Keith Warner discusses The Regus Network Effect at WANY!

Pros and Cons Of Using Channel Partners Blog Featured Image

At the 9th Annual WANY Conference on Friday June 13th, 2014, Keith Warner – Managing Partner at Pacific Workplaces and Co-Founder of CloudVO ™, served up some sizzling details on The Network Effect and how Regus is capitalizing on it with their Businessworld program. Keith shared why Businessword is an integral part of Regus’ Marketing Strategy, and what independent providers can do to be Network Ready!

Keith Warner at WANYKeith walked us through the shift in the way enterprise workers choose to work. Previous habits included commuting to a far away company regional campus day-in and day-out. When traveling for work, meetings would rotate between regional hubs, moving from one to another, which ever was closest, even if the “closest“ hub is 45 minutes away. He stated, “What we are seeing now is a shift from regional to local.”

Now, corporations are reducing their Real Estate Footprint, not requiring employees to commute to a regional campus. Instead, giving workers the opportunity to make their own local workplace decisions, and increase productivity by ditching the long commute.

With the choice in the user’s hands, proximity, but also local flavor and community-related considerations, become more important drivers in the local workplace decision, which greatly favors local workplace providers over Regus.

Mobile enterprise workers want to meet where they are, no longer traveling to a regional hub to hold a meeting. Keith explained why users choices are different while on-the road and why standardized networks, like the one Regus offers, become more valuable for road warriors. Mostly, this is because a standardized Network provides a single point of contact to the mobile user’s corporate sponsor, such that they don’t have to deal with as many contracts, pricing, and billing approaches, as there are local providers, a nightmare for any corporations who needs a streamlined account management approach and a “no-surprise” budget management process.

Keith used the analogy of his own choice of a local coffee shop (after driving past 3 Starbucks) on his way to work every day, which he prefers for his local daily shot of caffeine over Starbucks. The good coffee, but also the friendships he has established with the owner and many of the patrons at the coffee shop, is what drove that choice. However, while traveling, Keith explained that he only goes to Starbucks to get coffee, because he knows he will get his mocha in 2 minutes, he will find a place to sit, and an Internet connection to check email. While traveling, Keith confessed he does not take a chance at an unknown local coffee shop.

The same applies to workspace users: whether they drive an extra half mile to go to the coworking place or business centers they favor every day, over say a Regus center, they will not want to take the chance to go to an unknown provider while traveling outside of their base market. Standards and the need for“No-Surprises” matter more than community considerations, while on the road.

As local providers, how do we take advantage of this transition? How do we give users the best of both words? Keith’s answer: An organized Network of Local providers, which is what the CloudTouchdown ™ value proposition is all about.

Know your competition (Regus), and work together (local providers) to overcome Regus’ largest advantage (Businessworld) was keith’s next message. Keith’s team has been mystery shopping multiple Regus locations, to do just that. The common denominator each Mystery Shopper reported was that the Regus Sales Managers are all trained to bring Businessworld and the value of Regus’ Network front and center. When analyzing the Regus Annual Report and dissecting their website, it is clear that Businessworld, and the value of their network, is prominent throughout – much more so than their full-time office space, which still represents the majority of their revenue.

One Secret Shopper even reported back, that while waiting for their tour of the space, the only visible flyer available in the lobby was a Businessworld trifold. Then while touring, even after letting the Manager know they were looking for virtual office space, the shopper was first presented with their Businessworld program. It seems the goal was to sell a virtual office plan along with a Businessworld Gold Card. Other shoppers reported back the same intel, Businessworld was front and center during the sales process.

Regus Businessworld is a membership program that gives the card holder access to the entire Regus network under preferential rates and conditions. It has a strong marketing appeal, even with purely local users, who may never actually use the card (but think they will!).

What can local providers do about this? Keith’s response: Be Network-Ready! On the technology side, be network-ready, by selecting a technology partner that uses open API to support you with real time meeting room reservation systems, preferably an approved partner whose platform can communicate with CloudVO.  On the marketing side, be network-ready by promoting yourself as part of a global network, and making your center an option for enterprise users and highly mobile workers, while not losing control, but retaining your autonomy as a local workspace provider.

CloudTouchdown is a network of nearly 1,000 local providers, offering CloudTouchdown Passes under its local partner’s brand, and a credible competitor of the Regus Businessworld cards.

CloudTouchdown collateral, co-branded flyers, are available free-of-charge, making it easy to show your clients and prospects that you are a local provider with a global reach!

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 CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.

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!

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.

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

State of CA Gives Formal Blessing on Virtual Office for Solo Attorneys

California Virtual Law Offices

The CA State Bar has weighed in on licensed solo practitioners wishing to establish a Virtual Law Office also referred to as: digital law, online law, eLawyering and Law Firm 2.0. VLO, as a term, in general refers to “the delivery of and payment for legal services exclusively or nearly exclusively through the law firms portal on a website.”

We received a copy of the CA State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct’s findings on this issue.  Very interesting!

The Committee’s findings included the following discussion:

“As a result of ever increasing innovations in technology, the world has moved significantly toward internet communications – through email, chats, blogs, social networking sites and message boards.  The legal services industry has not been untouched by they innovations and the use of technology, including the internet, is becoming more common and even necessary, in the provision of legal services.  Consistent with this trend, and with the benefits of convenience, flexibility, and cost reduction, the provision of legal services via a VLO has started to emerge as an increasingly viable vehicle in which to deliver accessible and affordable legal services to the general public.“ Formal Opinion No. 2012-184

For those in the workspace industry in California, this is great news to further enhance our already fantastic relationship with those businesses that provide legal services.  In fact, we have seen recently the introduction of attorney-specific workplaces that provide cubicles for attorneys rather than the traditional corner window office, many of us imagine this subset of clientele requires.   As workspace providers, we need to stay current with the technology options that will make us even better partners with VLO attorneys and think of ways we can use new initiatives like this to build our Virtual Office business.

We have seen other states recently, Virginia comes to mind, that have found that the attorneys must practice in an office setting.  I suspect there are others as well that prefer to mandate a more traditional approach, but it will be interesting to see if the ‘benefits of convenience, flexibility and cost reduction’ that CA recognizes, doesn’t draw other states to the same conclusion; that embracing technology rather than the ‘old ways’ will ultimately provide a better consumer experience for those needing legal counsel. Check out our Resource Center for more data-driven content for flexible workspace operators, one chewable data-bite at a time.

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 CloudTouchdown network that grants preferential access to day offices and meeting rooms at nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.

It’s Earth Day Everyday In The Workspace-as-a-Service Industry

Earth Day | CloudVO

Yesterday was Earth Day 2014. This was a good day for each of us to spend a few minutes taking stock of the role we play in protecting the earth and its resources.  Or, in some cases, recognizing that we are not paying enough attention to being good stewards of our precious planet.  There is always room for improvement, but we have some good news for our Workspace-as-a-Service colleagues.

Continue reading “It’s Earth Day Everyday In The Workspace-as-a-Service Industry”

Is it a Strategic Mistake for Flexible Office Centers to provide a Coworking Offering?

Officeless Office and beginning of Coworking

This answer may surprise many of you. I have been an enthusiastic observer of coworking ever since ‘The Work Club’ started in Emeryville, CA, in 2004. I believe that all players in the Workspace-as-a-Service arena will eventually converge to offer a menu of choices ranging from private offices and professional meeting rooms to coworking options, all under the same roof. Walking the walk, as CEO of Pacific Workplaces, I drove our own experimentation with coworking 3 years ago.

So am I disavowing my own coworking strategy while at the helm of Pacific?

Continue reading “Is it a Strategic Mistake for Flexible Office Centers to provide a Coworking Offering?”

The Rise of the Non-Dedicated Subscription-Based Revenue Model

Non-Dedicated Subscription-Based Revenue ModelAs the U.S. economy slowly pulls out of one of the worst recessions in history, we are beginning to gather information from our partner centers about the collateral damage and what the recovery looks like to them.

What has changed since 2008?  Is your mix of product line and service revenue the same now as it was before the downturn?  What helped you survive during the last five years, and what do you think will ensure you thrive in the next five?

Continue reading “The Rise of the Non-Dedicated Subscription-Based Revenue Model”