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By Disrupting the Office Space Industry, The Executive Centre Creates Spaces for Innovation

Posted by Ronen Naishtein, Oracle NetSuite GM, Asia, HK & TW

From conference room walls made of whiteboards to wallpapered cubicles, even a cursory tour of The Executive Centre in Sydney’s Barangaroo, immediately conveys that this is no traditional workspace.

When the company launched in 1994, it set out to be just that – more than just shared office space, but a flexible, holistic work experience for ambitious professionals that spanned space, services and networking opportunities.

“Businesses today need more than just basic office space, they need to be able to offer an experience that meets the demands of a global and mobile workforce,” said Jason Wong, CIO of the Hong Kong-based business.

Underpinning the whole concept was the idea of bringing the so-called subscription economy to physical spaces. In doing so, The Executive Centre disrupted the industry for traditionally leased office space. Instead of leasing space in buildings for several years, businesses could pay for what they needed and easily scale up when they needed more. All the while, everything employees needed to work would be provided for them – from furniture to receptionists to like-minded people to bounce ideas off of – to encourage productivity and creativity.

It was a business model that proved irresistible, quickly attracting a range of businesses from startups to global giants like Twitter, Pfizer and Expedia, who flocked to the unique global working community. Demand for The Executive Centre’s office space, services and subsequent in-person events and online community skyrocketed. The company added properties in prime locations across Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and continued to enhance everything in and around those spaces. That included technology, adding contemporary interior design, and a wide range of business services such as concierge, accounting, professional translation and even people management.

In 10 years, the company has opened 103 new locations across 29 Asia Pacific cities. With that expansion came increased complexity. It needed to manage multiple subsidiaries in different currencies and ensure compliance with complicated multi-country tax regulations. And it needed the agility to open new offices, fast, as it was growing upwards of 22 percent a year.

“As we expanded our network and services to meet those requirements, we needed to rethink our business operations,” Wong said. “With NetSuite we have a global business management platform that has reduced operating complexity and enabled us to focus time and resources on delivering the ultimate work experience for our clients.”

In replacing Microsoft Dynamics NAV with NetSuite OneWorld, The Executive Centre streamlined accounting and compliance, and gained visibility across its hundreds of locations. It could easily roll up global operations to a single, centralized view, and with Advanced Revenue Recognition, long-time customer contracts could be accounted for over time, rather than just a onetime lump sum for a more accurate revenue picture. To accelerate its customer-centric processes, it integrated NetSuite with its existing CRM system, gaining the ability to shave several days off quoting and signing new business.

Above all, it’s easy to provision NetSuite for new locations, and maintain and accelerate that 22 percent annual growth rate. The Executive Centre now supports more than 20,000 members, and has 125 centers across 13 countries, including China, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka and Macau as well as its recently opened location in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Further expansion is also set with the upcoming new centre openings in Collins Square, Melbourne and Frasers Tower, Singapore in October 2018.

The organization has set its sights on growing further and faster. It’s constantly evolving its services and environments with the needs of its members, “anticipating new ways that it can facilitate their growth and empower their success,” according to its website.

“As our global network continues to expand, we are always asking, what more can we offer, what else can we do?”