The current office design trend is for the implementation of open-plan spaces which have little or no pre-assigned space. The idea being that workers can hot-desk as their whims dictate. Want a little bit of privacy, head for an alcove space. Want to coffee while you work, aim for the requisite in-house café. Want to collaborate with co-workers? The standup high tables are for you. The thinking is that not having fixed space makes an organization more agile (since free-ranging is said to equate with collaboration) and more fiscally efficient (workers aren’t at work 24/7, so why tie up space all the time when it can potentially be used by different people at different times?)

But there is a flip-side that comes with the benefits of this approach, and that is that workers can sometimes waste time trying to find appropriate space – walking around a huge office space trying to find a conference room that is actually available is a real pain when you simply want to have a quick meeting. And when you’re like Ericsson, and your corporate HQ is expansive to the tune of half a million square feet, that’s a lot of walking around to find some space.

Which is just the problem that Ericsson is solving with the help of Senion and its StepInside Indoor Positioning System. The 4,000 employees that work in the Stockholm Ericsson headquarters can use a handy mobile application to search the 20 floors spread across four buildings to find available rooms and spaces to work. Of course, once you internet connect rooms and spaces, you’re ready to do a bunch more stuff and the implementation of StepInside at Ericsson is apparently part of the company’s larger global platform designed to enable rapid IoT application development. The system as implemented today is the starting point for a bigger roll-out with additional workplace enhancements at Ericsson.

Indoor positioning is a no-brainer given the increasing trend towards huge open plan floor plates. Says Dr. Christian Lundquist, CEO and Co-Founder of Senion:

Indoor positioning technology is perfect for large offices with multiple floors, offices, and meeting spaces – the bigger and more intricate the better. We’re seeing that large companies are taking serious measures to combat friction in order to increase both productivity and employee satisfaction. We now aid Ericsson in giving back time to their employees so they can be more efficient in their day-to-day work.

MyPOV

Pretty much a no-brainer and a good solution that allows the benefits of open-plan and free-ranging office approaches without the usual detriments. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what additional services Ericsson looks to add to this initial implementation.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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