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Archive for Mobility

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 >>

 

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting? Three Questions Answered

I was up last night thinking about our business and the services it offers. I realized that some of you out there might not fully understand what it is that we do and how we are different for other “Cloud Hosting” companies out there.

In this post, I will answer four basic questions about AEC Cloud that hopefully helps clarify who we are and how we can help your business transition to the next level of IT infrastructure and operations.

As always, we are here to help you and answer any questions you might have.

Who is AEC Cloud?

AEC Cloud is a full service, enterprise, cloud hosting company, focused on servicing the AEC Industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction). 

Our roots in the business started back in 1999, working in IT on construction projects with Turner Construction. We immediately saw that there was a huge gap between traditional IT, and the IT needs of a construction company and their projects. Everything from the software used, to the approach that construction companies take in assessing projects and understanding billing was different.

From those humble beginnings, AEC Cloud has become the leading enterprise cloud hosting company for the AEC Industry for over 16 years. We have literally seen it all, and leading construction firms leverage our knowledge base to help them make the correct decisions for their upcoming IT needs.

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What is AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting?

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting is a business that is focused on the AEC Industry and its specific unique needs. Not every cloud hosting company understands or has ever heard of hosting the software you use everyday in the office and on the job site.

Software such as:

Just to name a few.

And then there is integration of these software suites to leverage the job site data you have into information you can use in real time. Combining information from various software and coming up with new ways to see that data to solve problems and maintain a positive bottom line.

Here at AEC Cloud, we have been working closely with the AEC Industry for over 16 years and know any possible issues, before they become and issue.

Why choose AEC Cloud to participate in your IT requirements?

With over 16 years, solely focused on the AEC Industry’s IT needs, we have a deep knowledge base of how to put together seamless projects. Out customers are happy and understand the value of bringing an expert on-board to help guide them through the murky and confusing waters of cloud hosting and technology.

We are NOT a new start-up, that has no history or experience. 

And then there is the overall cost savings and flexibility that AEC Cloud brings to the table.

The following are the other compelling reasons as to why it makes business sense to move your Enterprise Applications to a cloud hosted environment.

  • Staying focused on your core competency vs. IT headaches.
  • Redirecting capital to core business expenses vs upfront costs.
  • Receiving higher quality at a lower cost.
  • Leveraging knowledge and resources from experienced professionals with over 16 years of experience.
  • Production application hosting for all of your software programs.
  • Disaster recovery sites managed.

 

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

Two Workforce Trends to Impact Your Data Integration Strategy

Those looking for trends that will shape data-integration strategies going forward should look no further than the changing nature of the workforce. Trends point towards more mobile, analytical minds entering the workforce, and it has me thinking about how this could ultimately impact things like IT strategies.

It is no stretch to say that employees have a profound impact on the business of construction. In this highly data-driven industry, it is the people who are shaping the ways in which data is being generated and shared. So suffice it say, as the nature of the workforce shifts so too will the way in which data impacts the business.

In particular, I see two workforce trends that will have an impact. One on the way in which data is generated, and the other on what we ultimately do with that data. And in both instances, there is a direct impact on the enterprise integration strategy.

The Connected Worker

AdobeStock_88855189It may seem like the cliché place to start, but the fact of the matter is that the world is growing increasingly connected. And much of this is being driven by millennials, which should account for roughly 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

And that workforce is one that is coming fully equipped with their own devices—complete with their own desires of generating a whole lot of data from those devices. And given the proliferation of mobile apps targeted at construction, it’s safe to say that more and more data will—if not already—be generated through the use of mobile devices.

And with this, it is important to think about how this data will integrate into your enterprise. Today, that level of integration is happening in siloed efforts—if at all—but in time you will need to consider a clear path to linking mobile and enterprise data. And soon enough, that discussion will extend beyond the connected worker and into the connected “things” on a jobsite. But perhaps that’s a topic best left for another time.

The Analytical Worker

With all of that great data entering the business, you now must find a way to use it in the most effective manner.

Earlier this year, InformationWeek published a list of the 10 top tech jobs for 2016. Coming in at #6 was a title referred to Analytics Manager. According to the report, Analytics Mangers are crucial to companies that require someone to analyze and make conclusions about data.

It makes me think about the rapid rate at which data is being recorded within construction and the growing need for companies to make sense of it all. We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the value of integration and the impact it will continue to have on your organization. A crucial strategy for AEC firms going forward is the ability to integrate key project and client data with the enterprise.

I refer to another article, from CIO, that cites deeper integration of ERP (enterprise resource planning) as a key trend to watch. In the article it states that ERP is becoming more versatile, providing deeper integration with a wide range of different systems. I agree that this is an important trend, and for construction that deeper level of integration includes systems like time tracking, mobile, and even customer-relationship management systems. More and more, data from these systems will need to become more tightly integrated with the enterprise.

For AEC firms, the need to have all of this information aggregated and interpreted will be key to success. While the role of Analytics Manager might not be one that you hire, per se, I would bet that there will be some person on your staff tasked with the role of analyzing and interpreting the data. Therefore, the need to have a strategic integration strategy for your enterprise systems will be a must going forward.

With all of this being said, it is important that your systems can handle anything that comes your way. At AECCloud, we like to say that the most successful integration strategies are those that are built on technology that is open, flexible and (construction) specific. Check out our integration page to help find the right applications to build your integration strategy.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC 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: 866 417-7230

A Basic Understanding of Cloud Computing

Sometimes I feel that we have to go back to the beginning in order to understand where we are now. Below are a few basic questions that clients often ask us here at AEC Cloud. Questions that often times take us aback in their simplicity, but are critical in understanding what the “cloud” is and how it is such a part of our lives we take it for granted.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is so common in our lives that you probably aren’t even aware that you are using it. Currently it is estimated that over 95% of people are now using cloud services such as social networks, streaming music, streaming video or online banking.

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Cloud Computing is a set of hardware and software that work to deliver the end user these online services. Users have access to files and applications from any type of device such as a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Any device that can access the internet.

You already know the big names in the field. Gmail, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, just to name a few. These applications and files can be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet. The actual application and files are on a cloud hosted server and “viewed” by your end device of choice.

How is computing from the Cloud different from computing from my local PC’s hard drive?

Computing from the cloud is different in that the files and applications are not physically located on your computer or device that you are currently using. Instead those files and applications are stored on servers hosted outside of your office or home. Those servers can also spread your data across different locations and servers, allowing for a wide array of storage protection and business continuity.

In other words, with cloud computing, your files are copied across many different servers and safe from natural disasters or hardware failure.

What are public and private Clouds?

Public Clouds are just what they sound like. They are cloud networks that are open to the public. Gmail is a good example of a public cloud. Gmail is an application and data storage system that is open to the public. Each user has an account within the wider public cloud application.
Private Clouds are more or less the opposite. They are protected applications and data typically behind a range of protection barriers or firewalls. These applications and data sets are not open to the public and are typically used by corporations to house sensitive data.

 

What are some common Cloud services and companies?

As noted above, there are many many cloud hosted services that you are already using in your day to day life. Gmail for your personal email; Dropbox for file storage and sharing; Spotify to stream your favorite music channel; Netflix to view a movie on your laptop or television at home.

All of these are services that allow you the end user to access data and applications through any device that has an internet connection. For business, these services offer a huge advantage in that they do not have to design, develop and host their own application and store those files. This greatly reduces IT costs and allows for more flexibility in testing different applications that works best for the business or project at hand.

 

Do I need Cloud computing?

The simple answer is that you are already using cloud computing. Maybe a better question is, can you live without Netflix, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.?

Now apply this to your business model and you can see why cloud computing continues to grow exponentially, year over year. The instant access to developed applications and files from any device, from anywhere allows businesses to be competitive at a very low cost.

It is just to cost prohibitive to setup your own cloud computing center given the costs of hardware, storage, servers and networking hardware. And it does not make sense in the end since much of this would just sit idle and go to waste. Instead with cloud computing, you can pay for only what you use.

 

Are my files safe in the Cloud?

The short answer is yes, your files are very very safe in the cloud. The possibility to create duplicate data sets and store those across different geographical locations, ensures that data will never be lost. Business continuity is basically guaranteed as the data and applications can be quickly brought back online in a matter of hours, instead of weeks or months needed with locally stored files.

 

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC 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: 866 417-7230

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

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

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

Mobile And The Death of the Desktop Computer

AdobeStock_88855189The numbers just don’t lie.

The market for PCs continues its precipitous drop in sales last year. According to a recent Gartner report, worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.4 million units in Q2 2015, a 9.5 percent dip from Q2, 2014. The report further predicts an overall decline of 4.4 percent in 2015.

The biggest drop in nearly two years, market researchers have reported, once again reaffirming that personal computers are on their way out and mobile is taking it’s place.

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An interesting statistic by researchers at IDC, stated that 66.1 million PCs had been shipped in the 2nd quarter of 2015. What is interesting is that Apple noted that it had sold 61 million iPhones during that same quarter. I do not have the numbers for tablets and other smart phone makers, but I think it is safe to say that over 120 million new mobile devices  hit the streets in 2015.

Apple revenue also reflects the growing trend away from desktop computers. Of Apple’s revenue for the 2nd quarter of 2015, Macs accounted for less that 10% of the total revenue. The iPhone was almost 70% of that total.

Engineers on building site controlling projectThe trend lines continue to go down for the PC market, there is no denying it. Mobile has effectively dominated the hardware environment. And that is now being reflected across the internet with responsive website design, and Google’s recent announcement of their focus on search results for mobile devices. Facebook has also announced in their last share holders meeting that mobile was their main focus moving forward.

I was looking through our website analytics this afternoon and was surprised to see mobile devices topping the list of how users accessed our website. Users on the move and using their mobile devices to get information on demand in real time.

And that paradigm shift from a stationary computing platform, to a mobile device is a natural one if you think about it. This shift is not being forced upon us from some higher authority. It is a natural organic shift that is taking place as technology continues to improve the mobile experience.

And why?

AdobeStock_83070874Who wants to sit in a cubicle inside an office under fluorescent lights for 8 hours? If you are like me, you want to get outside and interact with others. Go to the cafe down the street or local library where others are working on their mobile devices and real collaboration can take place. Interacting with others, whether from your work place or not, can and does trigger new ways of thinking, which in the end leads to new ways of doing business and ultimately an increase in productivity.

The world is hungry for this opportunity to break free of the walls of the office and start to interact with each other in new and exciting ways. It’s almost Darwinian.

Mobile. 

I’ve gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC 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.

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  • 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

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

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Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information Combine

nexus-of-forcesThe Nexus of Forces is a concept developed by consultancy firm Gartner Inc. that describes how the convergence and mutual strengthening of four current trends, or forces, are shaping enterprise business IT decisions and creating new business opportunities.

Those four forces (current trends) are:

  • social media
  • mobility
  • cloud computing
  • and information

The four forces, or trends, are distinct and happening now, but together, combine to form a new pattern of interacting with information, and how that information is utilized in the business environment.

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Information is the context that is at the center of social media and “virtual” interactions. Mobile devices are the platform for social media, allowing for new ways of working. Cloud hosting enables the delivery of the information and applications. Thus, the four forces converge, creating a fifth force that is driving technology and business into places we can only begin to contemplate and understand.

The Nexus of Forces concept is applicable to both social and enterprise spaces and is not limited to any one organizational size.

Research group Forrester, recently found 71% of enterprises believe mobility is a top priority, with 45% of the workforce qualifying as “anytime, anywhere.” Employees are now expecting companies to accommodate their mobile needs, with 55% saying they are more satisfied with their job if the company they work for emphasizes mobility first.

Based on a recent study completed at the MIT Sloan School of Management, businesses who consider mobility a priority and build initiatives around mobility are 26% more profitable.

Adaptation is the key to survival. The business landscape has changed, and with that the methods of doing “work”. For all of us, it has been a mobile mind shift. It’s hard to remember when these devices we hold all day we not there. When was the last time you left your house or office without your mobile device? And tell me, how did that feel?

If you are like me, then you went running back to get the device. The fact is, mobile devices are part of our everyday lives. Anytime/anywhere. We are connected with friends, colleagues and business associates via social media. Sharing information that is hosted on cloud servers. This is what I am calling the “Mobile Mental Shift”.

We are in the beginning, the dawn if you will of enterprise mobility. Sometimes it is hard to imagine what is all means and where it is going. But in the end, I believe that we are heading into something really powerful and really exciting. And in the end, you either get on-board and enjoy the ride, or sit on the sidelines and watch the bus go by.

I’ve gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC 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.

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • 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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[/row]

 

 

Redefining Enterprise Mobility – Beyond the Device

Doing more research on enterprise mobility on my “day off”. A true geek at heart. lol.

Today I ran across an interesting article by Gartner published back in 2012, Enterprise Mobility and Its Impact on IT. While the article is over three years old, it still holds some validity on our present situation. I also find it interesting in that it is a window as to where we were at three years ago and how far we have come in the arena of bringing business online and mobile. There are so many pieces to this puzzle and how business has had to adapt to the every changing trends of devices, apps, security, compliance, and the list goes on.

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The Gartner article pointed out that the tablet market did not exist prior to early 2010. Basically before the introduction of the iPad by Apple. I found this fact particularly interesting in that was only five years ago! Incredible how that single device, now made by many other companies, has worked its way into so many parts of our personal and business lives. How did we ever live without these devices before?

Life certainly existed and in fact thrived, but one fact remains. Life before mobile was a very different world that moved at a much slower pace that it does today. Business for one is the huge winner in this space with instant communication, and exchange of ideas and data in real time.

And now we have matured with mobile devices to the point that we can see that these devices are only one access point to the larger river of mobile applications, social media, cloud computing, mobile payment, interconnected mobile collaboration, just to name a few. We are living in a time that was purely science fiction back when I was a kid watching Star Trek. Talking to the home office on a small device that is pinned to shirt? This was a fantasy 30 years ago. Now we just take it for granted.

And the pace of innovation continues to accelerate on a daily basis. And this fast pace of innovation has pushed IT departments to the edge of their capabilities of management.

From the Gartner article:

Unfortunately, IT is burdened by an overwhelming array of regulatory, compliance, security, privacy, expense, organizational, policy and legacy technology constraints that dramatically shapes IT’s response to these changes. Simply put, the innovation rate in mobile devices, social software and cloud computing is accelerating faster than the enterprise adaptation rate. IT organizations that fail to adapt to this new reality will lose their relevance in the era of pervasive mobility.

I highlighted the last sentence because I think this is a key point.

It literally is survival of the technological fittest. Those that can adapt and keep up with the change, will be the winners. Those that do not, well we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

Another interesting article I ran across this morning on Wired Magazine website, had a good breakdown of how enterprises are dealing with the break neck speed of innovation and change.

But as more companies deploy Mobile Device Management (MDM) and now Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) as part of their mobility architecture, this will drive the adoption of enterprise mobility beyond the initial stages that most organizations are today.

According to Gartner, mobile is among the top three CIO spending priorities in 2014.

To enable full mobile productivity, organizations now seek more complete offerings that let them flexibly leverage application and content management, secure email and productivity apps as well. On a strategic level, they now think about mobility in terms of mobile workspaces that provide access to apps, desktops, data and services anywhere, on any device, over any network — a trend with important implications for providers and customers alike.

And again, I highlighted the key point in this part of the Wired article. Devices are one access point to the ever growing stream of apps, data and communication. Our maturation in the mobile world of business enterprise continues, but now is becoming more clear that it is here to stay and will become an ever more constant in our business and personal lives.

Remember when the world wide web first became available? I don’t know about you, but I was thinking, what is this all about? And how do I use it. It was like a maze that I was constantly getting so lost in that I would just close the browser. And now? The power of all the collective knowledge of the human race at your finger tips. Who wants to go back to 1990? Not me.

So my point is this. We are in the beginning, the dawn if you will of enterprise mobility. Sometimes it is hard to imagine what is all means and where it is going. But in the end, I believe that we are heading into something really powerful and really exciting. And in the end, you either get onboard and enjoy the ride, or sit on the sidelines and watch the bus go by.

I’ve gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC 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.

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • 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

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]

The Demise of the Desktop Computer

Engineer on building site using tabletToday I was doing some research on enterprise mobility and came across an article on Tech Crunch about the death of the desktop computer. The article is a couple years old, but still highly relevant and interesting to consider.

Is the desktop PC going the way of the dinosaur?

In my opinion, the short answer is no, but we can see a huge shift in workplace mobility. Tablets and smartphones have forever changed the definition of the workplace. Access to data and applications, anytime, anywhere have increased employee productivity. By one estimate, more than 240 hours per employee per year, have been gained. That’s a lot of added work time.

Here is an interesting snapshot from a Gartner research piece on sales of PC vs. mobile devices:

gartner-2013

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Yes, this is now rather dated, as we are now at the far end of the sales estimates. But you can easily see that mobile phones and tablet sales have shot up, and the end of the growth is far from over. Almost 3 billion mobile devices will be sold in 2017. That is a 70% increase year-over-year. Astonishing to say the least. Seeing those numbers alone tell me that we are in the midst of a huge transition akin to the introduction of the desktop computer in the office back in the 1990s. The workplace will never be the same.

The PC desktop has transitioned from the sole access point to information and software, to one piece of the growing access points. The PC desktop has it’s advantages and place in any work station matrix. With it’s large screens, full size keyboard and mouse, for myself, there is just a place and time to use the desktop.

That said, mobile devices also have their place, and the Gartner illustration clearly shows that. Workers are on the move and are taking advantage of access to cloud hosted data and software. The idea behind Enterprise mobility is the opening up of the traditional office environment boundaries. While obviously the main office not going anywhere soon, the idea of the office is beginning to shift in real time. Staff is on the move which opens up the possibilities of new opportunities to gain business and increase efficiency.

I’ve gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC 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.

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • 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

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]