In a fragmented, SME-dominated, project-oriented industry like construction, there’s plenty of opportunities for SaaS vendors to help small businesses run their projects online.
In my previous post, I had a first look at BuilderStorm, and mentioned how the financial capabilities of its platform might be attractive to SMEs looking for online ERP/accounting functionality. This puts this in the same kind of space occupied by Union Square (acquired by US player Deltek almost exactly a year ago) and Rapport 3 (post) in the UK, plus US-based e-Sub.com and New Zealand’s TidyBuild (both targeting the SME AEC market – post).
Another firm in this sector is Wilmslow, UK-based CMAP Software, whose focus is on AEC project accounting (thought it also has service offerings to business consultancies, healthcare and creative businesses). The business was founded by Dave Graham, and, like other companies in the J-Media group, was incorporated in 2015, but the CMAP website says “we’ve been writing software and generally been in love with all things tech since the year 2000.”
CMAP business manager Paul Ard told me:
“CMAP handles the full cycle of a project from winning the project, delivering it on-time and on-budget, to billing. Feature-wise this covers CRM, job costing, projects, resourcing, timesheets and expenses, and reporting.”
One of the stand-out features in CMAP’s SaaS platform (hosted by Microsoft Azure since August 2013) is a business intelligence tool, complemented by a mobile BI app (available in Apple iOS and Android versions); CMAP’s platform also offers a personal mobile app (iOS only), allowing staff to manage their timesheets, expenses, contacts, activities and time off.
The system also offers integrations with other financial packages (Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, COINS Global), an Outlook integration, plus integration with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform, and with other AEC tools including photo management tool OpenAsset, and project information management toolset Newforma (so similar in this respect to Rapport 3; Newforma launched its Cloud Services Connector strategy in September 2016).
Ard says CMAP’s headline clients are Grimshaw Architects, Paul Davis and Partners, Morgan Sindall Professional Services and Eckersley O’Callaghan. The latest addition to the client roster is London-based architect David Miller Architects (CMAP blog post), while the company has also been shortlisted for Technology Provider of the Year in the 2017 New Civil Engineer TechFest Awards (coincidentally, NCE’s editor Mark Hansford was at the IBP communication and PR awards last week and he told me about the TechFest conference in London on 14 September).