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Archive for As-Built Solutions

AEC Cloud Expertise Applied to Microsoft OBA Experience

“Does Excel count?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this statement from respondent in a recent construction technology survey. This obvious tongue-in-cheek response to a question about integration sheds light on the fact that while as an industry, construction has indeed come very far with regards to adopting advanced IT applications, in many ways it still relies on some of the tried-and-true tools with which the industry originated.

What’s more; nearly two in every 10 respondents to that same survey name Microsoft Excel as their primary tool during the estimating process. Think about that for a moment: A rather substantial number of construction firms are relying on Microsoft Excel at perhaps the most critical stage of their projects.

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With all of this in mind, to that respondent’s statement I reply, “Yes! Excel absolutely counts.”

And perhaps much of that has to do with the fact that Excel really isn’t what it used to be—it’s much better than ever. This is thanks in large part to fact that Microsoft has made some rather substantial investments behind the scenes to ensure its suite of Office applications can integrate better with the broader range of applications in use across business today.

obasCentral to that strategy are Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs). As applications written for Microsoft Office and based on .NET technology, OBAs uses Web services to connect to a standard Line of Business (LOB) or other application.

For instance, a Microsoft Excel-based OBA, allows for a pre-mapped, secure, two-way connection over the Internet between Excel and the LOB. This has proven to be a somewhat cumbersome process using traditional import/export methods. OBAs work by using Microsoft Office as the interface to capture information that is sent via Web services in XML format.

What this means is that you can perform work outside what some perceive to be as the constraints of a LOB—collaborating with extended team members, for example—yet still remain connected to the Microsoft Office system.

This presents the ease of using familiar Office-based applications while still being able to connect to other enterprise applications. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the most commonly used OBAs in construction are based on Microsoft Excel.

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Beyond Excel
The value of OBAs goes beyond Microsoft Excel. In fact, OBAs can be developed to extend LOB applications to more and more products. For instance, the ability to build a workflow application for managing documents. Or implementing an application that consolidates multiple user interfaces into a single Office system document or SharePoint Server Web page.

Important to note on that last point is the fact that while OBAs and SharePoint have a common technology foundation, OBAs do not require SharePoint to run. However, as SharePoint and Microsoft Office evolve, the lines between SharePoint and OBAs continue to blur, to which another class of applications called Office Web Applications (OWAs) have emerged.

A Smooth and Specific OBA Experience
Some companies choose to buy OBAs from their application vendors, or go the route of building their own. Of course, there are challenges associated with both routes; the former working with a vendor that does not have the expertise, and the latter requiring in-depth programming knowledge and resources.

When it comes to the use of OBAs that are specifically designed for the AEC industry, AEC Cloud is the pioneer.

We have been building OBAs as products for this industry since 2009. We offer an online source called the OBA Store, which contains both pre-build content, along with the ability to help your custom build OBAs. We manage the OBA content that we build, along with the related licensing.

The OBAs we provide are designed, written, packaged, licensed and managed by AEC Cloud. This means that the OBA Store—along with the OBA Cloud, which is used for OBA hosting—is designed and managed by us, allowing us to have full control over the OBAs.

Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems were the first AEC software provider to openly provide web services that could be used with Microsoft’s OBA technology—and we were early adopters. But that doesn’t mean our OBA options are strictly limited to Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems. In fact, we work to help customize OBAs specific to your environment.

Our OBAs are commercial applications, and that is the way in which we manage them. We help you understand which ones are most popular, can help provide you with better assistance with regards to support agreements, version control, and more.

obasWorking with OBAs specific to the AEC industry shouldn’t be taken lightly. As you look to extend the capabilities of your LOB applications to ensure that you can effectively work offline and capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets, work with a partner that has deep expertise and knowledge of the industry, along with a track record of success. It will help ensure you experience is one that is both seamless and specific.

This sounds great. Where do I get OBAs?

At the OBA Store!

Start browsing the largest collection of AEC related OBAs now!

Sign Up Here or Login if you already have an account.

 

 

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 16 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 16 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 16 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 866 417-7230

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Eliminate Import/Export Of Data: Use Excel to Update Your Line of Business Apps

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OBAs, Microsoft Office Business Applications, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel to update Prolog, Primavera, Viewpoint and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms your employees already understand?
  • Update information in one location and have it update in multiple applications?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

 

obas

 

Advantages of using Microsoft Office Business Applications:

  • Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch lists, and most other features.  
  • You can use our standard forms or base them on yours.
  • OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

Want to learn more about connecting your Line of Business Applications with Microsoft Excel?

Fill in the form to the right >>

 

Integration at the Next Level in AEC

Integration. In a word, it’s the promise of a more complete and clear picture of success across the AEC landscape. But as this industry grows increasingly complex, with data coming in from more sources than ever, we must be looking beyond what we typically know about integrated solutions in order to hit the next level of success.

Of course, integration is nothing new. It’s part of that age-old dilemma of trying to merge business data together across multiple systems into one easily manageable and universally understandable platform. For AEC, integration is rooted in the idea that if we can, for example, get our project management database to easily translate to our accounting database then we reduce errors and complexity across the business. And that leads to better projects, higher profit margins and repeat business.

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Attempts at integration over the years have come in the form of middleware, code schema, adapters, and industry-wide standards.

But this is a complicated industry. Simply merging data from two or three disparate systems is no longer enough. Just look at the proliferation of new data flowing in from things like building information modeling, mobile apps, cloud-based programs and more.

Integration means new things in the AEC space. And that means looking beyond the AEC space in order to view a model of success.

Lessons from Healthcare
I look to a case study from Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH,) a two-site community hospital with leading diagnostic services and clinical programs. The need for integration at MSH looked a bit complicated at the outset:

  • The need to support the healthcare data standard HL7, along with other industry requirements
  • The ability to process hundreds of thousands of messages daily
  • Maintaining near-perfect uptime

Sound familiar? Like a business in AEC, MSH needed to meet a high level of industry requirements for data, while also being able to ensure uptime was never compromised. For a solution, MSH turned to Microsoft BizTalk. BizTalk provides out-of-the box, cloud to on-premises and line-of-business application integration. It allows user to connect with any HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or REST data source

In the case of MSH, BizTalk Server was able to provide a platform that made it easy to modify and create interfaces to support the complex enterprise integration requirements for applications both within the hospital and for external partners. Complicated healthcare-related components had an integration path. And industry-specific components tailored how messages were processed for various healthcare applications. In all, BizTalk Server provided tools to help integrate a complex world like healthcare.

(Biz)Talk of Integration in AEC
Microsoft-BizTalk-ServerThe Microsoft BizTalk integration platform is available in a PaaS or Stand Alone deployment model, which means that right off the bat the product is already speaking the language of AEC Cloud.

For AEC Cloud, our solutions help companies that need simplified, secure access to many applications from multiple vendors via one secure, server based solution. This is why our systems are based on a multi-tier configuration that include a dedicated enterprise storage layer, database layer, web services layer, client-server application layer, and collaborative web application layer—all integrated under a Unified Application Management Portal.

So when you look at Microsoft BizTalk, much of the same structure to integration applies. BizTalk will use Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the common data exchange language application integration on the Internet. And the true power, in my opinion, exists within the adapters.

According Microsoft, it will be providing a set of Adapters that connect BizTalk Orchestrations with such applications as Google Apps, QuickBooks, Salesforce.com, SharePoint, and others in a very simple manner. What that ultimately means is the ability to integrate BizTalk Server with all the emerging applications, databases and services that are rapidly becoming a part of the AEC world.

But perhaps more important is the fact that this it will also integrate with all those tried-and-true applications that run your AEC business, like Prolog, Sage, Primavera, Viewpoint, CMiC and others.

In the coming months, I will be taking a deeper look at the topic of integration, and of the Microsoft BizTalk tool in general in the context of the AEC space to see if it truly the tool that can take integration to the next level.

 

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 212-505-0381

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

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OBA: Request for Information, Detailed List (with Attachment) Ready For Download in the OBA Store

78168_TOS_9017_RFI_DetailedList_FileAttach_Thumbnail v1_0The Request for Information, Detailed List (with Attachment) OBA is an Excel based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of RFI with Attachment records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings.

Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78168

OBA: Submittal Packages, Detailed Form Released to the OBA Store

78031_TOS_9017_SubmittalPackages_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0The Submittal Packages, Detailed Form, OBA is an Excel-based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings.

Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78031

OBA: Prolog Issues Summary List OBA – Excel Based Prolog Manager Editor

77891_TOS_9017_Issues_SummaryList_Thumbnail v2_0Summary List OBA (Office Business Application) allows users to securely access Prolog Manager and add/edit/delete Issues data directly in the Prolog database. This Issues Summary list OBA maps to several forms in the Prolog Issues feature. For a full list of the specific fields, see the Field Mapping page in this document.

Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

This and many other OBAs are FREE to use
by logging into the OBA Store.

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 77891

Case Study: Morley Builders Increases Efficiency with AEC Cloud

Case Study: Morley Builders Increases Efficiency with AEC Cloud

The Problem: A Need for Streamlined Data Entry and Greater Efficiency

Morley Builders is an employee-owned construction company that provides services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors Inc. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, the company needed a way for its employees to maintain large amounts of drawing and specification information and stay connected, while working at construction sites or in the office.

“We work on a variety of building projects, from commercial and retail to multifamily residential complexes,” said Erin Khan, Project Manager at Morley Builders. “We needed a way for our 200 employees to easily input project data and share information.”

 

The Solution: AEC Cloud’s Office Business Applications

While researching various options, Morley Builders heard about AEC Cloud’s office business applications (OBAs). “We talked with other vendors about developing a custom solution, but the development time and cost were prohibitive,” explained Ernest King, Operations Technology Manager.

“Then we found out about the business application offered by AEC Cloud, and it sounded like the right solution at a great price.”

An OBA is an application written for Microsoft Office applications based on .NET technology that uses web services to connect to a Line of Business (LOB) application or any other application. OBAs built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework are a great way to extend LOB applications so companies can capture critical information in spreadsheets and work offline.

In 2014, Morley Builders began using AEC Cloud’s Drawings & Specification OBA. The application allows employees to quickly input a large amount of data all at once, which saves time – especially at the start of a project, when certain information is repetitive.

“Previously, our employees had to manually input large data sets of drawing and specification information, which was very time consuming and labor intensive,” Khan said. “Now, we can input data much more quickly. The OBA interfaces with Microsoft Excel and our spreadsheets, which makes it easy since most end users already know Excel. You can also see a lot of data at once for editing, instead of just one record at a time.”

Morley Builders recognized the value of working with a company that understands the construction industry and supports the software it uses. “AEC Cloud has extensive knowledge of the software we use and how it all works together,” King said. “The Drawings & Specification OBA has a direct connection to Prolog, which makes updating information very easy. We just have to push one button to make a batch of revisions.”

Morley Builders also appreciates AEC Cloud’s technical expertise and customer service.

“In addition to delivering on the OBA, they also investigated and helped us solve another Prolog integration issue we had been experiencing for months,” Khan said. “Their knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile for us as a new client really sets them apart from others in the industry.”

Morley Builders plans to continue partnering with AEC Cloud.

“AEC Cloud stood out with their volume of offerings through the OBA Store,” Khan said.

“The Drawings & Specification application was easy to install, works seamlessly, and has increased our efficiency since we started using it in our production environment. We’ll watch for other solutions from AEC Cloud that may work for us in the future.”

 

About AEC Cloud’s OBA Store

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.

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About Morley Builders
Morley Builders is owned by nearly 200 employees and has a total craftsman payroll that ranges from 300 to 600, depending on the number of self-performed field projects under construction. Morley Builders has more than 65 years of experience in the construction industry and contracts its services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors, Inc.

For more information, visit www.morleybuilders.com.

OBA: Events, Detailed Form

77678_TOS_9017_Events_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0The Events, Detailed Form OBA is an Excel based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of Events record in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings.

Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 77678

OBA: Request for Information Detailed List for Prolog Manager

The Request for Information Detailed List OBA is an Excel based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of RFI records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings.

This RFI OBA maps to several forms in the Prolog RFI feature.

Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 77180

Past Projects: eInvoice

In our “Past Projects” section, we revisit some old projects that were decommissioned for various reasons.

eInvoice was way ahead of its time and filled a key role with high acclaim for more than 5 years at NSLIJ. We stopped it because the technology ran its course, and we did not want to become an invoicing vendor.

Below is the description of the technology:

logo_products_einvoice

eInvoice facilitates the way AEC Industry companies manage invoices with a focus on operations collaboration. It is a community aware, enterprise capable, project focused electronic invoicing system which is made possible by treating the process as the hub vs. the participants.

The invoice approval and payment process in the AEC Industry requires many participants. Beginning at the job site, based on a contract, invoices make their way through an approval cycle and then move on to the finance department for enterprise accounting capture and payment.  The process flow below shows the overall cycle. The problem is when this is done manually, there are many opportunities for error, location based restrictions, and general lack of transparency.

eInvoice-frmwrk1

Other applications that facilitate the invoicing process are generally built from a Standalone or Finance perspective.  The Standalone focus is generally approached with an application that emulates the project invoicing process and then integrates with other Line of Business (LOB) applications like project management & accounting.  This usually involves lengthy implementation cycles in order to match up the standalone application with the way your existing applications function.  The Finance focus is generally approached with an application that emulates the accounting process.  While we clearly understand accounting must be involved, we think that approach is backwards, starting in the middle of the process and/or forcing operations staff to become financial software users.

The process flows below show the standalone and accounting focused methods. We think this is starting in the wrong place, leaving out the operations team and their core software. Additionally the integrations are often being handled by the invoice tool, which is counterintuitive to a typical integration middleware strategy.

 

Background

eInvoice was born out of a need to simplify the invoice management process for vendors, architects, project managers, business services staff, executives, and financial professionals. The project was co-developed by North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and The Cram Group. At the time it was revolutionary initially garnering the most aversion to change and ultimately becoming their favorite application. The two limitations at the time were old methods of integration preventing efficient cross domain usage and lack of Line of Business application vendor support for community driven processes.

Subsequent versions made attempts at overcoming these technology hurdles to no avail due to costs of integration. As The concept of Cloud was better defined by NIST and software vendors started to get enabled, we were empowered to think about our business and the business of invoicing in completely new ways.

Today we have taken the same real world principles and applied better technology from the ground up. We are just scratching the surface of where these types of applications can go.

 

Features

Cloud Ready: When we say Cloud ready, we don’t mean some marketing term.  It also does not mean we have to host it.  eInvoice was built from the ground up based on the NIST cloud definition.  As we work toward the definition of Cloud (we are close, but also purists), eInvoice users will realize benefits that change the way invoicing is done in the AEC Industry.  Visit our Cloud page for more information on our mindset and the NIST cloud definition.

Prolog Ready: eInvoice is the first natively integrated 3rd party application for the Prolog Application Suite.  We don’t mean it sort of integrates, we mean it has a native building block that bolts on, rock solid.  We started here due to the large community of users interacting with the Prolog Suite but more importantly due to the extensive Prolog Connect web services platform made available to all customers of Prolog Converge.

Community Aware: eInvoice understands the construction ecosystem goes beyond an owner or general contractor’s desires and brings different value to all participants.  Approvers can focus on the programs & projects under their control while submitters can focus on projects from multiple programs, projects and controlling entities.  This results in a community of users with one place to process their invoices.

Enterprise Capable: eInvoice goes beyond the single database or project and allows connections across all projects so participants can get everything done from one familiar place.  There are existing ball in court queries for participants but since the contract sources are bound, external reporting tools can also be used for alternative business intelligence presentations.

Project Focused: We understand project management and the field.   That’s where the work gets done and the invoice starts.  eInvoice is fully aware of project level contracts and business rules, vs. the accounting requirements.  If your Project management and accounting software are in line, eInvoice will fit like a glove.

Role Based: Contracts flow two directions and as a result Invoices have submitters and approvers.  As a result, it shouldn’t matter which company the contract is with or which database the project is in.  eInvoice enables dynamic user assignments across any database or project breaking down traditional clumsiness associated with database or project specific processes.

Plug & Play: eInvoice integration requires no business consulting or custom programming to configure.  It’s tightly integrated with the Project Management Line of Business (LOB) Application version that is licensed.

Where most providers create core applications with options to integrate with old technologies, we took a different approach creating a modern, cloud driven platform with out of the box snap in capabilities for LOB applications.  This plug and play approach eliminates IT hassles.

We have no plans to go backwards and create generalized middleware so as AEC Technology Space Vendors build cloud capable products with openly programmable web services we will bring the benefits of the eInvoice platform to other LOB applications.

Configuration: eInvoice has administrative tools to configure companies, administrators, approvers, and submitters with minimal data entry or synchronizing with the LOB Application.  The workflow can be defined with as many steps as desired while honoring the LOB Application business rules.

Licensing: We know there are business people that want a simple turnkey solution, we also know there are many smart people out there managing existing IT solutions that eInvoice can be a part of.  We can host it or you can host it wherever you want.  But it’s not just about hosting.  If we host it our software + services approach allows options for single tenant or multi-tenant deployments enabling options to bill the approver company or the submitter company or both.  Have it your way or any way in between.

Notes: *Cross Domain and Community based features are forthcoming.

 

 Why use eInvoice?

eInvoice-frmwrk2

eInvoice-frmwrk3

Since our leadership is from the operations side of construction and the cloud mindset of technology, that’s the approach we took to invoicing. Rather than trying to own the entire invoicing process, we stepped back and looked at what part of the automation was missing. As a result, eInvoice is focused on the collaborative job site operations approval process. eInvoice is built for this purpose only and leaves the accounting and payment integration in the hands of other Line of Business (LOB) and integration applications. This keeps our focus clear, the cost down, and allows other applications to be maximized. The process flow below shows where eInvoice fits into the Project Invoicing cycle rather than trying to own it.

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Who Uses eInvoice?

eInvoice has successfully facilitated 1,000’s of monthly transactions for more than 5 years.  Below is a list of some customers that have benefit from eInvoice:

Array Architects PCAKF Group

Albanese Development Corp.

Anson environmental Ltd.

A.S.C. Contracting Corp.

Axis Construction Corp

Baldassano Architecture, LLP

Barr & Barr, Inc

Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc.

Botto Mechanical Corp.

Carrier Commercial Services

Cannon Design

Cameron Engineering & Assoc., LLP

Consulting Associates of NY Inc.

Cauldwell Wingate Company, LLC

Consumer Markouts

Consulting and Testing Services

Dattner Architects

Davis Langdon

Desman Associates

Diam-N-Blu Mechanical Corp.

Empire Genral Contracting

Ewing Cole

Fiber Control

Flack and Kurtz

Floors Unlimited

Francis Cauffman Inc

The Fulcrum Group

Gotham Construction Company LLC

Gordon L Seaman

Gorden, Sibell & Iannone, PLLC

Hammes Company

Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

Horizon Engineering Associates

H&T Contracting Inc.

Jato Building Contractors, Inc.

Jefferson Wells

Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc

JRB Construction Corp.

JRS Architect PC

JSK Construction Corp.

Langan Engineering & Environmental

Lilker Associates

Lizardos Engineering Assoc, P.C.

Matrix Mechanical Corp.

Materials Testing Lab Inc.

Maarv Waterproofing Inc.

McLaurin & McLaurin, IncMcGuire Group Architects

Michael Anthony Contracting

Morris/Switzer & Associates

Multivista Construction Documentat

Nouveau Elevator Industries Inc.

Pam Chow Architects

Paul Jacob Hill Architec & Design

Par Environmental Corp.

Perkins Eastman Architects PC

P.W. Grosser Consulting

RA Consultants LLC

Racanelli Constructions

Rockwell Architecture Planning

Reilly & Associates

RGBK Inc D/B/A Romano Gatland

RJ Lee Group inc.

Roux Associates, Inc

Rolands Electric Inc.

Romano Paving and Contracting Corp

Salans LLP

Starcom Communications Services

Scale Plumbing

SDM Representatives, Inc.

Shulman Industries Inc

Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP

Sierra Group

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, LLP

Skanska

Spectrum Signs Inc.

Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Swanke Hayden Connell Architects

Turner

Tectonic Engineering

Testing Mechanics Corp

Turner FMS

Thornton Tomasetti Inc.

Total Safety Consulting, LLC

TPG Architecture, LLP

Tremco/WTI

Upright Expediters, Inc

VHB Engineering, Surveying & Lansc

Vincon Electric Co. Inc

VTS Medical System LLC

Wiss, Janney, Elsnter Associates

WSP Cantor Seinuk

S. Engineering, PC

Quick Tour

Invoice Submission: Staff from Vendors, Subcontractors and other company types submit invoices against an existing contract.  This is made simple by showing the submitter the information specific to their company based on active agreements.  Submitters see real time contract, change order and historical data & attachments in one screen, making all relevant information available each step of the way. eInvoice complies with all of the business rules in the Project Management Line of Business Application (Prolog in this case) to ensure there are no variances.

Sub-Approver

Submission Form

Confirmation

Confirmation Notification

invoice-que

Invoice Queue

 

 Invoice Approval

Staff from Owners, General Contractors, and other company types approve invoices from a cue based on submissions.  With relevant information available in one screen,  approvers can focus on quickly making informed decisions and speeding up the entire invoice management process.  Upon final approval, the Project Management Line of Business Application is updated, notifications are distrbuted, and information can be routed to ERP & Accounting systems for payment.

 

FirstApprover

First Approver

Contract_Attactment

Contract Attachment

CommentsThread

Commenting Thread

Configuration

All of the options are completely configurable by the Project Management Line of Business Application owner.  Company participants, workflow steps and other settings are 100% browser native.

 

Company Mapping

Company Mapping

Approver Mapping

Approver Mapping

Workflow Configuration

Workflow Configuration