Kykloud is making inroads to the mobile surveying market thanks to its scalable enterprise-strength cloud-based software architecture and a highly useable mobile interface.
I met up with Ed Bartlett, co-founder of integrated surveying and asset management software vendor Kykloud, in London earlier this week, just over a year after he and Nick Graham first demonstrated the Kykloud system to me (post) and we talked about its applicability to facilities managers and others involved with asset operation and maintenance.
Since then, the application and the business have clearly moved forward. The tablet application now features one major new button – “Surveys” – and this signifies where a growing volume of interest in Kykloud is coming from. In addition to its suitability for FM (it won an award recently), Kykloud is attractive to asset owner-operator organisations, and/or their consultants, who need to undertake a large number of surveys – for example, condition surveys of schools, hospitals or offices.
Ed (right) told me the company had found considerable interest in its tools from a range of consultants and contractors, including Sir Robert McAlpine, Willmott Dixon, White Young Green, Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Sweett Group, Summers Inman, Space Group, Faithful & Gould (see below), and Davis Langdon. He discussed examples of the types of projects that are being undertaken:
- collating surveys of 8,000 schools for the Education Funding Agency (AECOM’s Davis Langdon is undertaking this work across northwest England and the east and west Midlands as part of the EFA’s Property Data Survey Programme)
- assessing 300 HMRC buildings
- undertaking a project for an international client with 88 sites in ten countries.
With its iPad-based mobile application (v2.3 now available in the Apple iStore), surveyors were finding that Kykloud dramatically improved productivity over conventional survey methods. Professionals no longer had to separately undertake a survey, compile a report and then email it to their colleagues or the client; instead, using pre-prepared templates (fully configurable to suit each organisation, client, asset and type of survey), all the required data could be systematically captured via the iPad app and then uploaded to Kykloud’s securely hosted data repository and reporting system, where it can be checked for consistency and quality assurance purposes, and then used to generate reports.
Photographs taken with an iPad could also be tagged and associated with each project, saving a laborious separate process of uploading images from a digital camera. “Time savings in data collection are quickly being turned into financial savings, with Kykloud delivering a payback within just days in many cases,” said Ed.
Once captured in the Kykloud system, data can, of course, be collated so that organisations can make informed decisions about, for example, roof works that might need to be undertaken on buildings within a region – helping create packages of work that can be let to contractors. Ed talked about survey data being collated and used to plan procurement processes, and even becoming the ‘first data drop’ for reuse by designers and other team members using building information modelling (BIM).
Captured data can also be re-used for comparison purposes; an initial survey from a year ago might be downloaded to a surveyor’s iPad so that he can assess what has changed in the intervening period, explained Ed, or it might be used to assess the quality of workmanship and maintenance applied since the previous survey.
Faithful & Gould
Atkins Group subsidiary, Faithful & Gould has been using Kykloud on several building surveying commissions, including the condition survey of more than 200 sites for the Scottish Agricultural College Estate (SRUC). It reports that the application has reduced the time surveyors spend on site by 50%, allowing them to double their output – savings that benefit their client.
Faithful & Gould associate director Andrew Tipper says:
“The time and cost savings are significant, literally reducing the time on site by half and eliminating the need for the lengthy ‘back office’ administration that typically follows a survey.
“But the really clever piece of the jigsaw is the software’s ability to manage portfolio-wide data and then generate added value in the production of whole life-cycle cost plans across whole portfolios, which provides invaluable data to our clients. This functionality means that the Kykloud is so much more that an “app” – it’s an enterprise class asset management tool.”