Lucernex expert and EVP Ken Brown’s (see Ken’s management summary here) provides a case for why integrated IWMS solutions are more beneficial than stand-alone real estate solutions or “Franken Products”.
When considering the purchase of real estate software point solutions such as Lease Administration, Project Management, Purchase Management, CMMS and Space Planning/CAFM it is helpful to understand the differences, benefits and challenges of a-la-carte options vs. an integrated suite of products. Individual software solutions are just that – products that are sold individually and have little to no compatibility with other product offerings. Product suites like an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) are offered as an integrated group of solutions and give the user benefits such as flexibility, ease of use, common overhead, better support for system architectures and platforms. Vendors, like Lucernex Technologies, who build their systems from the ground up using one architecture, one database, one codebase and one common interface eliminate many of the problems encountered with so-called “best of breed” solutions. This blog will illustrate specific examples of why an integrated product suite such as IWMS is best:
First, an IWMS product affords a company software flexibility. Users will be able to share data – including setup and security information – throughout the system and configure the system to meet the company’s needs rather than the other way around. The ability to move data such as deadlines, leasing numbers and budgets without having to re-enter it in multiple places saves valuable time, increases accuracy, and eliminates the frustration that occurs when one part of the system doesn’t talk to the other.
An IWMS solution is also easier to manipulate than single point solutions. All products integrated into an IWMS package look, feel and work the same way. Key interface items like navigation menus, common controls, prompts and messages work together to make the user experience more enjoyable. With a common interface, a user can learn one part of the application and then easily apply this knowledge to another area of the solution. One of the many reasons why Microsoft Office is so widely adopted and successful is because it has a common user interface just like an IWMS product.
Another challenge with implementing multiple software products is that many solutions overlap in areas of functionality. Document management, contract management, security and configuration (form building, report creation, workflow setup, etc.) may have specific areas of the application that are the same. When multiple products try to do similar things the inefficiencies and incompatibilities will render part of these solutions useless. Products within an IWMS system “talk” to one another so that these overlapping areas of functionality work together rather than compete with one another. Who wants to enter contact data twice or define different user security roles because one part of the system cannot talk to another and share the information? With IWMS, all products “talk” to one another, share information, and enable the user to function more efficiently.
A final point to take into consideration is that when a company adopts multiple products they increase their implementation costs, training and on-going maintenance costs dramatically. The purpose of a software solution system is to save time and money and positively impact a company’s bottom line. Often, the implementation of multiple products does just the opposite.
At Lucernex, we have a term we like to use for solutions that are banded together, using pieces of various applications to create an end to end solution. We call it a “Franken Product” and if you don’t want a monster on your hands, than consider a single platform Store Lifecycle Management solution. At Lucernex, our response to the “Franken product” is Lx Retail. The Lucernex Lx Retail platform is a single platform with one database, one code base and one architecture. It covers the entire property lifecycle with modules dedicated to market planning and location analysis, project management, capital program management, lease administration, lease analysis and facilities management that streamline key processes such as site acquisition and development, construction, procurement, grand opening, lease management, property disposition, and capital or remodeling projects. To avoid the problems, challenges and inefficiencies of a Franken Product, strongly consider a single, integrated solution and beware solutions with a consistent UI that are hiding a “Franken Product” underneath.
For more information about Lucernex Technologies’ Lx Retail, visit www.Lucernex.com
Get Lucernex Blogs sent straight to Outlook or iMail or any other RSS Reader!
Click here to subscribe