Rifiniti: Data Analytics To Power Workspace Optimization

Michael Gresty, CEO & Chairperson, Irina Mladenova, Chief Strategy Officer Today, Corporate Real Estate (CRE) is an enormous capital and operational expenditure for most enterprises, yet it remains a massively underutilized asset. As employees become more decentralized and mobile, the ground reality on workspace occupancy and utilization is growing more complex. “50 percent of the office space in the Fortune 500 today remains underutilized. You may have attendance, but utilization is an entirely different story—and that’s where the savings are,” says Michael Gresty, CEO and Chairperson, Rifiniti. In fact, large organizations in the U.S. pay over $200 billion in rent every year on office space they don’t need. Despite the proliferation of big data, digital devices, and the advent of technologies such as IoT, many CRE teams have yet to capitalize on readily available data to make smarter and more informed decisions. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Rifiniti is on a mission to transform the status quo with the power of data analytics.

"We harmonize different data sources, integrate these into our big data lake, and then apply algorithms to extract a coherent set of KPIs"

Rifiniti’s cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Optimo, leverages the company’s mastery of data science, helping companies better manage their office space by providing compelling insights into workspace utilization and employee productivity. Rifiniti monitors millions of square feet around the world every day, leveraging underutilized data to provide granular analytics on a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that enable enterprises to optimize their space utilization—be it identifying areas for consolidation and elimination, reorganizing within the existing space, or scoping new construction projects.

Creating Value through Continuous Improvement

Because real estate is typically the highest cost to any business after payroll and benefits, organizations are under pressure to manage space in a way that optimizes spend. “They need to ponder whether to renew the lease, change the amount of space they may need in the near future, and avoid leasing more than is required. Companies must also ensure the right adjacencies between different teams and business functions, all while providing the necessary amenities,” elaborates Gresty. To put it in perspective, the productivity loss of disengaged employees due to poor workplace experiences are estimated to be nearly $500 billion per year in the U.S. alone.
Rifiniti Optimo provides a practical answer to these hard-hitting questions. Optimo empowers clients with reliable and actionable data to make better real estate decisions in real time, without having to purchase new hardware or technologies to obtain data on utilization of the workspace. Leveraging existing and historical data from a range of sources such as employee access cards, lighting sensors, networks, smartphones, laptops and tablets, Rifiniti applies machine-learning algorithms to gain continuous insights into space utilization.

Rifiniti empowers clients with reliable and actionable data to make better, faster, more robust real estate decisions—in real time

Through advanced data science algorithms, Rifiniti delivers robust and scalable real-time predictive monitoring and dynamic reporting. “We provide highly accurate analytics that empower businesses to transform their office real estate into a strategic asset, rather than an Achilles heel,” highlights Gresty. Unlike other manual approaches that focus only on employee attendance (the ‘show up’ rate), Optimo takes an overarching view, building rich analytics by gleaning data from multiple data sources to deliver insights. Optimo does not store any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and encrypts all data and results, protecting both employee privacy and customer insights.

New clients receive a Digital Utilization Study (DUS), usually for a single office location, to solve a critical business issue such as scoping a lease renewal or site consolidation. Customers derive immediate, tangible benefits and measurable ROI from the DUS and then engage the company to implement the solution across other buildings in the real estate portfolio. “Customers avoid CapEx on expensive sensors or time-consuming, one-time manual bed checks as our implementation can be completed globally in weeks, and we can deliver continuous analytics year-round, enabling continuous improvement,” explains Gresty.

Aligning Workspace Optimization with Employee Productivity

Optimo provides granular analytics on a broad range of KPIs to measure space utilization, employee mobility, and total cost of occupancy, be it for a department, room, floor, building, campus, city, or several locations across the globe.

It replaces archaic, manual, time-consuming and error-prone approaches to data gathering with a robust and intelligent system that harnesses existing, but often siloed data, to identify strategic and operational opportunities.

Rifiniti offers departmental analytics as an add-on module for clients to improve workspace utilization at the departmental level. Furthermore, the company also reports on intra- and inter-departmental collaboration, giving insights into innovation-generating activities.

Optimizing both meeting space and regular workspaces leads to improved communication and innovation. With its booking analytics module, the company offers insights into how to solve problems such as meeting room congestion, booking abuse, no-shows, and squatting.

Multifaceted Collaboration with Cisco

Rifiniti has a key, strategic partnership with Cisco, which is as customer, technology provider, and channel partner. Rifiniti has built a mutually beneficial business relationship with Cisco. Gresty comments that, “having a client such as Cisco encourages us to be on top of our game and deliver highly effective analytical results for real estate management.” For many customers, Rifiniti leverages data streamed from Cisco’s networks. Further, Cisco now resells Rifiniti’s Optimo as part of their “Cisco Workplace Analytics” offering.

With Rifiniti’s advanced analytics at their fingertips, companies can execute their M&A cost-saving plans or make real estate-related strategic business decisions with greater confidence. When technology company Lenovo acquired a business segment from IBM, the total count of buildings in its U.S. headquarters in Morrisville, NC rose from three to five. Using Rifiniti’s analytics, Lenovo concluded that their average workplace utilization was low, and developed a consolidation plan. “Lenovo has already exited one building, achieving significant savings, and is working on further optimization,” says Gresty.

Having decades of experience in corporate real estate optimization, Gresty leads a passionate team at Rifiniti, helping clients deliver the most effective workplaces. Rifiniti has also created a work environment that provides challenging learning opportunities for its team to realize their full professional potential. With a combination of a smart team, compelling analytics, and a unique change management program tailored to support each of its clients’ initiatives, Gresty concludes, “It is inevitable that more companies will deploy Optimo to solve the complex problem of adjusting their workplace offering to meet the changing needs of the modern workforce.”


Boston, MA

Michael Gresty, CEO & Chairperson, Irina Mladenova, Chief Strategy Officer

Provides a real-time analytics platform for workplace optimization