Below is our recent interview with John Vivadelli, President & CEO of AgilQuest:
Q: For those who haven’t heard of it, what is the best way to describe AgilQuest?
A: AgilQuest creates software and service solutions that support today’s flexible workforce, optimizes and eliminates wasted office space. Major corporations and governments around the world count on us to:
- Give People Freedom to Choose Their Workplace or Collaboration Space
- Measure Actual Office Space Utilization
- Improve Profitability and Sustainability of Office Space
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Richmond, VA, this veteran-owned business employs technologists, workplace experts, and customer service teams to provide a combination of cutting-edge technology and expert training to help organizations make their workplace as flexible as their workforce.
AgilQuest’s software supports a seamless workplace experience by giving people choice and freedom find the best place to work, connect people with their colleagues, and make it easier find the equipment and services they need to get work done. In workforce study after study, the most important thing an organization can do to engage and satisfy their employees is provide them flexibility. AgilQuest’s workplace management platform, Forum, provides people flexibility in where and when they work. We give them workplace choice both inside their owned or leased office space (conference room and workspace booking function) and outside (through easy access to landlord amenities, partner space or even coworking centers). We’re the only ones who can do this. Choice drives Engagement, Engagement drives Productivity, and Productivity drives Revenue.
We also help organizations measure actual utilization to identify and share wasted resources to improve sustainability and redirect the wasted capital right back to people and the things that help them love their work!
Q: Can you give us insights into your products?
A: AgilQuest’s Forum is a SaaS, cloud-based booking and measurement platform where businesses of any size can easily manage meeting rooms, conference rooms, workspaces and other workplace resources for internal scheduling.
- Utilizes interactive floorplans and integrated Google map views to get users where they need to be for improved wayfinding
- Mobile Apps allow quick claiming of a meeting room or workspace by simply scanning a QR code. Touchdown spaces can be easily managed with QR codes, or they can serve as an alternative to expensive digital signs outside of meeting rooms
- A Lobby Kiosk interface offers an interactive way for employees to find and book space for the day as soon as they enter the lobby of their building. They can also manage current reservations and even find coworkers quickly through a people search
- Our user-friendly, intuitive platform requires no user training
- Users can share and reserve all workplace resources, the flexible reservation engine is optimized for managing resources beyond desks, workspaces and conference rooms
- Interactive, touchscreen meeting room displays make it easy to find and book conference rooms without logging into a web or mobile app
- Powerful, built-in analytics platform with customizable dashboards and shareable reports
- SaaS-based for easy implementation at low costs, rapid deployment, hands-free upgrades, all with no IT presence required
- Quickly add, modify and archive Locations, Assets, and Users in bulk to decrease setup time
- Easily see if your team will be in the office, where they will be seated and if they’ve checked in for the day
Q: Most people use Microsoft Exchange, but why do they need AgilQuest’s Forum too?
A: Why do you need another system to book meeting rooms when you already have Exchange? Because Exchange, alone, can’t do what the Forum can! But you can have the best of both worlds – advanced functionality and business rules within AgilQuest’s Forum platform, and still make basic room bookings within the familiar Exchange interfaces through our Exchange Integration. Here are just some of the benefits you can access with Forum that you won’t get with just Exchange:
Access to Business Rules, Policies & Workflow
- Check-in & Autobump make sure booked-but-unused space is freed up
- Adjusted lead times for setup
- Permission settings so users only see allowed space
Easy to Book/Access from anywhere
- Integrated mobile apps make booking and checking-in to reservations quick and easy
Access to Floorplans, Room Images and Amenities List
- Know where the room is located
- Photos of the room to ensure it’s best for specific meeting
- Check the room has the amenities you need
Manage Hoteling/Desk Booking
- Manage, view and claim all workspaces, touchdown spaces, permanent seating, and more
Add Equipment & Services
- Order and manage equipment and services needed all in one platform
- Real-time reporting gives you answers to how the space is being used
- Know what kind of space is being used most often and by whom
- Answers to space planning questions like do you need more meeting rooms
- Easy search for multiple locations and spaces
- Categorization of Type, i.e. private office, huddle room, open space, etc.
Ability to Book Dynamic Rooms
- Ability to manage and book partitioned conference rooms
Q: What are the benefit of a flexible workplace for employees/company?
A: In 2016, Millennials became the largest generation in the workforce and they expect companies to offer flexible benefits and prioritize work/life balance. So, if your company is looking to attract and retain top talent, managing its flexible workplace experience is key. Workplace flexibility is becoming the new normal. Although the amount of “flexible” offices in the U.S. is only currently about 5%, it is set to reach 30% by 2030. And employees are benefiting from it. According to a PGI study, implementing a flexible workplace saw a 69% decrease in absenteeism and 82% reduction in stress. The benefits of a flexible workplace reach employees, companies, and the planet.
- Employees find they are distracted less and have a better work/life balance as well as increased overall wellness.
- Employers find and keep top talent and save thousands of dollars a year.
- The planet sees a drop in energy, paper, and plastic usage.
A flexible workplace means having the option to work when and where it’s best suited for you. For instance,
- the ability to work from home when the cable guy is coming
- or the option of a variety of different office spaces and locations where you can do your best work
Companies can create a workplace that’s extremely flexible. Whether they want a building full of collaborative spaces, closed-door offices, open seating, and more that employees can claim and reserve each day depending on the environment for which they are looking. Or they want to offer remote work options while still keeping some employees in a traditional, permanent seat setting. It’s easy to establish a flexible workplace once you decide just what your company needs.
You can find complete information on the Benefits of and Supporting a Flexible Workplace here.
Q: What can we expect from AgilQuest in the future?
A: AgilQuest’s Purpose is to “Love Where You Work”. Our future innovations will drive innovations and enhancements along this theme. Our future is about providing people an easier, faster, less expensive, more enjoyable, more flexible, healthier and more sustainable way to perform the activity called work. Advancements in our SaaS platform, Forum, will be described along four major trends in the workplace: Mobility, Internet of Things, Sharing Economy, and Big Data.
Mobility: In the US alone, 40 million people work outside of their assigned workplace every day. Only 1 in 4 are satisfied with that assigned location. Forum offers employees access to their “inside” (traditional) spaces, AND access to “outside” assets such as landlord amenities, coworking or other third-party space, and even shared space with trusted partners, all within the same platform. We already have landlords and building managers utilizing the system to offer their tenants easy access to shared assets, and corporations making coworking space accessible to employees. AgilQuest expects this to become a larger market over the next few years and will continue to tear down the physical barriers to work and collaboration through mobility.
Internet of Things (IoT): The foundation of IoT is that everything must communicate, and so everything must be connected. But it’s not just “things” that must be connected! Integrations between assets, people, systems and applications become the fabric necessary for enhanced productivity, profitability, sustainability, safety, security and hospitality. Forum is the only platform designed to integrate, communicate and connect people, assets, and things across organization and physical boundaries and will be looking for more ways to create even more seamless workplace experiences.
Sharing Economy: People mobility drives the need for increasingly flexible workplace infrastructures. Office space vacancy (rented but not actually used) sits at 60% to 70% in the US today. It is not sustainable (cost, energy, emissions, etc.) to own, either outright or on a long-term basis, unused excess infrastructure capacity. The answer is to measure actual use, then either divest or share the excess capacity (workspaces and meeting rooms, for example) with selected others who need access to such assets and monetize the short-term use. Just as homeowners utilize the sharing economy platforms like Airbnb, Forum was designed and built to help any organization, either landlord or tenant, to leverage its “sharing” capability in the future.
Big Data: Mobility, the Sharing Economy and IoT create massive amounts of new data that must be captured and analyzed for the benefit of people who need to find workplace infrastructure and for those that own and operate it. For instance, the aggregate cost of the use of space outside of the organization’s real estate portfolio (conference rooms, coworking, etc) is a massive unknown, buried in Time & Expense reports. The system that measures and manages internal asset utilization should also measure and manage external asset utilization. It should connect all the internal system such as security, communications, signage, support, etc., with all the external systems such as air, car, room, board, amenities, etc. so that the data from every source can be collected, drive predictions, and prescribe actions. Using Forum’s integrations, measurements can be supported across all systems.