Home / CAFM / Software evolution

Software evolution

James Massey, Managing Director of Facilities Management for MRI Software talks to Sara Bean about the FSI rebrand and the burgeoning FM software market

Although there has been a steady rise in the adoption of CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) software over the past few years, the FM sector has been slow to invest in digital technology compared to the rest of the built environment. However, the pandemic prompted the installation of a range of solutions, such as sensors used with the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable real-time monitoring of hygiene servicing and track occupancy rates. As a result, by the end of 2020, the RICS revealed that 82 per cent of respondents had seen an increase in investments into digital solutions.

Reflecting a growing interest in digital solutions within the FM space, in August 2021, PropTech giant, MRI Software, a global leader in real estate solutions, announced that to bolster its FM portfolio it had acquired FSI, a UK-based provider of enterprise-class facilities management software. By June of 2022 FSI’s Concept Evolution software was rebranded as MRI Evolution, and now offers a range of FM solutions that complement its property software.


The Managing Director of MRI’s Facilities Management business, James Massey has led the transition, and brings over two decades of experience in PropTech to the role. He began his career as IT Manager for a social housing provider in the early 2000s, moving into the provider’s space with a company called IBS where he became a Consultant on their products, primarily around social housing. After IBS was acquired by Capita, he became a Sales Leader, before joining Castleton Technology, initially as the Strategy Director, then assuming the Chief Operating Officer’s role. He joined MRI following Castleton’s acquisition and became the MD of the FM business in October 2021.

“That role is a great honour to have,” he says. “We’ve got some great products and people, so my job is to look after those and our clients and roll these solutions out further into the market.”

Explaining why FSI particularly appealed to MRI given the range of providers in this space, he said: “We always like to acquire the best that we can. MRI was looking at FSI for some time as the breadth and depth of functionality was enviable and their client base is one to be exceptionally proud of, but also it was about the people inside their business. They’ve got some phenomenal individuals within that organisation who have been in the facilities management space for 30 plus years.

“This business is nothing without the people, so it was the client base, the organisation that went along with that, and the things that we can learn from them. In fact, that is one of the key things in any acquisition, which is why we always refer to them as being ‘heritage businesses’ because we retain their heritage, their knowledge and their learnings.

“FSI also had the technology that we wanted, modern, browser-based Software as a Service (SaaS), written in all of the latest technology that we wanted, and it filled a gap in our portfolio. We have other FM capabilities in our portfolio, but for us it filled that space of a truly enterprise wide SaaS based Facilities Management product.”


Following the acquisition, MRI Software supplies a range of CAFM related products, from enterprise FM system solutions to specific tools like MRI Evolution Contractor. The main benefits they say is that they are all connected, offering users a complete cycle to efficiently and safely to manage their facilities. They include:

MRI Evolution – a flagship enterprise FM system, which encompasses the whole back-office piece and pulls everything together.

MRI Evolution GO – a mission-critical solution designed for the mobile workforce, which is used by thousands of engineers.

MRI@yourservice – a solution designed for end-users/customers. Allowing people who live or work within a facility to engage with their FM management team.

MRI Evolution Contractor – for comprehensive sub-contractor onboarding, management and compliance.

MRI AccuServ and MRI Maintain – these came from the acquisitions of Orchard Information Systems and Castleton. Both are commonly used as social housing and repair contract management solutions and each have their own distinct position in that sector.

Explains Massey: “We’ve brought each of these five primary product teams together to combine best practice and deliver greater innovation, but they all operate independently and we are very clear that each one has its own road map and delivery team.”

“The rebranding is going well, and we’ve a common look and feel across all our products – it looks fresher and the user interface is even more intuitive. There’s always more work to be done, an ‘evolution’ you could call it, but the message has been well received.”

The broader MRI range of solutions can now be integrated into the FM portfolio, for instance, MRI eSight Energy Management, which enables property owners, operators, and occupiers worldwide to manage their energy consumption and environmental footprint. This software can be integrated with a broad range of real estate data sources to deliver a unified view of a company’s energy footprint – whether via interactive dashboards or detailed, customisable reports.

Says Massey: “For instance if we’re monitoring a HVAC system, if its power consumption starts to spike or drop, it is possible for MRI eSight to issue an alert to provide actionable insights that reduce consumption. When you tie that into Evolution, if you’ve an HVAC unit which starts to drop below a certain level of power consumption MRI eSight will tell Evolution, which will in turn raise a task for someone to go in to inspect. Here we see great synergies between FM and MRI eSight to monitor energy and it’s why we’re keen and excited to integrate them across the product stack.”

About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *