Viewpoint’s future growth will be built on 21st century technologies and flexibility to meet different customer needs, including collaboration, says its CEO.
Almost exactly a year ago, as mentioned on Friday, Portland, Oregon based Viewpoint Construction Software acquired SaaS construction collaboration specialist 4Projects and set about profiting from its investment in the UK company, now based in Newcastle. I had a conference call yesterday with Viewpoint CEO Jay Haladay and Matthew Harris, senior VP of strategy and corporate business development, to review the past year and also put last week’s Maxwell Software deal into context.
Viewpoint has been on a (so far) ten-year mission to to build a portfolio of contemporary software, said Jay Haladay (speaking from Hawaii where he is attending the Associated Builders and Contractors annual convention, BizCon, sponsored by Maxwell Software). 4Projects fits into that vision, he said. combining forward-looking collaboration and BIM capabilities, that can be supplied alongside 21st century estimating, accounting and ERP packages.
Matt summarised the past year for 4Projects:
“We set about improving its international reach and its marketing, and using its creative technical talent to develop a more advanced view of the 4Projects product and its development cycle. We now have a very solid product management function under Miles Haladay, and a carefully deliberated product road covering the next 2-3 years, which has been explained to the customer base.
The Viewpoint customer base has, of course, grown significantly as a result of the Maxwell acquisition, which Jay sees as a major step forward for the group. (Incidentally, the US AEC IT sector saw another rationalisation last week: Explorer Software Group – also owner of the UK-based RedSkyIT [January 2007 post], and two firms in Australia [June 2011] – acquired ERP vendor Computer Guidance; news release here).
Extending ERP reach
Previously, Viewpoint’s core target customers were the 8-10,000 US contractors with revenues over $25m; now it has a product offering, developed on a similar SQL software architecture to its V6 platform, that reaches to a potential half a million contractor customers with lower revenues. And like the 4Projects strand, he says its ERP solutions are based on contemporary business models and technical platforms (he talked about a future embracing mobile real-time business intelligence), while rival systems are in danger of becoming antiquated and marginalised.
The rationale for the 4Projects acquisition remains strong, Jay said. Rebranded in the US as Viewpoint for Project Collaboration, the collaboration platform is now being rolled out in north America, using the extensive footprint Viewpoint already has among contractors. Similarly, the Viewpoint name is now more familiar in the UK and Middle East and other markets where 4Projects has historically been well-known, giving it potential, for example, to reach UK customers who may be interested in its ERP solutions.
This may well be a cause for concern for businesses such as the Explorer group and COINS which have historically had a strong footprint in the UK contractor ERP sector.