2017?