Aconex‘s bullish trading update last month has been followed by three major deal announcements from the Melbourne, Australia-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor, including
- a worldwide enterprise deal with Bechtel (25 June)
- an enterprise deal with Lendlease (30 June) which will see “the use of Aconex across Lendlease’s Building business in Australia and initially its major construction projects in Asia, while making the platform available to other business units globally”, and
- an enterprise deal with Australian contractor John Holland (1 July).
Shares in the company have continued to do well on the Australian Stock Exchange market (as The Australian reports), today (2 July) trading at over Au$3.40. Update (8 July 2015) – The AFR reports billionaire John Gandel doubling his money following his investment in Aconex.
The Lendlease deal may ring alarm bells at European-based rival Conject which has long retained a close working relationship with Lendlease in the UK and Europe dating back to its Bovis days. Of course, the Aconex deal is mainly focused on its stronghold in the Australian market and in southeast Asia but that hint about “making the platform available to other business units globally” sounds a little ominous.
Of course, simply signing an enterprise deal does not mean other vendors are locked out (often different parts of the same group can choose other solutions). The John Holland group, for example, has also signed a similar three-year enterprise subscription agreement to make QA Software‘s TeamBinder available for all construction and engineering projects. QA’s GM sales and marketing, Rob Bryant, says the deals are non-exclusive, maintaining the right of teams to select their system of choice. TeamBinder is already used by John Holland, says Rob:
“Using TeamBinder’s master project approach, our teams will be developing project templates that follow the JHG project workflows enabling rapid deployment of TeamBinder for all new projects. TeamBinder’s proven expertise in delivering project document control for infrastructure has been a key consideration for JHG as it targets major projects in NSW and throughout the region.”
Aconex UK – an update (3 July 2015)
Just double-checking my records, and I note I didn’t cover Aconex (UK) Ltd’s results for the year to 30 June 2014 (the UK-based operation’s accounts were available from Companies House on 19 April 2015).
In line with the healthy double-digit up-tick enjoyed by the parent group, the UK office reported turnover up a hefty 55% from £1.766m to £2.74m, with a pre-tax profit of £0.357m (up from a marginal loss in 2013). Notes to the accounts suggest 72% of sales were from non-UK projects.
Thanks for your blog post. I invested in Aconex just after IPO and have been following and topping up since.
Your blog title ‘Extranet Evoiution’ hits on one of the main reasons I invested in Aconex. I see the market for this service ‘evolving’ so to speak such that the smaller suppliers including the ones you mention in this article will eventually be put out of business by Aconex. It makes no sense for big construction companies to use two or more systems to manage their big projects and eventually they will migrate all their business to the best system.
Sure, the small suppliers can survive on their existing projects and a few new small wins for a little while but what happens after that? How do you see the market evolving with one supplier (Aconex) so much bigger and better funded to market, develop and keep improving its product? It may be a slow process because projects can run for years and big construction companies are slow decision makers but surely the ‘evolution’ of extranets is only going to be in one direction from here. These kind of big enterprise deals are just confirmation of the trend. Or do you see some way for the small suppliers to keep a niche for themselves beyond short term survival?
Your blog is high standard. You think carefully and write clearly. The fact that you carefully note your sources adds authority to your posts. Apologies for then being the pedant but you say Aconex’s UK results for the year ended 30 June 2014 were filed with Companies House on 19 April 2014 (ie before the financial year had ended). I am guessing there is a wrong date there somewhere
Keep up the good work
Thanks Tony (and well-spotted). Correction made (and nothing wrong with being pedantic!). Regards, Paul