In June 2017, US-based Concord Project Technologies launched its cloud-based collaboration platform T-CON aimed at EPCs and owners in the energy and petrochemical markets.
I was recently asked about a collaboration business called Concord, and had to confess I had not heard of them. My contact referred me to Concord Project Technologies, a Palo Alto, California, US-based business that was founded by Olfa Hamdi in early 2017. According to its website it specialises in project information integration implementation of advanced work packaging (AWP) for construction projects. Its core platform, T-CON, is described as “a powerful, cloud-based, API-friendly Digital Platform purpose-built for complex capital projects,” and its target market appears to be owners and engineering, procurement and construction contractors (EPCs) working in the energy and petrochemical sectors.
Originally from Tunisia, Hamdi studied in France (at the Ecole Centrale de Lille) and then did a construction engineering and project management masters at the University of Texas in Austin, graduating in 2013. During this masters, she wrote a thesis on Advanced Work Packaging, and in 2013, she founded the Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) Institute to further define a disciplined approach to capital project management. In 2014, she met ‘agile IT’ specialist Khalil Aissaoui (now Concord Project Technologies’ CTO). After identifying strong overlaps between construction and software project management, Hamdi asked Aissaoui to help her create a platform for construction project delivery.
In the meantime, in 2015, Hamdi assembled a team of experienced capital projects experts, technologists, data scientists, and researchers. They reviewed software programs currently used by capital project managers (including for collaboration, data management, engineering, and analytics), compared these to solutions in the information technology space, and looked at application of agile concepts and methods in various industries. They perceived there was a technology gap in the capital projects market and started to develop T-CON using a global team of developers located in Tunisia, France, Brazil, Bulgaria and India.
According to the company’s website, T-CON (launched in June 2017) is a cloud-based platform that supports collaboration between stakeholders involved in capital project supply chains, “from project initiation and planning through field execution, to decommissioning and start-up and ultimately project closure.” It enables AWP techniques, and supports the creation, development and assurance of “non-engineering semantic information created to support the design and field implementation work defined in the various work packages.”
The platform is described as “people-centered,” facilitating seamless flows of information using innovative algorithms, big data, and artificial intelligence to create connections between essential project components and key people, even when they speak different technical languages and subscribe to different contracting backgrounds. The company claims: “No more interoperability issues. No more communication silos.”
However, the technology is seemingly not deployed off-the-shelf:
“The T-CON™ team has developed an integrated roadmap for digital transformation and cloud migration, purpose-built for your capital project organization and supporting more communication and collaboration between your IT and project teams.”
Concord says it helps established capital projects organisations “build their cloud migration protocols for in-house project delivery capabilities by designing and implementing their transition to the Capital Projects Cloud using a proprietary operating system supporting a custom-built knowledge architecture and powered by a big-data infrastructure.” (phew!)
While the company clearly has some core technological capabilities – T-CON, an ‘integrated Collaboration Standard’ (iCS), and a real-time field productivity and safety monitoring system (TRT) – each implementation is bespoke to the customer organisation, with Concord forming an ‘Entreprise Transformation & Innovation Alliance (ETIA)’ to manage the process.
Advanced work packaging
For me, mention of AWP immediately summons Bentley Systems to mind. At successive annual Year in Infrastructure conferences, it has promoted its advanced work packaging capabilities, delivered primarlily through its ConstructSim work package server and planner products and through its ProjectWise design integration and worksite products. I also recall some discussion of AWP in presentations from Fiatech at COMIT events that I’ve attended – and some of the same people have been involved in conversations about “lean construction” and detailed work planning and interface management (see my recent posts on VisiLean and Aphex, for example).