Deskworks Awarded Patent for its Workspace Software
Deskworks founder and CEO Barbara Sprenger was recently awarded a patent for her proprietary coworking software.
In the works since 2014, the patent is for the Deskworks comprehensive system, which includes monitoring and assessing usage for users from various means, comparing to what’s included in their plans, and auto-billing according to those plans.
“I’m so excited to have been awarded this patent,” says Sprenger, who explains that the patent is for the “tying together and automating of all the pieces of running your coworking center.”
Deskworks connects member information, plans and products, members’ usage, varying price lists and member and customer billing. The patent is for the automation software that consolidates multiple sources of information about how someone is using a workspace through to payment.
“The patent is about tracking who is in the space and on wifi; tracking reservations to see which areas of the space people are in; tracking movement through motion-sensing access systems; and tying that into a comparator,” says Sprenger. “We’re tracking multiple sources of information to analyze and develop usage from members, and tying that to their plans and pricing to automatically generate billing which goes straight through to credit card processing.”
Comprehensive Coworking Software
Sprenger explains that what sets Deskworks apart from other coworking software platforms is that nobody is doing it this comprehensively. Having a comprehensive system is important because no single channel of information gives you everything you need to know to operate a workspace.
For instance, network (wifi) check-in lets you know someone is in your space, but it doesn’t tell you exactly where in the space they are; a reservation tells you someone committed to a particular room or area within your space, but you don’t know if they’ve overstayed or showed up early; RFID tells you if someone has scanned into a room, but not if someone has scanned out without actually leaving; motion sensing lets you know a room is still occupied, but not who’s in it.
“If you truly want to know what your utilization is,” Sprenger explains, “you need to integrate all of these.”
Coworking Software for a Maturing Workspace Industry
The Deskworks patent is another sign that coworking—and the workspace industry—is maturing.
“Our industry is growing up,” says Sprenger. “We are an industry that is on a very tight budget, and we also have a lot of different requirements for different people. Some spaces are home to freelancers on a limited monthly budget; some are home to telecommuters who are only in your space a few times a week; and some cater to teams—some of them full-time, some on a drop-in basis. If you are not automatically tracking this stuff, you’re not capturing the revueue you need to capture to stay in business.”
She adds, “You’ve got to make it easy to offer lots of different plans to meet lots of different needs and this type of automation makes that possible and simple.”
Powering Sustainable, Profitable Coworking Spaces
The vision for Deskworks, since its creation as a tool for Sprenger to run her own seven Satellite Workplaces, is to make workspace management easy so you can run a profitable, sustainable space.
“We’ve designed Deskworks so you can build your community and not have to worry about the tech in the background,” Sprenger says. “We know that the people who start and run coworking spaces want to be the pub owners—they want to be polishing the bar and chatting with people and making connections. You want your operations to be seamless so you can do that fun part. That’s what we want to help people do.”