A CHANGING SOCIETY
AN END TO ROOM RESERVATION NIGHTMARES
It is the classic workplace problem: a manager has booked a meeting room for a team talk, but just as he and his co-workers are about to open the door, they notice that the room is already taken. “What happens next is a lot of toing and froing in the corridors because not even the boss has mobile access to the company’s internal reservation system. More often than not, the meeting does go ahead, albeit beside the coffee machine.” Roger Meier, Managing Director of Setza, therefore set out on a search “for an extremely simple technical solution” to the problem. The result is ROOMZ, a digital reservation system which displays the complete booking status of a given meeting room on a screen outside the shared space (see photograph). ROOMZ is also the first system of its kind in Switzerland that is completely wireless. As Meier explains: “All you have to do is stick the screen on to a surface, activate the wifi and then connect it to your company’s reservation system. A dozen or so meeting rooms can be fitted out with the product in only a matter of hours.” ROOMZ earned Setza a place on the shortlist for the 2016-2017 Canton of Fribourg Innovation Award.
Sensor tech for smart facility management
“One of the most pressing problems facing the real estate and facility management sectors today is the efficient and effective management of space”, explains Roger Meier, Managing Director of Setza. “The rise of flexible working in Switzerland means that average desk occupancy rates are no more than 40%. There is a huge optimization potential here, and new technologies are the perfect means to achieve it.” Although its target customers are primarily large private companies, the Fribourg start-up has also set its sights on large educational institutions. “We’re currently involved in several projects, the most ambitious of which is at the ETHZ, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.” The ROOMZ system will be installed in a section of the ETHZ campus, enabling students to make use of unoccupied seminar rooms. Roger Meier also encourages his corporate clients to take the same approach and “let employees, particularly those who work in an open-plan office, to use empty meeting rooms to make phone calls, for example.” Setza has gone on to develop an extension to ROOMZ, which will further diversify the use of shared spaces: “It involves installing a series of sensors that make it possible to analyze the effective occupancy rate of these rooms. Facility managers then can start crunching the wealth of data generated by the system.”