Are Coworking Operators Like WeWork a Threat or an Ally for Commercial Landlords?

A recent blog post published in Finance & Commerce entitled “Landlords, rivals push back against WeWork” expresses concerns from some landlords and their brokers that WeWork is stepping on their turf.

The article is interesting, and I thought it would be worthwhile for me to highlight some partial agreement with the author’s analysis, while sharing some divergent and expanded views as well on the evolving nature of Landlord/Operator relationships.

WeWork Window Sign San Francisco 201 Spear Street

  1. A new $42 bln valuation for WeWork.
    This is the highest number I have come across so far and a mind-blowing reflection of WeWork’s disruptive nature, as seen by WeWork’s investors. We could be a bit skeptical of that number until we can review the (private) agreement for the last capital infusion by SoftBank. Restrictions and conditions applied to WeWork on capital repayments, conversion options, and other features in the deal may considerably lower any nominal valuation. But no matter the exact number, that valuation remains gigantic, and way out of range of the multiples experienced by publicly traded companies in the sector. Clearly SoftBank is comfortable with the progress made by the company as they keep on funding. Clearly WeWork, and by extension, the entire coworking industry, is perceived as a disruptive force in the traditional commercial real estate world.

2.   Landlords’ Attitude is changing.
“More than a dozen real estate and banking executives interviewed by Bloomberg expressed misgivings about working with the start-up,” says the Finance & Commerce article – well, maybe, but let’s not forget that for one dozen skeptics, you have several dozens of landlords who are raising their hands to attract WeWork in their buildings, even though WeWork has, in many cases, replaced the fat Letters of Credit or Security deposits of the past with meaningless guarantees for the first 6 months or 12 months of rent. It’s not difficult to guarantee the first year of rent… when 9+ months of it is free! If landlords’ attitudes have changed, it is that WeWork, and the entire coworking industry, is being more actively sought after by landlords throughout the country than it ever has. A dozen skeptics won’t stop this powerful wave.

3. Reduced Collateral in Leases.
We can also point out that the considerable drop in security collateral experienced by landlords with coworking players in the last few years does not put their project necessarily in a more fragile financial situation. The best collateral of a coworking operation is the operation itself, with hundreds of members sending recurring payments every month which won’t disappear, because their business identity is tied to that location. There is more than meets the eye than an apparent threat to the financial stability of these collateral-less transactions.

Lease Agreement CloudVO Blog WeWork and Landlords

4.   Debunking the myth of Corporate Guarantees.
Corporate guarantees can be very dangerous for landlords by giving a sense of false security. They were the reason why Regus filed for Chapter 11 in 2002, by creating a domino effect due to growth that was too aggressive in the Western US during the dot-com boom of the late nineties. The majority of their assets were performing well, but a series of imprudent leases, with corporate guarantees, at the peak of the market created a domino effect that affected all landlords. Under Chapter 11, Regus could attempt to restructure all of their leases, including with well performing locations. That did not help the Regus landlords in any way, corporate guarantee in hand or not. What saved them were other flexible space operators taking over the locations vacated by Regus.

That is how Pacific Workplaces (Pac) experienced its initial growth 15 years ago, by taking over a former Regus franchise location in Walnut Creek, California when they failed on their rent obligations. The Landlord in the end did not need the collateral, corporate guarantees, or personal guarantees that Pac would not offer (at the time Pac had only 2 existing locations). They cared that a knowledgeable operator would optimize the operation and pay market rent. That approach served them well. Two lease renewals and two lease expansions later, Pacific Workplaces Walnut Creek has never failed on its rent obligation, has become the largest tenant in the building, all to the delight of happy asset managers!

CloudVO Sister Company Pacific Workplaces Walnut Creek new coworking space and lounge

Formerly a Regus/HQ, Pacific Workplaces acquired its location in Walnut Creek, CA in 2004.  The location just completed a successful space refresh and offers all shared workspace options including coworking memberships, virtual office plans, private offices, and meeting rooms.

 

  1. Disruption of the tenant-landlord-broker relationships.
    “It’s more about disrupting the relationship of tenants to landlord, of tenants to brokers, of brokers to landlords,” writes the author in the Finance & Commerce article. There is much truth in that statement. WeWork is understandably in the spotlight, but the entire coworking industry is a threat to brokers in that it dis-intermediates the function of a broker for small space requirements, an increasingly large section of the market. The demand is meeting the supply online. For example, 85% of the leads of Pacific Workplaces, a California-based coworking operator with 18 locations, come from online channels, and only 1% come from traditional brokers. Online leads can originate from the operator’s own digital marketing efforts and from resellers and marketplace providers like CloudVO or Liquidspace, who are successful disrupting the role of traditional brokers, in part due to the more transparent nature of their online transactions, a refreshing approach, in contrast to the chronic opacity of traditional commercial real estate transactions. On the Enterprise segment of the market, companies with a large network of locations like Regus, WeWork or CloudVO have their own corporate account infrastructure that relies a lot less on traditional brokers and feeds off of what was once the brokerage word reserved territory.

6.  WeWork and Coworking Operators a threat to Landlords?
That is what the author of the Finance & Commerce piece argues. I think the truth is more subtle than laid out in that article. First, as a buyer of commercial buildings, it seems to me that WeWork is a beneficial player for the owners of assets they purchase, in that WeWork was the highest bidder. Otherwise the owner would presumably not have sold. Second, the trends towards mobility, the consumerization of the workplace, the continued decrease in corporate footprint per employee, are all threats to landlords in that the need for traditional commercial space is shrinking. Coworking and other forms of flexible office spaces are enabling these trends, but the threat to landlord is the trend, not the flexible office space operators. In fact, Coworking operators are natural partners for landlords to take advantage of that new secular trend. Managing coworking spaces is an entirely different profession than property management. Just as hotel landlords bring in franchise operators to manage the hotel (and don’t try to do it themselves), commercial office landlords need professional coworking operators to manage that new exploding demand.

Written by  Laurent Dhollande, CEO of CloudVO and Pacific Workplaces


About CloudVO

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms in 700 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Don’t Leave Your Clients Out In The Cold

Don’t leave your clients out in the cold. That’s what Virtual Offices are for!

Keith’s short video is not just hilarious; it gives a true sense for at least a couple of the key value drivers that plead in favor of virtual offices:

1) Convenience – Your home office may not be out in the snow like Keith’s, but chances are it’s not a convenient place to have a business meeting. Alternatives like meeting at Starbucks have limits, WRT privacy, amenities, or lack therefore. CloudVO features over 600 Virtual Office locations worldwide with multiple professional meeting rooms, part-time offices, and touchdown spaces in each center.

2) Brand & Image – Not all business transactions can be done online. People often want to know who they are dealing with. Meeting in a professional space will often inspire more confidence. At the minimum, it is more likely to support a productive meeting (for example with reliable Internet connection and projection tools). The concept of image here is not about “pretending” you have a big shot office in a nice building, this is about being efficient and effective. A productive meeting that you host will reflect positively on your brand, personal or corporate, which is related to, but goes way deeper than a superficial view of “image”. A virtual office provides this opportunity at a fraction of the cost of a full-time office in the same building.

3) Better Customer Service – If your virtual office plan includes the use of live phone answering service, you will ensure that your customer calls will always been promptly answered and that you will be less likely to miss an important prospect call if you are not able to answer the call directly. While a call is patched to you, you also have time to mentally prepare yourself, collect your thoughts, and make the caller feel he or she is your most important customer.

4) Low Cost – A virtual office is the most cost-efficient way to establish a strong local business identity at a fraction of the cost of a full-time office – even in a shared office space. Anywhere between 5-20% of the cost of a dedicated office, in our experience, depending upon the level of service you need.

The Cloud Office plans by CloudVO are designed to establish a strong local business identity, with a local phone number, live answering services, and 16 hours/month of free access to day offices and meeting rooms at many of its 600 locations. Their cost is typically in the $250 to $350 per month range, but Virtual Office plans can start as low as $50 with basic use of a building address and mail services; although most mail services would be in the $69 to $99 range.


About CloudVO ™

CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 600 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

CloudVO highlights price advantage vs Regus while releasing new CloudVO portal for Workspace Providers

Press Release | For Immediate Release

CloudVO, the San Francisco-based online provider of virtual office space and meeting rooms that has set the agenda in the Workplace-as-a-Service ™ space since its inception in 2010, formally unveiled its new CloudVO portal, via a free webinar designed to help shared office space providers optimize their meeting room, coworking, and virtual office business in the fast growing on-demand office space market.

The webinar released a detailed pricing analysis of more than 3,000 meeting rooms in the U.S., showing that hosting a professional meeting at a typical CloudVO meeting room can be 50% less expensive than doing so at an equivalent Regus location. Cloud Meeting Rooms’ bookings can be made online at close to 500 selected locations.

Slide1

CloudVO’s CEO Laurent Dhollande commented: “I expect this gap to slowly narrow over time as Regus feels the competitive pressure from CloudVO’s locations and as our local partners gain pricing power due to the success of their approach in the market place, but that price difference today is substantial. When considering that hotel meeting rooms are even more expensive than Regus’, companies that use our infrastructure for off-site meetings of 25 people or less love it and come back.”

The demand for coworking, virtual office, and on-demand meeting room space has exploded the last few years due to the emergence of the freelance economy, mobility, and the consumerization of the workspace. Freelancers and companies of all sizes purchase virtual offices to establish business identity at CloudVO locations and use coworking spaces, day offices, and meeting rooms to conduct off-site business in greater numbers than ever before.

The new portal is designed for serviced office space providers and coworking operators to integrate their virtual office, coworking, and meeting room services into the CloudVO service offering.

CloudVO typically resells local virtual offices and meeting rooms at the same price as its local partners on CloudVirtualOffice.com and CloudMeetingRooms.com, but can augment their offering with its own centralized services, including live phone answering, unified messaging, live chat, concierge services, call center, and support services. CloudVO also provides CloudTouchdown subscription cards to end-users with network-wide access to a growing network of close to 500 independent providers worldwide.

To its workspace provider partners, CloudVO offers expanded marketing opportunities, rigorous screening, fraud watch capabilities, and preferential benefits to their members. CloudVO also provides phone answering services to its local partners on an outsourced basis via its CloudAnswering division.

To end-users CloudVO provides on-demand access to virtual offices, meeting rooms, and coworking spaces available on a pay-per-use basis or on a subscription model, a label of quality, standardization of service offerings, and a professional service delivery throughout its network.

About CloudVO ™
CloudVO is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in San Francisco, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office, coworking and meeting room solutions to professionals under a Workplace-as-a-Service ™ model. CloudVO operates the CloudMeetingRooms.com and CloudVirtualOffice.com e-commerce sites and grants preferential access to day offices, coworking space, and professional meeting rooms at close to 500 locations worldwide for distributed workers on a subscription or a pay-per-use basis.

Significance of Jamie Russo’s Appointment as Leader of GWA

Jamie Russo, better than anyone, can build an Association that is commensurate with the growing importance our industry represents.

Image of Jamie Russo, newly appointed GWA President
Jame Russo

Last week, the Global Workspace Association (GWA) appointed Jamie Russo as its new Executive Director. This marks a tipping point for our Workspace-as-a-Service trade association for 5 main reasons.

Continue reading “Significance of Jamie Russo’s Appointment as Leader of GWA”

How Coworking Will Save Corporate America

In CoreNet Global’s own words (and mine)

On the flight back home from an inspiring GWA conference1 in Denver last week, I read an article by CoreNetGlobal2 which reported on various research projects that revealed a profound change of mindset by Corporate Real Estate leaders, with the concept of “coworking3” in the middle of it all.
corenet-gwa-fusion
That’s when I realized that the GWA and CoreNetGlobal conversations, which until recently were taking place in parallel universes, are now on a course to unavoidable nuclear fusion.

Here is what CoreNetGlobal is saying in a recent issue of “The Leader”:

  • The average life of an S&P500 company has dropped from 60 years in 1960 to under 15 years in 2014.
  • Two-hundred Fortune 500 companies are projected to disappear in the next five years.

In other words, there is more “job security” with freelancers who are able to work with multiple clients than there is with most corporate jobs. Employees at large corporations spend a significant amount of time and energy worrying about their job security and looking for their next activity, while multiple coworking surveys have shown that the vast majority of coworkers are happy with their activity and find they are more productive in a coworking environment, as reported in Denver.

More from CoreNetGlobal:

  • 70% of the [corporate] workforce would rather be any place than at their current workplace
  • 20% of employees are toxic and better off being paid staying at home. That loss of productivity is estimated to be $1.6 trillion a year

Contemplate that for a minute: one out of five employees actually dilute value?

Expect the trend towards outsourcing major segments of the workforce to resume. We heard from Chris Hood, with CBRE, last week in Denver that Hewlett-Packard has informed many of their developers that they could continue to work for HP as independent contractors, but that the company no longer wishes to keep them on the payroll (Chris is an HP alumnus, like me).

  • The organization that changes the fastest with the least disruption wins
  • When we create a process that is social and engaging, the results produce an engaging workplace

This led the CoreNetGlobal folks to conclude that a social and engaging workplace produces tangible increases in creativity (which gives a better chance for the companies to reinvent themselves) and measurable increases in productivity (which keep successful companies competitive).

Social and Engaging: that’s what coworking is all about, isn’t it?

That kind of thinking is what is driving SAP to implement their own coworking experiment in downtown Palo Alto, or Verizon to partner with Grind in multiple locations, as Benjamin Dyett and I reported on a panel in Denver.

Laurent’s panel on the secrets to fruitful partnerships also featured Benjamin Dyett (Grind), Diana Rothshild (Nextspace), Kris Eliott (Preferred Office Network), and Mark Burke (Premier)

 

Jamie Russo, Founder of Enerspace, and Bill Jacobson, a Principal at Workbar, in their “New Users” panel highlighted the diversity of users in coworking places, including remote corporate workers.

Jamie Russo GWA Panel
Jamie Russo (Enerspace) and Bill Jacobson (Workbar) were joined by Sherry Romello (Hilton) and John Carey (Regus) for an enlighting panel on New Users.
  • Over the life of a building, a company will spend 5% on design, construction and FF&E, 3% on operation, 10% on technology, and 82% of the cost on the people.

Now, think about what a 1% increase in productivity does to the bottom line versus a 1% decrease in building costs. Do the math, and you will see that the people cost are more than 4 times higher than the workplace infrastructure costs over the life of a corporate building.

That realization lead the CoreNetGlobal research group to rightfully conclude that their focus should be more on investing in a workplace environment that will improve productivity, and foster serendipity, rather than on cutting down on infrastructure support cost.

All of this leads us back to the concept of coworking … the savior of Corporate America, as we don’t know it (but will discover soon)! 🙂

Join the LinkedIN Workplace-as-a-Service ™ group for more discussions on the convergence of the GWA and CoreNetGlobal conversations.

By Laurent Dhollande, CloudVO CEO


Notes:

1: GWA stands for Global Workspace Association and is the Shared Office and Coworking Space providers Trade Association

2: CoreNetGlobal is the international organization of Corporate Real Estate Executives and Managers

3: The “term” coworking here is used in a larger context and includes all forms of shared office space that focus on building active communities, including WeWork-type of locations and Hybrid business centers with a keen focus on building active work communities.

CloudTouchdown Football Pool Disrupts Work!

The Federal Bureau of Work Statistics reported today a sudden loss of productivity throughout the Country in the hours preceding the opening of the Patriots-Steelers game that opened the NFL season on Thursday Sep 10, 2015.
Work Productivity Graph during Kickoff
This finding took CloudVO by surprise. To the contrary, we had noticed a surge of professional activity throughout our partners’ break rooms and lounges that very same day, with folks riveted to their computers, working hard at solving problems to make the world a better place, as shown in this picture taken at a CloudVO partner location Thursday afternoon.
Chase Curtis demonstrating the Football Pool
A close up of the screen shows they were busy… entering their picks to the CloudTouchdown Football pool, while getting their inspiration from 12-year aged whiskey and Michael Irvin on the NFL network!
Football Pool ScreenFootball in the Business Lounge Foorball Pool Whiskey
CloudVO sincerely apologizes to the entire country for the ding on the economy that we and the 92 participants of the CloudTouchdown football pool have caused, unknowingly.

We fully expect Steven King to precisely quantify the damage made to the U.S. economy, and we will do our very best to remedy this situation.

For complaints contact CloudTouchdown Commish Chase Curtis at 510-464-8088.


About CloudVO ™
CloudVO LogoCloudVO ™ is the umbrella brand of Cloud Officing Corp, headquartered in Palo Alto, California. CloudVO’s mission is to provide comprehensive virtual office and meeting room solutions to mobile workers and telecommuters under a Workplace-as-a-Service ™ model. CloudVO ™ operates the CloudTouchdown ™ network that grant preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at 500 locations worldwide for distributed workers under a pay-per-need model.


With WeWork’s Valuation at $10 billion, When Will The Workspace-as-a-Service Industry Reach $1 Trillion?

Is WeWork worth $10 billion? The answer is clearly yes for Fidelity Management & Research Co and other repeat investors who have invested $400 million in the company, making WeWork’s valuation roughly $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal and MorningStar.

Is WeWork worth $10 billion? The answer is clearly yes for Fidelity Management & Research Co and other repeat investors who have invested $400 million in the company, making WeWork’s valuation roughly $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal and MorningStar.

Ten billion is four times as much as Regus’ current market capitalization. When WeWork was valued at twice Regus’ just a few months ago, I wrote: “pretty impressive for a 4 year-old company that is surfing the coworking wave exceptionally well. We can only watch in awe.”

WeWork Cofounders
WeWork Cofounders, Miguel McKelvey and Adam Neumann
Now we need to look outside of the shared office industry to get a sense for the enormity of this achievement.

Ten billion is more than half the valuation of the largest publicly traded office landlord in the U.S., Boston Properties. When considering that WeWork leases 3.5 million squarefeet of office space, while Boston Properties owns 45 million square feet, it is clear that we are comparing apples and oranges, and that the main value here is not in bricks & mortar.

WeWork is not valued by its investors as a real estate firm. Rather, it is valued as a company that will disrupt traditional real estate. In the same way that Uber is not valued as a taxi company, but as a company that disrupts taxis. Or in the same way that AirBnB is not valued like a hotel, or like a simple reservation system, but as a company that disrupts the traditional lodging supply chain.

Landlords beware! Your world is changing.

The Morningstar article indicates that the WeWork valuation was about 100 times its operating income. This would suggest an operating profit of ~$100 million, or $28 per square foot per year. Most observers of the shared office space industry who have taken the trouble to reverse-engineer the WeWork operations, like myself, seriously doubt that they generate that much operating profit already.

This is why the story is even bigger than what the Wall Street Journal and Morningstar articles suggest. We believe the WeWork investors’ bet is a bet on a long-term model, with no expectation of achieving massive profitability any time soon.

WeWork Golden Gate
WeWork San Francisco – Golden Gate
We also believe that whether they will prove to be right or wrong, investors in WeWork have done their homework. Do not think, like I have heard some suggest, that this fundraising success is just the result of a good PR campaign, where naïve or lazy investors fell for smoke & mirrors. It would be way too simple.

Instead, it is the sign of a fundamental belief by these investors that the traditional office space is on a verge of a major disruption, the scale of which may even exceed what we have seen in the worlds of AirBnB and Uber and a belief that WeWork is well positioned to take advantage of this disruption.

We agree with this belief, particularly the first part of it. The disruptive value proposition of the sharing economy is real and the shared office space industry is one of the most logical and most valuable implementations of the sharing economy. This is true for coworking, as well as for other flavors of the Workspace-as-a-Service ™ industry that focus on convenience such as Virtual Offices or Proworking. Office Business Centers have a role to play in this change as well, particularly as their model evolves towards hybrid private offices and coworking space, with more focus on curating their communities.

On the other hand, we do not believe that WeWork could ever achieve a monopoly on the shared office space industry. That’s where the comparison with players in other sectors of the sharing economy ends. That’s where $10 billion represents a more significant leap of faith than we would be willing to make (even though we are believers!). Whereas Uber and Airbnb can build a credible case that “the winner takes all”, such won’t be the case in the shared office space. The barriers to entry are not that hard to overcome and users desires for spaces and types of communities will remain diverse.

WeWork is not a market place. It is a workplace provider. It only represents one of the many flavors that users want. Other providers will be successful proposing different flavors, in a large scale. Regus and now WeWork have shown the path.

In that sense, Starbucks is a better analogy to understand where WeWork may end up, if successful. Starbucks is the strongest, largest, most successful coffee shop company in the world. It is ubiquitous. But it does not have a monopoly. There are others, big and small. In the process Starbucks has helped change the way people drink coffee and it has raised the traffic to coffee shops, particularly their own. They also pushed out some of the local coffee shops that often –quite frankly- were not that great. But many local coffee shops, with good cofffe and personality, managed not only to survive but also to thrive.

WeWork Boston
WeWork Boston
We believe the same will happen to the Workspace-as-a-Service ™ industry. We believe that WeWork is only one of the several franchises that will establish their names in the industry. Meanwhile, WeWork, like Regus before them, greatly helps raise awareness of the shared office space, to the benefit of all operators, large and small. We believe investors have other ways to tap into this opportunity than to bet on a $10 billion valuation for a marginally profitable company. Other serious contenders are emerging, at less scary valuation levels and with possibly safer business models.

In the end-state, the traditional office space world will be significantly disrupted, but landlords who will ally themselves with Workspace-as-a-Service ™ operators to help evolve their space offering can take advantage of this massive change too.
Finally, we do believe that it is only a matter of time for the shared office space industry to reach a $1 trillion valuation, which is still a fraction of the entire commercial real estate space valuation. Give us a little bit more time for a prediction as to when. To be continued…

Author: Laurent Dhollande, CloudVO CEO

The Last Rush Hour (and why Google, Facebook, and Apple may become premature dinosaurs)

In the ebook, The Last Rush Hour, there is a striking analysis of the irony of seeing big Silicon Valley companies dis-intermediating time and distance, being the poster children for obsolete 20th century thinking of Centralized Corporate Offices.

In Frederick Pilot’s last book, The Last Rush Hour, available in an ebook format today, there is a striking analysis of the irony of seeing big Silicon Valley companies, which invented the technology tools that have empowered mobility, dis-intermediating time and distance, being the poster children for obsolete 20th century thinking of Centralized Corporate Offices.

Rush Hour

The mega campuses that Google, Facebook, and Apple continue to grow, with all possible amenities a worker may want, are of another age. Just more colorful, with free smoothies, free Hint mineral water, a chef, and a dry cleaner. But in the end, they are just Big Corporate Centralized Offices. They don’t eliminate commute time. In fact a few large Silicon Valley companies, like Yahoo! and HP, have actually reversed liberal telecommute policies, to get “all hands on deck.” Some say out of desperation, trying to treat symptoms rather than the deeper root cause of their problems.

This approach constrains these great companies to only access a workforce that want to live in this environment. Silicon Valley, where I write these lines, is a great place to live, but not all the best and brightest engineering minds want to live here. You’ll also find them in Florida, Michigan, India, or New Zealand too. On the other hand, many surveys have shown that most everyone is happy to work remotely, and that collaborative work does not require daily physical proximity to be effective, not to mention that work teams are increasingly cross-functional, cross-companies, and cross-geographical, which makes the concept of daily physical proximity obsolete in this century.

As a result, the San Francisco Bay Area is the 3rd most congested area in the nation and thousands of workers, and their companies, are wasting hundreds of thousand hours with unproductive commute.

Are Google, Apple, and -sadly– also Facebook on their way to becoming premature dinosaurs? Will they soon be replaced by the increasing vitality of smaller, distributed entrepreneurs, working with each other in more dynamic informal circles, often out of coworking places, a more attractive work environment, for many millennials? The future will tell. It will be interesting to watch.

http://www.lastrushhour.com

Author: Laurent Dhollande, CloudVO CEO

Download Presentations of the 1st Annual LOCAL-MOBILE Workplace-as-a-Service ™ Conference

1st Annual Local-Mobile Conference

Laurent-Dhollande-Sharing-Economy-LOCAL-MOBILE-SJ-060714-summaryDownload Laurent Dhollande’s presentation, Sharing Economy & LOCAL-MOBILE State-of-WaaS-Scott-Chambers-Summary-060714Download Scott Chambers presentation, The State of the WaaS Industry Steve-King-Coworking-by-the-Numbers-060614Download Steve King’s presentation, Coworking by the Numbers
Keith-Warner-Regus-Network-Effect-SJ-slides-060614Download Keith Warner’s presentation, Regus Businessworld & The Network Effect Andrea-Pirrotti-HappyDesk-GWA-060914Download Andrea Pirrotti’s presentation, HappyDesk Fred-Pilot-presentation-CA-Stae-Telework-SJ-060714Download Fred Pilot’s presentation, State of California Telework

On Friday June 6, 2014, CloudVO hosted the first annual LOCAL-MOBILE Workplace-as-a-Service ™ Conference in San Jose, in conjunction with the local GWA Meeting that featured Larry Sharpe in the morning of the same day. The idea of the afternoon event was for  The idea was for Landlords to join on-demand providers in a forum that would reflect on the evolution of the Workspace-as-a-Service industry, explore the workspace users’ shift from Regional to Local to Mobile, and understand how industry players are embracing new ways to respond to the growing demand for flexible workplaces.

GWA Local-Mobile Conference

The meeting exceeded expectations in so many ways. It was an occasion for members of the industry to meet with each other. It was an opportunity for folks from outside the industry, including Landlords and Enterprise Players, to get acquainted with on-demand service providers and their formidable and diverse value proposition. Our speakers captivated the audience with thought-provoking statements and analyses:

Laurent Dhollande, CloudVOLaurent Dhollande, CloudVO ™ CEO, inspired us by solidly inscribing the Workplace-as-a-Service ™ industry in the Sharing Economy, the #1 buzz in Silicon Valley. He placed local operators in the same breath as some of the sexiest Shared Economy companies in the Valley today. Laurent showed us why local providers have an advantage over large companies and why users’ criteria differ when they are MOBILE compared to when they search for a recurring LOCAL solution.

Scott Chambers, Pacific WorkplacesScott Chambers, COO of Pacific Workplaces and President-elect of the Global Workspace Association, drew an exciting picture of a $10.9 billion industry growing at 15%/year, and he shared an ambitious vision for embracing new segments of our industry that we may not have always thought of in the past.

Steve King, Emergent ResearchSteve King, Partner at Emergent Research, let Scott use his slides that confirmed Scott’s estimate of the size of the industry. Steve’s slides also showed a phenomenal growth of the coworking segment, the fastest growing large segment of the industry. Steve’s forecast of 1 million coworkers by 2018, or 5X today’s number, fueled more excitement in the audience about the opportunities available to all operators.

Keith Warner, Pacific WorkplacesKeith Warner, Managing Partner at Pacific Workplaces and Co-founder of CloudVO ™, shared amazing insights on the Network Effect by Regus, why it is such a critical value to them, and what independent providers can do about it. His anecdotes and colorful insights gained from the CloudVO ™ team’s mystery shopping of Regus were invaluable.

Andrea Pirrotti, HappyDeskAndrea Pirrotti, Chief Marketing Officer at HappyDesk, explained why this new venture was formed. This was a vibrant testimony to the multiple opportunities available for all players in the industry, operators and service providers alike. She brought to bear her unique insights as a former VP of Global Marketing at Regus, and helped us understand the importance of technology and open standards in the industry.

Fred Pilot, Work Anywhere NationFred Pilot, Co-founder of Work Anywhere Nation and former policy analyst for the State of California, gave us insights into two decades of discussions within the State of California on telework… with little results so far. Fred gave us a sense of the tremendous resistance to change within the State administration. Realizing the tremendous progress made by the Federal Government in that respect, Fred also gave us a sense that this situation could change fast with the emergence of a new generation at the helm of the state in the years to come. Meanwhile not much may change without the necessary top-down political will, but we can all be ready and help with the conversation.

Larry Sharpe, Neo-SageThe LOCAL – MOBILE conference followed a fantastic workshop organized by the GWA local San Francisco Area network, featuring Larry Sharpe, Partner at Neo-Sage, who was attended by more than half of the folks who attended the LOCAL-MOBILE afternoon session. The consensus by all participants was that Larry’s Persuasive Presentation workshop was nothing short of extraordinary, equipping the participants with new tools and philosophy to approach workspace users. Thank you, Larry for the enormous impact you had on us all!

The success of the first event is leading us to plan a repeat next year on a much grander scale. We envision this annual LOCAL-MOBILE Workplace-as-a-Service ™ conference to be a cross-roads for On-Demand Office Providers to meet; and for Investors, and Enterprise users, who share a common interest, to understand how the various forms of Workplace-as-a-Service ™ can help better achieve everyone’s objectives. We will plan on a full day event, where Operators meet Landlords, Investors and Enterprise Users, to possibly come out of these meetings with new partnerships and joint business plans. Join our Workplace-as-a-Service ™ LinkedIN Discussion Group for more data-driven discussions with our community of workspace providers, one chewable data-bite at a time.

Local Mobile NetworkingLocal Mobile Conference
CloudVO at Local-Mobile

CloudVO ™ Analysis Team

Why Regus’ announcement of their 2,000th center is phenomenal news for independent workspace providers!

Regus announced the opening of its 2,000th business center in Boulder, CO shortly after the CloudVO webinar “Dissecting Regus Businessworld.”

By Laurent Dhollande, CEO of CloudVO & The Pacific Workplaces Group

Understand Your Regus Competition

Regus announced the opening of its 2000th business “Centre” location in Boulder, Colorado in a recent press release, shortly after CloudVO hosted a webinar where we dissected Regus’ successful strategy, centered on the value of their network and emphasized by their Businessworld offering.

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