Aconex invests in north American sales effort

Melbourne, Australia-based construction collaboration technology provider Aconex has announced the appointment of Lori Beedle as its new senior vice-president of sales and marketing (Aconex advertised the San Francisco-based post in March; post). Beedle has 20 years’ experience at technology heavyweights including Dell (where she was executive director of sales), Oracle and Microsoft, and will be tasked with expanding Aconex’s North American and worldwide sales organisations, says Aconex CEO Leigh Jasper.

This announcement coincides with another north America-related news release concerning an Aconex partnership with Calgary, Canada-based Tidefall Software, a project management solution provider to the construction and engineering industries. Tidefall will now offer the Aconex SaaS-based collaboration platform to help infrastructure clients across Canada automate their business processes. Tidefall is run by John Lusty, who spent seven years in sales with Bentley Systems.

As far as I am aware, this is the first time Aconex has appointed a reseller – it has previously relied on its own direct sales team who have travelled the globe setting up satellite operations in numerous territories. However, from talking to Aconex’s Frank Carron, I understand that it has been building an international roster of partnerships, broadly divided into referral, integration and product partners – with some businesses straddling more than one category.

In some respects, therefore, Aconex is adopting the approach of rival non-US providers (eg: UK-based BIW – with Sage CRE – and Asite – with distributor SaaS North America and the ReproMAX network) who have identified local partners to expand their reach across the continent. However, Frank tells me Aconex’s partner network extends beyond referral partners to other types of businesses in Europe and Asia as well as north America. I hope to learn more about Aconex’s partner programme next week.

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  1. Thanks Paul, for this article. It came just at the right time for us as we are just about to select Asite / Acconex for our 59million sq.ft. Portfolio primarily focusing on residential projects.

    One question here why choose SaaS, instead of getting the app hosted in own data center. Yes we have got one of the best DC in it’s class.

    1. A couple of reasons immediately spring to mind:

      First, risk – when you have lots of companies involved in delivering projects, they will need access to the system 24/7. Few corporate data centres in construction businesses will be prepared to guarantee service levels (availability, responsiveness, reliability, security) at the levels – often 99.75% or more – that a SaaS provider can deliver. You can, therefore, transfer the risks of service outages, etc to the SaaS specialist, rather than taking on any liabilities that may arise if your in-house hosted system goes down. In the event of a functionality problem, the SaaS specialist will also be able to quickly identify whether it’s the application, the hardware or the telecommunications that is at fault.

      Second, neutrality/trust – in many projects, there will be nervousness about one of the project team holding all the project team’s data. Some of this could well be commercially sensitive, and there may also be concerns about continued access to the data in the event of a dispute within the team.

      Third, updates and bug fixes. – As a SaaS provider will update its software centrally, all projects will potentially benefit immediately from any new release, but separately hosted versions may have to be separately upgraded.

      I wrote a lot more about this area in a previous blog post talking about CAD-as-a-service.

  1. […] was partly stimulated by Aconex’s investment in sales and marketing – I have written recently about its recruitment of US-based sales people and its reseller partner programme (post) – which […]

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