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The future of mobile applications


There are currently more that 5 million registered mobile applications available in the market to assist and support users with any needs they may have. New applications regularly make their way to the market but very few of them are effective and become absolute especially if they complicate rather than aid a user.


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February 13, 2018 Schalk Vorster
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The future of mobile applications

At FSI we believe in developing applications and activities that ultimately add value to users. Our team believes in taking a focused approach by first validating that there is a requirement in the market. Thereafter we analyse potential solutions and create prototypes for peer review and approval. Without undergoing the user experience, the team will not fully understand which is the correct solution to be proposed. It is important to offer simple, user-friendly apps that help optimise the users time. Usually when one user requirement is met, other requirements surface thereby causing a chain reaction which is the reason why our solutions cannot be stagnant. Solutions therefore need to evolve as an organisation’s processes do, something we allow for in our roadmap for each app.

FSI takes a proactive approach to introducing new and exciting apps by enhancing and simplifying what is often already an existing process. Apps provide opportunity to increase employee efficiency and enduser engagement. Apps are used by individuals, teams, co-workers as well as customers looking to find the most convenient and hassle-free solution when executing a request or completing a work order or transaction.

Apps in the facilities management market should therefore be able to assist the FM service provider both from a hard and soft services point of view, eliminating day-to-day obstacles by simply adding the applications to their daily business toolkit, and by providing the customer with a gateway to the FM team.

Recent examples of new and enhancement apps are FSI’s cleaning activity for soft services and asset manager, available on our FSI GO workforce mobility solution. The Cleaning Activity allows, in conjunction with Concept Evolution CAFM, users to create ad-hoc jobs, schedule tasks and patrols, and track and report on the productivity of cleaning routes and change them based on the needs of the building. As well as providing the operative with a simple method of recording and closing task activities, management can see their last location and report on their performance.

Similarly, the Asset Manager activity gives users direct access to asset data on-site with the flexibility to update CAFM data in real-time, making asset management truly mobile. This activity, also available on the FSI GO Workforce Mobility Solution resolves one of the industry’s most common issues, control of data quality, consistency and completeness as portfolios evolve. Additionally, the app is also developed in such a way that it will engage with future requirements like BIM to CAFM processes.

For example, the Asset Manager Activity within FSI’s software solution allows for hard service providers to create, collect, validate and amend asset information on-site. Data could be provided by the BIM Model via the Concept Evolution (FSI’s CAFM Solution) database or as part of an initial contract handover and mobilisation. This enhanced activity adds task management functionality and applies naming and classification rules which brings quality and consistency to an asset register. Additionally, support is provided within the app for smart attributes which present the user with different information requirements depending on the type of asset. This ensures that alterations or additions to the live asset register are ISO 55000 level quality and where BIM is involved in accordance with Asset Information Requirements (AIR).

Client and customer engagement with service providers through mobile apps is another element of FSI’s offering through Concept Advantage. Chat Log, the first in the suite of many Concept Advantage customer apps, was launched at FM Expo show last year and provides a social interface app for individuals to raise and track requests and for the service provider to update them on progress of service delivery. In addition to Chat Log the Concept Advantage app suite currently includes, Classifieds, Our Events, Our Say, Our Info and My Visitors. In the near future further apps are to be added including Bookit, a social app to book a desk, meeting room, parking space or sporting facility and a community app for customer to request, book an appointment and pay for services on-line. Through FSI GO and Concept Advantage seamless integrated with CAFM FSI provide comprehensive mobile apps for both customer and service providers.

(The Author, Schalk Vorster is the Business Development Manager of FSI Middle East)