How to tackle the main accommodation complaints from students

The fastest growing property sector at this moment is the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA), attracting investors from all over the globe. Students expect and require a secure, technology-driven and high in quality accommodation that will be their home away from home. A place where they can accelerate and eventually send out to the real world to start their careers.

To welcome these young adults in such an inspiring setting is a job that needs to be taken seriously. Therefore we did some research on often overlooked criticism. Avoiding these complaints will result in happier students, therefore long term tenants and a great ‘customer’ (student) experience.

Offer your students a high quality coliving environment by bypassing these easy to overcome concerns and your PBSA becomes a problem solver instead of a burden.

Noise

In order to live pleasantly, let alone study, without any disturbance you can’t have any type of (loud) noise on your premises. Whether it’s loud music, fire alarms, or shouting: Enabling sufficient room to focus should be the main goal of your PBSA. A lot of this agony that drive students up their walls is easily to overcome with a few simple adjustments like setting up a noise curfew for weekdays or making sure ovens in all apartments have timers installed.

Residential staff

One of the most important aspects of the student experience is the quality of your staff. The people that represent your accommodation need to be adequate, fast in response and above all, polite. To safeguard your student’s contentment, requests and issues need to be taken very seriously. Rude or poorly trained staff is a big annoyance for anyone entering your PBSA, not only the students. Be sure to have a clear vision on how you want your staff to behave and be clear the staff knows they are a big part of that amazing student experience you are hoping to establish.

Deposits

Students usually don’t have a lot to spend. Deposits that get refunded long after the 14-day range (which is usually the absolute maximum for students) is one of the main complaints students (and their parents) have on their accommodations. When PBSAs hit students where it hurts the most, these Millenials do what feels natural: Ventilate their inconvenience on social media. Avoid a bad (online) reputation by being clear on what to expect in terms of finance. Be transparent about timeframes, what deposits can be made and how students should approach this flow and you shouldn’t encounter any misunderstanding.

Facilities

PBSAs are built to provide convenience so students should never have to leave. Whether in regard to their social life or to study. A so-called ‘place beyond the bedroom’. This is the reason a lot of PBSA’s are equipped with facilities like a cafe, pool- and football tables, services, and completely renovated apartments including bathrooms and kitchens which enables the students to form a community where they can focus on their studies. Facilities like washing machines become a big burden when there aren’t enough. Collecting the laundry, walking down to the laundry room to find out all washing machines are already taken, walk back to do the same thing over again a few hours later is a big waste of time. Make sure these kinds of facilities that could provide Zen instead of stress are being taken care of.

The number one that should be in order without a doubt still remains a solid phone and internet connectivity.

Read what’s trending in student housing in our previous blog post, or Contact us to integrate SALTO KS into your preferred management tool.

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 system is 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 efficiency for your business. Integrate smart locks, start easily managing access now!

These trends are redefining the way we work

For a long time it seemed as if employees were expected to thrive on no other then awful coffee, bad lighting and soggy cheese sandwiches, but times have changed for the better. Office spaces are now the number one tool to attract and retain top talent.

Adopt these trends that have redefined the way we work in 2018 to facilitate the perfect work environment for your members and employees.

Competition

Now more then ever workspaces are being used as part of recruitment strategies. Those who are born between 1980 and 2000 are a tough generation to retain as loyal employees. Attracting and retaining this generation called ‘Millennials’ as a company all comes down to creating an experience rather than just an office to work in.

Meeting new people, a vibrant atmosphere and room for creativity are highly appreciated by this younger generation.

The competition between companies to captivate this age group has peeked tremendously past year, taking into account these relatively young people are fast to leave when a ‘better’ opportunity arises

The term ‘googlization’ is therefor mockingly used by the baby boomers: The generation that came before Millenials took over the workforce. Babyboomers tend to assume Millenials are not in touch with the reality of what companies are actually able to offer them, and in some cases they are right.

There’s a fine balance between a playground as an office and depressing grey cubicles underneath TL lighting. For the baby boomers that are used to the old school 9 to 5 ‘work hard, and then work some more’ work ethics it can be a turn off to work at a company designed for millennials which tend to be noisy and chaotic: Where the young people thrive the old won't survive.

To get a head start over competition and retain both your Millenial and Babyboom members and employees, make sure all your lines of communication are open and focus on lasting trends like health instead of purchasing another ball pit. Take into account that if the workplace isn’t right people tend to go elsewhere instead of stating their concerns. Support wellbeing and healthy lifestyles with benefits like fitness centre memberships, childcare centres and a special place to pick up parcels so you are ahead of the game.

Technology

Applications used to increase productivity are becoming more popular by the minute. With technology like video calls, online synced calendar planning, and even integrating with a cloud-based access control product like SALTO KS to book (meeting) rooms in advance, meetings can be organized in an agile way: Reducing a lot of frustration.

Another upcoming trend is using sensors to measure capacity and productivity to personalize the space to the needs of the employees. Together with two yearly surveys that will be sent automatically to the workers, you may end up with room dividers in your open space plan to increase focus.

Using technology to automate your space means more flexibility and personalization, which will be highly appreciated among any group of people.

Environmentally friendly

The trend that goes a long way: Running an environment-friendly space. To control costs but also to attract and retain employees that want to be associated with an environment-friendly office and, of course, to give back to mother earth. By choosing an HQ close to most employee’s homes so people don't have to drive to work will take your environmental friendly reputation to the next level.

Adopt technology to help you run a fully environmental friendly space:

  • Use sensors to turn off lights or heating when spaces are not being used
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by making more use of videoconferences like Google hangouts so employees don't have to air travel
  • Internal communication must be electronic. No excuse
  • Schedule meeting rooms by integrating your management tool with SALTO KS
  • There’s a growing and valid pressure from society to make workplaces more environment-friendly, be sure to follow this trend to collect extra karma points.

    Health

    All of the above contributes to the health of your employees. Embracing companies that will help you collect hard- and soft data from your space like happiness, health and many more details you can use to turn your office space into the best possible version of itself. Monitor your employee’s behaviour and habits. With this workplace analytics, you can adjust your office space accordingly. Some employees might feel the need to take a stroll in the office garden every hour or need a noise-cancelling headphone. Enable a work environment where people feel encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase productivity and a positive atmosphere!

    Variety

    Embracing flexible workspace is a big trend that keeps evolving. Spaces, where collaboration is encouraged but also have room for deep focus, are high in demand. Choosing a corporate setting with break out spaces for collaboration or rooms for formal meetings are popular. Depending on your preferred kind of appearance the design of your space can be adjusted accordingly. A trendy open space designed tech office will attract millennials for example. If you are looking for more corporate audience go for the corporate setting. Always be aware of the need for flexibility among your employees. Even though the company is corporate some people will like the thought of working with flex desks. Offer variety, no person is the same: Each skillset deserves to have the proper environment to flourish!

    The workplace is changing rapidly. It’s not just about the building it’s about enabling an experience where collaboration and creativity have room to expand.

    Want to read more on creating a healthy work environment? Take a look at our previous blog post!

    Spotlight on a dealer: Lockhouse

    Interview with Frank de Weijs: Owner of Lockhouse and top 3 SALTO KS dealer in the Netherlands

    Lockhouse, based in Eindhoven, has over thirty years of experience in selling high-quality access control systems. Their team consists of five professionals that work hard every day to put a smile on their client’s faces by selling advanced access control systems like SALTO KS. The strength of Lockhouse lies in clear communication between the client and a designated Lockhouse employee who manages a project from A to Z.

    We spoke to Lockhouse owner Frank de Weijs about the company, SALTO KS and his beloved old-timers:

    Lockhouse

    How did Lockhouse start?

    In 1987 our company was founded as a locksmith/security company. In 2008 Guido van Dal joined the company as a partner and in 2013 the founder resigned and Frank de Weijs joined and took a part of the founding on him.

    Frank de Weijs explains: "Guido and I were already working a lot on electronic locking so from 2013 the company changed a lot: From b2c to b2b. In B2B there’s a lot more opportunity for the electronic locking market. Our clients consist mostly of housing associations, healthcare institutions and companies."

    How did you come across SALTO KS?

    We were already working a lot with SALTO. When SALTO KS was introduced to us it was a logical step to sell this product.

    Lockhouse

    What are your favorite functionalities of SALTO KS?

    The ability to block tags (hardware tokens) is very convenient if you, for instance, have a specific timeframe you don’t want a person with a tag coming into a specific space. SALTO KS distinguishes itself also by the remote opening feature that is available in the app on your phone. Customers or suppliers waiting outside your office and you’re running late? Simply tap your phone and let them in!

    What were some of the early day challenges with KS when it was fairly a new product for small and medium-sized businesses?

    Finding out if there was a good enough signal available from the IQ and if it was possible to transfer that signal from the IQ to the repeaters

    How was it for you to embrace selling a cloud solution like KS, vs. server based or other solutions?

    We believe cloud based products are the future so embracing a cloud solution like KS was easy for us!

    Lockhouse

    How do the sales of KS and other cloud solutions compare to your other non-cloud solution sales for access control?

    How do the sales of KS and other cloud solutions compare to your other non-cloud solution sales for access control? The KS solution is more suitable for smaller systems. For the bigger systems we usually recommend other SALTO products or a different brand. For a smaller system the extra maintenance products like encoder, programmer and software are usually too expensive.

    What are the challenges you face when explaining/selling SALTO KS to a business?

    It can be difficult to estimate the number of IQ’s we need to mount, because we can’t always know if the IQ can communicate well enough with the cylinder, due to other wireless products we are not able to anticipate on beforehand.

    How do you see the locking industry evolving with the new market demands?

    I think more and more companies will come with cloud solutions since this is undeniably the direction the locking industry is heading. Granting access from your phone will be part of that future.

    What is the craziest you ever encountered with during your work at Lockhouse?

    Since we’re based in Eindhoven everyday is a crazy day! (A famous Dutch saying is ‘Eindhoven de gekste’ which translates into ‘ Eindhoven the craziest’). “Seriously, it’s one big celebration to be able to make our clients happy with the whole team!”

    Fun fact:

    Frank collects old-timers, and has a few gems stored hidden at the Lockhouse property!

    Lockhouse

    Whether it’s safety, comfort or a secure feeling Lockhouse is solely focused on advising and assembling high quality solutions.

    We want to thank Lockhouse and especially Frank and his wonderful team of professionals for their hospitality!

    Follow Lockhouse on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and keep track of this ambitious team!

    Top 5 trends in student housing

    Student housing has changed a lot in the past few years. We are looking at a future where student’s requirements will continue to change at a rapid pace, as the technology behind Purpose Built Student Accommodation is getting smarter every year.

    We present you the top 5 trends in student housing to focus on in 2019 while working on the best housing experience for your students.

    Technology

    A high-quality student housing experience in 2019 includes smart technology. All students now days not only need to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops to socialize but more importantly: To study. Students need access to their online portals where they can find study specific assignments, grades and schedules. Therefore housing accommodations should be designed with efficient technology in mind. Free and fast Wi-Fi (25 MB per student per second at the lowest), automated Laundromats and keyless entries are just a glimpse of what a PBSA should offer nowadays. From a student’s perspective, all spaces in a student housing accommodation whether it’s a shared space or a private dorm room should be smart. An access control solution like SALTO KS can help to make your accommodation as efficient and smooth as possible by providing the utmost convenience and security to your students.

    Going green

    Students of today and tomorrow are most likely raised with sustainability in mind. Therefore a student housing accommodation that proves to be environmentally responsible is always ahead of the game. Sustainable certifications are not dull anymore; they have become an important selling point for all housing accommodations that want to be taken seriously. Student residences that promote well being and raise awareness are more likely to get picked by students and/or concerned parents. To create a sustainable student accommodation, LED lighting, green roofs and sustainable (interior) design is a good way to start out.

    Privacy

    A big ‘trend’ is of course privacy, and it has been for a while. Although more PBSA's are getting rid of gender-specific dorm communities, we are happy to inform you the classical dorm room where you share a room with five other students is no longer. More and more student accommodations are equipped with a suite layout that hosts’ two students that share one bathroom instead of the communal bathroom down the hall. Because younger students seem to care less about privacy then older graduates it is easier to divide the students amongst different types of rooms, fulfilling accommodation needs for every type of student.

    Assistants

    Moving from the parental home into a purpose-built accommodation can be a bit overwhelming. For the students, but also for their parents. To know the students are in good hands with the residential assistants that are available on- and off campus gives both parties peace of mind. Make sure you have student paraprofessionals on your premises that are welcoming and easy to talk to. One of the biggest put off is when campus staff is rude, unwelcoming and slow to react. Agile procedures that deal with requests and issues are a pro when choosing an accommodation to live in while going off to college. Make sure you have an annual review with your on- and off campus staff to be sure of student satisfaction.

    Housing

    Last but certainly not least: Housing. All of the above trends are of the utmost importance for a purpose-built student housing accommodation, but only if the core of the accommodation has just the right environment balance between learning and living. An accommodation that is in line with the campus identity enabling students to socialize, feel at home and focused studying is setting itself up for success. Make sure your utility bills are included in the rent, which is important for students who cant permit themselves getting unforeseen extra bills.

    Enable a high-quality housing experience for your students by equipping your Purpose Built Student Accommodation with the latest cloud-based access control technology.

    Contact us, we are happy to provide you with the information you need to take your accommodation to the next level.

    GCUC Shanghai 2018

    The last month of 2018 the teams from SALTO Hong Kong, Singapore and China visited our favourite event in coworking: GCUC. This time the GCUC team touched down in Shanghai, which made this the most cross-border coworking summit in history!

    With the theme "Work Better, Work Smarter" GCUC China used this opportunity to showcase the innovative model of coworking spaces and the way this will fit perfectly in the lifestyle that young Chinese people will experience in the future.

    "When I feel the vibrancy of the co-working scenes in NYC, Singapore and Shanghai, it makes me very happy we are part of this coworking wave" - Bryan, SALTO Systems Singapore

    GCUC Shanghai

    Some people still think of the coworking community as something that’s hip and trendy now and eventually will fade, but not many people are aware that coworking is not a new concept. In just a little under the past 2 years, coworking has revolutionized the traditional office space and will continue to revolutionize the way real estate has been used, which will make a big impact on the way people are working on a global scale.

    Many world leaders embrace open borders, globalization and free trade. They envision the benefits of the co-sharing economy this will eventually lead to. Air travel, the Internet and technology have made us more connected than ever before. This not only applies to the geographical regions of Europe, Asia, the US or China, but the world as one big connected geographical area.

    GCUC Shanghai

    "More and more corporates are looking to use flexible offices not only to reduce costs but to get closer to innovation, in China, this trend is already happening. They are moving into spaces and getting a closer look at startups." - Bob Zheng, founder People Squared (P2)

    This year’s event focused on optimizing and upgrading traditional work methods taking the entrepreneurial spirit and the team working style of coworking spaces as a basis and look to extend concepts to leisure time and hours outside of work. The event incorporated aspects of lifestyles related to coworking spaces, real estate, entrepreneurship and design. New lifestyle trends related to fashion, music, entertainment, new retail and other fields brought a more in-depth perspective on coworking space models that represent a growing trend for young Chinese people going forward.

    GCUC Shanghai

    GCUC Shanghai was hosted by Shanghai-based coworking space brand People Squared (P2). Founded in 2010 by Bob Zheng coworking space brand P2 was the first space that introduced coworking to China and has opened 30 spaces since then. P2 merged with smaller coworking space Walnut founded in 2015. Together they need to stand up against the greats of coworking like Ucommune and WeWork. Zheng says this is not necessarily a problem since people are looking for more unique and independent spaces. With GCUC as the binding factor coworking spaces will continue to unite and work together to eventually change the way, we work everywhere.

    GCUC is the world's largest coworking space industry summit. Attracted by China's original coworking space brand People Squared (P2), the event came to the country for the first time in 2015. GCUC China assembles domestic and international coworking brands and leaders from related industries to discuss the future trends for the sector as well as changing lifestyles in China.

    Take a look at our previous blog post about GCUC UK that was held in September last year!

    Looking into ways to raise your coworking space to the next level? Contact us for more information about how we can help you take care of access control, which with SALTO KS will become one of the main benefits of your space!

    Securing your coworking space

    As a coworking space owner, you have a long list of responsibilities, including protecting your space and members. It doesn’t come as a surprise that a high level of security is one of the most valued selling points of a coworking space. Taking care of multiple variations of security enables your members to work without a care in the world, and that should be exactly what you are aiming for! If you already adopted a cloud-based access control system like SALTO KS you are ahead of the game: Having knowledge on who goes where and when 24 hours a day.

    We defined the most important focus points for you to consider when securing your coworking space:

    Locking your doors, the smart way

    Every space has doors you rather don’t have an unfamiliar person walking into, such as your server room storing delicate hardware. By providing your members access to the SALTO KS app they get automatically restricted from going wherever you don’t want them to go. Creating an access group for a certain category of people enables you to decide during which time frames certain doors can be unlocked and by whom.

    Invest in cloud-based video surveillance

    It goes without saying it’s important to create a protected environment against break-ins or theft. Unfortunately, even in the most loving communities belongings get stolen or just lost. In that case, you are lucky if you have a (cloud-based) video surveillance system installed! The SALTO KS integration with Eagle Eye Networks makes it possible to even record your space 24 hours a day so you have everything on film, and watch in real-time to see what is going on in your business.

    Create a visitor policy

    In that same light, it’s helpful to set up your own visitor policy. Some spaces prefer a simple check-in or a wearable badge handed over by the receptionist. But all this takes time, effort, and an extra employee. With SALTO KS you are able to simply grant access to a visitor for a specific timeframe. Ensuring you this visitor is only able to visit the spaces you granted access to and in the timeframe of your choosing.

    Alarm and emergency exits

    All spaces need a solid alarm installation that protects your venue from break-ins. Not only to protect your space and members but also to protect your carefully accumulated reputation. With SALTO’s unique door guard unit, your emergency exits are protected at all times. You can use your tag to open the door, without setting the alarm off. In case of emergency, you’ll open the door without presenting your tag and the alarm will be triggered, informing everyone that there’s an emergency.

    Train your staff and members

    One of the most important aspects of security is your staff. They are the ones that will make that life-saving difference in the case of an emergency. A well-trained staff that has the knowledge what to do when for example a fire breaks out is crucial. Always make sure your members are aware of specific information like where the emergency exit(s) are situated. Having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits present at all times and providing knowledge of their whereabouts is just as important.

    Online protection

    Being smart about locking your coworking space and reducing risk at emergencies isn’t the only way to make sure your space is fully protected. Unfortunately, we live in a digital world where it’s also possible that your coworking space security network might be attacked. By providing your members' information on how to safely surf the Internet will be of tremendous help in keeping a secure network. Purchasing an IP filtering system could help keep your space protected online. While your members surf the Internet in a safe way, you should also make sure your network is secured by a difficult password. The name of your cat just won’t do. Make sure you have a second network set up for your members and update the password every six months.

    Want to learn more about protecting your coworking space? Learn all about what SALTO KS can do for you.

    Get in touch to learn more about how we can integrate smart locks into your business!

    These basics will create a healthy environment for your coworking members

    Consuming too much time in an unhealthy environment can cause multiple scary side effects like nausea, headaches or stress. Fortunately more and more coworking spaces come to see the benefits of creating a healthy environment for their visitors to thrive in. By becoming human-centred, these spaces promote productivity and well-being.

    A healthy work environment is one of the most valued benefits of a coworking space. It enables high levels of productivity, a raised engagement with the coworking community and overall it contributes to a great atmosphere if everybody is feeling their best self.

    We want to share some important insights on how to help your space become healthful by enabling a feeling of well-being.

    People who are travelling for work or have the ability to work remote are the lucky ones that are spending most of their time in a coworking space. These people usually are not taking proper care of themselves in terms of a healthy work/life balance. Digital nomads usually work around the clock in order to make the magic happen, and need a space that will keep them focused and healthy. The spaces that succeed are the ones that become the first choice when it comes to coworking.

    Healthy greens

    The benefits of working in a space filled with daylight and plants are not to be underestimated. Choose plants that purify the air: Members who are suffering from asthma can for example benefit tremendously by this relatively small adjustment. Plants also contribute to a happy color pallet with their variation of greens and contribute to noise reduction.

    Working spots

    Take into account a lot of flexible professionals are choosing to work from your coworking space because their home desk might not be that ergonomic friendly. Make sure that at least the biggest part of your space if filled with options that will maintain a healthy posture. Other members might have escaped from their corporate jobs to avoid the 9 to 5 culture and are looking for a more playful space to work in. Try to arrange your space with a 60/40 ratio: 60% ergonomic friendly and 40% playful to keep all members healthy but inspired.

    Keep moving

    Sitting down or standing up, either way it’s always a healthy idea to get the blood pumping and move around. If you happen to own a coworking space near the beach or in nature, it is the perfect opportunity to offer your flexible professionals bike and/or surfboard rental for a healthy break to de-stress. If not, you can offer ‘Bike desks’ so your members can paddle their way to that deadline while working on their fitness.

    Wellness programs

    If your space allows it, offering a yoga class before or after working hours is a real dealmaker. If your space won’t allow an in-house yoga class there are a lot of other things you can do to make your members fall in love with your space. Think about hiring a masseuse every other Friday that will loosen up the shoulders of your flexible professionals. Or offer a meditation class on Monday morning to start the week with a fresh and open mind. These breaks will pay back for themselves. They are necessary to prevent stress and burnouts.

    Fuel your members

    When working hard food isn’t necessarily on top of mind. It’s easy to grab the first snack that you see when you are on a tight deadline. This is where you come in. Make sure your space is filled with healthy food options like fruits and veggies that are easy to take on the go. Provide enough water taps where members can fill their environment-friendly water bottles. After all, a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.

    A happy community is a healthy community

    Last but certainly not least: Strive to build a community of flexible professionals that are eager to help each other out. You can enable this by organizing a collective walk in the park in the afternoons. Your members will rediscover that healthy and necessary connection with nature again. Creating a spot in the space where people can jot down their tips to overcome stress, other helpful tips, inspiring messages or a good joke can also be a fun way to enforce a healthy member community. After a while, your members will lift each other up and inspire to do their best work, including you!

    There are several coworking spaces around the world that already are picking up on the trend of member well being. Check out this article to find out where on the globe these spaces are contributing to a healthier work/life balance.

    Contact us and find out how you can eliminate the stress that is access control management by installing SALTO KS: The smart way to control access to your space.

    Meet Javier Roquero, Managing Director at SALTO Systems

    Last year we interviewed Marc Handels, co-founder & CMO at Salto Systems and shared with you his vision of a great team and the future of access control. This time with our new KS blog we are happy to announce our interview with Javier Roquero, co-founder & CEO at Salto Systems. In this interview, Javier explains how he maintains that highly important work-life balance, what he would do if he could pick any other job and tells us more about his vision for the future of the cloud.

    How did you find yourself working in the access control business?

    Since I was a child, I always wanted to work in this sector… I am kidding, of course: In the 90’s I started working for a company in the mechanical door hardware business. Together with a group of friends/colleagues, we came across this great opportunity to create SALTO Systems. To be able to set up a brand new company with strong components of innovation, industrial processes and marketing challenges was the green field approach what attracted me. It was very clear from the beginning this was a once in a lifetime opportunity I had to grab onto.

    "Solid personal values and the consistency to defend them is the most important skill to own" - Javier Roquero

    In what way did SALTO Systems change your life?

    I am afraid I have to say (even if it doesn't sound too sexy) SALTO didn't change my life: Before SALTO I was a happy man enjoying life, which I still am, now more than ever. I am proud of what we have achieved, but I have very clear priorities: The correct balance between my personal life and my professional achievement is what drives those priorities.

    How do you see SALTO grow in the next couple of years, and where do you see cloud products fit in that growth?

    Well, the answer is clear if you see the investments we are making in our factory: More than 8 million euros are being used to extend the factory capacity in order to be ready for the expected growth we are anticipating in all world regions and market segments. Cloud is a top priority for us. Back in 2012 we already partnered with Rick and Xander, the founders of Clay. This was even before everyone was talking about cloud. In the future, I foresee top leading software companies that are placing cloud executives in top management positions to lead the transition.

    If you weren’t being busy building your company, what would you be doing?

    Let me think and dream a little...running a hotel perhaps. A small boutique hotel somewhere, with a close contact with clients offering them to experience something different from the pure lodging one. I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. This is why I find managing 28 different nationalities at SALTO so exciting!

    What kind of activities do you enjoy in your free time to unwind?

    I have so many! Basically, anything sports related. I used to run a lot, but now I am more on cycling and trekking. But probably ski mountaineering is my favorite. If it’s outdoors and in nature, you can find me there.

    What is one of the best skills to master in your professional life?

    To have solid personal values and the consistency to defend them: Our customers relate to the core values of our company and recognize those in our employees.

    What future company plans are you looking forward to the most?

    Retirement! I am kidding again! I would have to say taking SALTO to the next level. Nobody knows exactly where electronic locking is headed. Being a part of discovering that journey is amazing.

    We want to thank Javier for his insights on the cloud, the locking industry and entrepreneurship!

    In 2017 SALTO completed the acquisition of Clay. With this important step, SALTO Systems executes on its strategy by strengthening its leading position in both cloud technology and mobile access control.

    Want to know the the story of Clay? Hear it from Rick. More SALTO? Read the interview we had with Marc Handels, Chief Sales Officer at SALTO Systems here.

    Want to work with inspirational leaders everyday? Check out our job openings!

    Improving UX/UI: the new SALTO KS

    Originating from the old Clay by SALTO, SALTO KS has shaped into the mature product it is today. Since we’re always pushing to make our products better, we hereby present some highlights of upcoming exciting improvements.

    As the amount of SALTO KS users is growing rapidly, our technology in both back and front-end has been improved for great flexibility. Also, user-feedback provided us with input to improve on the usability of the platform as well.

    In short, we took the opportunity to create a more advanced platform from both a technological and user-experience perspective.

    Longterm vision

    Improving the user experience overall isn’t only based on input from end-users, the marketing team or technological advancements. At the base of these changes, there are also specific goals that help develop the product in the right direction over time. These are some of the key statements we’ve made from the get-go:

    A unified user-experience: Today, the web and mobile apps offer different functionalities, while it makes more sense to unify more and more functions on all platforms.

    One visual language: Part of the above point, is not just to make all apps work, but also look the same. Therefore we’ve started setting up a design-system, securing consistent design of elements, regardless where they’re shown.

    UX/UI sweep: Some of the old functionalities in the web and mobile apps were no longer serving a purpose as our customers grew in size. While other features were still useable but could be designed in a different, better way.

    Let’s have a look at the most noticeable changes:

    Terminology

    Starting with the seemingly simple things; we changed some of the terminologies. The most obvious ones are Systems and Doors, which we now call Sites and Locks. Both changes make sense, for a site is referring to a location, and a lock is actually what the end-user is interacting with, whether on a door or on a locker. The door doesn’t open, but the lock unlocks.

    Also we’re no longer referring to home.saltoks.com, but app.saltoks.com. We’re approaching SALTO KS as an application, that is available via web or mobile.

    Terminology

    Web: Revised cards

    On a big screen, you can display information in a big way. We’ve always had a ‘cardview’ on desktop for Doors (Locks!), People and Access groups. Yet some of the information and functions in there are barely used, or deserve more emphasis. That’s why we decided to redesign the cards, focussing on displaying the status and available call-to-actions.

    Cards

    Wizards

    Some of the old flows, especially on the web-platform, were too complex to capture in a single screen. A great example of this is how you would set up an access group; one of the key functionalities of the product. Before; this was done in a single popup displaying all people, locks and timeframes. With larger sites, this did not work up to our standards. Therefore we’ve split up the different steps, keeping focus on a single task and offering explanation where needed. This is a wizard-type flow taking users step-by-step through a process. This is a design pattern that we apply for other flows as well, making the overall application more user friendly. These are also used in mobile apps where applicable.

    Wizard

    Hardware

    Probably the most difficult functionality throughout the interfaces is setting up the hardware for a site. Split between different tabs per hardware type, and one tab to connect all of them, this was a counter-intuitive way of working. Therefore we’ve combined all available functions and steps in a single screen, offering both a hardware overview and detailed step-by-step configuration. A clear listview is presented showing the connection between different hardware items. Also, the interface offers contextual actions; only items that can be added/removed, have actions available for it.

    Hardware

    By popular demand: New features!

    Next to the above descriptions we also did the following UX/UI updates:

    • Filter dropdown redesign for mobile apps
    • Toggle between card and listview on desktop
    • Simplified notifications

    That sums up what’s coming soon for SALTO KS, but we’re working on more! We have even more design changes coming up, and great new features such as Mobile Key (coming soon!). Keep track of our blog to keep updated on future developments of all our apps!

    Connect API Release version v1.0.9.10

    The latest application version (v1.0.9.10) / API release version v1 has been released on the 19th of November 2018. This maintenance release introduces new functionality. No API endpoints have changed, but some have been added.

    Functional changes:

  • Extended override_privacy_mode option in Hardware API for an Accessor to a site_user
  • Removed relation between site and mkey
  • Implemented logic to make the tag of the owner always the masterkey
  • Implemented notification to site owner when site is released by installer
  • Refactored entries endpoint to take advantage of the new User - Accessor relation
  • Added missing IQ server settings values into configuration
  • Hardware Services package updated to release 1.8.4
  • Bug fixes:

  • Extended override_privacy_mode option in Hardware API for an Accessor to a site_user
  • Removed relation between site and mkey
  • Since the last release (v1.0.9.8) we have made several enhancements and worked hard on new features, which warrant the release of a new version.

    Get in touch to learn more about how we can integrate SALTO KS into your business.