Mar 15, 2021
By Lisa Laczynski

Back to the Office? Nuvolo Has a Plan for That.

Article originally published by PYMNTS

Everything about the business world is pointing toward decentralization.

It’s the concept that runs in the background of crypto and blockchain. It’s the guiding practice behind telehealth. Who needs a central bank? Who needs a doctor’s office? There’s no reason the decentralization principle shouldn’t apply to office work, and it has. The pandemic has provided proof positive that a central office, for most companies, is overrated.

But now the pandemic is fading, and the workplace is about to undergo another series of changes. Will office work remain scattered across living rooms, kitchen tables and coffee shops? Time will tell. But one issue was around before the pandemic and will be around long after. Central office facilities are tough to manage. The discipline of integrated workplace management systems (IWMS), which combines facilities management systems, workplace management systems, asset management systems, personal management systems and many more, is in need of a digital makeover.

As IWMS platform Nuvolo’s CEO Tom Stanford told PYMNTS, many of his customers need five, six, seven, eight, nine and as many as 12 different disparate solutions on multiple platforms. And the issues only proliferate from there. Other concerns include tying in legacy technology, third-party inputs and the outcome of the kind of inorganic growth that comes along with mergers and acquisitions. The outcome can be firms nurturing and supporting totally alien technology platforms separately instead of integrating them into their own.

It’s inefficient, difficult to manage, and in verticals like healthcare, it can even be dangerous. The problem is also something Nuvolo aims to solve, offering a cloud-based connected workplace solution that replaces a host of disparate platforms with a single platform to manage all people, physical locations, assets and work — and make data transmissions between formally siloed segments not only possible but seamless.

Healing Healthcare

Nuvolo works with firms across verticals such as life sciences, financial services, retail, government, higher education and enterprise. But healthcare offers clear examples of where and why its services are needed. It’s a segment laden with inorganic growth, he said, with most of the expansion activity notable in the sector happening through firms buying each other up to gain market share. That means the company has to deal with some wild scenarios, like a recent client that has tasked the firm with combining the 51 different systems of digital record it is currently managing into a single effective platform for managing all of them into “one single platform, one database, one mobile experience with one naming convention and one data mode,” Stanford said.

And not only does that single platform take a lot of redundancy and inefficiency out of the system, he noted, it allows clients to manage their businesses better because they aren’t forced to make divisions between things that don’t make sense, like facilities maintenance and medical maintenance.

“If you’ve walked recently in a modern ER, where does the medical equipment stop and the physical plant start?” Stanford asked. “How are you going to provide good patient care safely for the patient if the facilities devices are in one system and the medical devices are in a second system, totally disconnected from one another?”

Care is best provided when all systems live in a single, secure and easily accessed system that efficiently moves data between points, he said.

And not only does that free flow of data in a single platform make system more efficient, it makes them more secure, as fraudsters and other security risks can no longer rely on the ability to hide within the data silos of organizations, he said. Connected workplaces at their best make it more possible to identify a risk, assign an asset to that risk, and put a work order for its removal into place.

“That is the essence of sharing data across functions in one platform,” he said.

The Accelerated Future

Earlier this month, Nuvolo brought in $31 million in Series C funding, money that Stanford said will mostly go toward pushing the firm’s vision for innovating the connected workspace forward. That will entail pushing about three years-worth of effort into a year-and-a-half-period to get its offering to where the company hoped it would be by 2024.

It is an aggressive goal but one the market is calling for in particular as the pandemic period is coming to a close and employers are negotiating how their employees will return to work and how that can be managed in a way that is safe and secure for all involved. That, he said, is going to require the ability to manage every piece of the workplace experience from a single data-enriched point.

“We believe our connected workplace platform with all of that IWMS functionality available on a single platform, fully modern, mobile ready — what we were going to do in three years, now we are planning to be ready to do between now and early next year, that is our new core focus,” he said.

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