Aviation Office Gets a Co-Pilot

22Miles Sky Reserve App
The Sky Reserve app can reserve a hot desk or provide turn-by-turn directions to any space in SkyCenter One. (Image credit: 22Miles)

In early 2022, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority began the move into its new home at SkyCenter One, a luxuriously appointed office building located at Tampa International Airport (TPA) that's connected to the transportation hub’s main terminal via a 10-minute tram ride. The move represented an opportunity for TPA to create a sleek new corporate workspace and modernize its employee experience with new tools to support remote and hybrid work.

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The Aviation Authority, which operates TPA, occupies three of the building’s nine floors, a total of more than 90,000 square feet of office space. Officials didn’t just intend to open a new nerve center for TPA at SkyCenter One; they wanted to create a modern hub for activity-based work, with more than 280 hot desks and meeting spaces. They also wanted to smooth the transition for TPA employees by making it easy to navigate their new workplace, request help from facilities, and collaborate with each other.

Also, the TPA isn’t alone at SkyCenter One. The building houses its own conference center, as well as tenants ranging from real estate offices to health insurance providers to cybersecurity companies. SkyCenter One needed a solution that could guide visitors and contractors around the site while prioritizing the security of the building’s occupants.

SkyCenter One

The new SkyCenter One building houses the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. (Image credit: 22Miles)

Any solution would also need to be eco-conscious. SkyCenter One is Tampa Bay’s first LEED Platinum-certified building. The architects, owners, and tenants had no desire to dilute their commitment to energy efficiency with, for example, a building-wide deployment of large-scale digital signage—but the occupants needed the advantages that a strong visual communications system offers.

More Than Reservations

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority worked with integrator AVI-SPL to design audio and visual systems throughout its new office space. A key aspect of the solution was a custom enterprise iOS app, Sky Reserve. Powered by the 22Miles Content Management System (CMS), Sky Reserve allows anyone with a TPA corporate iPhone to access their digital workplace experience, whether they are onsite or working remotely.

AVI-SPL and 22Miles hosted a series of meetings with hardware vendors and the client to identify the right solution for the project. “Working with 22Miles in the discovery portion of the project was just what was needed for a solution to the client’s complex needs,” said Rebecca Criswell, account manager for AVI-SPL. “Their experts joined us for several conversations to discuss the solutions and alternatives, stayed right on top of dates and timelines for completion, and became a part of our success team.”

The discussions resulted in a custom app combining a space reservation solution, digital directories, and integrated wayfinding. TPA employees can use the app to reserve a hot desk or meeting room, get turn-by-turn directions to any space in the building, and locate colleagues in real time.

22Miles Sky Reserve at SkyCenter

AVI-SPL installed Embrava desk-booking smart sensors, which are integrated with the 22Miles Sky Reserve app. (Image credit: 22Miles)

Integrations with other enterprise systems make the app even more valuable. With Office 365 integration, employees can verify their co-worker’s availability, reserve a meeting space, schedule a videoconference, and send an invitation to all participants with just a few clicks in the app. TPA employees can also submit maintenance requests directly through the app.

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Sky Reserve prioritizes both ease of use and security for TPA employees. The app uses active directory single sign-on, giving workers access to all resources they need from a single login. AVI-SPL also installed Embrava desk-booking smart sensors throughout the TPA offices. The 22Miles CMS integrates with the Embrava system, eliminating the need to check in or out of a reserved space manually: As long as employees have their phones, the system knows they are there.

SkyCenter One visitors such as contractors, conference delegates, or tenant customers get their own custom experience. Instead of a native app, they can access a browser-based HTML5 app with a simple QR code scan. Powered by the same 22Miles CMS backend, the app offers a building directory with wayfinding and turn-by-turn navigation.

Who, What, Where, When

The solution has not only eased the TPA’s transition to a new hybrid office, but also enabled its decision makers to better assess their workplace needs and collaboration practices on an ongoing basis. Through the reporting capabilities of the integrated 22Miles and Embrava systems, facility managers have a truly accurate portrait of who is using the space, as well as how and when.

Over time, this will allow TPA to continuously improve SkyCenter One by furnishing offices and meeting rooms with the systems common to the most in-demand spaces, creating more independent or collaborative spaces in alignment with worker behaviors, or expanding or contracting their physical footprint in response to actual usage. The single, centralized 22Miles backend makes it easy for facility managers to make changes and propagate them instantly to all employees and visitors.

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Sky Reserve has also positioned facility managers to be more responsive and prepared in the face of an emergency or public health concern. Using the 22Miles CMS, facility managers can disable or enable a space on demand. For example, they can efficiently restrict bookable spaces to increase social distance, remove spaces from inventory to be disinfected, and perform employee contact tracing to enable anyone with potential exposure to be swiftly notified.

As the new home of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, SkyCenter One offers employees and visitors alike the resources they need, right at their fingertips. Through expertly integrated enterprise systems, facility managers have the centralized ticketing, data, and administrative access to provide exceptional support, plan for the future, and respond to extraordinary circumstances. This is a modern workplace built on a technological foundation that can evolve to serve its occupants’ needs for whatever comes next.

The staff of Systems Contractor News serves the AV integration industry with thorough news analysis, trend reports, and the latest product and technology information—delivered to an audience of decision-makers.