APAM is a real estate investment specialist and asset manager within the UK property market, part of the Catella group. The leadership team at APAM are constantly looking for ways to add value for tenants.
As part of a renovation of a number of properties at Arlington Business Park, APAM began seeking innovative ways to streamline new tenant onboarding to provide a seamless experience for clients.
APAM has chosen to partner with Backbone Connect to provide superior and easy internet access to tenants across its connected buildings and a WiFi service that covers the park’s outdoor areas. Previously, connecting a new business tenant would have required a wayleave and typically taken 90 days or more. Under the new arrangement, the newest tenant within the building was successfully connected within 5 working days.
Ben Dickins, Real Estate Manager at APAM, explains, “As a society we’ve got used to ‘on demand’ for everything. For real estate, in the past, that hasn’t always been possible. For businesses looking for new premises, the focus is on space: we need space and we need it now.
Connectivity is built into the process
Yet, connectivity into that space was too often only an afterthought. ”Since new communications lines into a building require wayleaves and installation processes that can take three months or more, moving into a new building was very far from an “on demand” experience.
Ben says, “In 2018, we started looking into communications solutions that would make life as easy as possible for our tenants. We started looking at Backbone Connects preconnected services that would empower a faster and easier tenant onboarding process.”
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We had a vision of Backbone Connect enabling connectivity in a really timely manner. The lines would already be installed, so that the tenants could simply choose to connect to the service how and when they wished.
A number of buildings at Arlington Business Park had been scheduled for renovation, so APAM engaged Backbone Connect to offer a simple but robust connectivity solution for those buildings and any prospective clients as part of that renovation process.
“The advantage of Backbone Connect was that they could offer the same access to their excellent customer service for both us and our tenants. We knew if we were going to move towards offering our clients an ‘on demand’ approach to building connectivity, it had to be with a company that excelled at customer service. Too often that isn’t the case in telecoms. And the risk there is that the poor service would reﬂect badly on us as landlords.”
APAM worked with Backbone to refurbish the two initial buildings at Arlington Business Park throughout 2019. Offering “on demand” connectivity has helped to make the buildings as attractive as possible to clients.
Following the success of the ﬁrst two buildings, APAM chose to work with Backbone Connect to refurbish an additional three buildings on the business park in 2020, and plans to move two more buildings over to Backbone Connect in 2021. “Working with Backbone Connect offers us additional ﬂexibility and helped us gain a competitive edge” explains Ben. “We can offer individual ﬂoors or even split ﬂoors, and companies don’t need to have a big IT team to move into one of our buildings, now that vital communication infrastructure is pre-installed.
Following all the events of this year, organisations are thinking about business continuity in a very different way. Backbone has proved to be a very supportive partner and it has been a smooth process throughout. They’ve helped us to make the park as ﬂexible as possible – helping our own business continuity, not just that of our tenants.”