3 minutes read time
PropTech category founder bolsters its workplace management capabilities with addition of integrated set of employee, visitor and contractor management applications
Solon, Ohio – March 4, 2021 – MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software, announces that it has acquired New Zealand-based WhosOnLocation, which provides an integrated solution that empowers organizations to address workplace safety and security needs. An enterprise-class, cloud-based platform with employee, visitor, contractor and emergency management applications, WhosOnLocation extends MRI’s workplace management offering to cover anyone who might have a physical presence on a commercial property, including industries such as manufacturing, services, and education.
“We are excited to welcome WhosOnLocation to the MRI family at a time when ensuring wellbeing and safety in the workplace is more critical than ever,” says Patrick Ghilani, Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software. “The acquisition enhances the comprehensive capabilities of our integrated workplace management solutions to enable the increased business agility organizations need to reimagine their workplaces. WhosOnLocation boosts our ability to support health and security measures, covering both landlords and tenants, as well as the wider community that engages with a property – reducing risk for everyone.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increased need for agile workplaces, WhosOnLocation enables organizations to manage presence by tracking who is onsite at a property – or across multiple locations – at any time. The solution brings additional automation and efficiency to workplace safety and security management with arrival notifications, access permissions, emergency and evacuation management, and more. WhosOnLocation’s global client base will benefit from the added resources and innovation that come with being part of a well-established industry leader.
Darren Whittaker-Barnett, WhosOnLocation’s Chief Executive Officer, notes: “MRI offers the scale and global reach we need to accelerate the growth of our business in both our existing markets and new territories. Becoming part of MRI also offers our customers the opportunity to tap into its broad range of innovative workplace management solutions, which enable organizations of all types to more effectively manage their real estate portfolios and meet today’s unique business challenges.”
Used by facilities management teams, property managers and others involved in building operations to manage visitor, employee and service provider presence, WhosOnLocation manages nearly 5,000 facilities for 1,600 customers across 46 countries. Headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, the company also operates in Australia, the UK, Europe, Canada and the US. MRI will continue to support WhosOnLocation users without interruption.
GrowthPoint Technology Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to WhosOnLocation.
About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s comprehensive, flexible, open and connected platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organisations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. For more information, please visit mrisoftware.com.
Platform Communications for MRI
Hugh Filman (+44 7905 044850)
or Zoe Mumba (+44 7725 832393)
(US for MRI)
Rachel Antman firstname.lastname@example.org
1 minute read time
We are very pleased to announce that our CEO and founder Darren Whitaker-Barnett, has been recognized in the CEO Today magazine’s global CEO awards for 2021.
The awards recognize the achievements of CEOs honoring the most respected executives leading the global stage. A key component of the awards is to identify the most successful, innovative, and forward-thinking CEOs in business today.
No matter where the winners are located in the world, all were challenged during 2020 to bring their most innovative and forward-thinking leadership to guide their organizations through the global pandemic.
Under the leadership of Darren, WhosOnLocation has successfully continued to grow and deliver a set of features to our customers to navigate the global pandemic and keep those in their duty of care safe and secure.
We’d like to congratulate Darren and all the other global leaders. To read the full list of winners and Darren’s article click here.
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We are very proud to announce the launch of our redesigned WhosOnLocation website.
Considering the lifespan of a website is 2 years 7 months on average – it was certainly time to rethink, and refresh.
We started with taking an inward look and asked ourselves if:
It was a resounding yes from the whole team to redesign the site!
We followed a simple 7 step process (design might challenge me on the use of the word “simple”).
As with any project, it’s great to look back and see what we have learned to take to our next website refresh. Learnings are gold.
We hope you love the new site as much as we do. As always we welcome your feedback, if you have feedback to share good or bad please click here.
3 minutes read time
Based on G2 reviews, the site has named WhosOnLocation as a High Performer for Winter 2021. It’s official: our users love the application. Not to toot our own horns too much, but we thought we’d dig a little deeper into the features and areas that left our customers so happy last year.
G2 is the world’s largest tech marketplace, with well over a million software reviews from real users. G2 releases detailed reports at the end of each season, announcing the top performers of each category on the site. These reports are based on reviews.
WhosOnLocation was named a high performer for Winter 2021. This means we have high customer satisfaction scores compared to many other visitor management systems. Scores are calculated based on customer reviews. In each review, customers leave comments on what they loved about the product. They also detail how the software has helped them overcome specific problems.
There are a few stand-out themes in the feedback we receive from our customers.
WhosOnLocation goes beyond visitor management, with some surprising safety benefits for employees and contractors. One G2 reviewer said our releases included “Some of the best safety enhancements I’ve ever seen”.
Our two mobile apps, WolEvac and WolMobile, are stand-out features. The geofencing technology used by WolMobile automatically signs employees and contractors in as they arrive for work and signs them out again as they leave. This means our customers’ people presence reports are as accurate as possible, and should a workplace be evacuated in an emergency, first responders know exactly who’s on-site.
Customers consistently list our customer service levels as one of the reasons they love WhosOnLocation. In a recent case study, a customer from Beckman Coulter in the US said “I’m a customer service nut, and the service from WhosOnLocation is always phenomenal.”
Our friendly team is on-hand 24/7, and often responds within the hour.
For larger businesses with a number of contractors, WhosOnLocation is perfect for improving communication. Using WolMobile, you can ensure everyone on-site is provided with the safety information they need.
Use the home screen to display important safety info in-app as employees and contractors sign in. You can also ask everyone on-site to acknowledge important safety information as they arrive. If conditions change, you can even broadcast updates as a push notification.
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WhosOnLocation’s latest integration brings us one step closer to a fully virtual receptionist. Introducing Alexa for Business by WhosOnLocation. Welcome to the future!
When we think about virtual receptionists, two different scenarios spring to mind. There are teams of remote receptionists who are contracted to take calls for a number of businesses. And then there is the futuristic type – AI fuelled robots who automate the entire process for you.
Fully functioning robots aren’t widely available just yet. However, there are a number of technologies that can automate tasks and take the strain off under-resourced teams.
We’ve already hinted at a few of the benefits, but let’s take a closer look at why you might need a virtual receptionist.
Small businesses can still make a big impact when their visitors arrive. Rather than scrambling to unlock a door or locate a visitor’s host, let a virtual receptionist take on some of the load.
With visitor admin largely taken care of, your front of house team can use their time more wisely. They’ll also be able to run errands and take breaks in the knowledge the front desk is always ‘manned.’
How do you cover every access point to ensure employees and contractors are always signing in? Whether you need to carry out health screening, contact tracing, or simply know who’s on-site for health and safety reasons, virtual receptionists can ensure no one slips through the cracks.
Think of this less like a virtual receptionist, and more like a virtual health and safety assistant. By placing sign-in kiosks or QR code posters at the entrance to each of your hazardous zones, you can ensure your employees and contractors have the information they need. Check out this blog for more details.
WhosOnLocation’s latest integration with Alexa for Business enhances the way you use your subscription. Here are some possible use cases to get the creative juices flowing…
Have a spiel you need to communicate to all visitors? Whether it’s ‘please keep your visitor pass visible’ or ‘ensure you wear a mask’, have Alexa automate the process for you. Once a guest has finished signing in at your kiosk, Alexa can verbally welcome them, and pass on any important information they might need to know.
Meanwhile, inside your facility, you can keep an Alexa device close to your employee workstations to act as a doorbell. Alexa can announce when a visitor or contractor has signed in and is waiting to be collected from reception. This announcement can include their name and who they are visiting.
Currently, carrying out health screening or imposing maximum occupancy to adhere to social distancing? Whatever your reason for denying an employee entry to your facility, create a trigger in WhosOnLocation to automatically prevent sign in, and have Alexa communicate the reason why.
Whether it’s a safety induction, insurances or a qualification in need of renewal, have Alexa verbally remind your contractors of expiring documentation when they sign in.
From visitor management software to voice-activated assistants, we are certainly edging ever closer to a truly useful virtual receptionist.
To get started you’ll need an AWS enterprise account and a WhosOnLocation subscription. Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on enabling the Alexa for Business integration.
Get started with a FREE 30 day trial today. No credit card required.
8 minutes read time
Are you a cloud-based service looking into getting ISO-27001 certification? Are you wondering about the process, the benefits, and whether it’s worth it?
There are a lot of articles about ISO-27001 written by security and compliance consultancy firms, but there’s not much out there about what it’s actually like from the perspective of an organization going through the process.
This was something we thought was lacking when we were doing our research, so we thought – why don’t we share our first-hand account?
This blog post addresses some of the big questions we had before making a decision.
After completing our GDPR compliance requirements prior to its implementation in May 2018 we decided to pursue ISO-27001 certification.
We realized that in an ever-evolving security landscape, our customers were becoming more and more stringent in their procurement process. With major security breaches such as the Dropbox incident in 2016 (which led to the leaking of 68 million user passwords) and the iCloud leak of more than 500 private celebrity photos in 2014, organizations are much more aware of the security risks of using cloud-based services.
Prospective customers were beginning to ask us detailed and specific questions about our security management processes. One question that kept coming up was “Are you ISO 27001-certified?” We knew many of our competitors were attaining SOC 2, but direct customer feedback was telling us that ISO-27001 was more important for our particular service and market niche: we serve many international enterprises, and ISO is more globally applicable than SOC 2. This, of course, is something that your organization needs to weigh up.
We found it really difficult to find an answer to this online – and now it’s very clear why. It really does completely depend on your organization. We had read everything from a couple of months to more than a year. It took us 18 months.
There were a few factors that stretched the process out for us:
“ISO 27001 is very resource hungry on your teams, and when you are trying to focus on growth, ISO can seem like a distraction. But it is not. It is an essential part of our DNA and creates opportunities for growth in your people, your culture, and your customer footprint.”
– Darren Whitaker-Barnett, CEO
For us, becoming ISO 27001-certified was absolutely worth it. Even despite the fact that we had contracts that were contingent upon our eventual certification, this was a sound business decision for so many reasons.
“This process has been great for building customer confidence. And it lowers the barriers to sale when we are interacting with potential customers. For many of them, it’s a must. And for the others, it’s a huge bonus.”
– Andrew Thompson, Chief Security Officer
Business benefits for us include…
“Being ISO 27001-certified allows us to speak confidently about our security practices because we know we’re following international best practice. That’s the best value you can possibly offer from a security perspective.”
– Tom Peck, Chief Technology Officer
We engaged Axenic, a security consultancy agency, to assess our current state of security, conduct internal audits and assist us on the path to certification (getting us ready for external audit and assessment – which was ultimately conducted by a third party auditor from BSI).
“It was the right decision to engage a security and compliance consultant. We couldn’t have done this without Lisa [from Axenic].”
– Tom Peck, Chief Technology Officer
Firstly, Axenic conducted a gap analysis using the Framework in conjunction with Annex A of ISO/IEC 27001 to create a Current Profile. As we mentioned earlier, we decided to implement everything in Annex A – even things that were not risks to our business/security processes – this was a business decision to follow best practice.
After this, we conducted a risk assessment. This report identified which controls were there and did not need improvement, which controls were already there but did need improvement, and which controls needed to be implemented from scratch. These are “risks” and are categorized as either low, moderate or critical.
Originally, we identified 35 risks. We achieved certification with only 7 areas of concern (though none enough to be a nonconformity).
“The process was not complicated, but we certainly had no idea how extensive or time-consuming it would be.”
– Andrew Thompson, Chief Security Officer
ISO-27001 requires consistent management and maintenance. We’ve seen it said that ISO is a lifestyle, and that’s definitely true!
Retention of ISO 27001 certification includes…
“ISO certification has created a ‘security first’ mentality in our office culture; this is an absolute must-have when dealing with customer information.”
– Darren Whitaker-Barnett, CEO
Make sure you’ve got the resources to get through it because it’s not something you can go into half-heartedly. For example, sometimes it will make sense to bring in external experts.
Make sure you’ve brought everyone in the company along on the journey. This requires a big culture shift, so make sure everyone understands why this is important and what the process is like.
Make sure you have enough people to fill the roles required by the standard. We have a relatively small leadership team so with all the roles necessary it might not have been possible to do it if the team were any smaller.
You need someone to really own and drive this process internally. For us, this was our CEO – he was committed to this and really gave it everything. It had his full attention over and above everything else.
We are not security or compliance consultancy. Everything outlined in this article is purely our own experience or opinion. Every organization considering ISO-27001 should undertake their own research and gain professional advice before making a decision.
WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site. Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations. Compliant with ISO:27001 2013 for Information Security Management. WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 42 countries around the world and manages over 60 million secure movements through thousands of locations each year. For more information, visit whosonlocation.com.
4 minutes read time
The expectation of your role as a facility manager is to manage costs without compromising workers’ experience, which is becoming increasingly difficult with the pressure to become more efficient, both financially and in terms of energy, while satisfying multicultural and intergenerational teams. To ensure facility managers stay on top of their demanding job, it is important to keep up to date with facility management trends. So what are they? Don’t get left behind, learn what 2020 has in store for you.
Technology continues to redefine the world around us, and there is no exception when it comes to facility management. As we enter into 2020, we can expect to see the majority of buildings adopt smart technologies as it is not only cost-effective, but you can also reduce your organization’s environmental impact. The five core benefits of smart technologies include:
The productivity and wellbeing of employees have taken center stage in recent years, with organizations recognizing the value of happy and engaged staff when they have excellent mental and physical health. The health and wellness of their employees usually have a direct effect on the productivity and profits of a company.
Wellbeing programs have led to a trend in FM managers focusing on the creation of workplace strategies that actively promote engagement, wellbeing, and, ultimately, the productivity of their staff. Some strategies include:
The responsibility of sustainable solutions will only expand in the future for facility managers, as it’s a given fact that buildings account for almost 40% of global energy use, therefore sustainability has become an essential strategic topic.
Existing assets and systems will need to be put into a sustainable framework, including making life-cycle assessments and undertaking life-cycle building management. Training employees in maintaining a sustainable workplace and developing new methods to reduce energy levels, waste and carbon footprint overall, is the future of facility management.
Within facility management, drones are primarily being used for inspections in hard to reach areas such as rooftop equipment or building facades. Drones can save time by preventing the need to erect scaffolding or aerial work platforms which also makes it cost effective.
Augmented reality will enhance visibility and allow you to experience situations without physically being there. This will improve awareness of the surrounding risks and asset monitoring, especially for those that are difficult to access, such as pipes buried deep within walls or underground tunnels that may be dangerous to walk through. Maintenance tasks and system modifications can be completed more efficiently while helping protect workers.
There is a lot of pressure on companies in the modern world to offer value to their customers, forcing them to constantly innovate and expand their core services to deliver more and more value. The consequence of this is often a reduction in their non-core facility management budget, at the same time as employees and clients expect better workplace experiences. This is exactly what makes outsourcing such an attractive proposition and an upcoming trend in facility management.
Collaborative spaces have quickly become a hot trend in office design over the last few years, and for a good reason. More space to collaborate in an office means improved employee morale, creativity, and productivity.
It is no surprise that most of these trends stem from the evolution of technology. WhosOnLocation is one smart technology that has revolutionized the way thousands of organizations manage the safety and security of everyone on site. A paper book can record the details of who is on site but is ineffective when it comes to ensuring visitor data isn’t shared with others, that contractors have the relevant insurances, are inducted to site processes and procedure, and most importantly everyone is able to be accounted for in the unfortunate event of an emergency.
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We’ve had a pretty incredible year here at WhosOnLocation. With everything from a growing our team to 35 million people movements tracked across 39 countries, it’s been a big one. Thank you to our clients, stakeholders, collaborators, and extended networks for all of your continued support!
Here’s a snapshot of our year.
7 minutes read time
Regular exercise isn’t just good for your health, it could benefit your company as well!
In order for a business to thrive, we need our employees to thrive and it all starts with health and wellbeing. In recent years a health and wellbeing workplace culture has become a core focus for organizations in an attempt to increase productivity levels.
Like most SaaS companies, there are multiple problems to solve on a day to day basis, which becomes relatively difficult if you’re sitting at a desk, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. This is why our Chief Technology Officer, Tom Peck, is an advocate of creating a work culture that promotes health and wellbeing. Read the interview to see how regular exercise could benefit you individually, and your company.
I sat down with Tom to discuss how he manages stress, thinks up ideas, and solves problems all with a little help of daily exercise.
To be honest, it is completely dependent on the amount of time I have during the day, but generally, the more I run the more time I have to think. I can create more ideas and solve more problems the longer I run.
Most definitely. It’s only been 3 years since I really started to become consistently active and I have nothing but benefited from it. I think more clearly, I am less stressed and most importantly I can eat what I like (laughs).
A lot of my time is spent sitting down during the day because it involves being in front of a computer or in a meeting room. This is why I need to get outside to do some form of exercise, otherwise, I’ll go crazy. Therefore, I do think it’s a necessity because I wouldn’t be able to do my job as well as I can without exercise. It is important to me to continually grow professionally but also make sure I have a healthy lifestyle so I can keep up with my three young kids!
Well because I am running in part to create these ideas and solve problems the answer would be yes I do actively think about ideas. However, there are times where I would purely run for leisure, to clear my head rather than think about work. Both scenarios benefit work because if I am not thinking about work on my run, I have a clear head to carry on the day. It’s not always perfect, however, at times I forget what the great ideas were if they come early in a run so you have to come up with ways of remembering them – turning them into a mantra can help!
When we have a problem that relates to both of us it is definitely better to run together and share our thoughts. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other, even if they don’t end up sticking, it’s a great way to work through complicated technical problems.
Running is sometimes just a way of switching off and putting off problems. Some days I’ll run at a leisurely pace to think about the issues we currently have and other days I’ll be more focused on the running, making sure I don’t twist an ankle and building up my endurance for an up and coming race. I haven’t always used running, as it has only really been 2-3 years since I started running consistently. Now that I do use running to help solve problems, I’ll never look back.
Just running really. I do also have a bike that I use to get to and from work but that is to get from A to B rather than ideas and problem-solving. Obviously, I have to be more alert when I am on the road so realistically it isn’t the best time to be in a daydream.
Yes absolutely. As I mentioned before when I go for a run to just run, I am able to think more clearly when I am at work, which is a good way to relieve stress. I feel less grounded if I haven’t gone on a run. Having three young kids at home can also be stressful, therefore running is a good way to take the edge off.
It encourages other team members to get on board. We currently have most of the development team joining in on the lunchtime runs and a number of employees join in on the out of work activities like when we completed the mud run over the past 3 years. It is really good for team bonding as a team we’re definitely showing signs of improvement as our productivity has increased from last year (since introducing a health and wellbeing workplace culture). We still have a bit of work to do with the other teams at WhosOnLocation to get them into the hills at lunchtime (laughs), but it shows that it can help within the company so its something I’ll remain persisted on!
No, I don’t. As I got older the fitter and faster I’ve become and the more important it is. But it’s not really about speed, it’s about getting out there to give you time to reset and think more clearly. Running also shows that the more time and effort you put into something the better it becomes. It has taken me four years of progression to reach number 1 in the mud run (Wellington Tough Guy & Gal Challenge) (16th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st). This is exactly how we work at WhosOnLocation – iterative processes of incremental improvements.
The thing I love about running is the simplicity of it. All you need is a good pair of shoes and some local trails to run around. We are very fortunate to be based in Wellington, New Zealand and be surrounded by amazing hills and greenery. The next race I have planned showcases a number of these – the WUU2K (Wellington Urban Ultra) which Andrew and myself are both competing in.
3 minutes read time
Article updated: January 2019
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enforced on May 25 2018.
The purpose of the GDPR is to:
“…harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”
The maximum penalty for breaching GDPR on or after the enforcement date are fines up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater).
For businesses using visitor management apps/software, here are some key things you need to know:
Make sure you are only collecting the bare minimum of data for operational purposes. Be specific and transparent about how this data will be used so that every site visitor understands how and why their information is being collected.
Don’t “remember” visitor information by default without explicit consent. Of course, some people will want their information saved if they are regularly visiting your site – just make sure visitors can voluntarily opt in to have their data saved for next time. Additionally, only keep records for as long as is absolutely necessary.
Data subjects may withdraw their consent for you to hold their data at any time, but note that the subject’s rights may be measured against “the public interest in the availability of the data”.
Data Processors (e.g. WhosOnLocation) and Data Controllers (e.g. WhosOnLocation customers) must both appoint a DPO. The DPO must be appointed on the basis of professional qualities such as expert knowledge on data protection law and practices.
WhosOnLocation has been working through an incredibly thorough process to ensure that our software provides features that enable our customers (Data Controllers) to be GDPR compliant.
Some of these features will include:
As a Data Processor, WhosOnLocation must also notify our customers of a data breach “without undue delay”.
Are you processing the data of EU citizens or offering a product or service in the EU? Are you using third party vendors to process or collect any kind of personal data? Make sure your vendors are GDPR compliant. You will also need to have a legal expert review your privacy, data collection and data processing policies.
To read about the key changes implemented in May, visit the EU GDPR FAQ page.