We were approached by the founder and CEO of Xwork, Thierry Janssen, for a product development partnership to build tomorrow's hybrid way of working. The vision behind Xwork is that corporates will be stepping away from the traditional office paradigm and define new office policies based on the 3 H's: Home, Hub, and Headquarter.
We set out on a joint mission with the Xwork team to build the booking.com for office hubs. The platform would serve as an aggregation layer on top of existing coworking workspace management systems as well as various ERP systems. Plenty of technical challenges to take into account to build the APIs that would connect all of these dots and provide a smooth user experience for millions of users down the line.
Xwork pools the capacity of coworking spaces across Belgium and makes those workplaces available to companies. With credits that employees receive, they can book work and meeting places. Xwork helps companies save on office and mobility costs by providing flexible and inspirational workplaces near home while improving employees’ engagement and work-life balance.
of Belgium’s largest companies involved in validation
I scanned many possible software development partners before entering into a cooperation with Panenco. My number 1 criterion was to find a multidisciplinary team of experts that could handle the various needs of such a project, which Panenco has provided. Next, as a cherry on the cake, what stood out to me was the entrepreneurial vibe you get as soon as you set foot into their doors in the Leuven office.
CEO & Co-founder at Xwork
Conceptualising a smooth user experience on top of workspace management systems
We assisted the Xwork team to refine their value proposition into a product definition with clear functional requirements and an attractive user experience. We looked at the core problem statement from the point of view of various personas to eventually lay out an ambitious game plan for a minimum lovable product.
The long feature wishlist included a smooth onboarding process for companies and employees, setting up a credit system that allows budget control, designing a clear overview of hubs, and constructing a dashboard for monitoring usage of this new way of working at any time. We mapped all these wishes into clickable user flows and tested them thoroughly with a prospective user audience using Maze.
Once the objectives were clear, we agreed on a delivery roadmap mapping out specific product milestones to be achieved with a dedicated software and product engineering team.
An API driven architecture to connect the dots across multiple co-working places
When we were defining the architecture of Xwork, it was clear that we needed to build an open system that could integrate with various existing workplace management systems. We opted for Google Cloud Platform infrastructure where we could host the core application Node API and React front-end whereas specific microservices can be set up using Cloud Functions.
The Xwork system should have significant uptime guarantees since employees from large corporates count on it on a daily basis to book their desired workplaces. Given the strong dependencies we have on the workspace management systems from the co-working places, we implemented farfetched monitoring instruments to detect anomalies and act quickly on any booking issues that might arise.
Rolling out an enterprise offering across 50+ co-working locations at once
At the beginning of 2022, a 6-week trial was done with 10 Belgian companies where we actively gathered feedback from users and performed technical fine-tuning. There was a clear validation of the concept and the platform functionality, which gave the necessary confidence to start preparing a broader commercial rollout in the second half of 2022.
Xwork is a paradigm shift in the orchestration of remote work where you want to offer your employees close proximity to home yet in the surroundings of colleagues. We’re dealing thoughtfully with the behavior change that is triggered for the employees, finance and HR. Therefore we’re using Intercom to regularly guide users through the application and support them with FAQ articles, drip email campaigns, and well-documented new feature releases.
Xwork is currently onboarding large corporate clients, as they are fully committed to driving significant change in this industry!
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