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Digital services are permeating office environments across Europe


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Waldmann and BRIDGEMAKER are revolutionising everyday office life through their co-founding of start-up LIZ Smart Office GmbH.


(Villingen-Schwenningen/ Berlin, October 2019)
In September, Waldmann and BRIDGEMAKER are entering the Office Analytics market with LIZ, their recently founded Berlin-based start-up company. The smart free-standing luminaires made by the lighting pioneers from the Black Forest have integrated sensors that detect workplace utilisation levels, climate and noise levels. This data is evaluated by software, opening up the scope for new digital services. A refined data-based product range by the name of LTX has now entered the Smart Office market, providing a sense of well-being at the workplace. To found LIZ, Waldmann brought the experienced Berlin-based 'Company Builder' BRIDGEMAKER on board.


Rising rentals and the intense struggle for office premises are driving the need, not only in major cities, for greater efficiency in the use of working space. Changing and ever more fast-moving worlds of work are presenting new challenges to corporations and their payroll staff in respect of the everyday working environment. An attractive working environment is a key decision-making criterion for the high-potential individuals that every company seeks to win for themselves. It was to address these problem profiles that the Engineers of Light joined forces with the Company Builder to develop LIZ. The concept is founded upon more than 91 years of expertise in lighting and the comprehensive knowledge that Waldmann has in the use of office space. The team at BRIDGEMAKER, comprising innovators, founders and tech experts, contributed development know-how.


Smart LTX product portfolio

Thanks to LIZ, offices with dimly lit, poorly illuminated corners and conflicts about the thermostat are now a thing of the past because it offers a combination of software and hardware for workplace managers and salaried staff. The smart luminaire is equipped with sensors that communicate encrypted data. All it needs is a power socket, so it can be deployed flexibly. With LTX Admin, the workplace manager is able at any time to call up and analyse details of workplace utilisation, ambient humidity, noise level and many other factors. In the LTX Finder app, employees can find and book workplaces, can subscribe to push notifications of current utilisation levels and are therefore able to plan the structure of their working day in an efficient and stress-free manner. The development of these products focuses primarily on the well-being of people because a pleasant working atmosphere leads to greater motivation, better performance and a reduction in illness-related absence from work. “Office Transformation is a holistic task, one that we cover with a broad range of services. The collection of sensor data, their analysis and recommended actions derived from that form just as much a part of this as hardware and software products”, expounds Peter Bannert, CEO of the young start-up as he explains the services provided by LIZ.


Office Transformation as a strategic expansion to a business field


To expand this field of business, Waldmann created the post of Chief Digital Officer. This post was entrusted to Dr. Thomas Knoop, an expert in lighting and digitalisation. He emphasises the elegance, safety and practical nature of this concept: “The data are transmitted securely by Bluetooth. With other solutions, buildings need to be retro-fitted at great expense to turn them into Smart Buildings. Our system functions as a Plug & Play in any building. The evaluation logic makes services possible that always focus on the needs of people in a 2.0 working world”. The founding of LIZ constitutes the first important step towards Office Transformation. Christoph Waldmann, Marketing & Communications Director at Waldmann, highlights the far-reaching strategic scope of this project: “LIZ is our figurehead, guiding the Waldmann Group as it navigates into the future. In just a few years from now, the data that our smart luminaires generate for our customers will become every bit as important to them as the light with which they illuminate their office premises”.


LIZ at “Light + Building 2020” in Frankfurt am Main

Over the next few months, further field tests will serve to prove this new concept. The Light + Building 2020 trade fair in Frankfurt am Main provides Waldmann and LIZ with the right stage for their official product launch. With immediate effect, LIZ will turn its aspiration, “Creating the best version of your office” into reality.


About LIZ Smart Office GmbH:

The start-up, founded in Berlin in 2019, is revolutionising everyday office life with ingenious, data-based software solutions. Founded through cooperation as a Joint Venture between the Black Forest lighting pioneer Waldmann and the Company Builder BRIDGEMAKER, LIZ pursues the vision of “Creating the best version of your office”. The product portfolio includes smart luminaires as well as workplace consulting, as well as LTX Admin and the LTX Finder app for booking office workspace.


Waldmann - Engineers of Light

Waldmann is committed to the provision of high-quality lighting solutions created to meet the needs of people. Founded as an electrical installation business back in 1928, this medium-sized family-owned company, now in its fourth generation trading as Herbert Waldmann GmbH & Co. KG, is being run by Christoph Waldmann. At the company head office in Villingen-Schwenningen and at production and sales locations in ten countries around the world, around 1000 employees contribute towards the success of Waldmann. The company develops and produces lighting solutions and applications for Office, Industry as well as Care & Health. The Waldmann brand is synonymous with innovative workplace light solutions that are consistently designed to address human needs for natural light conditions.


About BRIDGEMAKER

This Company Builder, based in Berlin, has been forming successful joint ventures with industrial partners since 2016. On behalf of its partner, Bridgemaker devises new business ideas, evaluates them and guides them towards the stage where companies can be founded. Once they have been founded as companies, these start-ups remain embedded for a certain length of time in the eco-system of the Company Builder. In this way, Bridgemaker promotes its growth through the provision of targeted support in Sales, with recruiting and with follow-up financing. The 70-strong team of experienced founders, consultants and developers is this: to create genuine innovative power for scalable business models that not only achieve profitability but that also deliver sustainable values. Customers and partners of Bridgemaker are family-owned businesses, the SME sector as well as large corporations who seek new business models with great future potential. Through the ongoing implementation of new ventures, Bridgemaker also makes an important contribution to maintaining and further promoting Europe’s leading role in the global economy.