Aug 18 2017

RIB revamps iTWOcx

RIB’s cloud-based construction collaboration platform has been updated, with its SaaS operations contributing about 13% of total group revenues.

RIB software logoIn a previous post, I mentioned RIB‘s iTWOcx (the product formerly known as Australia’s ProjectCentre – acquired by Germany’s RIB in October 2012). A new release of the cloud-based platform was recently launched, with the business “thrilled to announce the much-awaited update to the Register Module … the Publication Space” (read the 1 August 2017 news announcement). This is apparently the result of nearly three years of collaborative development between RIB’s development centres around the globe, and incorporates several highly requested new features:

  • New look and feel – document management is now more simple and intuitive to use, and there.
  • Drag and drop uploading – with the ability to fill out metadata for documents while they upload in the background (“Upload and walk away”), and to send documents into the correct workflow and put them in front of relevant reviewers.
  • Improved searching and reporting – including a new purpose-built search engine providing “intelligent search” tools and “Suggested Searches”.
  • Mobile apps – a RIB iTWOcx app (in Apple iOS and Android versions) links users to projects running the Publication Space, allowing them to access, view, and store documents on their devices for online or offline access.

These updates follow improvements to the platform’s tendering module, announced in June 2017.

RIB financial update

The main RIB group, which describes itself as “the world’s leading provider of 5D BIM Big Data technology for the construction industry,” generated revenues of €97.9m (c. £89m or US$115m) in 2016, up 19% from €82.1m in 2015, returning a pre-tax profit of €33m, against €20.9m in 2015 (read the news release). However, the group’s Software-as-a-Service revenues comprise a relatively small amount of total revenues: €12.5m (c. £11.4m or US$14.7m) in 2016, and – with no acquisitions to boost revenues as we saw in previous years (with the Docia deal, for example) – grew more modestly, up 4.2% from 2015’s €12.0m.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/rib-revamps-itwocx/

Aug 17 2017

Asite (briefly) excited about Australia

Since the mid-2000s, the Australian SaaS construction collaboration market has been led by Aconex, but rivals are queuing up to chip away at its domestic dominance.

Asite logo 2012On 22 June, I noted how London, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology provider Asite was pumping out a stream of news announcements – its G-Cloud, Redrow and Imtech announcements were soon followed by news of a deal with Cambridge University (14 July 2017), the 25 July announcement of its CDE-based clash detection functionality, and then another enterprise deal announcement (26 July), this time with the Scotland and northern England-based Robertson construction, infrastructure and support services group.

On 3 August, I got an alert to yet another news release issued via PRNewswire: “RCR Tomlinson in Australia have been busy adopting Asite’s Adoddle platform across their entire Project portfolio!“. As I was busy with other matters (post), I didn’t immediately click through to the link, but when I did two days later, there was a notice saying:

“We are advised by Asite that journalists and other readers should disregard the news release, RCR Tomlinson in Australia have been busy adopting Asite’s Adoddle platform across their entire Project portfolio!, issued 03-Aug-2017 over PR Newswire. The company plans to issue a revised version next week.”

With a quick Google search, I found at least one copy of the 3 August announcement (even that may disappear soon). When I sought clarification, an Asite spokesperson told me it had been retracted as some client quotes hadn’t been included. RCR Tomlinson is one of Australia’s leading engineering companies, working in the infrastructure, energy and resources sectors, and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, ASX.

In the meantime (16 August), Asite has issued yet another news release – this time concerning Asite’s Adoddle being selected for the development of the Anglo-French IFA2 electrical projects by National Grid and RTE.

Australian market analysis

Aconex logo 2014I look forward to seeing the Asite announcement about RCR Tomlinson (a one-time Aconex customer). However, this deal will only make a small dent in Melbourne-based Aconex’s domination of the Australasian collaboration technology market. Aconex (also ASX-listed, and due to report its year-end results next week, on 22 August) has developed a strong and mature customer base in its home regional market, with some major enterprise deals helping it to generate strong earnings at good margins. For the year to 30 June 2016, Aconex reported profitable growth across all regions, with Australasia up 35% to Au$48.8m, the region accounting for just under 40% of the company’s global revenues.

However, various competitors have tried to tempt Australian customers away over the years; for example:

  • Conject had a local partner, Zavanti, for some years, and later established a Singapore office that serviced clients in the Asia Pacific region, before Aconex acquired the Conject business in March 2016.
  • 4Projects, as it was then, started operations via a local reseller in 2012 (post), and after 4Projects’s acquisition by Viewpoint, the reseller’s Milton Walters (now at Procore) was quite bullish in June 2013. However, the relationship turned sour in 2014 as Viewpoint switched to a direct sales model, a move which prompted a lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court (see 4Projects facing Au$9m reseller claim) in July 2015, leaving a £742,000 dent in Viewpoint’s profits for that year (post).
  • As I have previously described (post), Incite, one of Aconex’ potentially strongest competitors, was hampered by parent Leighton Holdings’ decisions to sack its management team and under-invest in its Keystone platform, destroying what might have become a lucrative spin-off. An August 2015 partnership with CIMIC (the business formerly known as Leighton Holdings) saw Aconex acquire the intellectual property, assets and certain customer relationships of Incite for just Au$6.4m (post).
  • The business formerly known as ProjectCentre attracted a strong German parent in 2012, RIB Software, who subsequently offered a new iteration of ProjectCentre branded iTWO Collaboration Exchange (iTWOcx). With a further acquisition, of Denmark’s Docia in July 2014, RIB has been able to grow its SaaS revenues, while retaining a firm foothold in the Australasian market.
  • Additionally, QA Software’s Teambinder has some major clients, Idox’s McLaren has also tried to market its solutions in the region, and there is a lively startup community, spawning AEC-oriented businesses such as APE Mobile (post) and Small Builders (post).
  • And more recently (8 May 2017), the afore-mentioned US vendor Procore opened its first Australia office, saying it was tapping into regional demand for “intuitive, reliable and cost-effective project management, financial and collaborations solutions built specifically by and for the construction industry,” and claiming it already had more than 100 customers and 50,000 users in Australia.

Meanwhile, Asite has been reporting its Australasian revenues for some years. In 2012, the region accounted for £168k of revenues, peaking at £557k in 2013, but the numbers then gradually declined and slid from £519k to £439k in 2016. While its news release talk of Australian market expansion has not been reflected in its recent revenues, perhaps the slide will be reversed and the impact of the RCR Tomlinson deal will be recognised when Asite publishes its next annual report. And Aconex will need to continue monitoring such domestic competitors closely.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/12048/

Aug 17 2017

Extranet Evolution outage

On 12 August, during a server migration by my website host, a database got corrupted and “Extranet Evolution” disappeared, as did my company site. I was initially unaware of this, due to my attention being focused elsewhere (see below). However, the fault was identified and rectified yesterday. Apologies for any inconvenience.

During 2016, my father’s health started declining. This deterioration accelerated in 2017 (regular readers may have detected a reduction in the frequency of posts), and my father died on 18 July. Since then, I have been dealing with funeral arrangements, solicitors, banks and other bereavement-related matters.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/extranet-evolution-outage/

Aug 08 2017

Idox launches mobile Building Control app

In January 2017, Reading, Berkshire, UK-based Idox, parent company of engineering document management software provider McLaren Software, launched a new mobile app, OnSite, which it claimed was the first of its kind, giving building control officers (professionals responsible for enforcement of building regulations in the UK) remote access to documents and information. Users of the app (Apple iOS only) will apparently be able to search, recover, download, update and upload anything they might need for an inspection, wherever they are.

Benefits include:

  • Immediate access and usage – designed with simplicity in mind, the app requires no training or a complex implementation project; users are up and running in minutes.
  • Efficiency savings – view, complete and create inspections on site and sync these records with those in the back office once connected.
  • Constant intelligence – obtain case details even when mobile, take photos which automatically upload to your DMS, and view and sort all inspections on a map.
  • Avoid duplication – update multiple inspections/plots all at once where inspection details are the same or similar.
  • Reduced travel time – no need to visit the office to pick up workloads and update systems.
  • Reduced printing costs and administrative efforts – the system supports paperless working.

Idox plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has a long track record of providing software and data solutions to local authorities (once the sole home of building control – today there are many private approved inspectors, which need to be registered with the Construction Industry Council). It already provides a range of regulatory services solutions including food and health and safety inspections, pest control, and monitoring of licensing applications, renewals and conditions. Building Control is therefore a logical extension of its regulatory toolset.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/idox-launches-mobile-building-control-app/

Aug 08 2017

24OnOff makes time management mobile

Start-up 24onoff has announced the UK launch of a new project management app for web and smartphones (Apple iOS and Android), helping digitise everyday paper-based tasks such as creating timesheets and invoices, as well as tracking man hours and managing documents (read this BIM+ article).

24onoff was originally launched in Scandinavia by the Heimdal, Trondheim, Norway-based founders some 2-3 years ago, and has accumulated some 5,000 users in northern Europe, mainly in Norway, Sweden and Denmark (the app also has a Polish language edition). CEO Sondre Blaasmo says: “24onoff removes the paper trail with a easy-to-use, ‘field friendly’ web and smartphone app for construction workers of all ages.”

Blaasmo has been studying management and entrepreneurship at London’ University’s Goldsmith’s College, so it was perhaps inevitable that it would be launched in the UK. Ole Jørgen Næss, head of product development said: “We realised we needed to make a unique and customised software for all the small builders in the UK. We’ve now created a product that has helped companies reduce the time spent on paperwork and administration by an average of 50%.”

The company piloted the application with more than 50 small builders, plumbers, electricians and property maintenance companies around the UK, and the majority of these are said to have now purchased the software. In a launch promotion, 24onoff is offering teams of up to three employees free use of the software, with no hidden fees.

Competitive market

As regular readers may recognise, 24onoff is targeting a massive market of small-to-medium-sized businesses (95% of UK construction, for example), and it’s also a market being targeted by several other providers around the world, including Copenhagen, Denmark-based GenieBelt (one of the better-funded ones – post – vital if a SaaS business is to reach a widely dispersed, fragmented, and relatively low-tech SME market), Australasia-based TidyBuild (post) and Small Builders (post), and US-based eSUB (post), Corecon (post) and Jobsite Unite (post). I also recently looked at another UK provider, Builderstorm.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/24onoff-makes-project-management-mobile/

Jul 27 2017

Collaboration tech people moves

In a sector like Software-as-a-Service where it is often the quality of the management that matters just as much as the technology they provide, it is useful to keep track of moves between, into and out of the main industry players.

Aconex logo 2014At Aconex, for example, the business has a new CFO, Paul Koppelman, who took over the reins from Stephen Recht in February 2017 – the same month when a new chief technology officer, Craig Fulton, was appointed (post) to work with co-founder Rob Phillpot. In the Middle East, Aconex has appointed Baraq Hadi, previously vice president at Bentley Systems, as general manager of the Middle East – reporting (like former BIW and Conject executive now UK and Ireland general manager Steve Cooper) to Henry Jones, senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and global accounts. And I recently met the business’s new EMEA marketing chief Jan Jivmark (formerly EMEA marketing director at IntraLinks, and, before that, head of marketing at Acronis).

Jivmark will presumably be reporting to Gabriele Famous, announced this week as Aconex’s new Chief Marketing Officer. Famous was previously VP, Global Product Marketing at Zendesk, and held leadership positions at Salesforce so has, as Aconex CEO Leigh Jasper says, “proven track record in Software as a Service marketing”.

Other people moves

In March 2017, former COINS, BIW, Conject and Textura Europe CEO Colin Smith became the new CEO at Buckinghamshire, UK-based Causeway Technologies, with the previous CEO Phil Brown taking a more strategic role as chairman. Causeway provides a broad range of construction software applications, including a collaboration – or enterprise content management, ECM – solution based on OpenText.

In the US, former Viewpoint VP of global product management Bob Humphreys has joined Seattle-based Viewpoint development partner VPApps, along with Viewpoint colleagues Anthony Mavricos and Todd Weber.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/collaboration-tech-people-moves/

Jul 26 2017

Asite launches BIM clash detection

Asite logo 2012As anticipated a month ago, London, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor Asite has added clash detection (the recognition and inspection of an interference at the intersection of multiple objects within a 3D project model) to the tools in its Adoddle cBIM (collaborative Building Information Modelling) suite.

According to the company’s news release, this function will enable designers to discover conflicts at an early stage of the project lifecycle, allowing for significant time and cost savings. Conflicts that would have been discovered in person, can now be seen in the office before anyone sets foot on site:

With the intricacies of several models (Structural, Architectural, Mechanical, MEP, etc.) being integrated into one main BIM model, Clash Detection is a crucial component in increasing efficiency. Adoddle’s cBIM solution also allows Clash Detection to be possible for objects within objects. For example, a steel rod that has been completely immersed within a concrete wall can be recognized with the Clash Detection tool.

Asite says it supports two main types of clashes:

  • Hard Clash – when two components occupy the same space or two objects pass through each other. Example being a column running through a wall or pipework through a steel beam.
  • Soft Clash – when objects encroach into geometric tolerances for other objects

The Adoddle cBIM clash detection tool lets users merge BIM models of various work sets for clash detection, discover and identify clashes between different non-proprietary software applications, examine the clash from multiple angles including adding mark-up and redlining, and initiate workflows to help collaboration and resolution within project teams.

The tool includes a clash browser enabling list summary of clash objects. Views of clashes can be captured in a 3D pane and used to initiate workflows, and attributes of clash objects can be displayed to help rectification.

In other news, earlier this month Asite also announced that the University of Cambridge has chosen the Adoddle platform to be its standard Project Information Management tool for their BIM Level 2 project portfolio.

Cloud BIM battleground growing

BIM is a key functionality battleground among the collaboration vendors, particularly in the UK, where the use of open standards-based ‘common data environments’ (CDEs) is increasingly required by major clients, especially in the public sector. Along with fellow UK-based vendors 4Projects (now Viewpoint – post) and GroupBC (post), Asite invested heavily in BIM-related research and development during the early days of the UK BIM push, while others – notably Conject (now part of Aconex) – seemingly dithered before finally entering the BIM race in 2015.

Established international SaaS players such as Aconex and Think Project! have also been developing their BIM capabilities, while design authoring giants such as Autodesk, Bentley and the Nemetschek group, have added and expanded cloud collaboration in their product portfolios. And there are also more recent startups targeting the sector – UK-based 3D Repo (post) and Clearbox (post) are just two examples.

BIM in the cloudAs adoption of BIM-based processes and technologies grows (the recent EU BIM group handbook showed this is now a Europe-wide movement), CDE platform support will become a basic requirement, while the options to support design tasks such as clash detection and model validation and verification, will see SaaS vendors encroaching into territory that was once largely the preserve of the authoring software providers. In June 2008, I wondered if BIMaaS might become a reality – maybe it’s getting closer?

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/asite-launches-bim-clash-detection/

Jul 20 2017

GroupBC revenues up 33%

Re-energised following its November 2014 MBO, UK construction collaboration vendor GroupBC is growing revenues and increasing profitability.

Reading, UK-based GroupBC (previously known as Business Collaborator) is one of the longest-established SaaS construction collaboration technology providers in the UK. It started as part of the software solutions arm of the Enviros environmental consulting and software group in the 1990s, and (as outlined in November 2014, when its current managers bought the business with backing from YFM), went through several changes of ownership (CodaSciSys in 2003, Coda in 2006, Agresso Unit 4 in 2008) before establishing today’s independent business.

The 2008-2014 period also saw various brand changes – from 2010 until the MBO the company traded as UNIT4 Collaboration Software Ltd – but the core SaaS platform remained ‘Business Collaborator’ throughout. The business also learned a lot about integration of its system with other products during the UNIT4 years: several GroupBC customers were using other UNIT4 solutions as well as its collaboration platform. GroupBC also has some strong owner-operator relationships in the UK retail sector (Monsoon, Primark, and the SSP retail and catering outlet provider), in local government, the water sector (notably Thames Water, Southern Water and United Utilities), with leading contractors including Balfour Beatty and Costain, and consultancies including CH2M, Atkins and WSP.

2016 revenue growth

While trading under the UNIT4 banner, the business did not report its financial performance. However, it has resumed publication of its audited annual report and accounts, with the latest detailing the year to 30 November 2016. The figures are not comparable with the company’s pre-2010 reporting – at the time of the MBO, CEO Sanjeev Shah told me GroupBC would be switching to a SaaS subscription approach. The recently published report shows total revenues of £3.795m (c. US$4.9m or €4.33). This showed sales up 33% from £2.857m in 2015. The business also increased profitability (EBITDA) from £0.445m to £0.797m (c. US$1.029m or €0.908m) – a 77% year-on-year increase.

Vendor turnover July 2017

The upward revenue growth is in line with that experienced by other vendors recently:

  • global market leader Aconex last year announced underlying organic revenues up 31% (post)
  • in the UK, Asite reported its revenues up 14% in 2016 (post)
  • in May 2017 Viewpoint for Projects’s Steve Spark said its 2016 EMEA revenues were up 24% (post)
  • Munich, Germany-based think project! reported 2016 revenues up 35% (post)

In all these cases, businesses cited adoption of building information modelling (BIM) as a contributing factor to their growth, and this is certainly the case with GroupBC. It has been investing in its platform’s ‘common data environment’ capabilities to support teams working to UK BIM Level 2 and beyond, while its research and development into “semantic BIM” (Connected BIM) recently saw it launch its GeoConnect+ service at the GeoBusiness event in London in late May 2017. Developed by GroupBC following joint and ongoing research with consultancy PCSG and Ordnance Survey, GeoConnect+ connects BIM information with geospatial data in a way that helps large asset owners and operators manage large, disparate estates better; datasets include OS open data, OS mapping data, land and property data, flood, river, and road network data (read PCSG’s blog post).

The core platform has not been neglected. BC7 has just been released with a couple of clients (including Thames Water) already using it ahead of a wider roll-out in September 2017. Enhancements include a streamlined interface, cross-browser and device access (using HTML5) with a zero-install redline/markup capability, and security improvements including two-factor authentication and e-signatures.

Sanjeev ShahNew GroupBC customers won during the year include retailer Sainsbury’s (now hosting its OneProperty asset management platform on BC) and fellow retailer JD Sports, along with Jarvis Construction and the Houses of Parliament (UK hosting and an ISO27001 accreditation were factors in the decision on BC). A differentiating factor for some customers is that the platform can be set up on a dedicated server in GroupBC’s UK hosting facility, allowing clients to flex the system and benefit from localised development and systems integrations. This hosting and software flexibility helps retain customers; Shah, right, is proud that GroupBC’s ‘churn rate’ is under 5%.

While growing its customer base, GroupBC is also expanding its team. During the year to November 2016, its headcount grew from 20 to 45, with further expansion planned through to the end of 2017; one appointment was a new sales and marketing director: after more than 10 years at Union Square (prior to its July 2016 acquisition by Deltek), and before that at Eque2, sales director Stuart Bell joined GroupBC earlier this year, “excited by the opportunities at the best kept secret in the CDE space!” The company has also established a graduate training programme with Pareto, with the first two graduates progressing well.

[Disclosure: While I have provided marketing consultancy services to GroupBC, this post is unconnected with that work.]

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/groupbc-revenues-up-33/

Jul 19 2017

Holobuilder launches 360 Construction Documentation Solution

Holobuilder logoHoloBuilder is a San Francisco, US-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. Its core product offers reality capturing solutions for progress documentation and construction project management, using 360° imagery, computer vision and AI. HoloBuilder says its customers include 40% of the Top 100 General Contractors in the United States, while it investors include Brick and Mortar Ventures and Tandem Capital.

Holobuilder, which recently rebranded, has just released a new construction documentation solution to enable project teams to capture, comment, and view a 360-degree construction project in real-time. It includes collaboration support for unlimited accounts and project download for an offline deliverable once the project has reached close out. A new pricing model is offered, based on project size.

The scalable SaaS solution can be deployed company-wide across projects or at an enterprise level, where it offers:

  • 360-degree reality capturing with the JobWalk mobile app
  • TimeTravel for progress documentation
  • a measurement tool to measure within 360° images, and
  • annotations.

Users can now collaborate with their whole team and enjoy enterprise level service and security. Having the entire team on board allows users to set up large projects quickly while allowing the project owner to decide who has access and editor rights. Notifications are shown when team members update the project and allow everyone to see who is working within HoloBuilder at the same time.

During project close-out, the project can be downloaded and saved as a view-only deliverable for the owner to keep throughout the lifetime of the building.

HoloBuilder says it is the first reality capturing solution [it uses 360-degree photography] that enables efficient progress documentation for large-scale construction projects. With collaboration, the responsibility of capturing progress is distributed, data silos are removed, and reliability is increased by providing a workflow that is built around an entire construction team. Andrew Cameron, Area Superintendent at SFO Airport Terminal 1 Construction site by Hensel Phelps, says:

“We have been able to leverage HoloBuilder’s collaboration platform for about two months now. To be able to arm multiple staff members with a camera who can jointly collaborate to track the status and the history of the project, not only for us but also for our clients and stakeholders, makes a lot of sense.”

Mostafa Akbari, CEO of HoloBuilder, Inc, says:

“Our new solution is the result of co-development between HoloBuilder and many of the top U.S. General Contractors. In countless discussions and beta projects, we’ve learned what is most important to them and the construction industry as a whole. Together we have been thinking about all stages of a project, from project set up, to the building phase, and the close-out phase. HoloBuilder is the best in class for all three categories. To provide truly unlimited scalable projects, now unlimited collaborators can work on one project with different access settings. With our new Handover Package, projects can be downloaded and kept offline in a view-only mode for decades to come. It was important that our new solution provides all enterprise requirements that work for the industry. I am proud that we have not only achieved this but also offer the most scalable reality capturing solution in the market.”

Update (22 July 2017)  – In response to some follow-up questions I posed to Holobuilder, I received the following from marketing manager Harry Handorf:

Any connection with Microsoft’s Hololens? -There is no direct connection between the Microsoft HoloLens and HoloBuilder. We are an independent company with an independent product. With our roots in the Virtual and Augmented Reality technology space, we are inspired and fascinated by the idea of connecting the virtual and physical world. This is what we are now realizing for the construction industry through an efficient reality capturing process. The idea is also reflected in our new logo and branding, which symbolizes the point of intersection between the digital and physical world.

How many customers and/or end-users? – We have more than 3,000 construction projects on our platform at the moment, we are hosting more than 500,000 photo spheres and our customers include 40% of the top 100 general contractors in the US.

How would the pricing work for a civil engineering / infrastructure project (as opposed to a building measured by sq ft or m2)? – For very large [projects] we provide individual solutions that are custom tailored to the customer’s project individual requirements. We can also provide them with on-premises solutions on their own servers.

What about other reality capture (photogrammetry, laser scans) and BIM support?  – Currently, you can add your own renderings from BIM models (e.g. from Revit) if you export them as a cube map file. And we are also working on extended image format support and are also actively working with point clouds in our development, which are generally supported by the web platform (which can easily handle 3D models, due to its roots in the VR/AR space). In general, terrestrial laser scanning is a fantastic technology, that we just see in a different usage scenario. It is a very precise, but comparatively expensive and slow process. Thus we consider it to be perfect if when you need precise measurements, want to compare as-builts with original plans or want to connect the reality with your BIM models on a detailed level. Our USP is, that HoloBuilder is the fastest way to document construction progress. By capturing and organizing 360° pictures on sheets as fast as foremen can walk the site, we allow our customers to communicate current site conditions to their stakeholders and keep the documentation for many years to come.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/holobuilder-launches-360-construction-documentation-solution/

Jul 10 2017

CMAP targets project accounting needs

In a fragmented, SME-dominated, project-oriented industry like construction, there’s plenty of opportunities for SaaS vendors to help small businesses run their projects online.

In my previous post, I had a first look at BuilderStorm, and mentioned how the financial capabilities of its platform might be attractive to SMEs looking for online ERP/accounting functionality. This puts this in the same kind of space occupied by Union Square (acquired by US player Deltek almost exactly a year ago) and Rapport 3 (post) in the UK, plus US-based e-Sub.com and New Zealand’s TidyBuild (both targeting the SME AEC market – post).

CMAP logoAnother firm in this sector is Wilmslow, UK-based CMAP Software, whose focus is on AEC project accounting (thought it also has service offerings to business consultancies, healthcare and creative businesses). The business was founded by Dave Graham, and, like other companies in the J-Media group, was incorporated in 2015, but the CMAP website says “we’ve been writing software and generally been in love with all things tech since the year 2000.”

CMAP business manager Paul Ard told me:

“CMAP handles the full cycle of a project from winning the project, delivering it on-time and on-budget, to billing. Feature-wise this covers CRM, job costing, projects, resourcing, timesheets and expenses, and reporting.”

One of the stand-out features in CMAP’s SaaS platform (hosted by Microsoft Azure since August 2013) is a business intelligence tool, complemented by a mobile BI app (available in Apple iOS and Android versions); CMAP’s platform also offers a personal mobile app (iOS only), allowing staff to manage their timesheets, expenses, contacts, activities and time off.

The system also offers integrations with other financial packages (Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, COINS Global), an Outlook integration, plus integration with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform, and with other AEC tools including photo management tool OpenAsset, and project information management toolset Newforma (so similar in this respect to Rapport 3; Newforma launched its Cloud Services Connector strategy in September 2016).

Ard says CMAP’s headline clients are Grimshaw Architects, Paul Davis and Partners, Morgan Sindall Professional Services and Eckersley O’Callaghan. The latest addition to the client roster is London-based architect David Miller Architects (CMAP blog post), while the company has also been shortlisted for Technology Provider of the Year in the 2017 New Civil Engineer TechFest Awards (coincidentally, NCE’s editor Mark Hansford was at the IBP communication and PR awards last week and he told me about the TechFest conference in London on 14 September).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/cmap-targets-project-accounting-needs/

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