Cover Feature

The Convergence of Technology and Property Management Systems

Jill Lotenberg Photography

Ted Carlson speaks about the latest technology solutions and trends in Property Management

As the founder and President of Marcum Technology, Ted Carlson’s vision for the company was to become a leader in providing world-class technology innovation to drive productivity for businesses.

Marcum Technology is headquartered in Melville, New York. As a member of the Marcum Group, with 45 offices located throughout the United States, Grand Cayman, and China. Marcum Technology works with the world’s largest financial institutions, insurance companies, retailers, manufacturers, hospitals and healthcare groups. The firm specializes in IT Solutions, Cyber Security, Software Development, Digital Marketing, Staffing and Telecommunications.

Marcum Technology has been providing leading-edge solutions to the real estate market and property management industry on a national and international level for many years now. They make it easier for these firms to manage technology and facility spend on areas such as: telecom, cloud, voice, colocation, power and cooling.

Marcum Technology works with several telecom providers and the largest national telecom broker to offer proven designs and services that will keep your business up and running. Their disaster recovery and business continuity solutions allowed clients to maintain operations in the aftermath of 9/11, the Northeast power blackout, Hurricane Sandy and the recent steam pipe explosion in New York City. In addition, they have a modeling program which enables customers to track and analyze their telecom spend. Clients typically save 30% on their data center, colocation and telecom expenditures.

Marcum Technology has helped some of the largest property management owners realize savings of nearly seven figures on a monthly basis over a 36-month contract. The anticipated savings for smaller firms is often several hundred thousand dollars per month. Their designs provide clients with functional redundancy and resiliency, including elements such as diverse circuit paths to their buildings and multiple entry points in and out so that the facility is not vulnerable to a single fiber cut.

Marcum Technology is currently working on one of the largest commercial real estate projects in NYC managing integration of security systems with transportation hubs. These new security systems are going to be able to track activity in any given area of New York City.

Marcum Technology utilizes Onics Energy Solutions to eliminate harmonic waste in electrical systems, making client hardware run more efficiently while saving 10-20% in power consumption. In addition, it reduces wear and tear, extending equipment life and reducing maintenance costs. Marcum Technology is currently working with a very large wholesale supermarket chain that spends seven figures a year per location on power. A recent test at one location indicates forecasted savings of nearly $200K / location per year.

More and more firms these days are relying on managed service providers to help manage their networks with a 24/7 operation center. Many of our clients don’t want to own a data center or to have to send their teams for IT training. To address these needs, Marcum Technology joined forces with Webair Internet Development Inc. who took over the old Jet Blue data center in Garden City. They now have the ability to help clients by managing their technical operations during and after hours and they offer 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring. Marcum Technology Managed Services allows our clients to focus on their business and keep their internal users productive. Most firms today are not aware that this great technology exists at affordable prices!

Why Managed Services Matters

Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Such change offers organizations significant opportunities to streamline their processes, drive efficiencies and reduce costs. Although technology can be an enabler in helping drive business objectives forward, implementing and supporting new technology initiatives can be challenging, time-consuming and costly.

The days of sitting in an office building to perform a work function are long gone. The use of mobile devices and cloud-based technologies have ushered in a layer of complexity that makes it almost impossible for most organizations to keep up, let alone support and secure the infrastructure that today’s increasingly complex and mobile workforce relies on. With the increased threat of cyber-attacks, organizations are looking for a way to increase security while keeping their teams productive. Managed Service providers can give them that additional level of protection.

Supporting these continually shifting technologies is a substantial investment. The cost to secure systems, hire and train qualified workers and acquire the infrastructure to support emerging technologies can be significant. Rather than struggling to keep step with technology, many organizations have turned to managed services providers for help.

Why Use a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

According to CompTIA’s 2016 Buying Guide for Managed Services, the managed services market is expected to increase by 12.5 percent to $193 billion by 2020, and 64 percent of organizations are already using some form of managed services.

Although there are many reasons to utilize a managed services provider, these are among the most common:

Enables the Organization to Focus on its Core Business

Many building and property management companies today see the use of an MSP as an integral component of their overall business strategy. Any organization needs to address these questions if it is going to secure a successful future for itself:

  • What do we do best?
  • How can we do it better?
  • What distinguishes us from our competitors?
  • What value do our customers derive from our products and services?
  • What competitive advantage could outsourcing provide?

Some IT operations consume resources and management attention, but do not help distinguish their building and property management company from its competitors. By outsourcing these activities to an MSP, an organization can better focus on what it does best and what it needs to do to prepare for the future. IT professionals that remain in the organization are freed up to concentrate on strategic developments and supporting the business as it moves forward. Using an MSP in this way helps change the emphasis from operations, maintenance and problem solving … to thinking about how IT can be used most profitably and to the greatest benefit of its end users.

Provides Access to Technical Expertise

This is a very important benefit for engaging an MSP. MSPs specialize in providing IT support – it is their core business. They are able to offer extensive investment in technology, security, methodologies, and people on a 24/7 basis. Individual in-house IT departments are rarely able to match this level of technical expertise. Outsourcing to an MSP potentially offers the following advantages:

  • Access to new technology, tools and techniques
  • Introduction of more structured methodologies, procedures and documentation
  • Access to IT professionals with a wider span of technical knowledge and experience, particularly in cybersecurity and mobile app development. Outsourcing these functions to a partner with technically skilled and specialized engineers in new and emerging technologies alleviates these pressures.
  • Application of better tools and techniques for estimating the costs of new solutions
  • MSPs are well equipped to handle negotiations with multiple suppliers and can use volume purchasing agreements.
  • Better IT career opportunities for those who transfer to the IT service provider
  • Can be used for implementation of leading-edge technology to help minimize losses if the technology fails to take off
  • Avoids the high costs of continually re-training in-house IT professionals in the latest technologies
  • An MSP provides the back end technical and managerial support of an entire organization

Provides for Greater Scalability

Building and property management companies can take months to deploy large-scale systems. Many organizations are finding it more effective to start small, move fast and expand as needed. Working with a managed services provider makes it easy for organizations to scale up or down depending on demand, such as a startup experiencing a growth spurt or a retailer increasing capacity around the holidays.

Provides for Greater Availability

Like it or not, the 9 to 5 workday is a thing of the past. The advent of the mobile workforce means employees can work wherever / whenever, which means support has to be available on a 24/7 basis. Enter the managed services provider with around-the-clock technical support to ensure that support is always available.

Allows for Predictable Costs

By outsourcing technology initiatives and support to a managed service provider, organizations can shift from the traditional model of large capital IT expenditures that IT departments typically require, to breaking down their costs into fixed monthly, predictable operational costs.

Summing it all up

Adopting managed services is an efficient way to stay up-to-date on technology, mitigate risk, improve security, have access to skills and address issues related to cost and quality of service. Utilizing a managed services provider can be a key business strategy allowing internal IT resources to focus on how to use technology to drive the business forward instead of worrying about making sure that the network is up or that the VP of Marketing can print at 1 AM while vacationing in Malibu.

Top 5 Technology Trends

Staffing/ Recruiting

Effective recruiting takes years of experience, and the most effective recruiting process is one that is continually refined and customized for each client, as every client’s needs are different. Building and property management companies increasingly realize the benefits of outsourcing the recruiting to firms that specialize in specific job functions and technologies.

Automation and Artificial Intelligence

With Automation and Artificial Intelligence taking more prominent roles in our daily lives it only makes sense that building and property management companies begin adopting and embracing these technologies. Many organizations are using Automation to streamline business processes and Artificial Intelligence to maximize business efficiencies through big data and analytics. This is one of the fastest growing areas in technology and being ahead of the curve provides a competitive advantage that will only grow as the uses of Automation and Artificial Intelligence branch into new areas of business.

Broadband/Wi-Fi

Building and property management companies are faced with many new challenges, as well as what tenants expect in the way of amenities. A recent survey listed ‘broadband connection’ and ‘free Wi-Fi in the common areas’ in the list of the top ten items tenants look for when making a purchasing or leasing decision. Several property management companies, with properties in Brooklyn and Queens, now provide free Wi-Fi in their lobbies, gyms, laundry rooms, courtyards and even on rooftop decks!

Cloud Migrations

2018 marks the year when more than half of IT spending will be Cloud-based, making it imperative for CIOs view it as critical to their company’s competitiveness and survival. According to IDC, this investment will reach 60% of all IT infrastructure and 60-70% of all software, services and technology spending by 2020. Under GDPR, Cloud compliance it is not going to be easy. A recent survey showed that only 12% of the 150+ major corporation’s IT managers surveyed understand how GDPR will affect them.

Relocating this amount of traditional IT infrastructure is not just a mere bunch of mouse clicks and checkboxes. Cybersecurity threats still exist and take on a new face when moved to the Cloud, which after all, is simply someone else’s computers. Companies that grasp the proper balance between public, private and hybrid Cloud offerings will prevail as the most resilient. No matter what the Cloud vendor tells you, this is not yet “one size fits all”. Finding the right consulting firm that does this work day-in and day-out is usually the key to a successful transition (and job security for the transitioning company’s IT management!)

Cybersecurity

Securing a building management system (BMS), that controls and monitors the building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and physical security systems (video cameras, door access) is critical. When these systems are installed, the people involved in the deployment are typically electricians whose expertise is limited to wiring and physical installation and not cyber security and they often enable internet access with little consideration for the security implications. Building managers need to be educated so that security is baked into systems and measures taken to prevent hackers from impacting the building’s operations or use access to the BMS to attack other IT systems.

Software & Mobile Development

Building and property management companies realize they can create a competitive advantage by customizing the software that powers their business. Many of these organizations rely on property management software such as Yardi, but so do their competitors. By layering custom software on top of their existing solution, they can create competitive advantages that allow them to pivot and move with the changing landscape. In addition to industry-specific software, most organizations rely on software in other areas such as ERP systems, fleet management systems, dispatching systems, and other business process applications. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is really becoming a viable cost savings solution. Many organizations are using automation to streamline the workforce and enable real-time decision and business processes.

Mobile applications for building and property management companies play a vital and ever-increasing role. Many building and property management companies can benefit from moving to mobile-first solutions. Typical uses such as fleet management, dispatching, kiosk check-ins, and workforce mobilization all provide tremendous value and efficiencies.

Closing thoughts

If you don’t change anything, your competition will do it for you.

If you feel you have great control of your business, leverage the experts at Marcum Technology to Stress Test your current infrastructure and prove to yourselves (and your clients) that your operation is stable, secure, mobile friendly and that you have the ability to scale your business with little to no disruption.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment