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As-Built Solutions

As-Built solutions are examples of success we have delivered in the past resulting in proven value for clients. With more than a hundred of these AEC Industry specific solutions under our belt, we picked a few we are very proud of to show our breadth of experience with company types and technologies. These may not all fit into the Cloud definition due to the historical timeline, however each one is indicative of our consistent industry leading mindset around server based computing which we have been recognized for over more than 10 years. In some cases we are unable to publish the names of the entities but we can discuss details over the phone and the active ones are often references for us. If we have a case study, the link is listed.

 

Department of Defense Pentagon

Solution:
On Premise & Hosted Unified Project Management, Document Control & Collaboration Solution

Description:
In 2001 the Pentagon had formed an entity called the Pentagon Renovation Program or PENREN which was tasked with renovating all 5 wedges of the Pentagon. On 9/11, 2001, Wedge one was nearing completion when terrorism reared it;s head and crashed an airplane into the building destroying the entirely renovated wedge. In December 2001, we were enlisted as implementation consultants for the Meridian ProjectTalk project management software which was planned for use in the renovation efforts. Early into 2002, the Department of Defense (DOD) decided they wanted all external applications to be moved in house. We were enlisted to be part of the team that architected the unified application management system for PENREN.

Business Value:
The key value was providing expertise in architecture, implementation and maintenance of a unified, secure, server based environment. Further value was recognized as the installation aged, security requirements and technologies changed, and parts of the solution were moved to a hosted environment.

Technology:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, Prolog Manager, Prolog Website, Primavera Expedition, Chinook QuiX, Bentley ProjectWise, Primavera P3, Crystal Reports, RSA ID Token system
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows Server/ASP/.Net, Apache/Tomcat/Java
  • Infrastructure; Dell Physical Servers, Cisco Networking, HP Physical Servers and VMWare Virtual Servers

Current Thoughts:
This solution had a long list of circumstances including global visibility, security, timelines, many contributors, etc… Even with these factors, there isn’t much we would have done differently today. This was a great example of a well thought out solution, where quality was first, and all stakeholders from the top down were committed to minimizing technology issues in an effort to stay focused on renovating this iconic and critically important building.


 

ENR Top 5 Global Contractor

Solution:
Unified Application Management System for more than 30 Applications in a server based, off premise environment.

Description:
In 2005 we implemented the first on premise installation of our Unified Application Management portal software at one of the worlds largest General Contractors. The goal was to tie together their entire server based Software environment in order to seamlessly manage access and provisioning for more than 30 business applications. The term Cloud was not yet popularized and we were already well on our way to understanding the value in “On Demand Self Service”, one of the 5 essential characteristics of the NIST Cloud definition.

Business Value:
Before this implementation, the Software applications were distributed across job sites, accessible from many points, with many different login credentials, and other inefficient methods of access. Our software allowed a single point of access for users, but also a single point of management for the business applications team to provision and gain insight into users and performance. Integration with Active Directory and other platform and Infrastructure layers services enabled the applications team to perform many tasks transparently without assistance from traditional IT administrators.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management white labeled for client branding. Integration Packs to support various applications.
  • Platform;
  • Infrastructure;

Current Thoughts:
The solution is still in place today, and has required relatively little maintenance. Sharepoint is now being utilized as the initial entry point which makes sense in their case, but the UAM portal still provides value through AEC industry application integrations for provisioning, billing mgmt and other integrated tasks. If we were starting this from scratch in the “cloud era”, we would certainly look at other ways to meet the requirements. For example, using Sharepoint as an application development framework or another similar “cloud” services portal. We have made this comparison several times, and the reality is we’ve been unable to find an off the shelf solution that isn’t an IT provisioning tool or one that does not require writing a lot of custom code.


 

ENR Top 15 National Contractor

Solution:
Hosted Unified Project Management System for Global Project Portfolio

Description:
In 2003 we began hosting project management for one of the worlds largest and well respected general contractors. We migrated 100’s of projects from an existing Application Service Provider offering. While we started in a completely physical world, we continued to innovate toward the cloud model and by 2009 were providing a 100% virtualized solution using no dedicated hardware.

Business Value:
The key value was saving cost through flexible license management methods. The client was already centralized, so by enabling the client to mix and match license types vs. being locked into named usage only and allowing the separation of software from services vs. paying for bundled software and services (now commonly called SaaS) they had the ability to pool software, platform and infrastructure thus reducing costs. Vendor neutral support and services focused mentality, operating more like an extension of IT, were also key.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management
  • Platform;
  • Infrastructure;

Current Thoughts:
If we started from scratch in 2013 we would use the same overall concept of unified application management and server based computing, while evolving these concepts and getting as close as possible to the NIST Cloud definition as possible.. The main limitation here as with many solutions is AEC Industry vendors do not generally offer a software only subscription licensing model, for example like Microsoft, Citrix, and other horizontal vendors.


 

ENR Top 100 Regional Contractor

Solution:
Hosted Unified Project Management System for National Project Portfolio

Description:
In 2002 we began hosting project management software for one of the states largest and well respected general contractors. We migrated 100’s of projects from an existing Application Service Provider offering. While we started in a completely physical world, we continued to innovate toward the cloud model and by 2009 were providing a 100% virtualized solution using no dedicated hardware.

Business Value:
The key value was saving cost through flexible license management methods. The client was already centralized, so by enabling the client to mix and match license types vs. being locked into named usage only and allowing the separation of software from services vs. paying for bundled software and services (now commonly called SaaS) they had the ability to pool software, platform and infrastructure thus reducing costs. Blending in with their on premise team as a vendor neutral extension of IT was also key.

Technologies:

  • Software;TCG Portal for Unified Application Management
  • Platform;
  • Infrastructure;

Current Thoughts:
If we started from scratch in 2013 we would use the same overall concept of unified application management and server based computing, while evolving these concepts and getting as close as possible to the NIST Cloud definition as possible.. The main limitation here as with many solutions is AEC Industry vendors do not generally offer a software only subscription licensing model, for example like Microsoft, Citrix, and other horizontal vendors.


 

Global Newspaper Provider

Solution:
Unified Project Management, Design, and Imaging System for Global Facility Management Portfolio

Description:
In 2002 we started by implementing Prolog Manager as the client’s software of choice, which was already in use by many of the program managers and general contractors on the program. We provided a unified application management portal for centralized access to the Project Management, Design, and Imaging applications. We also architected the hosted solution which was located in a data center of the clients choice.

Business Value:
The key value was providing an innovative server based environment and flexible license management methods. They had the ability to pool software, platform and infrastructure resulting in reduced cost vs. a distributed environment. Having all of the participants collaborate around a central solution resulted in a single source of truth, more timely information, and less paper.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, Crystal Reports, Prolog Manager, Prolog Website, Primavera P3, Bentley Projectwise, Imagesite, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash.
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows & SQL Enterprise, Java Servers.
  • Infrastructure; HP physical servers and various networking gear.

Current Thoughts:
If we did this project today we would recommend more flexible workflow based applications, middleware for integration, and a fully virtualized infrastructure. One of the major hurdles was managing all the data integrity in what was essentially a manually populated set of forms with no workflow. Modern workflow based software would facilitate better process flow through some level of automation. A second issue was performing data integrity checks on incoming drawings and synchronizing this between applications which were focused on both engineering content creation and collaborative review & markup. Generally getting data of any kind from one place to another was solved with custom utilities requiring manual operation. Modern middleware would simplify some of the initial integrations and allow for better process.


 

World Leading Project Management Consultancy

Solution:
Hosted Unified Project & Earned Value Management System for Global Project Portfolio

Description:
In 2003 we began hosting project management software for a leading project management consultancy. This was unique in that the overall solution was “white labeled” for the client. Over time we expanded from one to many applications including their proprietary earned value software, scheduling, project management, enterprise reporting, and content management. We grew the offering portfolio to a wide range of services including unified application management, integration, systems/software architecture advisory, and multi time zone help desk and solution change management.

Business Value:
Key business value was to augment their resource pool and add industry application & systems engineering expertise that they did not have in house. Providing a centralized, server based environment, accessible from a single point of entry for provisioning, usage based billing and single sign on was also key to reducing user management issues.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, Microsoft Access, Prolog Manager, Primavera P3, Primavera P6, Primavera Contract Manager, Microsoft Office, Document Locator, Document Locator WebTools, Business Objects Crystal Reports, Cognos Reporting.
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows, .NET, Java
  • Infrastructure; HP Physical Servers and VMWare Virtual Servers

Current Thoughts:
If we started this project today, we would suggest a more direct path to getting their proprietary applications ported from Microsoft Access to Microsoft SQL back end with a modern Web or Thick client UI and a business logic layer. The custom applications were required for business value and there were elements of Access that allowed for flexibility for different client situations. However, Access is not meant to be managed in a multi-tenant environment so workarounds were required and occasional. Today there are more cost effective ways to build a flexible proprietary application that is more manageable in a centralized, server based environment.


 

Global Datacenter Builder

Solution:
Hosted Unified Project Management System for Critical Data Center Projects

Description:
In 2010 we began hosting project management software for client building data centers in India.

Business Value:
The key value was providing them a globally accessible solution with support desk availability in multiple time zones. While they were a large company, at the time they did not have the necessary capabilities in house to move quickly enough for the project requirements. Since the clients initial plan was to leverage our solution for a specific period of time, being able to migrate the entire application set in house was also key.

Technologies:

  • Software;TCG Portal for Unified Application Management
  • Platform;
  • Infrastructure;

Current Thoughts:
The solution was well suited to the use of current technology and taking full advantage of low bandwidth delivery methods. Now that we license our Access portal for on premise use, based on the NIST Cloud definition, we would have recommended this be utilized in the private cloud as well in order to maintain the same look, feel, and functionality of the hosted environment.


 

Major Middle Eastern Territory Program Manager

Solution:
Hosted Unified Office & Project Management Solution for more than 500 users across the Middle East.

Description:
In 2001 we were performing various consulting services for one of the Middle East Territories largest program managers. After several successful training and software development projects we had the opportunity to host applications for them. We deployed a solution including Microsoft Office applications, Exchange email accounts and Primavera project management products.

Business Value:
The key value was augmenting hard and soft resources and providing reliable infrastructure. They did not have in house systems or support expertise for management of the general or project specific applications. Providing a unified system for access gave staff a simplified experience and a common collaborative process for our staff and theirs to coordinate support.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, Microsoft Office Pro, Primavera Contract Manager, Primavera P6
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows Server, Apache Tomcat Server
  • Infrastructure; Physical deployment of HP servers

Current Thoughts:
The overall solution worked well. At the time there were not many options for provisioning exchange email accounts, so it was a manually intensive process. Current technology from Microsoft and other providers for automaton of this low touch process is more widely available and in use today.


 

Manhattan Multi-Family Builder

Solution:
Comprehensive Office, Accounting, Project Management, Scheduling, Document Management, Drawing Management and Collaboration Solution.

Description:
In 2003 we were approached by a client with a clear vision for the future of how technology would be purchased. They wanted everything application for every role provided on a monthly, utility style basis, without any required commitment. Keep in mind this is at a time when there was a limited landscape, if any, of software vendors that provided subscription only software, platform or infrastructure. We happened to be in the process of negotiating Service Provider Licensing Agreements with Microsoft, Columbiasoft, and Meridian Systems to allow us to provide such a solution to clients. We were able to pull this off at the same time they required it, and this marked our starting point in understanding of the value of such offerings.

Business Value:
The key value was delivering the utility style solution which fit well with their vision of buying and managing costs related to technology as a percentage of revenue and usage.

Technologies:

  • Software;TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, Microsoft Office Pro, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Project, Meridian Prolog Manager, Intuit Master Builder (Sage 100 Contractor)
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server
  • Infrastructure; HP Physical Servers, VMWare ESX (vSphere)

Current Thoughts:
The solution worked great. We continue to evaluate various alternatives to software, platform and infrastructure. The main area of evolution is in the software arena, but at the end of the day, a centralized, well governed solution that is always available even through 2 major northeast blackouts, Hurricane Sandy, and the Nemo winter storm proves itself 24/7/365.


Northeast Healthcare Leader

Solution:
Hosted Unified Project Management and Invoicing Solution for Globally Recognized Health Care Provider

Description:
In 2004 we were engaged with NSLIJ for project management software consulting. At the time they were using Meridian ProjectTalk. The client decided they needed more control over the applications in order to perform their own configuration of forms, fields and reports. They also wanted to include applications from different vendors along with ideas for some custom add ons and utilities to integrate with other departments in the organization. Eventually we were enlisted to implement a more flexible solutions. This included architecture, deployment, hosting, maintenance, training & support. The result was a unified, hosted solution which delivered the required administrative and technical flexibility.

Business Value:
The key values were providing software specific domain and technical expertise, a departmentally controlled hosted environment, and flexibility to increase and decrease based on usage. Additional value was recognized in creating one of the first browser based electronic invoicing systems used on owner construction programs.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management, TCG eInvoice, Prolog Manager, Microsoft Office Pro, Columbiasoft Document Locator, Adobe Acrobat.
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows, & SQL Enterprise, Java Servers.
  • Infrastructure; HP Physical Servers, VMWare ESX (now vSphere) based Virtual Servers

Current Thoughts:
Although not an initial requirement, over time the client became more interested in the evolving workflow technologies available on the market. Eventually they adopted Skire Unifier as a replacement for the Prolog Suite. Having a deep background in workflow (Pre-AEC industry adoption), today we would start by implementing a more workflow friendly AEC process oriented product and couple it with a more general product like Sharepoint. This would leverage industry IP and leave more flexibility for collaborative workflows and role specific applications where users do not need to learn the core software.


 

West Coast Airport Expansion Program

Solution:
On Premise Capital Program Management System for California Airport Authority

Description:
In 2005 an existing hosted client, Faithful & Gould, recommended us for an on premise server based installation of Skire Unifier (Now Oracle Primavera Unifier). F&G was performing consultancy services which included the implementation of Unifier. We architected the solution, procured the hardware & software, shipped everything on location, stood up the solution, trained the existing staff, and turned it over per the client requirement.

Business Value:
The key value was professional services as the client had no expertise in the software product lines and limited experience in server based computing.

Technologies:

  • Software; TCG Portal for Unified Application Management
  • Platform; Microsoft Windows Server, Apache Tomcat/Java Server
  • Infrastructure; HP Physical Servers and related networking hardware

Current Thoughts:
Today we would have recommend a hybrid hosted solution. While we are proponents of the NIST Cloud definition, which outlines on premise, off premise, public, private and hybrid solutions, everyone underestimated the on premise capabilities to mange the solution once it was turned over. Examples include general IT skill sets, change management process adherence & test environments, etc… As a result there were continuous misunderstandings in how the software, platform, and infrastructure needed to be managed in order to provide a stable solution to the user base.

 

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