Elizabeth tells us how she and her partner identified the need for an easy-to-use software solution to manage the complex tasks and reporting for facilities management, and how they have been growing iOffice successfully for the past 15 years.
Today’s guest, Elizabeth Dukes, is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of iOffice, the fastest growing 100% SaaS integrated workplace management system platform and App Marketplace dedicated to facilities management. Elizabeth champions the use of SaaS technology to empower the workforce and create the most productive workplaces on earth.
With more than two decades of experience in the field, Elizabeth and co-founder Don Traweek ran Pitney Bowes Management Services providing workplace management solutions to the Fortune 1000. Together – recognizing the need for a robust, but easy-to-use software solution to manage the complex tasks and reporting for facilities management – they founded iOffice and co-wrote the book on the subject, Wide Open Workspace. iOffice supports more than 2.1M users in 1,400 fast moving companies including Adobe, Hess, Under Armour, Zillow, and more.
We’re going to learn how Elizabeth validated the need for an integrated workplace management system, built the iOffice App Marketplace, and repeatedly achieved 20% growth year over year.
In this episode, you’ll learn from Elizabeth:
- 2:15 – Introduction to Elizabeth and iOffice
- 6:05 – How Elizabeth and her partner validated the need for iOffice, an integrated workplace management system and App Marketplace dedicated to facilities management
- 8:35 – How iOffice got their first customers, one of which was Enron: “We identified and honed in on a problem, a real struggle that they were having.”
- 10:00 – What is iOffice, and how does it help Elizabeth’s clients?
- “Our applications manage all of the services, space and assets for an organization, with the purpose of making workspaces that are conducive to work.”
- 13:30 – What is Elizabeth’s workspace at iOffice like?
- It’s an open space, dog-friendly, embraces iOffice technology, and focuses on optimization
- 16:30 – The optimal work space design is constantly evolving as the people at iOffice identify problems and develop new solutions
- 18:50 – How a fun workspace and pleasant office culture can attract the best employees
- 19:30 – One of Elizabeth’s customers at BMC Software said, “The workspace is the only tangible example of how leadership values the worker.”
- 20:15 – The first significant push for growth that iOffice took was establishing an enterprise relationship with Ricoh
- 21:15 – The second major push for growth involved investing heavily in iOffice’s marketing platform and engaging HubSpot for an inbound program. “We really were an alternative that people were excited to hear about … Particularly for companies that were on the move and growing.”
- 22:45 – Growing companies don’t want to invest in a workspace solution that is big, cumbersome, full of complex systems and costs a fortune. They want flexibility, agility, SaaS and mobile tools.
- 23:10 – In the past year, iOffice has expanded its business development team by engaging more channel partners who also want to offer their clients something new, engaging and more user-friendly
- 24:50 – How are marketing and sales working together?
- Both departments meet as a team and they are compensated as a group (commissions and bonuses are collective)
- 26:15 – What are the more metrics that iOffice uses throughout the process to measure success for both the marketing and the sales team?
- Conversion rate and close ratio
- 28:05 – iOffice has had 20-25% growth ever year over the past four years, and (as of July 2016) they have already grown 20% over last year
- 29:35 – The iOffice App Marketplace is a centralized platform for managing the current, traditional facility management services. They have built an open workplace management ecosystem, with iOffice at the center.
- 30:10 – For new technologies, iOffice can also act as a data source or central repository and data engine
- 30:20 – Based on the information that iOffice collects from 3rd party systems, they can translate data into automated or intelligent action. For example:
- interactive way finding in the workspace
- foot traffic and sensor data for movement and occupancy data
- improving energy efficiency by tracking occupancy and energy use data
- 34:25 – iOffice integrated a robust reporting tool
- 36:55 – iOffice takes a leadership role when integrating partners into the app marketplace. They have their own API and test out new applications internally. “We eat our own dog food.”
- 39:15 – “Our growth focus is making sure we scale with our customers, and not in spite of our customers.” They are also looking to grow internationally.
- 40:15 – To grow internationally, Elizabeth is focused on identifying the right people who know the industry
- 40:40 – The Quickfire Q&A
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Resources mentioned in this episode:
- “Wide Open Workspace” by Don Traweek & Elizabeth Dukes (affiliate link)
- “Good to Great” by Jim Collins (affiliate link)
- “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin (affiliate link)
Answers to Quickfire Q&A:
- If you could chat with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
- Tory Burch, “I went to a college program with her for a semester … she’s obviously been a very successful woman, and I’d love to catch up with her and hear about her path.”
- Name a tool, app, or website that you can’t live without and why.
- Maps and Radar, “I’m addicted to both of those.”
- Tell us something unique and interesting about you that not many may know.
- “I like to paint … Right now, landscapes.”
- What is your favorite business book and why?
- What is the top characteristic or trait that you look for in people you work with?
- “Your overall integrity: your commitment to your peers, and the team, and the company,” and having balance.
- What is something you believe, but few others agree with you?
- “I think everybody right now is a little daunted by the negativity of our country and divisiveness … and globally … but I innately believe that people are good, and I trust people.”
- What kind of dog do you have?
- A schnoodle – half schnauzer, half poodle
How to contact Elizabeth:
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