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IBM Launches Digital Wayfinding To Meet Changing Workplace Needs During The COVID-19 Era

On 28 January 2021, IBM introduced new capabilities in TRIRIGA, its IWMS solution, to help support firms’ return to work and support occupant wellbeing. IBM enhanced its capabilities for indoor wayfinding, dynamic space planning, density heat mapping and an AI-enabled virtual assistant supported by partnerships with Cisco and Esri. IBM is tapping the opportunity to support firms in rolling out new digital workplace technology that will aid a smooth return to work based on a more flexible workplace. According to our 2020 survey with 250 facilities executives, 47% of firms have accelerated their digitization programmes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the major updates new updates to IBM TRIRIGA is the new indoor mapping and wayfinding web app that is based on Esri’s ArcGIS Indoors solution. This new web app leverages Wi-Fi network infrastructure for indoor positioning (IP) or real-time location systems from Apple, Cisco or Esri’s own IP system for real-time situational awareness. Esri ArcGIS imports CAD or Revit data from TRIRIGA to auotomatically generate GIS maps and a network of routes. The IBM TRIRIGA Connector for ArcGIS Indoors imports these GIS indoor maps within TRIRIGA applications for facility managers and employees. The wayfinding web app helps employees interact with their space more intuitively, navigate safe routes around their workplace, and find spaces or co-workers.

The heatmapping offering, developed as part of IBM’s integration with Cisco DNA Spaces, helps managers monitor current occupancy against set capacity limits and establish automated workflows in response to high-traffic areas. Furthermore, managers can analyse the data using AI to detect data anomalies and predict when areas are likely to be highly populated. Finally the TRIRIGA Assistant helps employees to quickly make reservations, submit service requests and find spaces and info about their collegues through a chatbot on the web, or within their collaboration tools such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Multiple software suppliers have also been tapping into the opportunity to bring near real-time location data into workplace mobile apps to help improve employee experience and safety. In November 2020 Pointr integrated its location services with Comfy, a workplace intelligence platform, to support return to work initiatives. In October 2020, Planon partnered with MazeMap to integrate its real estate, space and asset management with digital wayfinding for building occupants. In August 2020, FSI partnered with Inpixon, to combine facility management and intelligent indoor mapping solutions to address COVID-19 in the workplace.

In 2020 and 2021, software providers launched new solutions aimed at COVID-19 and the return to work, including contact tracing, wayfinding and space planning. Indoor mapping solutions will continue to support employee experience initiatives, workplace digitization efforts and space rationalization programmes. To find out more about IWMS platforms available on the market today, read our report Integrated Workplace Management Systems Buyer’s Guide 2020.

SB What Impact Is COVID 19 Having On The Digitization Of Real Estate And Facilities Processes At Your Firm 28

Joy Trinquet

Industry Analyst, Verdantix
Verdantix

Joy is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. Her current research agenda focuses on building digital twins, BIM for operations, smart building systems integration as well as architecture, engineering and construction software. Joy joined Verdantix in 2019, and previously worked at BNP Paribas Asset Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in policy as well as dual minors in computer science and business studies from New York University.