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Why would a 19 year old business want to reinvent itself as a tech start-up?


Why would a successful 19 year old business want to be a start-up? In mid 2015 this was a question discussed around the boardroom table at FM Innovations, a leading FM software company established in Melbourne back in 1997, that’s right, 19 years ago.

Co-founders, Kristiana Greenwood (pictured) and Ray Lodge (now retired), established and built the business up over that time, winning, and retaining, large contracts with both corporate and State Government agencies nationally.

In a 2012 FM software survey FMi was listed as the leading Australian FM solutions company and in the 2015 Frost & Sullivan survey the company was listed as a Tier 1 FM software company. The company has built an enviable customer base of over 50 blue chip clients across Australia, servicing more than 24, 000 buildings and over 14, 000 contractors, and accounting for hundreds of millions in financial transactions.

So why would they want to be a start-up again?

The answer was easy, “We need to disrupt ourselves and the FM software sector to ensure We remain the leading service provider, We need to embrace innovation and solve the problems our clients are experiencing” said Kris Greenwood, who was recently elected as the first female Chairman of the Facilities Management Association of Australia.

To support the new direction the company needed to act as a “PropertyTech” start-up. The hunt began to find a dynamic CEO to drive innovation and change within the business, July 1 2015 Mr Paul New, was appointed CEO. Paul came with an impeccable background including executive roles with Colonial First State Global Asset Management, Westfield, and most recently Greencap. He quickly led the research, development and adoption of a suite of innovative cloud-based software for Facility Management.

Mr New said, “The launching of FMi’s new venture FMiCloud™ is also breaking down budget barriers adopting a Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) model, no need for any expensive enterprise installations or ongoing maintenance costs. Our solution is future proofing property management and FM systems for our clients – and this is only the beginning!”

“We knew the cloud was the only way to go, so we adopted an approach we call, Any Device, Anytime, Anywhere ™ enabling Facility Managers to manage a single property, or portfolio of properties, from a smart device. Add to that a powerful analytics tool and simple Drag. Drop. Done ™ function we can make sense of the big data that is sitting within facility management software” Paul said.

Paul New
Paul New

What else has FMi been up to recently?

More than $5million dollars has been invested in the Australian designed and developed technology platform, resulting in total disruption of the FM software market with a cradle-to-cradle cloud based FM solution.

“2016 marks the next period of growth for the company and I’m very excited to see what other innovations we develop in order to continually disrupt the market, and importantly provide great value and the latest solutions to our clients”, Kris said.

FMi has also recently appointed Entrepreneur and Impact Investor, Geoff Gourley as a Board Advisor, Geoff’s extensive experience in the property sector and entrepreneurial ability will support FMi to commercialise, scale and attract future investment.