Say goodbye to boring workplaces, repetitive meetings and the search for colleagues. “Mapiq helps businesses to create an office where employees actually want to be”, says Sanders Schutte, CEO of Mapiq. “We’ve doubled in customers and earnings last year. Achieving that will be our goal again this year.” Sander, how would you describe Mapiq in [...]

Say goodbye to boring workplaces, repetitive meetings and the search for colleagues. “Mapiq helps businesses to create an office where employees actually want to be”, says Sanders Schutte, CEO of Mapiq. “We’ve doubled in customers and earnings last year. Achieving that will be our goal again this year.”

Sander, how would you describe Mapiq in one tweet?

“Mapiq helps people to work smarter and use office space more efficient.”


Where does the name come from?

“You pronounce it like ‘ma-pic’, which comes from: epic. Mapiq teaches the user lots of things about the workplace, using an intelligent 3D map, which indicates where free work and meeting places are. It also shows locations of colleagues or free lockers. Besides, it’s possible to control the brightness of light and the temperature in the workplace. The ‘iq’ side op Mapiq comes from IQ and obviously refers to the smart software.”


Which problems do you solve with Mapiq?

“Mapiq is the solution to the question: ‘How can I get the most out of my office space?’ Currently, lots of companies make a transition to flexible working. Employees still have to get used to that because they might have to share their workplace, search for colleagues or make reservations for a meeting place in time. Mapiq provides direction and insight. In a James Bond kind of style, the office is presented in 3D. This way, you can exactly and in real time see where your colleagues are and where meeting and call space is available. We’re solving the housing problem – we’re helping to prevent vacancy. “

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What do you tell people who say: ‘We’ve got software enough, why would we use Mapiq as well?’

“I would tell decision-makers, the office is THE meeting location of the future. In the war of talent, businesses can distinguish themselves with the workplace they offer. For employees, it is a way to participate efficiently in the team. Time is saved. Currently, housing decisions are partly based on complaints or unreliable manual measurements. With Mapiq, we make sure you can make those decisions bases on reliable data.”


What about the user privacy?

“They can make their own decisions about how to use Mapiq. It works with opt-in-we facilitate. We don’t want to force anything, it’s up to management and communication to make sure everyone’ss eager to choose Mapiq.”


What’s you background? What is your work history?

“I’m a mechanical engineer, promoted in biomedical engineering. Meanwhile, Mapiq already exists for five years. It’s derived from indoor wifi technology, which we developed and entered the market with. The Edge on the Zuidas is our first major business project. For four years already, employees of Deloitte have been using Mapiq. Gradually, the functionalities are extended. Now, we’re developing a feature which will be able to think along and forecast. Which means Mapiq could give advice, for example: ‘Today it might be better to sit at workplace X instead of Y.”


Why did you start doing this? What’s your personal affection with this subject?

“I find people’s wellbeing important. The changing role of the office, I find it fascinating. It shifts from being a place to work from nine to five to a place to be. You meet each other in an inspiring environment to accomplish beautiful things – where everything works optimally. My drive is to make everyone feel at home, in means of facility, building management but also HR.”


When did you know it was viable?

“Many organizations struggle with efficient housing and many employees find the transition to flexible working hard. That’s where an opportunity opens up: making buildings more efficient and, at the same time, more attractive. Organizations have this subject high on the agenda. We knew it was viable when customers were knocking on our door. That strengthens our belief about real cost reductions for businesses, which are personnel costs. When employees arrive happily at the office, find everything and effectively use the available space, big profits can be made.”


What was the biggest challenge when developing Mapiq?

“The biggest challenge is being part of a whole new playfield. Real estate, facility management, IT and HR are all fields of customers, Mapiq has some things in common with. Sometimes it’s a challenge to talk to thethe right people.”


Do you have competition?

“I mainly see competition per ‘pillar’: parking, workplaces, entry accessibility, audiovisual tools, room reservations. But nothing like the total concept Mapiq offers. For all these pillars, we put it all together to cover ‘the office’ as a whole. So yes: competition comes from every pillar with their point solution, but in broader approach, we’re unique. 12CU is an example of such a point solution, they focus on measuring possessions.”


What’s, according to you, the distinguishing character of Mapiq?

“Working for the needs of the end user with user-friendly apps and 3D maps. We’re also working based on the ecosystem model: it’s impossible to do everything alone. In a smart building, suppliers work together to bring to life the best total concept for their customers. Here, you can think about the integration of smart furniture, building management systems, wifi networks and room reservation systems.”


How are you going to turn that sector upside down with Mapiq?

“By really focusing on the needs of our end user in a world that is not yet paying attention to that. Eventually, buildings will become responsive, they adjust to the needs of the end user. Contact with the end user is essential for this.”


Which partners are you working together with?

“We’re consciously looking for collaboration, especially A-partners in the smart building sector. That’s how we’re working with OVG Real Estate. They’re already integrating our solutions in their buildings. We also use the knowledge and skills of Philips, they offer a localization system to control lights and hardware. That’s where we try to find the connection. Ahrend offers smart furniture that shows if anyone is using it. That, of course, is also interesting.”


Technically, how does Mapiq works? ‘How does it become so smart’?

“Nowadays, buildings are complex systems. Almost every part of the building is separately developed, which makes the systems function independently of each other. To keep an overview of final efficiency and savings, the different systems must be connected to each other and become integrated. That’s exactly what Mapiq does. At the front end, it’s an interface where all data are clearly presented to the user. At the back end, existing and new systems are connected. Only then, an office building is really future proof.”


Who are your customers? And why could Mapiq be interesting for marketers?

“Our customers are organizations with a vast amount of real estate: universities, corporates, local governments. Next to Deloitte, we’re also working for TU Delft, the Haarlem municipality, Unilever, Heineken, PwC, Engie and Microsoft. The number of Mapiq users in the workplace is currently close to ten thousand. Marketers who are focusing on collaborating in the office environment, can follow us to keep posted on the latest trends in the modern office.”


What’s the most extraordinary user experience you’ve heard from till now?

“Recently, an astonishing reaction came from someone of the works council: actually, without Mapiq, it’s irresponsible to administer flexible working.”


What is your earning model?

“Mapiq is software-as-a-services (SaaS). Customers pay per building. We offer help by making the calculation. Businesses often have long-term rental contracts and a workplace in a standard office costs ten thousand euros a year, rent, cleaning, pc and furniture included. A customer who wants to start flex working with Mapiq has to find the sweet spot. How much can you reduce in square meters before employees start to get annoyed? The average Mapiq earn-back period takes place within months.”


What does the Mapiq-team look like?

“Mapiq owes its success mainly to the Mapiq-team. A team of developers, interaction designers, people who lead the implementation projects, marketing, sales, finance; everyday, everyione works with great enthusiasm and passion on the development of even better products. Among other things, this resulted in Mapiq turning into FD Gazelle by the end of 2017!”


What’s on the agenda in the nearby future?

“In this decade, offices will get smarter and more aware of the needs of their users. For us, it’s totally clear that the key to success is in exploring new ways to start collaborations with businesses who want to collaborate to truly realize the potential of smart buildings.”


 When are you satisfied?

“When we’re helping the majority of the Fortune 500 with their housing.”

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*) Mapic competed in the Accenture Innovation Awards 2017 and successfully participated in the Corporate Innovation Challenge organized by ISS and Accenture.

**) Read this article in Dutch on Emerce