Coliving posted on Sep 2, 2020

Empowering shared households: A conversation with Glide

Adding onto our list of this year’s Think Tank Partners, we are proud to present Glide, the specialists in delivering super-fast and reliable solutions for students, residential developers and businesses. Glide is the UK leader in infrastructure solutions for difficult-to-serve markets, paving the way in gigabit broadband with over 300,000 customers.

For this interview with Glide, we decided to do things a bit differently and host a conversation between our very own Christian Schmitz, Coliving Business Development & Sales Manager at SALTO Systems, and Carolina Suarez, European Commercial Manager at Glide. The framework for this conversation is to share insights on the core services and technology required to deliver a high-quality resident experience in addition to differentiating these properties from the traditional rental market.

Read ahead to find out the ways in which Glide and SALTO Systems aim to empower shared accommodation and what’s in store for this Think Tank partnership.

What led you to have this conversation about core services in shared accommodation?

Carolina (Glide): In 2019, Glide’s Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ changed the Build-to-Rent sector forever, bringing state-of-the-art smart technology and Gigabit broadband to award-winning Build-To-Rent residences across the UK. Smart fibre is a unique, seamless, future-proof, full-fibre building infrastructure.

Glide worked with partners across Europe to explore the vision of a connected future for purpose-built accommodation. Talking to developers, operators and residents to understand technology demands and trends and to better understand which partners would best deliver integrated solutions.

The promise of smarter living creates demand from the next generation of renters. Technology will improve well-being and a sense of community will create loyalty. All factors that create a reputation for excellence for property developers and operators. We wanted to go beyond disparate technologies and explore the role of integrated technologies in creating the smart buildings of the future.

What is the correlation between SALTO Systems and Glide?

Carolina (Glide): Future-proof fibre technology is the best way to connect a building and deliver pervasive Wi-Fi. Resident experience is not just about unbeatable Wi-Fi but also how residents interact with a building. Glide’s seamless fibre network carries every building service, saves a significant amount of space and energy, is fast and reliable and supports approved third-party solutions like access control from SALTO Systems.

Christian (SALTO Systems): From an access control perspective, shared housing operators would like to update permissions for new guests or colleagues with the comfort of not being tied to a specific location.

The second, and more important goal of the partnership, is to work closer together on enhancing the customer experience journey. Both parties have in-depth insights and solutions which go beyond smart access and Wi-Fi connectors. I am referring to Big Data which jointly provides new solutions and finally, a better experience for all audiences: residents, operators and third parties.

What elements are in consideration when enabling the provision of these services while simultaneously providing reliable connectivity?

Carolina (Glide): Our products and services work best when they’re truly connected.

Four elements combine to provide exceptional resident experience. The correct infrastructure through the core of the building, onsite wireless and wired connectivity connecting residents to the internet and operators to the building, smart technology enhancing experiences, and differentiating the property and data analysis to identify trends and save money.

Our SFI™ works seamlessly with all the services, with spare capacity built-in. We enable services that help operators run buildings better. Enabling telephone and video communications, laundry and gym systems, digital signage, CCTV, lighting & climate control systems, Energy Management Systems (EMS) and of course, security and door access.

Christian (SALTO Systems): Adding onto Carolina’s point, we have also found that integrations are vital to an ecosystem, as is the strategy of many operators to focus on core competencies. This means using SaaS components of all kinds and not spending too much time or resources on developing their own entire ecosystem entirely by themselves.

A cloud-based smart access control solution like SALTO KS allows real-time management even remotely, and can seamlessly integrate with various self-developed or third-party software PMS solutions.

“Smart solutions play a big part in the end-user experience and directly affect operational efficiency.” - Carolina Suarez, European Commercial Manager at Glide.

Another correlation is that Glide and SALTO are concerned with both the side of the student/resident as well as that of the operator. Is there a difference between these two sides of shared accommodation?

Carolina (Glide): The primary focus for the operator is raising operational efficiency and keeping costs down whilst also delivering a first-class resident experience. In older buildings, the operations team is often limited in their ability to improve efficiency or enhance the resident experience because they are limited by the tools and data available to them.

Technology and infrastructure are being considered by developers at the conceptual stage and architectural stage of property development. The benefit of technology is being felt more widely by creating freedom for developers to create amazing spaces that make people happy and enable operators to focus on resident experience.

Residents depend on the internet so it is expected to always work. In a Coliving environment, residents will likely engage with communal Wi-Fi first so it needs to be fast and create an impression. Any communal indoor or outdoor space will be enhanced by great communal and pervasive Wi-Fi and create a sense of community.

We know residents require a fully supported, seamless and comprehensive network that looks after their every need, around the clock.

From your perspectives, what are the major challenges shared living schemes operators face in terms of security and enabling an efficient security system?

Carolina (Glide): Ruckus predicts that by 2022, 51% of all devices connected to the internet will be IoT. This shows huge growth, but also poses challenges in terms of security. In the first half of 2019, there were 105m attacks on IoT devices, which shows the need for networks to be fully secure.

Christian (SALTO Systems): Security lies at the core of our solutions, as is the guarantee that we are always up-to-date on all fronts: Software, database security, mechanical security, and finally, making sure that we as a hardware supplier meet all certifications with our product portfolio which can go on any door worldwide.

Q: How do we make sure our solutions and customer journeys are well accepted?

Carolina (Glide): We speak to developers and building operators with a simple objective. By making building infrastructure future-proof they can continue to be at the forefront of constantly shifting technologies and focus on meeting the demands of a modern high bandwidth community.

Operators need to continue to explore technology that delivers operational efficiency and operational savings. Any cost savings can be channelled into enhancing the resident experience and creating spaces where well-being is actively monitored. Historically, smart technology often adds complexity where it should create simplicity. The aim for operators is to make what is complex simple and streamline technology to ensure it stays relevant for today, tomorrow and the future.

What lies ahead for this partnership?

Carolina (Glide): We are taking our thoughts even further and now we’ll be working on joined workshops which will gather the two different perspectives of our services.

Given the technologies we use and the vision we have as providers, we will be further exploring the opportunities to work on common projects, together with operators and developers, in order to enhance their offering and complement our services.

Christian (SALTO Systems): We as service providers find ourselves having different approaches, towards the same purpose. We value well-being, security, communication, and interaction with regards to the end-user while facilitating the product used by operators for enhanced customer experience.

Thank you very much for sharing your findings, experience, and perspectives with us. If you would like to find out more about Glide, visit their website, blog, and LinkedIn.

Read further for more information on Christian and Carolina.

Carolina Suarez is the European Commercial Manager at Glide. Her experience being an international student, working for international education and having lived in three different countries has influenced her view on living trends and standards. Passionate about shared living concepts and technology, Carolina has started the expansion of Glide across Europe to contribute directly to the fulfilment of basic needs to today’s generation: connectivity.

As a dedicated Sales & Business Development Manager for SALTO Systems, the lock manufacturer of electronic locking solutions since 2001, Christian Schmitz has developed a passion for Student Housing, shared living, coliving and coworking. Over the years Christian has become a specialist in the international market and upcoming trends in the shared living segment. The passion of the people working behind the scenes ignites an endless ambition for Christian to make a difference on a global scale and empower the shared living movement.

To read more about SALTO KS, click here or follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest product features, team updates and news from the industry.

SALTO KS provides a flexible access control management system that requires no software installation or the added expense of a fully-wired electronic product. Modern cloud-based, wireless access control systems are easy and simple to use for businesses including Coworking Spaces, Coliving Buildings, Purpose Built Student Accommodation, Retail, Multi-Tenant Housing, Gyms and many more. Our best in class wireless access control solution and smart locks guarantee the efficiency for your business. Integrate smart locks, start easily managing wireless access control now!