Category Archives: ABCN Network News

WUN logo

Build it Well, Keep it Local and Speak Spanish! Taking a Page From WUN’s Playbook

WUN Systems, a North American based technology product and services company, specializing in the shared space industry, recently opened its 400th client location in one of its eight home cities of Miami, Florida.

That’s quite an accomplishment. So we thought we’d take a closer look at what this major service provider is doing right.

First is keeping it local. Providing local support is of key importance to owners and operators and no one knows this better than WUN. They have served local markets with eight North American offices; providing clients in 82 cities the ability to resolve their member’s technical issues in real time.

Even if they are not ‘right around the corner’ to their clients, they make sure it feels like they are.

Having local access to product is equally important. WUN now has multiple points of distribution of its equipment throughout North America, making sure that their clients have access to new equipment within a few hours of the need arising.

Do you speak Spanish? If not, you’d better learn. The spread of our global economy has led to the growth of Spanish as one of the most commonly used languages in North America.

Providing bi-lingual support has become critical to the success of companies supplying products and services into serviced office spaces, especially in areas where Spanish is prevalent.

WUN has taken the extra steps to ensure that their on-site training, on-site installation and on-site account management teams are all fluent in both English and Spanish. This insures that no matter which language their clients are most comfortable conversing in, WUN is able to communicate with them and their clients quickly and easily.

Of course, the bottom line is the quality of the product. That means having a sound infrastructure.

This is especially important given some of the violent storms and tornados which have swept the country over ..Read more


DBH Group Continues Expansion with Takeover of Exact Business Activities in Czech Republic and Slovakia

DBH Group, one of the pre-eminent business providers for small and medium enterprises in Central Eastern Europe, has taken over the activities of its partner, Exact Business Solutions, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

DBH is now the exclusive partner of Exact in five countries, including earlier deployment of services in Hungary, Croatia and Romania.

The goal, according to DBH CEO, Sandor Erdei, is to further solidify their international presence and to continue to grow their reputation as significant business providers of SMEs in central-eastern Europe.

The recent takeover of Exact’s business in Czech Republic and Slovakia certainly is a milestone toward that effort. The most recent expansion was put into effect April 1st and is expected to continue to roll out over the next few months.

The partnership between DBH and Exact has been active for several years. Exact provides a suite of superior software solutions which includes ERP, CRM, HR and financial components. The initial takeover of Exact’s business activities by DBH occurred back in December, 2013 in Hungary, Croatia and Romania and was so successful that the decision was made to further expand the takeover to include the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

DBH IT Services will be in charge of integrating the consultancy and first-line support to customers throughout all five countries, providing high level service for both existing and new clients. DBH brings with it all its local insight and expertise in terms of local and legal requirements in these countries. The second-line support is being managed by Exact Business Solutions in the Netherlands. Sales efforts will be handled locally.

We congratulate DBH Group for its ongoing dedication to providing the highest level of solutions and service and look forward to keeping track of their ongoing progress.


The Best and Brightest Gather in Washington D.C. as ABCN Kicks Off Its Annual Summit

Every year ABCN gathers an assemblage of thought leaders to discuss the state of the serviced office industry – where it’s going and the best way to move forward.

This year the summit is being held in Washington D.C. and, according to ABCN, “Where better to host a meeting of our industry’s greatest minds than in the city that has played host to countless revolutionary ideas, fierce disclosure and impassioned dreams?”

Where, indeed, as ABCN summits have become known for their lively sessions and challenging discourse, including lots of active participation from attendees.

On the agenda are speakers and sessions covering topics related to today’s serviced office space, virtual offices and coworking spaces. The meeting will run from April 29th through May 2nd.

Opening up the summit will be ABCN Chairman and founder, Frank Cottle, who will discuss the unique evolution of the serviced office space market and indicators as to where we are headed.

Rounding out the agenda will be experts from various segments of the industry, sharing their insight as to the issues facing today’s owners and operators.

Among them are sales and marketing guru, Norman Roth, who will address the challenge experienced by business center operators in attempting to market and sell to multiple generations; from baby boomers through to young millennials.

Dale Hersowitz of WUN Systems and Karen Condi of Alliance Office Strategies will address new sources of revenue for serviced office space providers.

Additional speakers and panel participants include Instant Offices, HubCreate and Alliance Virtual Offices. Wrapping up the summit will be some ‘Straight Talk’ from Frank Cottle.

ABCN organizers stress that these summits are not conferences or conventions in the traditional sense, but rather a meeting of some of the industry’s key contributors, to discuss the dynamic nature of this industry and ways to move forward against a changing canvas of new alternatives and ..Read more

Video tours - PicJumbo

Is This the Next Best Thing to a Personal Workspace Tour?

For a prospect considering a new serviced office space or a coworking membership, nothing beats visiting the venue for a personal tour.

Or does it?

With technology constantly shifting the workplace landscape, one pertinent field of development lies in business centre tours. What’s the best digital viewing platform operators can offer prospects ahead of – or in place of – a personal tour?

Some workspace operators have been trialling the use of video calls as part of the tour process. Using systems like Skype, Facetime or GoToMeeting, operators can take prospects on a virtual tour of their space with the help of a tablet or mobile device.

This method works best with a set walkaround ‘route’ and commentary by the operator, although of course mobile devices can fall foul to unsteady hands or poor picture quality.

Another method that doesn’t rely on the centre manager’s input is a digital 360 tour.

Real Office Centers (ROC) implemented the use of Google Business View to take users on a virtual tour of their space, which is widely considered as a promising field of development.

But what if you could take things up a notch?

Take a look at this immersive tour of London’s Abbey Road Studios. This piece of hallowed ground has been brought to life in a detailed digital recreation featuring interactive tour options, a commentary and even snapshots of famous faces:

It’s a unique production by Google complete with its own web app, and offers an incredible tour that few would otherwise have the chance to experience. Could it work for workspace venues too?

“It’s never going to replace an actual tour, in person, with a knowledgeable guide to show you around,” says Jane Erasmus, Sales & Marketing Director at UBCUK. However, Jane believes strongly in the ability of digital productions and video tours to provide a more immersive experience ..Read more

Dubai Silicon Oasis

ABCN Expands Business Centre Network in the Middle East

Since it was founded back in 1992, the Alliance Business Centers Network has reached many significant milestones. Chief among them is its vibrant membership portfolio, which has over 650 locations to its name – a figure that keeps on rising.

One of the Network’s most exciting areas of development is the Middle East. It’s a vast location that holds enormous opportunities for business entrepreneurs, yet it’s also one of the most difficult regions to navigate. The area is under-represented in terms of flexible workspace venues, with very few business centres and independent operators in the region.

ABCN has been working to make a difference by increasing the business centre presence in the Middle East, and to establish a support network for small and medium-sized businesses across the wider RMEA region (Russia, Middle East and Africa).

Spearheading the campaign is Sherif Kamel (pictured below left), President of Alliance Business Centers for RMEA – a dedicated industry advocate and business investor who is focused on growing the Alliance brand across the RMEA region.

“There is a tremendous opportunity awaiting entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to growing their businesses in the rapidly expanding RMEA region,” said Sherif.

“We, at ABCN, have identified a niche market for professional serviced offices supporting various associations ranging from one-man bands to corporate household names.”

To help business owners get off the ground, Alliance centres in the Middle East offer company formation assistance and local connections, in addition to serviced offices and on-site management.

With business centres in the iconic Dubai Silicon Oasis (pictured top), situated within a free trade zone, and the Dubai Business Village, Sherif and the team are now building on their success by launching more new locations throughout the coming year.

“We are expanding our business centers to Qatar, Bahrain, KSA and Russia to name a few. ABCN will also ..Read more


Catalina Basaguren Takes the Helm of ABCN Europe

The world of flexible workspace never stands still, and with such fast-moving change comes shifting roles, new responsibilities and fresh faces. And yet, the business centre industry is blessed with dedicated long-serving people – many of whom have been involved with the sector for decades, and who have actively participated in its growth and evolution.

One of those people is Sandra Petri, who has worked with ABCN for an impressive 13 years and, until recently, held the position of Regional Manager – Europe.

“Growth and change at ABCN comes in many forms, and it is with both sadness and joy that we announce the resignation of Sandra from her position with ABCN,” said Frank Cottle, Chairman of ABCN. In the spirit of the industry, Sandra is moving on to work with one of ABCN’s current Members in the Netherlands, so she will continue to work within the sector.

“John Milhado will also be leaving his position of ABCN’s Executive Director – Europe; and taking a new position of Director on ABCN’s new Board of Advisors,” Frank added. “John has worked with ABCN for 14 years, and I’m personally very grateful to John for taking this step. I believe that it will contribute to a number of benefits for us all.”

So who will be filling Sandra and John’s European shoes?

“We are pleased to announce that the full time position of Regional Manager – Europe will now be filled by Catalina Basaguren,” Frank announced.

“Catalina has been with ABCN for the past three years working with Members and clients. So, she is familiar with all aspects of ABCN’s operations globally, and knows many Members and Center management teams already.”

“At ABCN we try to never miss a beat, and we are excited about these opportunities for growth within the European region.”

While many Members and clients of ABCN ..Read more