Internet of Things drives intelligent occupancy management strategies


Facilities Show details

DeskQUERY™ and space utilisation strategies will be demonstrated on stand R1510 at The Facilities Show, on June 16-18, ExCel London.


The latest revision of the acclaimed occupancy management and optimisation toolkit DeskQUERY™ will be unveiled at Facilities Show 2015.

DeskQUERY™ is a groundbreaking software solution which uses Internet of Things principles and technology to deliver the information and control FM and real estate managers need to understand, rationalise and manage their use of buildings.

By monitoring network data from devices around a building or wider estate, and referencing that against information from other intelligent building sub-systems and databases, DeskQUERYTM provides a continuous real-time analysis of how each space is being used – and how it could be better optimised.

DeskQUERY™ was developed by IT infrastructure and technology specialists Excel IT Ltd. Because it works on a company’s existing IT infrastructure it can be equally easily deployed across existing and new estate alike, with a typical roll-out taking just two weeks and requiring no expensive or intrusive hardware installation.

Excel director Barry Horgan explained: “A truly intelligent – and cost-efficient – building strategy demands the intelligent use of space; something that becomes all the more obvious when you realise that occupancy levels in the average office are typically found to be 60 percent or less.

“A lack of real-time information has always made optimisation difficult, and in many ways modern working practices – hot desking, virtual meetings, off-site working, mobile connections, flexible teams and fluid project methodologies – are only adding to the challenge.

“DeskQUERY™ leverages the Internet of Things principle to meet those challenges, focusing on the location and use of devices to provide information on the hour-by-hour utilisation of space by virtual, remote and home based users.

“The result is a unique solution which helps the manager to manage and the user to use the workspace in order to deliver a truly intelligent space strategy.”


DeskQUERY™ was launched to wide acclaim in 2012, quickly proving its worth with corporate and public sector organisations which were able for the first time to effectively rationalise their use of existing space, rule out future expansion plans or simply close surplus offices – often achieving annualised savings of millions of pounds across real estate, security, IT, energy and other streams.

Highly configurable and scalable, DeskQUERYTM has been deployed in organisations ranging from medium sized 1,000+ headcount all the way up to global portfolios with 80,000+ employees.

It was praised as ‘fantastic’ in the Excellence in Product Development category at the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Awards 2013, with the judges hailing it as an “an innovative software solution which represents a completely new approach to real estate optimisation and space management.”

They added: “This is a fantastic application allowing companies to achieve accurate real-time information on usage and occupancy efficiency in their real estate in a single, standalone, easy to use and affordable package.”

Big Data

Once installed, DeskQUERY™ tracks the connection of devices to accurately monitor usage of desks, meeting rooms and other facilities in real time, linking that usage to individual users.

Responding to the Big Data challenges of real-time monitoring, this information is made available in both its raw form and via easy-to-interpret graphical interfaces and bespoke reports which analyse it over hours, days or even years and reference it against data from other building sub-systems.

This allows managers to optimise their use of existing work areas, floors or buildings, to plan future estate requirements, or to analyse desk utilisation by department for optimised usage and accurate cost allocation. A powerful moves module can then help organisations identify and implement recommendations for change, with features including drag-and-drop move planning, floor plans with real-time names to desks, graphical displays by department, team or cost centre, and automatically generated move plans.

There is also a suite of functions designed to help workspace users to optimise and manage their own use of the workspace for improved operational efficiency. These include real-time hot desk and meeting room booking, support for desk ‘hoteling’, and a people-finding function that accurately locates individuals across the flexible workspace.