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AV Interview: Anders Karlsson, Humly

CEO of Swedish room booking specialists talks to us about the Humly difference.

By

5 March 2024

Interview:/ Christopher Holder

Humly room booking product combines Scando good looks with nerdy locked-down security. I started by asking Humly’s CEO, Anders Karlsson, about what makes Humly different.

Anders Karsson: What really sets us apart in the workplace experience segment is our focus on the user. We get a lot of praise for looking good and having a good-looking product in an office environment is important for the user experience. As human beings, we like pretty things. But that’s just, one perspective. The other reason why we attract so much attention is our focus on security and scalability. Our systems live on the client’s network so it’s very important to have something that’s really secure and trustworthy. By building all the hardware ourselves, writing all the code, running our own cloud and data centres… that means we have control of everything. And we let third-party penetration testers come in at every major release. They will look at the source code, test it, and make sure it’s as safe as can be. Because it’s an arms race – we’ve got to be one step ahead in that regard.

AV: What allows you to survive and thrive, and not simply be monstered by the big AV and IT names?

AK: If you’re just checking a box – putting a display outside the meeting room because you’re expected to – then you’re probably not looking at Humly. But we can provide a more holistic experience for the end users who really care about how their office is perceived. We can make it easy and efficient for the end users. That’s why we spent 10 years optimising the user interface so you don’t need to train anyone. There’s no clutter, there’s no confusion. Sure, it’s easier just to use an Android tablet, then sync it to the calendar… boom, you’re done. That’s a big market. But currently there are companies that want something a little bit more and focus more on the user experience. The timing is good for Humly. Companies want to create the right environment for employees. Come into the office and you can get more done and collaborate better.

AV: Is working from home frowned on at Humly?!

AK: Actually, we do a lot of working at home. Typically we all try to be in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. But space is at a premium in our downtown Stockholm office so our systems are important – if you don’t book a room or a desk on those days you might find yourself working on a sofa or in the kitchen!

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