by Brianna Crandall — March 19, 2021 — Global information technology (IT) giant IBM recently introduced capabilities in its IBM TRIRIGA integrated workplace management system (IWMS) that are designed to use artificial intelligence (AI) and near real-time insights to help organizations create a safe, productive and efficient workplace. These new capabilities include dynamic space planning, indoor wayfinding and a virtual assistant and are designed to help support organizations’ return to work and support employee well-being and productivity.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a sense of urgency for many organizations to adapt and innovate digitally. In a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study, 59% of executives surveyed said the pandemic had accelerated their organizations’ digital transformation. With vaccinations underway worldwide, organizations are also looking ahead to plan safe, flexible return-to-work strategies and hybrid work environments that will likely remain after the pandemic.
As employees seek to balance working remotely with being in the workplace, flexibility may become the new norm, along with an increased focus on employee experience and productivity. With the new capabilities announced today, IBM TRIRIGA provides one integrated platform to support short-term return-to-work goals as well as longer-term initiatives.
IBM worked closely with IBM technology partners global networking company Cisco and Esri, a global provider of geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, to expand TRIRIGA’s capabilities.
Esri provides an indoor mapping solution, ArcGIS, that can help employees offset time wasted searching for available desks or office rooms and finding colleagues.
Robert Laudati, director, Global Partners and Alliances, Esri, noted:
IBM and Esri have had a long-standing, successful partnership integrating IBM’s analytics and AI solutions with Esri’s location intelligence technology. The combination of IBM TRIRIGA and ArcGIS Indoors creates a powerful facilities management system. We are pleased to be part of improving productivity and safety in workplaces, campuses, and facilities together with IBM.
Building upon its collaboration with Cisco DNA Spaces, IBM offers TRIRIGA integrations, such as density heatmapping, that are designed to help enable near-real-time occupancy monitoring that alerts facility managers (FMs) to the number of people in a given space based on wi-fi and occupancy-sensing devices. FMs can use this information to manage capacity in high-traffic areas and the API endpoints to configure their own automated workflows, such as an alert that an area needs cleaning once occupancy exceeds a certain threshold.
The recently announced new capabilities can include:
- Indoor Mapping Powered by Esri ArcGIS Indoors — This new feature, accessible via mobile devices, makes it easier for employees and visitors to maintain social distancing, avoid crowded areas and find available desks, meeting rooms and even their colleagues.
- Dynamic Space Planning — Developed by IBM Research, TRIRIGA’s dynamic space planning can allow facilities managers to determine proper social distancing between workspaces as they plan their new layouts. The feature helps users adapt to rapidly changing circumstances, whether it’s new COVID-19 protocols or workspace setups, by allowing them to test different seating arrangements, provide adequate spacing and maintain enough seating for both group and individual work.
- Density Heat Mapping — To better manage space and social distancing, TRIRIGA now offers heat mapping as part of its integration with Cisco DNA Spaces. A new dashboard charts space usage and manages occupancy against limited capacity. The maps’ near-real-time view updates every 15 minutes when refreshed so that FMs can see what areas are most populated and when. Data collected can be used, with AI, to detect anomalies and predict when areas are likely to be highly populated. This can be useful to both monitor for capacity rates in the immediate return and prevent congestion in areas with high foot traffic, such as the cafeteria, once employees are back.
- TRIRIGA Assistant — TRIRIGA now offers TRIRIGA Assistant. This AI chatbot can be embedded into office messaging and collaboration tools to process direct requests like booking a room or locating a colleague’s assigned seat.
Kendra DeKeyrel, director IBM TRIRIGA offering management, pointed out:
Returning to the workplace after nearly a year at home is going to be a challenging transition, not only for employers who need to create new spaces and protocols but for workers who need assurances their workplaces are safe, and need help navigating a changed and potentially more confusing workspace. TRIRIGA generates powerful insights that can help organizations as they return employees to the office, while still finding new ways to build a flexible workplace for the future.
TRIRIGA provides the required insights in one solution that can be deployed on premises or in a hybrid cloud environment. TRIRIGA is also an important component of IBM Watson Works, a set of solutions designed to enable the return to the new flexible workplace. Within Watson Works, TRIRIGA can provide the foundation for facility readiness and workplace services.