Newforma acquires SmartUse

Newforma expands its mobile construction plan review capabilities by acquiring SmartUse’s touch-friendly mobile platform.

Newforma-logoSmartUse logoUS-based construction project information management software vendor, Newforma, today announced it has acquired SmartUse, a Montreal developer of a touch-friendly mobile platform for construction project collaboration (the value of the deal remains confidential).

In the news release, Newforma CEO Ian Howell says:

Ian Howell“The SmartUse app is the most advanced mobile solution for viewing, marking up, auto-linking and sharing project plans. It allows contractors and owners to easily review plans on computers in their offices or on tablets on the job site. Because it also operates on a large, 55-inch touch screen, SmartUse enables an entire project team to interact with a set of documents as they collaborate in real time in a project office or job trailer. We are excited to add this new product to help contractors and owners better manage the thousands of plans they keep and reference for all of their projects. We are also delighted to welcome the extremely talented employees of SmartUse to the Newforma team.”

Founded in 2012, SmartUse was a subsidiary of Montreal-based mobile agency, NVentive. It had about 20 staff, who will now transfer to Newforma. SmartUse Founder and CEO Francois Tanguay has joined Newforma as vice president of business development. He says:

“SmartUse strengthens Newforma’s already strong product lineup by meeting the mobility needs of contractors and owners, not only in the construction industry, but in other industries where project plans need to be reviewed, marked up and shared. By combining forces with Newforma, we will be able to continue advancing our mobile collaboration solution, transforming how contractors and owners manage project information.”

SmartUse TableThe product will continue to be sold under the SmartUse name and will be marketed and supported by Newforma internationally.
The SmartUse application operates on Apple iPads and Mac computers, Windows 7 PCs, and Windows 8 devices, including a 55-inch (A0 size) workstation. It can be downloaded as a free viewer for unlimited users or as a fully-functional application on a 30-day free trial (pricing starts from $49/month/user).

Used on touch-centric devices, this provides PDF document and drawing review capabilities, with rapid document viewing, easy navigation between RFIs, submittals and detail callouts. For onsite/field tasks such as punchlists (aka defects, snagging), users can create pushpins and RFIs, manage and track changes, and get notifications. It is integrated with cloud storage and other services including Box, DropBox, Microsoft’s Sharepoint and OneDrive, Egnyte, construction SaaS vendor Aconex, plus WebDAV.

This latest acquisition extends Newforma’s mobile capabilities. In 2012 it acquired a SaaS business and a mobile applications development company (post), both helping to extend its platform reach beyond the office and linked corporate networks where it had first established itself.

This announcement comes just days after another viewing technology acquisition: on Friday, Nemetschek acquired BlueBeam Software for $100m, looking to create a powerful portfolio of BIM- and drawing-based workflow solutions.

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