Two Australian Software-as-a-Service vendors targeting the AECO sector have announced their merger. Zuuse, which targets the BIM to FM opportunity, providing 3D building information modelling and digital asset management tools, is to join with Melbourne-based construction payment management vendor Progressclaim.
“The marketplace in the AECO sector is rapidly changing. Building and then managing assets and information across the full lifecycle (design> construct> operate) is undergoing significant transformation. Systems and processes are largely fragmented or paper based and manual. This inefficiency results in lost dollars, time, information, resources and materials.
“With the combined Zuuse and Progressclaim solution, we now have the leading software platform for construction and building operations globally. Our customers range from general contractors, subcontractors and asset owners through to asset and building managers who are thrilled to have a much deeper solution to utilise across the full asset lifecycle.”
“We have removed the reliance on disparate software products or manual processes for constructing or managing assets. Our customers can rely on the solution to handle everything from day to day operational issues to longer term, strategic issues on the construction or building site.”
The combined business has over 160 customers, located in Australia, New Zealand, UAE, UK, USA and Canada. These include asset owners and operators Fortescue Mining, Monash University, Reserve Bank of Australia, Spotless, Eden Park Stadium and Skycity Casinos and contractors Mirvac, Grocon, Built, Watpac, McConnell Dowell, Icon Co and ADCO.
According to the company, the combined offering during construction, the platform handles payment applications, defects, digital operations and maintenance manuals and 3D BIM during construction. This information is then seamlessly carried through to building operations where the platform takes care of asset management, work orders and maintenance management, visitor contractor registration, BIM in FM and lifecycle costing and management.
The claim that Zuuse is “the leading software platform for construction and building operations globally” should be taken with a pinch of salt. There are competing platforms – not least Australia-based market leader Aconex, which provide much deeper functionality to support design, construction and handover phases (and Aconex’s March 2016 acquisition of Germany’s Conject added some FM capabilities, though it’s unclear whether these will continue to be developed significantly – in May, CEO Leigh Jasper told me: “In five years, we will have a SaaS FM product as part of the suite, but we are not actively building that at the moment”). Two UK businesses I’ve previously covered also spring to mind, spanning the asset delivery and asset management phases: iDox’s Mclaren and Styles & Wood subsidiary iSite which is largely focused on the property management sector.
Update (8 November 2017) – Progressclaim rebranded as PayApps.com in the UK in June 2017, a move said to reflect the “increasingly international nature of the business” – the brand was said to “mirror the way in which the UK construction market uses the term ‘application for payment’ ‒ as opposed to the Australian term”.
The Newcastle, UK-based Zuuse subsidiary was a sponsor of the 2017 Building Awards, presented in London last night (7 November 2017). PayApps was also shortlisted in the “Digital efficiency initiative” category (confusingly described in the event programme as having been developed by UK Midlands-based contractor GF Tomlinson), losing out to ‘The Square Construction App‘, a recruitment solution.
According to its website, PayApps’ UK customers include Tomlinson, Robertson Construction, Torsion Group and BW, while it also offers integration with Viewpoint Construction Software (this is presumably the ERP solution as it is mentioned alongside Sage, Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks as well as the Viewpoint-acquired JobPac). PayApps’ competition would include Oracle’s Textura and OpenECX’s WebContractor, while Aconex also talked in April 2017 about entering the construction payment management (CPM) space.