Smart office app aims to eliminate conference room mixups

There's a new app that tackles the problem of abandoned meeting rooms with a management platform, APIs, and analytics dashboard.

Office Workplace Conference Meeting Room Business Concept Flat

Image: ikhwan abdullah, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Workforce products company Envoy today unveiled a new product, a connected platform to unify its existing workforce products, an API so developers can build integrations into its products, and an analytics dashboard to help customers track and manage their workspaces better.

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"We're seeing a significant shift in what employees expect of their workplace," said Larry Gadea, Envoy CEO and co-founder. "Employees are accustomed to personal technology that makes their lives more efficient, and they want the same experience in the office. In other words, our homes are smart and employees increasingly feel their workplaces should be, too."

Envoy's vision for the Workplace platform may one day include desk hoteling, door access, and wayfinding products that the company plans to release in the future

"The platform is a new connected suite of workplace products designed to make the office work better for everyone," Gadea said. "As Envoy builds out the platform, it will continue to address every mundane problem around the office—finding desks, opening doors, wayfinding around an office and much more. This will help employees manage everything happening in the office from one place."

Its new product, Envoy Rooms, is a conference room reservation and check-in system that suggests available rooms, identifies when booked rooms go unused or are abandoned, and then releases them after a few minutes so other employees can rebook them. Envoy Rooms can be accessed via desktop, mobile, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or iPad.

The goal of Rooms is to free up unused conference rooms. According to Envoy nearly 40% of employees spend at least 30 minutes a day dealing with unused conference rooms and other inconveniences.

"Meeting rooms are a particular pain point," Gadea said. "For example, there is often a perception that there are never enough meeting rooms available, yet at least one in every five reserved conference rooms don't get used. People simply do not show up or bother to free up the room."

Envoy is also releasing a new mobile app, Envoy Mobile, which combines all of Envoy's capabilities in a single interface. Employees can get notifications for everything from welcoming guests using Envoy's Visitors product to picking up packages with Envoy Deliveries as well as booking meeting spaces using Envoy Rooms.

Another new function is an analytics dashboard to help customers understand how workspaces are being used. Customers will be able to see visitor frequency, package volume, and room use, as well as other data, all in one place.

The Envoy workplace platform also includes a new integration builder so developers can build private and custom plug-ins for Envoy products that link it to external applications, including Slack, Microsoft, and Aruba.

"Our goal is to create the operating system for the office," Gadea said. "A platform where all of the different technologies you use work together seamlessly. One day, we imagine a world where your office anticipates your needs before you do, freeing you up to do your best work."

According to Envoy, its products are being used in more than 13,000 locations, including at companies like Slack, Asana, Pinterest, and Warby Parker.

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