I had an update this week from EADOC Software‘s Founder and CEO Eric Law regarding the California-based collaboration technology vendor’s latest Software-as-a-Service release and its trading performance.
We set up the call after Eric emailed me regarding new integration between the EADOC platform and planning and scheduling tools MS Project and Oracle Primavera P6. Of the two, integration with MS Project was easiest to achieve, Eric said, but this didn’t really address the market opportunity. Around 90% of EADOC customers and supply chain members tended to use P6 and, as this involves much more data processing, it took longer to develop the integration.
Historically, sharing and collaborating on project schedules has not been easy on most web-based construction collaboration platforms. Often Gantt charts were simply saved as PDFs and shared online with relevant project team colleagues. However, EADOC enables users to import schedule activities from MS Project and P6 into the EADOC application. These activities can be linked to documents and to cost items like change orders and risk items. Users can now display schedule-based activities in their relationship diagrams along with documents and cost items (as previously described, EADOC is almost equally geared towards document management and project cost management*).
Clicking on an item in this view allows the user to explore other relationships and to generate reports detailing all the stages in a particular process and their associated documents or other items. Such audit trails can be invaluable in quickly determining which company did what and when during a project – reducing potential disputes and litigation and speeding the discovery process should lawyers need to investigate a project’s history.
In 2010, Eric mentioned EADOC plans to develop its own scheduling tool, and this integration looks to be a significant transitional step towards that goal. In the nearer future though, Eric says EADOC plans to develop a real-time link to the server version of P6, so that the collaboration environment is constantly updated with any changes to project schedules, though he accepts this will also require changes in how many companies deploy P6: “Many are still reliant upon having stand-alone copies of P6 on their own machines (and many are still on P3!).”
BIM also features in future EADOC development plans. Eric mentioned a recent partnership with Bentley envisaging BIM data managed on the EADOC platform being passed to facilities managers for future operation and maintenance use on-premise, and also talked about building a BIM model viewer into the EADOC application.
Earlier this year, EADOC reported 25% revenue growth and a 40% increase in its customer base in 2011. Eric says his company has continued to thrive in industrial sectors such as water and waste-water projects, and that there are strong pockets in the commercial market (eg: the San Francisco Bay area, Washington DC, the Carolinas) but outside the metropolitan districts conditions were tougher, particularly where contractors and supply chains were more reliant upon public agencies.
[* Most European-based vendors offer little project cost management capability, with the exception of conject, which recently announced that London-based international contractor and construction manager Mace had adopted its Commercial Management module – see Construction Enquirer article.]