MRI Ascend: Key takeaways for commercial clients

As a leader in commercial real estate solutions, MRI Software has long been supporting businesses to attract great tenants, run their businesses more effectively and manage numbers astutely. To better serve the needs of the commercial real estate market, we’ve now expanded our offerings to include solutions for real estate occupiers as well. We discussed how we’re doing this and unveiled our plans for the future at the recently concluded MRI Ascend APAC 2020 users conference. In case you missed the event or need a refresher, here are all the key takeaways from the event.

MRI @Work broadens our solutions for the commercial real estate market

The event officially announced MRI @Work – MRI’s suite of commercial real estate solutions that groups the commercial, financial and investment solutions MRI is known for, together with new additions of lease management and occupier solutions into the open and connected ecosystem of the MRI Platform. It is a holistic approach that allows commercial real estate businesses to efficiently manage their entire portfolio using an integrated solution.

Chuck McDowell, Corporate Leader of MRI @Work, adds insight to how the solution came to fruition and why it changes how we serve our clients for the better:  “We recognized that if we redesign our fundamental business processes we can help our teams think holistically across the technology, across business, across our partners and our services to ensure that we deliver the best solutions in a manner that reflects how people do business today and how they’re going to do business tomorrow.”

Recent acquisitions of ProLease and Leverton play an important role in future-proofing the commercial solutions that MRI offers. “Whilst we are famous in this region for commercial management and our investment suite, we are really seeing significant growth in areas such as the management of leases as an expense,” commented David Bowie, MRI’s Managing Director for APAC. “In the current COVID-19 crisis we see businesses taking a far more proactive approach to managing their lease portfolio – in managing compliance requirements as well as managing the expense line.”

Comprehensive solutions in lease administration and accounting strengthen our presence in the occupier space

While the MRI legacy in the region has been focused on real estate agencies and real estate investors, we have realized a growing market in the occupier space over the past few years and have worked into expanding our offerings to this group.

McDowell shared the journey of MRI in this sector, citing key acquisitions of Qube in 2017 and ProLease just last year: “ProLease provides lease administration, lease accounting, lease accounting compliance, space management, and facilities management solutions which are all fundamentally designed for the occupier market”.

“Over the upcoming release cycles, we are continuing to integrate solutions into our suite – so that both heritage ProLease and heritage MRI customers can mutually benefit from these solutions.”

We’re helping you identify areas for opportunities in managing leases using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With the acquisition of Leverton, we add AI-powered lease abstraction to our roster. With this capability, critical lease data are brought to the surface so it can be accessed, analyzed, and consumed for strategic business benefits.

By utilizing optical character recognition and AI, our solutions can simplify an otherwise complicated document that can run to hundreds of pages. Beth Schwartz, Senior Leader for Global Commercial Property Solutions, had this to say on the value this ultimately provides: “We are working to make it easier to understand the obligation between the tenant and the landlord. Having easy access to the critical lease information just a click away is a game-changer for how you work and hopefully leaves more time for you to live and play.”

We’re changing the way our financial and investment solutions work together

We have also focused on the strong interdependencies between financial and investment software to help you run a healthy business. This deeper understanding of how businesses need to manage their money to achieve their goals is what led us to merge our financial and investment products under a singular management team. “In the investment world, knowing the score generally takes the form of a return, a valuation, quantified risk or exposure for a portfolio, but really it all starts and ends with the trial balance,” said Arik Kogan, Senior Leader of Global Financial Investment Solutions. “Simply put, the management of money spans from the journal entry to the dividend check.”

By consolidating our operations in these two areas, we are positioned to deliver innovations more effectively. Kogan adds, “To ensure you know the score, we at MRI need to make sure that your back-office operations are running smoothly and are unencumbered by obstacles and interdependencies that don’t mesh right. We are making changes to how we operate and how we think about these solutions to better align with the realities of your day to day.”

Intuitive and responsive design across our solutions help you work more effectively

Helping you run your business smoothly is at the core of how we develop solutions, and one of the ways we incorporate this is by ensuring our products are designed to harmonise with the way you do your work. Applying User Experience (UX) principles, we’ve made previously non-responsive pages able to resize effectively, regardless of your monitor size. You’ll also see colour-coded reconciled transactions and automation of journalising those transactions in our new bank reconciliations tool.

Our user interface is also getting a makeover with new financial and overview dashboards that look elegant, are configurable and ultimately help you more effectively manage the risk and the opportunities associated with your portfolio. For example, our Accounts Receivable dashboard now gives you visibility on how long the disputes are holding up cash and allows you to prioritise the work through the task list and get it done.

All these enhancements and future plans supports the ultimate MRI mission:  Giving organizations the freedom to transform the way communities live, work and play through the industry’s most comprehensive, flexible, open and connected technology platform.

The growing family of solutions serves as a testament to MRI’s continued investment in the region and commitment to its customers. “This growth means that MRI is in a unique position to deliver innovative tech solutions for the entire region with greater scale, providing industry expertise and resources to a broader market,” said Patrick Ghilani, CEO of MRI Software. “It’s one thing to grow and scale in good times, but we’ve worked closely with our clients to weather storms and to do so with financial stability and a renewed purpose, to not only respond to change, but to lead the change.”

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