Optix is the ultimate reference in experience-centric workspace management. It boasts leading customer brands and promises to become your next flexible space operating system. Coworking operators are drowning in routines, but at the same time they think about members’ comfort, so such framing hits a nerve. Flexible spaces need a fix and Optix provides it. Though, not without a fly in the ointment as the Optix solution comes with a hidden cost, you’d better be aware of.
On the other hand, andcards is also a well-designed all-in-one tool that totally embraces the management of a flexible workspace, both its administrative and community side. Here’s why you should ditch Optix, and start using andcards for growing your business and strengthening your community.
Both andcards and Optix take good care of members’ autonomy with their gorgeous apps and simplify managers’ daily workflows. But if we need to put it shortly, Optix focuses more on booking, billing, and issue reporting. While andcards, in addition to booking and billing basics, offers a greater feature set (event management, visitor management, external bookings, mobile apps for admins, etc.) at a ~40% lower cost.
“I can honestly say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the app developed by andcards. The app made us more efficient and gave customers’ confidence. It became the tool to sustain and expand the business.” —Stephen Carrick-Davies, the founder of Hatcham House
Let’s take a closer look at the feature-to-feature comparison of the platforms.
When you purchase a coworking space management system you probably expect to get a universal cross-platform tool that works across a variety of devices, from phones to tablets to laptops, and can be used by everyone — administrators, members, and even non-members — without any exceptions.
If you choose andcards, you get exactly what you expect or even more. I.e.:
“We wanted to give our customers super functional and easy-to-use apps and we managed to do it with andcards. Members use them every day and we never get questions like “How do I do this in the app?” I think that is incredible feedback.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
If you choose Optix, be ready to sacrifice administrators’ mobility as they will have to perform their daily tasks using desktop computers. Optix doesn’t provide mobile apps for admins. Members on the contrary will have only mobile apps for bookings and communication. As to non-members, your apps won’t be available for them at all.
Building a strong brand is something every farsighted coworking business pursues. You want every touch point with customers to reflect your style and vision. For this reason, you place your logo on the app, customize fonts and colors until each and every element supports your brand.
At first glance, having a custom web domain may not seem like a big deal for coworking businesses. So, when you get to know that Optix doesn’t provide it appears more or less ok.
However, there are actually quite a few weighty reasons why having a custom domain is important.
andcards is really into customers’ success, which is impossible without strong branding. That’s why your management platform developed by us will remain truly yours and reside on your domain.
For most coworking spaces attracting new customers and earning more money are critical matters. Your management app can be really helpful here if it allows making your resources and amenities publicly available like andcards does. Here’s how it works.
If you have a lot of meeting/conference rooms or desks and they stay empty during certain days of the week, you can make them available for external customers. Everything they need to book a desk or a room at your space and pay for it is your app, which they either access from their browser or download from AppStore or Google Play.
“CitySpace was able to open up to outside customers through the app. The ability to book and pay instantly allowed us to shorten the distance with people who use office space ad hoc.” — Jakub Bawoł, Marketing Manager at CitySpace
Your revenue opportunities with andcards are not limited to desks and rooms only. You can also sell event tickets or shop products to external customers. What’s more, you can even make your newsfeed public to show that active community is something potential clients can benefit from.
A meeting room display is one more awesome feature of andcards that has no analog in Optix. It is aimed to display a room's status, quickly check in customers, and assist members with bookings.
Here’s how it works.
You can place a tablet with a meeting room display on, in front of the meeting room for members' reference and interaction. The display will show if a particular room in a particular workspace is occupied or free at the moment, what is the ongoing meeting progress, and what time it will be available for the new booking. It will also have a check-in button for customers to confirm their reservation and a trackable QR code for immediate booking of that room.
Not only members will love your meeting room display but administrators as well. The gadget will free your space from booking abuse when a member books a room and never shows up. If a member doesn’t check in on time, the booking is auto-released making the amenity available for those who require it.
Besides, just think about the image-making WoW effect the technology will make on the coworking space members, especially when enhanced by other smart integrations like automated access control and visitor check-in.
Organizing events is one of the most rewarding yet time-consuming activities in a coworking space. Most coworking platforms including Optix offer integration with some third-party event management tools such as Eventbrite to help administrators cope with it. However, such a solution brings plenty of drawbacks. The biggest of them are:
Now, let’s see how it happens on andcards.
“The thing about the events is that it is such a powerful way for us to send our message without saying it out. Our event schedule says so much about who we are and what we do without having to say anything. By offering the Events feature inside the main app, andcards helped us paint that picture.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
“When we were just brand new and just starting to fill up, our events attracted a thousand people to LAMB in six months.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
“This whole thing about making events public is amazing. You just changed our entire work process, saved us many dozens of hours that we spent managing events. You've made it so easy and so simple.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
Since members run their businesses in your coworking space, they frequently invite visitors. These may be partners, customers, contractors, or whoever.
Your part of the job here is to provide utmost comfort for members and their guests while keeping your workspace secure and preventing access for unauthorized people. The best solution to the challenge is implementing a visitor management system that would quickly check in visitors, track who goes where, log visit time, store data for further marketing usage, and keep your door closed for unwanted people.
Good for you, andcards includes a fully operational VMS, so you won’t have to purchase some third-party solution and integrate it with your main app. Your members can quickly pre-register their visitors, and when guests come, they will feel welcome at your coworking space as the entire check-in process takes just a few seconds.
Today it’s not enough to provide just a comfy space to work to beat the competitors. You need to lure customers with unique perks to prove that it’s really advantageous to have a membership at your space.
You need to build a gorgeous showcase of perks somewhere and give members a simple way to discover and apply for them. With andcards, you won’t have to invent the wheel and just add all your benefits in a worthy benefit catalog.
“We wanted our members to really easy see the variety of our offers. We wanted them feel like they open up the app and it's like a candy shop. When members open their apps for the first time, a lot of them have the same reaction which is “Oh, WOW, so modern, so endless, WOW.” They love it.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
Just like with events, members will see what’s new every time they open their apps and apply for the benefits they like with a tap.
On most management platforms, including Optix, credits are just an advanced version of free hours to book meeting rooms. They appear in the form of emoji: ⭐️, 💎 or 🍑, which is fun, easy to understand, and offers greater flexibility to differentiate meeting rooms.
What is different about the credit system on andcards is that members can use their credits as a universal “currency” that is valid on the territory of a particular coworking center. They can not only book rooms and desks for credits but purchase event tickets or shop items and pay with stars, diamonds, or pitches. :-)
“Members purchase services through the app using their pre-paid credits instead of real money because this is stress-free and exciting, almost like a thrill of online shopping type of experience.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
This is a real breakthrough in terms of buyer’s psychology as the moment your members stop using their banking cards, they start to spend more. For instance, it may not be an easy choice for a member to pay $20 for a culinary class from a chef. But if the price is only 2 pre-paid credits, they don’t have to choose, they just go and learn new skills.
“They've already paid for the credits, the transaction has happened. But the credits give them monopoly money to play with. So automatically it feels more fun. Those credits are in their account. The only choice is to use them and it’s an easy choice. Instead of spending 200 kroner to go to an event, they're spending their two credits, and they treat those credits like gold.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
What’s more, credits can become your tool to impact members’ behavior. For example, you can help members work out healthy habits or improve their skills by rewarding their regular gym training or learning activities with credits.
“Now we're talking about using the credits as a gamification-like reward system. If a member goes to the gym three times a week, we are going to reward them with extra permanent credits. Or if they develop a healthy habit that they do for some weeks in a row, we can reward them with credits. We can turn credits in a sort of tool to encourage the healthy habits and routines that we really want to see and do it in a way that doesn't create pressure on people.” — Lindsay Hedenskog, CEO and COO of LAMB
Seizing more opportunities will make members healthier, happier, and more successful. Since all these achievements will be associated with your brand, they will stay with you longer.
The last but not least point of our comparison is the price. For many coworking spaces, it plays a decisive role, which is quite understandable. No one wants to use the system that breaks their bank every month. If you are one of those savvy operators, here’s what you need to know.
Both systems have three pricing plans Essential, Professional, and Custom, which you pick out depending on the size of your business.
andcards and Optix ratings on Capterra
Essential plan, which is the top choice of startups and small spaces will cost you as low as $179 per month on andcards with 100 users, 2 locations, a progressive web app, 24 hours support, and an array of other features included.
The same plan on Optix will cost you $199 per month with only 50 users, and 1 location included. Please also note that the Essential plan on Optix has a very stripped-down feature list.
“We rolled out the platform at the turn of the month, which is when our invoices usually go out. We basically turned the email invoice off, put it on the platform, and on day one, people started to pay through the app. It saves us so much time and that alone is worth the fee for the subscription. Just that, because I hate collecting cheques from people.” — Kenneth Penn, The Lab on Dexter
If we compare the Professional plans of both platforms, which are good for growing coworking spaces, their prices are $299 per month for Optix and $289 per month for andcards. The difference may not appear drastic at a glance. But this is just the tip of the iceberg because in the case of andcards you buy a kind of all-inclusive package, but in the case of Optix it’s just a starting price and your bill will go up significantly.
For instance, if you have more than one location, your bill for Optix immediately grows by $99 ($299 + $99) per each! location, while andcards’ price stays the same even if you already have 20 locations and are going to launch 21st (we don’t charge for locations!)
Next, your initial Professional plan includes 100 active users both on andcards and on Optix. But what happens when you grow? If you want to add additional users on Optix, you will pay $2 per each, which is $100 for 50 users. On andcards, you will pay only $50 for 50 additional users, which is only $1 per user. We don’t want our customers to stress about additional users they add in the app, we want them to grow their business.
Furthermore, the Professional plan on andcards includes white label mobile apps for admins, members, and nonmembers, while Optix charges $99 for members’ apps (as you remember, the vendor doesn’t provide mobile apps for admins.)
Also, andcards doesn’t charge you for white label creation and revision, platform brand removal, dedicated success manager, and priority support while everything recapped comes as a paid add-on on Optix.
“We are very satisfied with andcards because we received everything we needed while having excellent customer support. What makes me especially happy is that the product "lives"—each subsequent iteration has the character of a rational evolution, based on adding more tools that, above all, are functional.” — Jakub Bawoł, Marketing Manager at CitySpace
If you make simple calculations, you will realize that Optix will cost you approximately 40% more than andcards.
Optix is a powerful coworking space management platform with a nice design and a massive list of features. However, I do feel it has major drawbacks that will hinder your team’s productivity and drain your wallet. I think andcards is a brilliant Optix alternative that offers incredible value for your money (we even have an award for that!) with all those additional tools and the absolute absence of hidden fees.
Can’t wait to see andcards in action? Book a personal demo call with our expert right now! Don’t have time for a one-on-one demo? Take a quick six-minute product tour here.
Want to compare more platforms to andcards? Check out our andcards VS Cobot guide.
P.S. If Optix gets an update and this article becomes outdated, just drop me a line at email@example.com and I will make amendments to the blog.