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April 2, 2012
Real Estate Technology expert and Lucernex President, Joe Valeri (see Joe’s management summary here), discusses the history of retail real estate technology.
I recently wrote a new whitepaper detailing the progression of technology within the corporate real estate industry. The image below provides a summary of that history. This blog focuses on the newest technology, tablet computing, and how it’s already impacting retail real estate productivity.
Cloud computing is gaining rapid acceptance due to its ability to provide dramatic IT savings almost immediately. Even more important is HOW end users utilize Cloud systems. Many real estate end users spend most of their time in the field. As a result, there is a rapidly growing need to use tablet computers, such as iPads, as the primary input device. Since products that are NOT delivered in the Cloud have trouble running on a tablet, many software providers opt for building custom smart phone apps. Due to the small screen size and limited capability, these types of apps provide a very limited amount of functionality and are typically targeted at one purpose, such as entering basic data for a work order.
Cloud-delivered solutions, on the other hand, are ideally suited for use on tablet computers. Instead of having to build custom apps for a smart phone, Cloud providers can deliver their entire application via a tablet without having to build any custom products. The SVP of Real Estate for a large specialty retail chain recently told me that using tablets will allow him to keep his team in the field 5 days a week instead of 3 ½. Doing that would mean they would not only find more sites, but they would have a better chance of locking up the best sites.
Using tablet computers offers many advantages to corporate real estate professionals. A few examples include:
- Field professionals can stay in the field 100% of the time without having to return to an office to enter data collected in the field.
- Data collection in the field can be done directly into a Cloud based system avoiding the rework associated with writing all data down on paper and then entering it later. The screen size of the tablet allows users to enter entire forms easily.
- The tablet computers GPS locator can be accessed by a Cloud application and used to provide the real estate professional data in the field in real-time.
- Photos can be taken on the tablet computer; this is also an advantage for field uses of construction project management and facilities management applications.
- A tablet computers screen is large enough to effectively review documents from the field.
It is important to note that Software-as-a-Service or SaaS solutions are not necessarily Cloud delivered solutions. Many SaaS providers have not invested the substantial time and dollars required to move their solution into the Cloud. See our blog discussing the differences between SaaS and the Cloud.
It is expected that most retailers will be purchasing new systems in 2012 and 2013 to be able to process transactions and produce the results and reports that will be required by the new FASB guidelines. Smart retail companies will be replacing their legacy systems with Cloud computing applications that deliver this required new functionality in a complete store lifecycle management system that will allow them to gain efficiency through easier processing, and dramatically drive down IT capital and operating costs.
For a more detailed discussion on retail and corporate real estate technology please get our New Whitepaper.
The entire Lucernex Lx Retail platform was moved into the Cloud in early 2010 making it not only the most comprehensive store lifecycle management system available, but also the fastest to implement and the fastest performing. In 2011 we launched Lx Retail and Lx Contracts for mobile devices with one of our largest clients using iPads to perform most end-user tasks from the field. In early 2012 we will launch major enhancements to Lx Retail and Lx Contracts to take further advantage of the capability of tablet computers.
Lucernex created the first SLM solution, the first SaaS solution for retail lifecycle management, the first cloud solution for lease administration and store lifecycle management and now the first tablet delivered retail real estate solution. Since 2000, we have been the leader in technology for the retail real estate software industry.
Previous IWMS related Blogs
What is IWMS anyway?
IWMS? It’s Location! Location! Location!
The Power of Location Management
IWMS – Why so expensive?
Real Estate in the “Cloud”
How Capital Project Management fits in an IWMS
What makes one IWMS easier to implement than another?
Risks of upgrading Lease Administration Software alone or as part of an IWMS