Life Fitness, best known for gym equipment, is getting into the software business via a cloud facility management system called the Halo Fitness Cloud.
The effort comes as fitness players are increasingly connecting gym experiences to virtual training and integrating with wearables such as the Apple Watch. Gym management software can provide a health club with more touch points to compete with virtual rivals such as Peloton.
Life Fitness' cloud venture also highlights digital transformation as well as industry-specific cloud offerings from companies that traditionally aren't software providers. In this new world, Life Fitness becomes a cloud ERP system and a office furniture player like Steelcase becomes a facility productivity IoT vendor.
Halo Fitness Cloud has a variety of plans, but the overall aim for Life Fitness is to provide more touch points and personalized digital experiences to gym members. Life Fitness noted that gym members cancel memberships at a rate of 30 percent a year. That churn is brutal and the bet is better fitness management tools can improve retention.
Jason Worthy, vice president of digital solutions at Life Fitness, said the Halo effort comes out of the company's digital ventures group. Halo, which runs on Amazon Web Services, is designed to aggregate a member's data to give gym operators more insights to goals and lifestyle choices outside of the health club.
"There are 2 million workouts a day happening on Life Fitness and we can enable a conversation that's different with a hybrid of software, hardware and relationships," said Worthy.
As for the business model, Halo has annual plans that run from $3,500 to $7,000 and add-ons that are available. There's also a standard free version of Halo so gym operators can try out the cloud service.
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According to Life Fitness, the Halo Fitness Cloud includes:
- A guided fitness journey for exercisers that includes recommendations on apps, wearables and workouts. Members can schedule classes, communicate with trainers and track goals.
- Facility operators can manage facility and equipment maintenance and track when a member is at risk of canceling their membership.
The fitness industry is fragmented and Life Fitness is betting that it can leverage its equipment footprint to expand into enterprise resource management. Life Fitness' brands include Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and Cybex in addition to others.
What's unclear is how much Life Fitness will have to compete with established enterprise vendors. For instance, Life Time Fitness, a large health club chain, has bet on cloud offerings from the likes of Salesforce and Workday for its operations.
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