August 15, 2005
Project Communication and Collaboration Reap Solid Growth
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue….


Welcome to AECWeekly! This week Constructware announced a 78% mid-year-to-mid-year increase in sales for 2005 and a record 2nd quarter sales of more than $7.5 million this week. The announcement heralds a promising year of solid growth and widespread adoption of their internet-based project communication and collaboration solution - by constructors, construction managers, architects, engineers and owners. In addition, the company announced the development and deployment of the construction industry's first contractual Communication Specification, according to the press release. Read about the company's news in this week's Industry News.


AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.


AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, People, Awards, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.


Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor



Industry News


Project Communication and Collaboration Reap Solid Growth
By Susan Smith


With a strong background in the construction industry, from the onset, Georgia-based Constructware has maintained a clear, down-to-earth commitment to its market and its specific challenges. That commitment has paid off: this week Constructware announced a 78% mid-year-to-mid-year increase in sales for 2005 and a record 2nd quarter sales of more than $7.5 million this week. The announcement heralds a promising year of solid growth and widespread adoption of their internet-based project communication and collaboration solution - by constructors, construction managers, architects, engineers and owners


.
Scott Unger, Constructware President and CEO said the record quarterly sales results included a mix of renewals, expanded license purchases by existing Constructware clients, sales to first-time clients, and multi-year site license agreements. Major multi-year engagements included ENR Top 400 general contracting firms, retail and financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, school systems, and various government agencies. Under the multi-year site license agreement, entities will standardize on Constructware's hosted project communication and collaboration solution.


The increase in multi-year site license agreements, as well as increased utilization by many client firms are cited by Unger as the reason for company's growth. According to the press release, what the Constructware solution encompasses is as follows:
  • Integrates the entire project team
  • Works throughout the design and construction lifecycle
  • And has depth and functionality required by contractors
  • In other second quarter milestones, Constructware passed the 7 million mark in terms of user logins to the Internet application, and has seen a 75% increase in demand for Professional Services for the first half of 2005.


    Because Constructware offers more than "just a construction tool," their solutions involve all parties on a project team, not just the contractor's side of it.


    "A lot of more of our clients coming up are the owners that are mandating the use of the solution for all parties involved on the project," confirmed Unger. "The Constructware product has the original platform and it is continually upgraded from month to month. We do training monthly on the monthly updates. The solution is set up to work for all different parties and different types of customers but it's also customized."


    A big hurdle for clients is getting the external team members to change the way they are used to doing business and evolve to a common team approach, said Unger. Just this week Constructware also announced the development and deployment of the construction industry's first contractual Communication Specification, according to the company. The Communication Specification provides a clearly defined structure for project team communication up front, early in the RFP process. It specifies roles, responsibilities and turn-around requirements for how to exchange of documents, project information and data between organizations through procedures inherent to the design and construction process.
    Additionally, the Communication Specification contractually binds all parties early in the process, which helps the collaboration across the entire project or program team.


    Unger cites recent industry studies stating conclusively that poor communication between companies is the root cause of risk in the design and construction process, which results in cost, schedule, scope and quality problems. Although these studies may be the impetus behind the Communication Specification, poor communication has been considered to be a bigger problem than software compatibility in AEC firms for many years.


    Also, from the press release, "recently a series of national surveys of owners was conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the respected industry consulting firm FMI Corporation (FMI), Raleigh, NC, and the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA), McLean, VA. In 2003, the FMI/CMAA Fourth Annual Survey of Owners rendered this conclusion: "Poor communication and collaboration is pervasive and impacts each phase of the construction process as well as everyone involved in the process - from owners and construction managers to architects, engineers, and contractors. When all of the responses to the survey were tabulated, we noted one overarching theme that stood at the top of the owner
    concerns, communication." In 2004, the FMI/CMAA Fifth Annual Survey of Owners again said "more effective communication" is the most impactful change owners can make to improve the quality of their project deliveries."


    The Communication Specification is currently in practice with three Constructware client companies. Additionally, multiple site license agreements signed in 2005 have specified the deployment of the Communication Specification.


    Another communication advancement from Constructware: within the next month, users will be able to access Constructware from the BlackBerry device. The capability will include the ability to do quick small transactions on the project side, which will enable you to set up transactions on the device and complete them when you return to your desktop.



    Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements


    Atwell-Hicks, one of the fastest growing land development consulting firms in the nation, has merged with Seiber, Keast & Associates, a civil engineering firm located in Novi, Michigan. Brian Wenzel, PE, president and chief operating officer of Atwell- Hicks, made the announcement.



    Announcements


    Intergraph Corporation is introducing the SmartPlant® Alliance program to promote development of SmartPlant Enterprise integration adapters by customers, complementary
    software vendors and consultants for their own or third-party applications. The program will enable firms to solve complex engineering business problems, such as improving project execution, handover and plant operational efficiency through advanced integration technology while optimizing engineering IT investment. Program participants can market integration adapters produced under the program, which has a one-year, renewable term. Companies enrolling in the SmartPlant Alliance program receive tools needed to develop SmartPlant adapters, including software licenses, training and maintenance support.


    Deltek, ERP vendor for project-based businesses, announced its continuing dominance in the architecture/ engineering (A/E) industry, as shown in statistics released in this year's Engineering News-Record (ENR). According to ENR's "2005 Top 500 Design Firms" list, 73 percent of the 500 largest revenue-generating A/E firms in the United States rely on Deltek ERP software solutions -- an increase of two percentage points over the previous year's figures.


    Cyco Software, a leading global software company offering Engineering Data Management (EDM) solutions, announced that it is now fully expanding its business in Russia with the implementation of Cyco AutoManager Meridian at Kanalstroyproekt, one of the largest project and research organizations providing services for engineering, communications and road construction in Moscow, Russia. The company will deploy Cyco's business application suite to manage all of its engineering documentation. EMT-R, a Russian division of EMT in Sweden, assists Kanalstroyproekt to roll out Cyco AutoManager Meridian.


    The Agenda and registration information for the
    Seventh Annual Lean Construction Congress. The meeting is set for San Francisco from September 20-24, 2005. The agenda includes the seminar "A Brief Introduction to Lean Construction", Congress sessions devoted to the Owner's role, reports on Lean Projects including the application of the Last Planner™ System on ultrafast projects, and Managing Design. A post Congress day will be devoted to reflection and discussion.


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    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


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