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IBC Group launches Smart Asset Maps

Smart Asset Maps will help channel partners deliver proactive consulting services to customers whilst supporting their digital transformation programmes

IBC Group has launched its Smart Asset Maps service, enabling organisations to map all their IoTconnected assets onto Google Maps, feeding in live data which provides a single view of the estate. The service will enable channel partners to expand their understanding of their clients’ business and add value by providing insight into operations of the organisation that are often not visible.

The company has created the new service in response to the increasing numbers of IoT-connected devices in the workplace and the huge opportunities this presents. Microsoft estimates that 10 billion new connected devices are plugged into the global economy each year and significant volumes of data are available giving insights into the office environment and user behaviours. When aggregated and analysed, this data can be used in numerous ways to continuously improve efficiency, reduce costs and create a better working environment for employees.

Smart Asset Maps can plot any asset types on floor plans overlaid on Google Maps, enabling managed service providers and clients alike to view their global suite of assets in a familiar geographic view. From printers to MFPs, servers to laptops, air conditioning units to boiler systems, security cameras to fire alarm systems – every asset needs to be tracked and many of them are now generating live data streams that provide insights on asset performance and environmental indicators, which all have an impact on business performance.

Founder and Managing Director Ian Birch said: “We recognise that connected assets of all kinds are an increasingly common sight in the office environment. However, we realised that there was no way for businesses to bring together and interpret all the data that they are generating, so we set out to create Smart Asset Maps.”

Birch continued: “Having a single register of all assets and geographic visibility of them is vital in gaining control of the estate. Furthermore, connecting data feeds into the same system ensures internal users and service providers have a consistent ongoing view of the fleet. In-built alerts, dashboards and heatmaps ensure critical insights are delivered to the right users at the right time to assist decision-making and management.”

Enhancing employee experience

Smart map
Smart map

Employee experience is often a key pillar within a DX strategy and organisations are seeking ways to ensure that the office is a happy, healthy and productive place for employees to be. Birch noted: “Creating a working environment where employees want to be rather than need to be, is a challenge for all organisations. Temperature, CO2 and humidity levels all contribute to a comfortable working space and will have an impact in gaining and retaining the best talent. By collecting and analysing environmental data from across the estate, facilities managers can make intelligent improvements that make the office a better place in which to work.”

Improving resource efficiency

Birch argues that the changing nature of work and the increasing need for flexible working spaces is placing greater pressure on real estate and facilities managers. “Desk utilisation and meeting room occupancy levels are key to defining an efficient workplace strategy and the Smart Asset Maps system delivers the data to ensure fact-based decisions are made,” he said.

According to Birch, the system is most useful when it is available to users inside the organisation as well as their service providers. Therefore, instead of opting for a user licence model, which limits the number of people who can benefit, IBC Group has instead put a subscription model in place that is based on the number of assets in the system. “This makes Smart Asset Maps very cost-effective for organisations as an ongoing management tool.”

Smart Asset Maps effectively takes the traditional snapshot managed print assessment and transforms it into an ongoing operational system that delivers continuing value to the enterprise – across a far wider remit. “Providing clients with a single system to track and monitor all assets and their live data feeds gives channel partners an amazing opportunity to better understand how their clients work and where they need assistance,” Birch said, adding: “This could allow them to move further up the value chain and cement their position as a trusted advisor.”

Furthermore users will also realise service delivery benefits. “Service technicians can use Smart Asset Maps to ensure they know which asset they are attending and where it is located, reducing the time spent on site,” Birch said in conclusion.

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