Earlier this year, I started looking in a little more detail at the Australian construction collaboration technology market. Aconex, being active in the UK, obviously feature regularly in my thoughts (I believe their shareholder dispute may finally yield a judgement in the next month or so); I have written about Incite (here and here); and I linked to a review of Australian tools in February, which included today’s subject: Sydney-based Projectcentre.net.
(Projectcentre.net should not to be confused with UK transport consultancy Project Centre or the UK government project delivery initiative within BERR. There is also another projectcentre.com.au, offering timber and hardware in Australia).
According to its website, ProjectCentre is owned, managed and developed by CADX Pty Ltd (CADX’s other products include a simple document management system (Chronicle), some file management utilities and a weather service). Two months ago, CADX acquired BANGitUP.com, an Australian construction materials goods and services exchange, intending to integrate it as a service alongside ProjectCentre.net (CADX also has, or had, another web-based application, TenderCentre, so this may form part of that offering too).
CADX itself is a subsidiary of the 120-strong DES group, an Australian provider of integrated digital imaging solutions for the professional printing industry (group is said to have annual sales exceeding Au$35 million [£17m] and capital exceeding Au$15 million).
- The ProjectCentre website says it was first released as a web-based project management system in 1997. This makes it among the earliest systems of its kind – a couple of years after Jonathan Antevy launched e-Builder in the US.
- Australian client case studies include Westfield, McConnell Dowell and Baulderstone Hornibrook.
- In addition to offices in Sydney and Melbourne, ProjectCentre.net has representatives in New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US (Phoenix and San Diego). In the early 2000s, ProjectCentre.net was resold by consultants such as Queensland-based Buildon Technologies and Carr Consulting in South Australia.
- There is no clue as to just how many staff are employed by CADX.
- It is not clear from the website if the software is delivered on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis or if it is locally-hosted by ProjectCentre customers (or both). However, Jodie Miners, a recently recruited product manager (and fellow Twitter user), says in her blog that it is “offered as a SaaS / ASP model”, CADX’s standard terms and conditions certainly suggest this is so, and I have an old academic paper that mentions hosting by “PPS Technology in Sydney”.
- CADX charges a one-off initial site start-up fee of AU$500 [£240], then a AU$100/week [£48] “to maintain the availability of the Internet Service for this project”; the service includes hosting, back-up, software upgrades, up to 1Gb online data storage and a maximum of 100 Mb/week data transfer traffic. I think these figures apply regardless of the number of users, but it is not clear whether the initial agreement with a customer would include users from supply chain companies working for with that customer (or do they, for example, have to enter into a separate agreement with CADX to use projectcentre.net?).
If anyone can shed any light on the grey areas in my understanding, it would be much appreciated.