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Transforming real estate services with an award-winning digital ecosystem

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Case Study Award Winning Digital Ecosystem

Real estate service provider

The Client is one of the biggest European real estate service providers with over € 2 billion revenue in sales. With 20k employees, they manage and run real estate in all asset classes in over 30 countries. Their offer ranges from facility management, through installation and fit out services, to real estate management.

The challenge

Business Need

The Client collects, compiles and analyses three types of data: real estate industry data, their own data and user-specific data. This data used to be processed in isolation in different systems, which limited the potential to provide business insights and develop more advanced facility services. The Client engaged Objectivity as their partner to design and deliver a new digital ecosystem that would constitute a central and scalable platform unifying business and data operations. The solution had to integrate multiple systems, processes and IoT devices, including third-party data and solutions.

The solution

Project Details

The project began in April 2018 with a focus on requirement gathering. Objectivity held workshops with the Client’s stakeholders to confirm the overall vision. Next, the team launched the design phase of the ecosystem project and identified features that should be delivered first to provide early value. During the design phase Objectivity focused on producing a Proof of Concept for the solution and defining the customer user journeys.

The Objectivity team created a set of drawings and paper sketches visualising the solution and the utilisation of IoT sensors. This allowed the project team to save time by quickly validating the vision of how the system should function with the decision-makers. The team chose a Continuous Delivery approach to enable fast validation and feedback. Working in 1-week sprints, Objectivity developed the requirements and agreed on the backlog with the Client. The team also held a series of design thinking, shadowing and event storming workshops to ensure that a consistent vision was maintained throughout the implementation.

Simultaneously, the technical team was designing the solution architecture. Objectivity set up the overall cloud-agnostic microservice architecture and started to deliver the functionalities. IoT played an important role within the ecosystem. The solution collected sensor data on occupancy, location, movement, humidity and temperature, and allowed users to open digital locks. The team worked with various start-ups manufacturing IoT sensors to review their products and select the ones best-suited for the new solution.

Overall, the digital ecosystem collects data related to:

  • Service performance and process,
  • Assets,
  • Sensors and IoT,
  • Users,
  • Environment,
  • Customers,
  • Partners,
  • Other building systems.

All this information is presented in near real-time on building and floor plans. 

The team also developed a native iOS app to provide end users with a point of contact for all property management functionalities. 

Objectivity placed a strong emphasis on aligning its delivery process to the Client’s needs. The team successfully applied an Agile methodology to deliver the first working version of the ecosystem at the Proof of Concept stage in September 2018, and then to continuously and iteratively release new functionality to the platform. 

The technical team was split into two locations; working on-site with the Client and at Objectivity’s development centre in Wroclaw (Poland). Objectivity’s approach allowed the team to create a solution that thanks to microservices and Kubernetes hosting is fast, scalable and capable of being customised to meet the Client’s customers’ needs. 

The result

Business Benefits

The first, customer-ready version of the platform was delivered within 6 months from the project start.

The ecosystem is a cloud-agnostic, scalable platform with an API open for third-party solutions. The chosen architecture enables custom solutions to be built on top of platform and released to end users. The digital ecosystem covers a variety of facility management services and is being continuously developed and extended.

The first version of the solution allowed end users to:

  • Access a smart and efficient ticketing system through a workplace app.
  • Optimise workplace occupancy using IoT sensors.
  • Book assets (e.g., desks or rooms) easily.
  • Manage third-party visits in the facilities.

The system was first presented at Expo Real in September 2018 and was very well received by end users. The Client won the Handelsblatt Diamond Star Award for this ecosystem, marking its presence on the market with an innovative and pioneering product.

Key technologies:

  • Cloud platforms: Azure, IBM cloud
  • Kubernetes
  • .NET Core
  • Angular, TypeScript, leaflet.js
  • Managed PostgreSQL
  • IoT sensors
  • Digital Twin

Key achievements:

  • End-to-end development of a digital, cloud-agnostic ecosystem.
  • Delivering an award-winning working solution to a tight deadline.
  • Successfully translating the overarching vision into a working solution.
  • Creating an architecture that supports successful collaboration among many parties.
  • Handelsblatt Diamond Star Award.

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