Aconex (UK) Limited: steady

aconexThe London-based UK operation of Australian-founded Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration provider Aconex increased its revenues by 13% to £1.766m in the year to 30 June 2013, according to documents filed at Companies House. However, the previous year‘s slight profit wasn’t repeated – a small pre-tax loss of £2,289 was recorded.

Notes in the accounts apparently confirm a view I hear from some of its SaaS competitors: that Aconex has very little share of the UK collaboration market; of its reported 2013 sales, it says 69% were non-UK sales (70% in 2012). (I says “apparently” as Aconex accounts statements can vary from year to year – in the June 2012 accounts, the non-UK sales figure for that year was given as 2%, not 70%.)

Aconex’s UK sales team is smaller than its UK-based rivals such as 4Projects, Asite and Conject, and the company has only occasionally issued news releases on its UK deals. In February it announced a project for Cambridge University; last year it highlighted two wins (in September 2013 regarding London’s Battersea Power Station project, and in April London’s Trocodero); there were no UK win announcements in 2012, and one each in 2011 and 2010.

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    • Hamish on 3 March 2014 at 11:05 am

    The London office is more of a vanity address for Aconex to be able to say that they have a presence there.

    With their regional manager based in Paris, their client operations manager based in Dubai and their help-desk in Bangalore, the London office is basically a small branch office of the Middle East operation rather than a major center for business operations.

    With the management team still trying to make a go of the US business and the majority of the company revenue still coming from Australia you could almost say that the regional offices are being left to sink or swim on their own.

    1. Thanks, Hamish
      I have visited the London office a couple of times, and have known a couple of the UK-based team for a long time (in fact, I had a long overdue drink with Ed Boxall late last year), but compared to the full-on UK pre-sales, sales and consultancy operations of rivals such as Conject or 4Projects, it does look a bit half-hearted. No offence to Ed or Yuval, but they will clearly struggle to win as much work as teams several times bigger.

    • Hamish on 4 March 2014 at 8:11 am

    One other major issue is that there has been no significant update to the core product in a long time. I know that they have released mobile and field modules and they have updated some of the other functions but the majority of these updates are window dressing. The core product needs to catch up with the competition. A couple of years ago they could lay claim to being one of the best and most functional but now they are playing catch-up with the competition; they are being hurt by a lack of true BIM management and no internal form designer or form management.

    These aren’t too damaging when you have an unlimited support model but now that they have moved away from this, moving their help-desk to Bangalore, and are delivering a lot of the training remotely rather than face-to-face, they are starting to lose their biggest differentiator – the level and quality of support that was given to the teams throughout the life of the project. Once they start to be judged along side their competitors in terms of the support then the level of functionality in the product starts to take a greater significance in selecting a solution and frankly they have fallen behind right now.

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