Throughout 2021, we have been making a series of improvements to our systems and facilities at Sussex Innovation – everything from cosmetic changes to brighten up our space and make it a better place to work, to upgrading older fixtures and hardware. Later this year, we’ll open our third innovation hub in Brighton city centre, and around the same time you can expect to see an all-new website with a fresh look and feel.

As more of us have come back to the office, we’ve observed that working patterns have changed permanently for many of our members. We’re conscious that with 9-5, Monday-Friday office hours becoming increasingly a thing of the past, we need to adapt to match this new reality.

Therefore, one of the biggest and most exciting changes on the horizon will be the arrival of our new facilities management platform. Essensys will enable our members to seamlessly manage your internet access and telephony, room and resource bookings, and payments remotely and at any time. The platform will be accessible via a members-only portal on our website and a convenient mobile app, and connect directly with all the infrastructure in the building. We’ll also have a dedicated backup circuit for WiFi, so your service should never be impacted by an internet outage.

Installation of the new technology is already underway at our Falmer site, and the transition to the new system will be happening in September. The new Brighton site will also have Essensys installed from its upcoming opening. As we are leaseholders rather than outright owners of our Croydon space – which has been fitted with state of the art WiFi and security access systems more recently – implementation for this site will be more complex and is not currently scheduled.

Many of our tenants in Falmer will already have heard from our team as we make final preparations across some of the full-time office space in the building. For all other members who work from the Centre, we’ve collected the answers to a few key questions you might be asking below. We will also be providing drop-in sessions on the week of launch to help resolve any issues and demonstrate the new platform as we move over.

What changes can I expect to see?

On the surface, not many – apart from a few keyholes that will disappear from the meeting and presentation rooms around the building. Most of the bigger changes will come in the form of the digital system.

How will this impact the service I receive as a member?

You’ll now be able to track all bills and payments relating to your membership (rent, rates, telecomms and room bookings) in one place, and access them at any time, instead of receiving a monthly invoice from our Finance department – though this will still be available as an option should you wish. You’ll also be able to easily set up call redirects and conference calls, check meeting room availability and reserve rooms directly, and access them immediately when your reservation begins. Indirectly, these changes will free up more of our Finance team’s time to support you with constructive consultancy and advice, and our Facilities team to organise more events and community initiatives.

How will I access my internet and telephony service?

Our IT administrator Lester will be working with tenants across the Centre to get you ready. In the majority of cases there will be no noticeable change in service, but over the migration weekend we will need to access offices to test the service. On the day of migration, all pre-registered staff will receive an email with an invitation to the Essensys Connect portal that will allow them to enable their WiFi.

Where can I download the app and how do I set up my account?

Your invitation email will include everything you need to sign in and set up your account – from there you will be able to control your WiFi, telephony and user access. Once this initial set-up phase is complete, links will be provided to a Sussex Innovation portal and companion mobile app, from where you will be able to book and cancel room reservations, view all bills and payments and register a company card to your account.

Does every employee need to create and register an account?

We will create a Group account for each member business, including all employees. New employees can be added at any time, by anyone on your team who has admin access. If you have any employees missing from your account at launch, or need to add new starters, we will show you how to do this at our drop-in sessions (see below).

What do I do if I need help or support?

There are detailed support pages available on the Essensys website, as well as a knowledge base and support line through the Connect portal. Members of the Sussex Innovation team are currently being trained on the new system, and we will be available in the Reception area during the week of transitioning to the new system to offer onboarding support and answer any questions.