Sunday, 2024 May 26

Second-gen entrepreneur on building technology to keep people safe, starting with office registration systems

This article was originally published on Oasis.

Christina Tubb defines herself as a binational person, both New Zealander and American. She jokes that Singapore is kind of halfway between the two countries, so it seemed like a natural place for her to end up living.

Growing up in the 1980s with her father being a tech entrepreneur, the dinner table at Tubb’s house was always packed with talks about software, technology, product upgrades, and software bugs.

Tubb went into consultancy after school. Then, in 2009, she was offered an opportunity by a mentor to join a mobile financial service company called eServGlobal. “One of the biggest accomplishments for us was launching some of the first mobile wallets in emerging countries,” said Tubb.

In 2010, Tubb was involved in a project with the US Agency for International Development to build a mobile wallet application in Afghanistan. “We made it possible for citizens to get their disbursements directly on their mobile phones. They could also send money to their families safely,” she said.

Following her experience at eServGlobal, Tubb covered other managing roles for companies such as RPM Global and MHB Holdings. From 2020, Tubb has been working for cloud-based staff and visitor management platform for enterprises Proxyclick, serving as vice president for APAC and the Middle East.

Recently, Tubb sat down with Oasis to discuss her mission at Proxyclick. She also shared how she carries her mission of building technology for people’s safety and their properties and how enterprise employee and visitor management platforms have evolved over the years.

Oasis (OS): What’s the connection between your mission and Proxyclick?

Christina Tubb (CT): Proxyclick is dedicated to connecting people with places, and we do it in a secure and repeatable way. When we talk about Proxyclick connecting people in places, it is all different types of people, from couriers to truck drivers, contractors fixing light bulbs, and customers. And then, all kinds of places from factories to offices, from warehouses to banks.

For example, one of our biggest customers is a food production company. They’ve got factories in some countries, and offices in other countries. Now, if one person in their factory would contract COVID-19, that’s a food safety issue. However, with the registration protocols we provide, we can determine which run of food they produced on which day, and we could act right away to throw away only the affected batch, preventing a larger recall.

In the same company’s headquarters, they want to roll out a VIP experience for their investors and customers. Therefore, our registration system can remember their guests’ favorite drinks and other preferences, for example.

Proxyclick has implemented COVID-19 check-in features to its ecosystem. Photo courtesy of Proxyclick.
Proxyclick has implemented COVID-19 check-in features to its ecosystem. Photo courtesy of Proxyclick.

OS: How did Proxyclick start? Why did Proxyclick decide to tap into niche technology such as managing visitors for buildings and offices?

CT: The idea of Proxyclick started as one of our three founders, Gregory Blondeau, felt the pain of the tedious registration process when he used to visit multiple buildings for business in the 2000s. Especially when he traveled across different countries, sometimes, receptionists would print the wrong visitor card or ask him to write his personal details down on a piece of paper and stick it on his jacket. It wasn’t very welcoming. So the first iteration of Proxyclick is really about creating a welcoming experience for the visitors.

Then, there was this tragic fire incident in London in 2017 at the Grenfell tower fire, which led to an upgrade for all the building safety rules in Europe. You could no longer let people write random names to walk in at the front desk. So Proxyclick started doing a registration system that makes sure visitors can check in and out safely.

The third iteration of Proxyclick was about data privacy. Before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective in 2018 in the EU, most buildings required visitors to write their first name, last name, phone number, and company name in a notebook. Anyone could take a scan and memorize those details, which could bring potential risks. Apart from complying with the GDPR, we also work with quite a few financial institutions, government, and defense contractors, so data privacy is non-negotiable for us. To my knowledge, we are the only cloud-based visitor management system in the world that has the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 Type I Certification.

When entering a building, visitors need to check their temperatures, and Proxyclick records the data for safety reasons. Photo courtesy of Proxyclick.
When entering a building, visitors need to check their temperatures, and Proxyclick records the data for safety reasons. Photo courtesy of Proxyclick.

OS: What are some new features that your company released in answer to the COVID-19 crisis?

CT: There are many new measures needed for employees to go back to work safely. Companies need to do COVID-19 health checks and contact tracing. Clients also need to manage the office space efficiently, as most companies are planning to reduce their commercial real estate footprint by 20% to 30% in the future. With all those changes, they need an application to help them to determine who’s going to come on-site and when. So, we must find ways for staff to work in the most productive way.

We have touchless check-in for visitors and employees that can run quick questionnaires for health-related questions. We also have a desk booking feature for employees, where they can book their desks and arrange their visits to offices accordingly.

OS: Are these changes here to stay even after the COVID-19 pandemic?

CT:  I don’t think we’re ever going to return to the world where 100% of people work in the office five days a week. I think there’s going to be many companies looking at moving towards a flexible direction. There will be downtown office centers where employees can choose to go from time to time. For office leasing, the whole floor won’t be fixed to a company anymore, and employees would have to book seats if they need to come to the office on certain days. Workplaces will be more like hotel rooms for rent.

I can’t predict the future, but I can say that property is the number two item after payroll on their expense list for most companies. If they could use technology to save on office rent costs while ensuring that their staff still get the job done happily while engaging with one another, changes will happen.

OS: What are some of the main challenges in selling your products to businesses?

CT: In the Asia Pacific region, technologies like Proxyclick are not something that you see every day. They don’t have a natural buyer. For many local companies, visitor management might be done by security or by facility management, while employee management and desk booking might be done by HR. Since the Proxyclick platform requires integrations from several different departments, sometimes it can be hard to know who’s actually in charge and who could be interested in buying the Proxyclick service. So for us, it’s about finding out who has the biggest potential to become a client.

Oasis, the brainchild of KrASIA, aims to provide a haven for human-centered stories on Asia’s leaders. Click here to read similar stories. 

Julianna Wu
Julianna Wu
Data visualist & writer

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