Well-established in France, Resolving is extending its mobile-first application to support international markets and BIM-based processes. The solution captures field progress, conformity inspections, commissioning and other field activities.
There have been numerous changes of ownership among the leading vendors of Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration technologies in recent years. The spate of mergers and acquisitions has also been accompanied by frequent moves between companies. Some of these are forced – the acquirers may replace existing personnel with their own appointees. Other moves are voluntary – employees may grab the opportunity to take their skills and experiences to new employers, some of whom may be keen to recruit industry-leading expertise.
In the 30 months since Oracle first bid to buy Aconex (December 2017: Oracle set to buy Aconex) – a US$1.2bn deal finally agreed by Aconex shareholder in March 2018 – several staff from Aconex and its various buys (including the UK’s BIW Technologies*, Germany’s Conject, US-based Worksite and Australia’s Grazer) have moved on (read: Oracle launches Aconex Model Coordination). A handful are now with Paris, France-based construction project management software provider Resolving, helping it to target English-speaking markets.
Resolving – a digital accelerator
Resolving describes itself as a “digital accelerator” of real estate and construction sectors. It is a mobile-first platform designed to support design, construction, operation and deconstruction (decommissioning) phases (thus appealing to customers interested in circular economy thinking – French multinational Suez is one example – news release). Resolving combines construction process management, document management and open BIM (it is a member of BuildingSmart France) with powerful reporting dashboard features and APIs to connect with all existing vendors.
Around 40% of its French customers use Resolving as a single platform for field management and document management. Many of these (general contractors, asset owners, project management and engineering firms) also use Resolving to support BIM-driven projects as their ‘common data environment’ (CDE) and to digitise their internal processes (field quality control and data capture).
The company was founded in Lyon in 2003 and was initially focused on the French market. But in recent years, the now 50-strong business has started to market itself more internationally, opening offices in London and Hong Kong, with a Middle Eastern base starting soon. It is looking to disrupt competitors including France’s FinalCAD, Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field, Viewpoint’s Field View, Aconex Field and Snagr, and claims to have tripled its revenues in the past 18 months.
One of the key figures in this recent shift is Franck Meudec, right, the founder of Wapp6, acquired by Conject in 2014, who joined Resolving in April 2018 as vice-president and CEO (news release). Meudec is a veteran of the SaaS construction collaboration scene, having worked with BuildOnline in the mid-2000s (September 2006: Changes at BuildOnline) and its rebranded successor CTSpace, acquired by a French buyer, Sword Group, in December 2007, and later bought by the UK-based Idox Group (November 2011: IDOX acquires CTSpace for £11.6m cash). Once at Conject, he led the company’s rapid development of its mobile defects and inspection management tool, launched in May 2014 (Conject fleshes out its mobile defects offering), and stayed with the business through its 2016 acquisition by Aconex, only leaving after Aconex was bought by Oracle.
Meudec has been joined at Resolving by other veterans from the BIW/Conject/Aconex/Oracle business: Nick Sansome, Richard Moyle, Chris Woodbridge and Hervé Hamelin. They are helping to internationalise the Resolving platform to suit English-speaking markets (the company has already won customers in the US, Middle East, Africa and Asia on hotels, residential and transportation projects), and to develop its functionality to support BIM process demands, welcoming the company’s investment in R&D (comprising 15 of the company’s 50 staff).
Resolving’s solution initially targeted existing asset owners and was first developed on the Apple iOS platform. An Android version quickly followed, and a full Windows mobile app is also in development. The interface offers high-resolution views of detailed floor plans (some projects have thousands – one project in Macau had 30,000; among its reference customers, Resolving is the client standard for Mandarin Oriental Hotels), allowing users to view DWGs and PDFs. When used for defects management, Resolving offers conventional ‘Pin to Plan’ features, with data capture streamlined through 100s of templates for standard types of defects (dents, scratches, stuck doors, etc). It also has powerful control forms with high levels of field-level security.
The Resolving processes also work in a BIM-enabled environment, supporting IFC and native Revit, with issues managed using BIM Collaboration Format (BCF). A COBie export tool is also in development. Models can be viewed in the mobile application, and used for data capture processes (checksheets, inspections, progress-checking) as well as access to associated documentation. 2D viewing is also offered, with workflows for reviewing, comment, mark-up and comparison.
(* I was head of communications at BIW Technologies from 2000 to 2009, working with several of the current Resolving team.)