Surrey, UK-based Cubic Interactive markets its Rapport3 SaaS platform to professional AEC practices – could it connect to collaboration platforms too?
Nine years ago, I briefly encountered Cubic Interactive at the 2007 Construction Computing Show (post), but they were mainly focused on on-premise intranet-type solutions, and competing with Union Square (now part of the Deltek group – post) in the field of practice management (not my main area of interest: project collaboration). However, I recently received a call from Charles de Voil (recently at Newforma, before that at Graitec) telling me about Cubic’s Rapport3 platform. Consultant de Voil told me:
Rapport3 is a hosted practice management solution, providing a range of functionality across many elements of the AEC business:
- project financials delivering live financial information to key stakeholders
- integration with external systems such as Newforma and Open Asset eliminating the requirements for data duplication
- resource management for project directors maximising staff utilisation
- contact management and business development available from the desktop or any mobile device,
- HR managements for managing and maintaining staff information….
The now 18-strong company (based in Surbiton, Surrey, with other offices in Harrogate, Ireland and Canada) was founded in 2001 by three employees (two of them engineers) at architectural practice Broadway Malyan, and set out to free designers from the hassles of managing the financial, business development and HR aspects of their businesses, and regards itself as a pioneer in Software-as-a-Service provision. Its customers include several well-known architectural and engineering practices across the UK and Ireland (eg: Stride Treglown [case study], Silcock Dawson, Jestico + Wiles, AWW).
The solution is hosted in the UK by Rackspace, and is licensed via an annual subscription contract, with pricing based upon the number of users and the selection of modules implemented. Email management capabilities are provided in Rapport3 via Gekko: other third party system integrations include Sage, Access Dimension and Twinfield (all accounting), OpenAsset (photo management), and Newforma (project information management), with synchronisations eliminating the need for data rnoentry and ensuring consistency of information.
This leads me to wonder what, if any, other integrations might be useful to Rapport3 users. The integration with Newforma suggests there is some Rapport3 customer demand for some kind of project information management or collaboration capabilities. Of the current leading UK-based SaaS collaboration players, Asite, Business Collaborator and Viewpoint For Projects have long talked about their application programming interfaces (APIs), potentially opening up routes for Rapport3 customers to connect with project-centric platforms and, in particular, BIM ‘Common Data Environment’ (CDE) systems.