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Estates Review | 28 August 2006

Translate Localisation into Globalisation.

With investors and managers looking further a field and corporate occupiers consolidating their global portfolios the need for global property software solutions becomes even more important.  But what do we mean by a “global” software solution?  This can stand for many things for many people.  Often the requirement is for reporting with the need for a global consolidation of management reports.  These generally consist of Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] tracking your portfolio’s performance, the exposure to risk and the general strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio.  These KPI’s will drive management decisions and create a greater visibility of your portfolio’s performance.  While all these reports are crucial, they should not be the only element of focus.  The data that drives this reporting environment comes from the local operations.  Their focus will be ability to deal with local languages, local laws, multi currency environments and local support.

As a result, it is down to the software house to ‘translate localisation into globalisation’.   There is some cross over in local and global requirements, but support and usage of the software are fundamental.

The usage of the software has to be intuitive and ‘easy to use’. While keeping a global environment in place, individual users require local setups in which to ensure that all local issues are covered.  Translation of views and reports potentially will be required and also a localised version of the global system.  This often is achieved through ‘home pages’ in which a simplistic tailoring device is used by the user to only see what is relevant to them.  Global users will have the same issues as the local users and there is no difference in the setup of this.  Again ‘home pages’ are the answer for using their system anytime and any place including the use of personal computers.  This is why a software solution must be 100% web developed to be successful.  Being web developed means that the software should be very familiar to the user but also can be used from any internet connection providing real portability.

All software and users require support and in a global environment this must be available 24/7.  To achieve this, many software houses employ local support partners or open up local offices.  This is known as the ‘follow the sun’ approach.  This approach is often not effective as calls are passed on to four different helpdesks each having to re-establish the reason for the call.  There is no continuity as no one owns the issue.  Fraser Williams believe that there should be a ‘global’ helpdesk which is open 24 hours a day with a centralised support database tracking all calls.  The global helpdesk can monitor the performance and also highlight if the issue is not actually a local issue but one that can affect the global user base.  If this level of support is not available then there is a potential for chaos with each operation having ‘silos’ of information and support which is why the client purchase a global software package to stop this from happening.

Once the system is in operation there are other factors to consider:

  • Knowledge transfer from one continent to another
  • Cross fertilisation of locals ideas into the global environment
  • Ability for the software house to adapt to changing market conditions
  • Confidence in your software

The management of these key factors are crucial for the ongoing success of the implementation and requires a centralised management structure with local expertise to achieve this.

For more info visit Qube Global Software at PCS Expo, call 0207 977 9300 or email horizon@qubeglobal.com

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Posted by James Lavery
+44 (0)1529 413131.

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