Sep 7, 2022

When Technology and Architecture Meets – The Lionakis Case

After two years of operations in the US, Flowscape crossed roads with the architectural firm that shaped the Sacramento Area. With like-mindedness in business objectives and a deep understanding of the importance of space, Lionakis has now become one of Flowscape’s most important flag-ship clients. This is the story of how architecture and technology came together to create an office space for the future.

After two years of operations in the US, Flowscape crossed roads with the architectural firm that shaped the Sacramento Area. With like-mindedness in business objectives and a deep understanding of the importance of space, Lionakis has now become one of Flowscape’s most important flag-ship clients. This is the story of how architecture and technology came together to create an office space for the future.

About the Client

Only two hours from Flowscape’s Headquarters in San Francisco lies one of the most influential architectural firms in California. Located in Sacramento, Lionakis has not only set up operations in town, but in many ways transformed the architectural backbone of the city as a whole.

It’s safe to say that for the people in Sacramento, Lionakis has been nothing short of influential. The firm was first founded by George Sellon in 1909, California’s first state architect. Cultivating a deep understanding for both the community and history of the area has always been important for Lionakis, and after working in the Sacramento area over a century, they can present the award-winning State of California Department of Motor Vehicles Headquarters, State of California Franchise Tax Board at Butterfield Way, Mira Loma High School, and the Sacramento River Water Intake Structure as some of their most well-known projects.

“For 110+ years we’ve been Designing a Better Future, creating the spaces where communities come together to learn, work, gather and heal. In today’s ever evolving and global environment, diverse teams challenge us with fresh perspectives. The result is innovative thinking and design” Laura Knauss-Docous, Principal at Lionakis

Lionakis’ main objectives center around relationships, performance, and design. Creating environments that have the power to transform communities cannot be done without strong relationships and a deep understanding of the needs of people. As a small but innovative vendor, Flowscape could see a great deal of overlap between Lionakis’ key objectives and Flowscape’s purpose as a whole.

As a small vendor from Sweden, we have learned that the relationship with the end client is the most important aspect of business. We understand that every single client matter, and we have structured our business around being co-innovators with our customers. Performance can only come from a deep understanding of the challenges our clients face, and that’s why we have one of the most innovative and easy-to-use solutions on the market today” Magnus Arildsson, CEO Flowscape Inc

During the first demo with Lionakis, it was clear that both Flowscape and Lionakis share the same view on collaboration and innovation. Lionakis’ expertise in architecture similarly created many opportunities to exchange knowledge about space design, the future of hybrid offices, environmental impacts of real estate and how to create cost effective spaces.

The challenge

Similar to many businesses in the United States, the pandemic changed the view of office work forever, and Lionakis saw good potential in quickly adapting to the reality of the hybrid workplace.

Working in architecture differs from other professions in many aspects. Eight hour work shifts are uncommon, instead, how, when, and where you work highly depends on the project at hand. Busy schedules one week can easily be followed by low intensity the other. Hybrid working has in many ways been part of the profession, and Lionakis understood quickly that improvements were needed to increase collaboration with a mobile workforce.

When Flowscape entered the picture, it was clear that the office space could be enhanced to reflect the unique opportunities given – without creating friction or unnecessary disruptions to the workflow.

“We have always been interested in the hybrid approach but lacked the tools to make it work. As an example, with more people working from home there is less need for individual workspaces. As space designers, we saw this inefficiency as a sign for change and optimization – a possibility to use the space to enhance collaboration” Matthew Onken, IT Director at Lionakis

Nevertheless, finding and selecting a smart office vendor was challenging. The surplus of options had facility heads flooded with offerings. The competition also tended to be quite similar in features, which made it challenging to differentiate them and evaluate which one had superior functionality. But after some initial searching, Lionakis crossed roads with the newly US established Flowscape.

Why Flowscape?

Flowscape was able to offer something different, giving Lionakis a deeper understanding of the ways technology can be incorporated to the workplace. The USB Desk Sensor, client centered customizations, all-in-one solution with delivered hardware and the user-friendly 3D map were some of the most important features.

Automatic Desk Check-in

The USB Desk Check-in sensor was one of the major factors that played into the final decision, and Lionakis saw great benefits of using the sensor to automate the desk booking experience.

“The USB Desk Sensor allows us to automate the booking process which has great benefits for the overall user experience. It has to be easy for employees to find and book spaces, and QR codes just add another action that the employee needs to take. The USB Desk sensors in contrast automatically check-in employees to their booked space, or release booked spaces if no one shows up so other people can use it.” Kristina Williams, Director of Design Technology at Lionakis

The USB desk sensor was one of the key innovations that made Flowscape stand out against the competition. It’s both easy to install and maintain, and only requires an available USB port on each work desk. The USB desk sensor also collects accurate usage data, which allows Lionakis to analyze the overall office usage and base future office strategy on correct user data.

Client Centric Customizations

Lionakis also saw good potential in the fact that Flowscape was one of the most future rich solutions on the market, while simultaneously having the ability to be customized after their specific needs. Flowscape can, for example, create a variety of bookable resources, everything, from parking spaces to dog spaces and lockers. Flowscape’s newly developed FlowPlanner allows employees to get an overview of their colleague’s office attendance – enabling Lionakis employees to plan their office attendance in advance and maximize collaboration.

“It was important for us to have a solution that was both feature rich and customizable, the fact that Flowscape was open to help us fulfill all of our requirements made us believe that Flowscape would be one of the best long-term partners in our new office strategy”Matthew Onken, IT Director at Lionakis

Flowscape’s extensive portfolio made Lionakis feel like they met their match. Taking part of the roadmap and future features made Lionakis feel like they could expect improvements that they could make use of in the future.

All-in-one Solution

Another great benefit is that Flowscape provides all hardware and software in one single solution. It is more common within the smart office field to only offer software, something that can unfortunately affect the customer experience negatively. Having a partner that orders all hardware needed and configure it for the office space at hand significantly reduces deployment timelines. An all-in-one solution greatly improves the system at large and the implementation process.

User-friendly 3D Map

And finally, Lionakis reported that the 3D FlowMap was one of the best on the market. One of the most important aspects of a software solution is its user friendliness, and as one of the leading architectural firms, Lionakis directly understood the value of an interactive map that actually corresponds with the real-life office environment.

The Deployment Process

One of the most important steps for any software adaptation is the deployment process. No software solution can perform better than the people using it. Even the most well designed and innovative solutions will struggle to reach its full potential without giving employees time to properly learn how to use the system, while also showing how it can be applied to further improve their current workflows.

“We are super happy with how the whole onboarding process worked. We could take our time and started early with creating our own tutorial videos for end-users. 35 people joined our training session on site, and after that they were all able to manage the system on their own. We had very few support requests, and everything just worked with all the sensors.” Matthew Onken, IT Director at Lionakis

The Future

After a successful implementation, the future looks bright. Being an architecture firm, the Flowscape motto of ‘creating spaces for people’ highly corresponds to their own visions of the spaces of tomorrow.

Together with Lionakis, Flowscape is now working on a new visitor management system that can be implemented at Lionakis’ new headquarters in the heart of Sacramento. Flowscape’s newly developed analytics portal: FlowAnalytics is also considered an important step to further understand how spaces are being used, and how new spaces can be designed with the flow of users in mind.

“In our line of work, we are constantly asked to recommend solutions just like Flowscape. Because the system has worked so smoothly for us, we are happy to recommend Flowscape to our own clients.” Kristina Williams, Director of Design Technology at Lionakis

The shift towards hybrid working has created its own sets of challenges. But Lionakis has been able to show that when change is embraced, it can create something better. Both the environmental impacts of office space and costs of real estate can be reduced, without interfering with employee’s day-to-day work. Building a future where architecture and technology meet to create the revolutionary offices of the future.

Installation Scope

  • 117 Desks
  • 117 USB Desk Sensor
  • 25 Meeting Rooms
  • 25 Room Sensors
  • 3,200 SQM

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