Following the UK Grenfell fire disaster, specification of construction product information and the “Golden Thread” is in the spotlight. Product data management platforms such as SpecifiedBy work in this sector. UK-based construction software vendor Causeway …
Alongside Archicad 25, Graphisoft has announced enhancements to its BIMx model viewing and BIMcloud design collaboration applications, though these are consciously not ‘CDE’ products. Hungary-based BIM software giant Graphisoft, part of the Nemetschek group, has …
UK software vendor Operance has been involved in the development of practical solutions to deliver ‘the Golden Thread’ as part of the UK Government’s Building Safety Bill. Much of the attention on this week’s (5 …
Procore is expanding into the Middle East and North Africa through a strategic partnership with its Abu Dhabi-based investor Mubadala. Some six weeks after the May 2021 initial public offering (IPO) of its shares on …
Stuttgart, Germany-based RIB Software − since July 2020 part of French multinational Schneider Electric (post) − has announced that René Wolf will become managing director and CEO of the company with effect from 1 February 2022, …
I was updating some stats recently regarding uptake of broadband in the UK. According to Ofcom’s 2005 UK communications market overview:
There were over 6 million broadband homes in the UK by the end of 2004 – over 90% more than at the end of 2003 – and over 7.5 million by May 2005
There are now more broadband than dial-up internet subscribers
By the end of 2005, 99.6% of UK homes will be connected to a broadband-enabled exchange
Broadband prices are falling, and speeds are increasing – both of which are helping drive demand and new applications
Two points occur to me.
First, given the fragmentation of the UK construction industry and its domination by small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), often sole-traders or small family businesses, such growth in broadband use will remove at least one argument against using web-based technologies (ie: that their comms links are too slow or too expensive).
Second, broadband access will almost certainly encourage individual users of construction collaboration technologies to log-in to the solutions from home as well as the workplace. I know several industry customers (eg: BT) encourage home-working (believing this fits with individuals’ needs for more flexible working); web-based solutions fit very neatly with such policies.
I frequently work from home and can log-in to BIW’s solution at a time that suits me – sometimes after the children have gone to bed in the evening, for example. Increased home-working underlines the need for providers to ensure their applications are always available, 24/7. Nothing could be more frustrating than putting some time aside to catch up with some work, only to find that the system is not online when you need it due to system maintenance or some other problem.
Permanent link to this article: https://extranetevolution.com/2005/09/broadband_growt/
Through silicon.com, I found an interesting white paper from Web-Ex.
While not focused on construction collaboration or extranet technologies, it had some interesting points to make about employing an externally hosted solution.
In passing, I was struck by a new abbreviation. The paper quotes research by the Service and Support Professionals Association and Tech Strategy Partners, which found that, of total IT budget, on average 47% goes towards the total cost of support and management (what Web-Ex abbreviates to TCSM – an interesting, and more specific, variation or sub-set of total cost of ownership, TCO). In other words, almost half of an organisation’s IT budget is spent just keeping current systems running – highlighting the need for organisations to manage their chosen systems as efficiently as possible.
Web-Ex’s white paper looks at most of the familiar criteria used to compare the suitability of web-hosted v. in-house solutions: affordability, availability, scalability, performance, supportability, manageability, compatibility, specialised needs, security, compliance and vendor viability. It concludes:
Most enterprises that have investigated this trade-off have agreed with IDC’s conclusion from its Executive Brief entitled Conferencing through Service Providers for Low Cost and Reliability: “[Real-time collaboration] should drive productivity, not inhibit it. Because running multimedia communications services is not a core competency for most companies, many will find that entrusting this responsibility to someone else is the best way to make sure conferencing features are useful and that business objectives are met. Service providers offer expertise and economies of scale that are not typically available internally.
I have argued much the same kind of thing in my book. Indeed, replace IDC’s references to conferencing with ‘construction collaboration technologies’ and you’d have my argument in a nutshell.
Permanent link to this article: https://extranetevolution.com/2005/09/realtime_collab/
I notice Bill Gates is reported as saying the "software as a service" age is here. Nothing new in such an announcement from Microsoft. Some of their products have now moved forward a bit, of course, but also Microsoft is looking over its shoulder at ASP businesses such as salesforce.com. If you’re interested in knowing more about the virtues of SaaS, this March 2005 article from aspnews.com gives a good overview of the advantages and potential benefits.
Permanent link to this article: https://extranetevolution.com/2005/09/the_software_as/
Welcome to the "Extranet Evolution". Why did I choose this title? Well, the term "Extranet Evolution" forms the subtitle of my recently published book on ‘project extranets’ or – as I prefer to call them – construction collaboration technologies. ("Construction Collaboration Technologies: The Extranet Evolution" is published by Taylor & Francis, and it is so hot-off-the-press that the first copies were sold less than a month ago. For more information, have a look at the book flyer.
My choice of the word "evolution" probably also needs explaining. As the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector tends to be quite conservative in its adoption of new technologies, I believed there was little chance of web-based technologies changing the complexion of the industry overnight. Industry customers and their project teams will want to establish that the technologies (and the companies behind them) are robust, reliable, and likely to be around for a while. As a result, migration from traditional forms of communication are more likely to be evolutionary than revolutionary.
And why blog? As an advocate of online collaboration, I feel I should practice what I preach and use online collaboration tools – of which blogs are just one example – to comment upon the impacts of information and communication technologies on construction projects.
Permanent link to this article: https://extranetevolution.com/2005/09/welcome_to_the_/