May 14, 2007
New Perspective on Process Management from Newforma
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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That’s a day a week. They accepted the fact that 20% of their time was appropriately being spent looking for stuff and recreating it along the way. Our solution puts an indexing server on the network. We indexed the entire network, all the project documents, drawings, x-refs, which means now they can use a search sort filter control through Newforma Project Center that makes all that information immediately accessible. Just like you do a Google search on the web, they do a Newforma Project Center search of their entire domain, and are able to bring back information in ways they can’t get to by generic search solutions. For example, what’s locked inside a zip file,
it’s a x-ref to a DWG, this is a level of search a generic tool doesn’t understand. They’re very domain specific and that is where Newforma adds a lot of value.


AECWeekly: Where does Newforma Project Center fit in in relation to other products on the market?


Ian Howell:
One of our customers positioned us in the marketplace as “the third leg of the stool.” They use Deltek Vision for managing their time and billing, they use Autodesk products for the production, and design work. What was missing was the software that filled in the third leg of the stool, the actual processes involved in executing the project.


Those three products work in concert. When we started the company and did our initial business plan due diligence, 3 ½ years ago, BIM was just starting out. We were talking to hundreds of businesses with 100s of active projects and they had two or three on BIM because they were experimenting with this new emerging technology. 99% of the data is CAD data, so we decided to focus our first couple of releases on managing CAD documents and all the other stuff, estimates, specifications, etc.


What we’ve been monitoring is how quickly have they been adopting BIM, how has the BIM use been increasing. The people who are most advanced are at the stage of about 10 to 15 percent of their projects being run as BIM projects, but with the conviction that new jobs are starting on BIM and are moving their offices from CAD to BIM over time. We’re definitely seeing use increasing. We believe this is the right time to address BIM in terms of Newforma Project Center. We go back to the founding ideas and speaking to advanced users of BIM, asking where are your points of pain? What do you have to do differently because of B IM? What new work processes is it demanding of them?


BIM is a coordinating geometry model and one of the advantages in design is that you find conflicts in the model before you find them onsite, so you can be alerted to a design issue much sooner in the process. The BIM model shows you you have a problem, however, it doesn’t do anything to solve it and tell you who is responsible. There is a whole conflict to resolution process that we handle as an adjacent supporting process in Newforma. You assign it, give it a due date, track it to resolution, you take a snapshot of the model, mark it up, declare it’s an issue. Newforma acts as a change process manager to be used in conjunction with the BIM model.


There are three components to our software: 

  • desktop client which is a Windows client that gets installed 
  • indexing server which is put behind the main firewall and indexes the entire network
  • Newforma Info Exchange a communication server in the DMZ
  • The third edition of Newforma is in the field, and we’re now testing the fourth edition which should be ready mid-year.



    Alliances/Acquisitions/Agreements


    Autodesk, Inc. and Architectural Data Systems (ADS) announced an initiative to enable users of AutoCAD Architecture 2008 software (formerly Autodesk Architectural Desktop) -- full access to ADSearch -- an extensive attribute-based building product search engine from ADS. Through the ADSearch technology, Autodesk intends to provide AutoCAD Architecture 2008 users with access to the broad array of manufacturer catalogs and can rapidly digitally search, manage, and create in-depth product lists made available by ADS.


    Deltek, Inc., a provider of enterprise applications software for project-focused organizations, announced that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. A portion of the shares will be issued and sold by Deltek and a portion will be sold by certain stockholders of Deltek.


    Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC will act as sole book-running manager for the proposed offering with J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Lehman Brothers Inc. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated acting as lead-managers and Montgomery & Co., LLC, Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC and William Blair & Company, LLC acting as co-managers.


    Announcements


    Architects are about to get an exciting new tool to support their ambitious efforts to fight climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. During the American Institute of Architects 2007 National Convention and Design Exposition, the
    ATHENA Institute debuted the prototype of a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool to help designers make environmentally-informed decisions about the materials they specify for buildings.


    McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC), part of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:MHP), in conjunction with its research and report partner Siemens, released the Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket(TM) report detailing corporate America's opinions on sustainability and green building.


    IDEAL announced the official launch of their My3Dservices.com website to provide 2D to 3D file conversion, file healing and preparation for 3D printing and 3D model library creation. My3Dservices provides 3D CAD services to convert existing 2D drawings and designs, paper or CAD, into BIM and other 3D CAD formats such as Autodesk's Revit. My3Dservices.com also provides solid file modeling to optimize output to 3D printers and other rapid prototyping devices. My3Dservices.com serves the reprographics, architectural, construction and GIS markets through IDEAL's authorized resellers.


    Aronson & Company (A&C), a nationally ranked top-fifty accounting and consulting firm based in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, recently announced that it has elected to be a Platinum Sponsor of the
    Deltek Insight 2007 conference, to be held in Las Vegas, May 15-18, 2007.


    Autodesk, Inc. announced that it has sold more than 200,000 seats of its Revit software platform for building information modeling (BIM), representing a 100% increase in seats over the past year. The dramatic growth in adoption of the Revit BIM platform stems from the increasing pressure faced by architects, designers and engineers to raise productivity and improve coordination across the design team. Using Revit, firms can respond to client demand for more sustainable buildings by producing digital models that can be used to predict and analyze building performance and energy usage. Additionally, Autodesk also announced that it has sold more than 500,000 seats worldwide of
    AutoCAD Architecture software (formerly Autodesk Architectural Desktop), its 2D AutoCAD-based solution for architects.


    Eagle Point Corporation announced the release of a report that evaluates and interprets the results of a comprehensive study it conducted in the Land Development market.


    This 76-page narrative reports on the findings of hundreds of organizations and provides interpretations of the data and implications to organizations operating in the Land Development market. Major themes discussed in the report include significant perception differences between senior leaders and employees, communication problems, issues related to employee empowerment, and difficulties in efficiently managing client projects.


    Autodesk, Inc. is working with the Natural World Museum to drive awareness of global environmental issues and promote sustainable design. Autodesk is the title sponsor of the traveling exhibition, Envisioning Change, hosted by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environment Programme, which offers thought-provoking perspectives on the issue of climate change from artists around the world. The relationship demonstrates a collaboration between public and private sector organizations with similar visions to inform and promote innovations that address current and future sustainable design challenges. In addition, Autodesk helped to bring the exhibit to life as the
    layout was designed using Autodesk software.


    FIATECH announced at their Annual Technology Conference & Showcase, April 9-12 in Washington, DC, that they had delivered a standard for deploying a Building Information Model (BIM) for the process industry.


    You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.


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