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Like blockchain and AI they drove a real estate company in the software business

Three red bars towered over the computer screen of Justin Segal, president of Boxer Property, a commercial real estate company in Houston. Each bar represented a tenant of the office that an algorithm had foreseen would have defaulted on its lease.

"So these three – we are (probably) going to lose them," said property president Boxer Justin Segal.

Forecasts, based on the analysis of the algorithm of a variety of data, including trends in the industries of rented companies, would help the Segal plan for the future. A default value may not come true, Segal said, but identify the likelihood that a Boxer will be prepared if he has more room for the office to be rented.

This is just one example of proprietary software applications developed by Boxer, which recently blew up a new company, Stemmons Enterprise, to sell its technology to businesses of all kinds. The software incorporates two of the most modern technologies, artificial intelligence and blockchain today, providing both predictive capabilities that can help companies react to situations before they happen and the ability to track and verify documents, transactions securely financial and other commercial activities.

Stemmons is among the small number of companies that are not just talking about the potential of the blockchain, but are also employing technology for everyday business applications, said Dan Nossa, a lawyer specializing in blockchain projects at the time. Steptoe company and Johnson in The Woodlands. Blockchain is best known for its role in cryptocurrency, but its applications can extend to almost any business.

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"Read all these articles about the potential of blockchain," said Dan Nossa, a lawyer with experience in blockchain projects working at the Steptoe and Johnson law firm in The Woodlands. "But companies that are actually doing things are harder to find."

Stemmons Enterprise software uses artificial intelligence to make sense of vast data collections and blockchains to keep data safe, charging approximately $ 25 per user per month with lower rates for larger organizations with many users . Two years later, Stemmons has a growing and diverse list of clients seeking answers to a wide range of questions, from the Hines developer in Houston to New York University.

"How likely is a student to fall or fail?" Segal asked. "What oil platform will be declining for maintenance? Or which customer segment is likely to increase their orders?"

Boxer Properties started developing software in 2011 for its own use. The company manages 18 million square feet of office space, and Segal was looking for ways to best execute the operation, from responding to a tenant's maintenance requests to finding new contacts.

Artificial intelligence – which can vary from tasks to analyze data to make predictions – allows Boxer to do more than identify tenants who may not rent, helping to determine which buildings air conditioning crews should give priority or which employees are making mistakes in leasing. Blockchain protects all the records created along the way.

Many people describe the blockchain as a distributed ledger. Imagine if every time a company made a transaction, a million people wrote it in millions of different books. The possibility of going back and cooking those books would disappear because you would have to rewrite so many

Blockchains does the same thing, distributing transaction records to countless computers, creating unique identifiers that are impossible to change and protect the ownership of all kinds of assets. This is especially important in a digital age where documents, pixels and timestamps can be easily edited.

"This is a real responsibility, because we are able to track and verify things." Segal said. "Instead of Bitcoin, it could be the title of your home, it could be the actions of a company, it could be your leasing."

Integrating the blockchain into software that helps companies communicate, manage flows working and analyzing data, Stemmons Enterprise is introducing technology to people who will not normally look for it.

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Jordan Jenks, owner and managing partner of Gulf Coast Flooring in Houston, began removing, installing, resurfacing and polishing floors for Boxer properties about seven years ago and said he was immediately impressed by Boxer's ability to track of all their projects without any interruption in communications.

As soon as he learned that they were selling their business operations platform, he was interested. Jenks said he spent 60 to 70 hours a week to react to problems before using the Stemmons Enterprise software. Now, Jenks is avoiding many of these problems because he is able to better monitor operations, revealing, among other things, employees who may have too many things on their plate or need retraining.

"I have no idea how (blockchain) works or even what it does," said Jenks, who leaves the details to his systems manager. "The week when we went to live with the software, the problems went from the head to the level of life".

Blockchain is advertised as potentially capable of disrupting industries that depend on intermediaries, such as trading in securities, bonds and commodities and ensuring clear ownership of assets, such as real estate insurance. But Nossa, the Woodlands lawyer, said that these upheavals will come more to the evolution than to the revolution .. As more companies like the Gulf Coast pavement integrate the blockchain in their daily operation, the networks will grow to reach their disruptive potential. [19659003] "This is how the entire infrastructure will be built," he said. "Over time, you'll be able to bring together a building in a more complex ecosystem."

Segal, whose corporate headquarters are decorated with vestiges of past companies – a Rolodex in the lobby, a rotary telephone in an office – stood in front of a collection of framed and hand-painted price tags hanging on a ladder that he carried down. For Segal, they remember that change is constant and companies hoping to survive must continually adapt and adapt.

"Technology is moving," said Segal. "And if we do not anticipate it, we'll be like a store trying to keep up with hand-painted price tags."

rebecca.schuetz@chron.com

twitter.com/ raschuetz

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