Since I ventured that contract administration would be the new battleground for construction collaboration technology providers, I have watched the various SaaS vendors try to outdo each other with their marketing and PR efforts, particularly regarding the NEC contract suite. The appointment of two NEC licensed content providers in late 2010 saw both firms ramp up their promotional activities – 4Projects was quick out of the blocks, with BIW Technologies soon hot on their tail – while non-endorsed providers (both NEC specialists such as CEMAR/CMToolkit, MPS and Sypro, and SaaS collaboration technology vendors such as Asite and Aconex) carried on business-as-usual, arguing that the Thomas Telford decision made no difference to how project teams managed NEC processes online.
4Projects, BIW, CEMAR, MPS and Sypro all exhibited at the NEC user conference in April, but NEC has also helped its preferred suppliers with further promotional opportunities. BIW had people on the NEC stand at a Guardian-sponsored procurement exhibition in London in June, while NEC has tweeted about 4Projects’ summer series of breakfast seminars on its NEC3 Manager capabilities (news release).
The latest shot in the battle is a news release from Asite, announcing a five-year enterprise agreement with Transport for London (TfL). The deal sees TfL and the Greater London Authority (including the Metropolitan Police, the London Development Agency and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority) implementing the company’s SaaS platform, and Asite quickly gets into its contract stride:
- First, it stresses that its system will be used for “all aspects of the contract administration process across their significant on-going portfolio of construction and facilities management works.”
- Then Asite CEO Tony Ryan says: “Our Cloud Platform will give TfL the flexibility to deliver Contract Administration to their supply chain within their existing and proven processes.”
- And the news release goes on to list seven areas of NEC functionality, plus support for other contracts such as JCT and bespoke forms.