As the value of long-term assets depreciate and rental yields peak, asset owners focus on reducing operating costs

May Khizam, co-founder, SMARTInvest Real Estate by The Grid Media Ltd interviewed James Nicholson, Strategy Director, Towa Technologies Holdings Limited about the TOWA network that enables peers to connect in order to manage and maintain properties.

How would you best describe the solution that the TOWA portal offers asset owners?
It is a property and community management portal to streamline the management of commercial or residential units for asset owners reducing building management and maintenance costs and facilitating and streamlining transactions through the application of blockchain technologies.

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Everything has to be one window otherwise information is lost

May Khizam, co-founder, SMARTInvest Real Estate by The Grid interviewed Harri Majala, CEO, GBuilder about the ‘digital twin’ platform that is taking homebuyers on a new digital customer journey. Based in Finland, GBuilder is BIM-based web and mobile platform with 3D/VR/AR models that simplifies the communication around buying an off-plan apartment or house for both the builder and buyer.

This platform has evolved out of a family business in construction with yourself at the helm as the next gen developing and integrating technology into an industry that has been slow to transform itself digitally.
Indeed, ‘why fix it if it’s not broken’ is a difficult mindset to challenge but we have done just that by combining digitalization, CAD, project management and visualization. We had the vision. Technology is now playing catch up.

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“If an organization is not ready for the change, or sold technology that is an overkill, they run into trouble”

The Grid: We know that new technological innovation can be extremely well-received by consumers or just as equally rejected. As a Mobile App Publisher and Digital solutions provider, how do you educate SME clients, who want to implement technological change so they can remain competitive and ultimately delight their customer base?

NgageU: Firstly, we try to make them aware of the difference between ‘automation’, where business processes are optimised by reducing human intervention versus ‘digitization’, where the same processes are optimised by reducing the amount of paper used.

From there, we talk to them about ‘digital automation’, which is a combination of both. Technological change doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel and starting from scratch.

Whatever the solution, simplifying business processes to enhance the customer experience is the priority. We keep that at the core of all discussions and make sure the client is not blindsided or bedazzled by the technology.

The Grid: And how do you make sure of that? (more…)

“The future is governed by large corporates that are looking to innovate with digital experiences”

The Grid: How can fintech businesses, particularly in the payment space, engage better with large corporates in a way that is mutually beneficial?

Moussa Beidas: Bank led initiatives haven’t worked so well. We believe the future is governed by large corporates that are looking to innovate with digital experiences. Take Starbucks, for example. It has a mobile wallet solution that allows customers to pre order beverages, avoid queues and earn rewards in the US. Starbucks can do this because they own the entire customer experience and can leverage how to utilize it.

And because they see the value, customers are doing what is counter intuitive in many ways, i.e. pre loading money rather than paying afterwards like they may have done for decades before.

We believe in our region that a lot of large corporates and even system integrators or middlemen are poised to have a similarly profound impact in the next five years in defining how the related landscape emerges. As they say, “Data is the new oil” and we are heavily invested in making sure that the white-labeled product we provide is targeted to large corporates so that they get data and can use it to optimize their offering.

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