The latest in technology innovation and lessons learnt from extensive market research and project experience
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The Evolution of Office Space
“To achieve corporate goals, company strategies have to drive the technology which should be designed and oriented to support how we work, how we connect with colleagues, and how to make routine and administrative actions simple, allowing greater productivity.”
Office space is now a service, made to fit business strategies where productivity is synonymous with technology enabled collaboration, and employees demand modern conveniences and seamless technology integration so they can focus on the tasks at hand. Driving this technology investment shift is the demand for a unified visual display and communication platform.
To collaborate, people need places to connect. However this is a fundamental need and employees are demanding more from their workplace; they expect high-speed Wi-Fi, wireless charging, personalisation, online room booking, environmental controls and so on, hence companies evolving to deliver these in order to attract and retain talent. As a result, 70% of companies plan to increase investment in real estate technology within the next three years, and 30% see smart building technology as a factor in choosing a building*.
Investment in Workplace Technology
Investment in workplace technology was growing steadily for several years until, unexpectedly, in 2018 we saw a doubling of spend in workplace technology. This can be attributed to a combination of increased adoption and implementation of workplace strategy, and environments being designed for collaboration.
Technology spend on office projects has increased 200% in the last 18 months. In market-leading technology projects, it is not usual for technology spend allocation to account for up to 40% of the total budget. It is important to note that although office space saw expected inflationary increase in cost between 2015 and 2017, the sharp rise in 2018 is due in large part to the notable increase in technology specification.
The technology to create a more efficient workplace is now in our hands, or more accurately, in our smartphones. To achieve corporate goals, company strategies have to drive the technology which should be designed and oriented to support how we work, how we connect with colleagues, and how to make routine and administrative actions simple, allowing greater productivity. The step-change of unified communication and display technology in commercial offices is just the beginning. The next step-change in technology investment spending could be just around the corner.
Technology enabled Internet of Things (IoT) devices make it possible to collect data from all aspects of the corporate office, including BMS, security, lighting, meeting rooms and furniture to name a few. All are sources of data; however, it is not until information is analysed and used properly that it benefits people and the business. In smart offices, data can and is being collected to help create a more efficient workplaces and reduce carbon footprints.
Strategies to achieve business goals are being rewritten. The goals of productivity and profitability remain; however, the journey and the platform to achieve these are changing. Companies are asking:
• What does ‘smart’ building mean for me?
• What does ‘smart’ office mean for my business?
• What is our ‘smart’ vision and how does this support our corporate strategies?
Answering these questions and developing a technology brief that supports corporate strategies will provide the basis for developing ‘space as a service’ and the journey towards developing a suitable smart office.
Technology as a core requirement
The commercial office industry is recognising technology as a core requirement of an attractive, collaborative work environment. Due to the criticality of integrated technologies and smart workplaces, there’s an increasing demand for project management teams with the right technical skillset to get the brief, budget, design and implementation right.
This is important when a ‘result-oriented workforce’ demands a superior knowledge-based work environments that improve productivity and allow connection, collaboration and inspiration. These effects also reach landlords who want to have desirable assets. Demands have evolved from sustainable and green buildings to providing infrastructure to accommodate smart offices.
We are transitioning to a new office experience that demands an evolution of the standard commercial building and transformation of our physical space.
Future-Ready Trading Floors
With the advancement of technology, the trading floor environment has become substantially simpler.
Gone are the days when Market Data Services (MDS) required dense workstations, extensive equipment room real estate and Trader Voice Services (TVS) were served by many analogue broker lines and local recording infrastructure.
As market data services evolve with the aid of cloud-based storage and compute, the trading floor landscape today has become far more space-efficient.
Carefully designing a trade floor to take advantage of these innovations is more important than ever. The following design principles are key in creating future-ready trading floors:
1. Consider the scale and size of local IT equipment rooms
May be in scope for reduction as the MDS and Trader Voice environment have gone cloud/hybrid data-centre-based.
Key takeaway: Carefully analyse requirements now and for the future so as not to over-engineer the local IT rooms.
Reduce the size of trading workstations
2. Reduce the size of trading workstations
The traditional trading desk providers have strong competition with standard linear desking (with some customisation) which should be considered to save costs.
Key takeaway: Carefully analyse requirements now and for the future ensuring the correct workstation size is chosen.
3. Reduce IT cabling
The quantity of low-level IT cabling serving the typical heavy trading position has reduced; however, high-level IT cabling has increased to support Wi-Fi and other IoT sensor requirements. Consideration should be taken to ensure resilient connectivity, such as diverse routing to diverse IT equipment rooms.
Key takeaway: Carefully analyse requirements now and for future IT cabling presentation; ensure that ceiling level requirements are provisioned, a resilient design is considered, and the overall equipment room impact is carefully assessed.
4. Minimise connectivity risk during migrations
Relocation migrations are now considerably less costly than with traditional trading floors. Today, relocation migrations represent less risk to the business and can be achieved in shorter time periods due to reduced IT hardware to be migrated; connectivity is also simpler. However key risks are still to be acknowledged.
Key takeaway: During migrations, it is essential to ensure connectivity between the old and new office locations to diverse active/active data centres to provide a fallback if the migration fails. Adequate time must be planned for standard testing (like pre-cutover).
5. Consider cloud adoption for your front office
While the market was traditionally ambivalent to host an exchange in the cloud due to performance and security-related concerns, the latest cloud connectivity infrastructures highlight a myriad of features. Among these are:
Direct market access
Market data enhancements
Benefits of trading activities using cloud-based solutions include improved performance and connectivity across financial markets and a more efficient means of communication.
All of the above are underpinned by a deep appreciation of the corporate workspace culture, even more critical now following the pandemic.
Two Decades of Successful Office Relocations and Data Centre Services
PTS has been in the centre of the dynamic evolution of the trading floor environment in Asia for over 25 years. Our consulting services include the convergence of services onto digital platforms, automated trading, cloud migrations, and hybrid data centres among the list of our provided services.
The resulting trading workstation environment in the 2020s is, in effect, a significantly more efficient solution in comparison with its 20-year legacy of market data services.
PTS has provided consultancy services in Asia that include:
IT Cabling and IT Equipment Room Design
Network & IPT Design
Audio Visual & Acoustics Design
Physical Security Design
Trade Floor migration project management
Trade floor technology such as:
Trader dealer boards
Market data services
Lines and circuits
Desktop and settlement systems
Trusted by Financial Institutions from London to Asia
PTS was established in 1983 delivering cabling infrastructure and data centre design projects for the banking and financial sectors. Since then PTS has expanded globally with six locations in Asia. PTS Singapore is proud to say the banking and finance sector represents a significant number of our clients.
To know more about PTS and our services, reach us here.
Smart Campus Strategy
“The exciting part of a Smart Campus Strategy is in imagining the user experiences of the future and articulating the vision. But knowing the route to your destination requires knowing the starting point. Understanding the university’s current estate helps to ground the vision in reality.”
It has had many names and come in many forms. Intelligent Buildings. Digital Transformation. We use the term Smart Campus. Its benefits – considerable and tantalising – are also beginning to be understood by universities. It has tempted many within the marketplace to believe and promote the idea that making it a reality will be straightforward. It won’t be.
Many factors – myriad stakeholder interests, fragmentation of the smart marketplace, the prioritisation of ‘Smart PR’ over feasible solutions – contribute to this complexity. But they are surmountable.
PTS believes that by fully appreciating the nature of these challenges, and taking a measured, informed and independent approach, universities will be able to reap the benefits long-promised by the marketing.
This Smart Campus Strategy brochure aims to show Higher Education Institutions how to do this by following a clearly defined approach, in order to turn the ‘visionary’ into a reality. We guide you through the following questions:-
What is a Smart Campus?
How will it improve the campus experience?
Where is your university on its journey?
Who needs to be involved?
Why should universities be interested?
When do we need to act?
Download the e-brochure for free using the link above. If you would like to discuss your Smart Campus Strategy in further detail, arrange a free workshop with our team who will be happy to help.
The PTS Smart Scale
“In order to gain perspective and to help both parties to understand these Smart Building tangible benefits and opportunities of a Smart Building, we have developed the PTS Smart Scale.”
For PTS, a smart building is much more than the traditional definition suggests. We understand the whole challenge and redefine Smart Buildings as "optimised environments that improve the daily experience of staff while providing tangible benefits to the business.”
The PTS Smart Scale
The PTS Smart Scale is a tool that we use with our clients to give an immediate indication of the "level" of smart that a developer or tenant can aspire to, based on easily digestible information and scenarios.
This way, clients can easily identify their smart aspirations and desired user experiences; and we can advise them throughout the process to ensure they achieve their desired smart goals.
Below is an overview of the different "levels" of our Smart Scale.
1) Business as usual
Building Management System (BMS) with basic controls for lighting, security, Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning (HVAC) etc.
Basic networking equipment with limited functionality enabled
Basic network cabling. Focused on landlord mostly back of house areas with limited capacity to expand
• BMS with advanced SMART controls for lighting, security, HVAC etc.
• Scalability and resilient and with greater functionality enabled
• Grid cabling solution with scalability
• An enabling software application that facilitates a Smart Building
• BMS with advanced Smart controls for lighting, security, HVAC etc.
• Scalability and resilient and with greater campus-wide functionality enabled
• Grid cabling solution with campus connectivity
• An enabling software application that facilitates Smart ready for metropolitan area
• BMS with advanced Smart controls for lighting, security, HVAC etc.
• Scalability and resilient and with high functionality enabled over metropolitan area
• Grid cabling solutions with campus connectivity
Identify and Scale towards Your Smart Aspirations
We conduct a full audit of our clients' existing landscape and use our Smart Scale to illustrate where they are presently on the scale and where they aspire to be.
To achieve the highest quality experience, we consider our client's entire user journey and the technology landscape and typically guide them through three main scenario sets: Live, Work, and Play.
Live: Focuses on technology that respects and values your time, allowing maximum efficiency and convenience
Work: Utilises data-enabled technology to create a more productive and empowered workspace.
Play: Technology that supports and enable richer, more fulfilling experiences, enhancing leisure time and creating opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment.
Following the audit exercise, we advise our clients on the smart technologies needed to be integrated to support their requirements and use cases. With this information we are able to provide our clients with immediate indicative Cap Ex, Op Ex and RIO relevant to their unique requirements.
AV over IP
“The market is saturated, and after witnessing some of this firsthand, the primary differences came down to cost and support, not technical capabilities”
— Randall Boenig
ISE is the world’s biggest AV event showcasing the lasted developments in the AV and systems integrations industry. The exhibition covers 15 halls in Amsterdam and features over 1,300 exhibitors. This series of insights follow our AV expert’s views on the latest technology and its impact on the industry.
Randall Boenig, AV Consultant, investigates the switch over from HDBasedT to AVoIP. With PTS clients looking to make the same transition, Randall was keen to explore the most cost-efficient yet robust solution. “For some time now, companies have been developing AV Network distribution systems; Creston, AMX, DVI, Gear, Wyrestorm, RGB Spectrum, Aten, Lightware… The list goes on,” Randall explains.
The event highlighted that the trend for more robust and forgiving networks is still on the rise. PTS’ AV specification currently contains lighting and acoustic benchmark expectations, but is it time we included a network expectation too?
“AVoIP, Dante, IP control, and VC/UC are putting more and more demands on Client IT teams and Infrastructure, but if these systems fall over, additional experience, support, and guidance become crucial for companies who are pushing the boundaries with the latest in technology innovation.