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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

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

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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How Enterprise Mobility Will Further Penetrate AEC

Construction team working on project with tablet

Construction team working on project with tablet

The AEC industry is mobile by nature—always has been. So topics like ‘enterprise mobility’ aren’t so much a discussion about what is new—but rather, what is next.

The landscape in construction today looks like this: Workers equipped with smartphones, tablets and other connected devices interacting with countless apps of all types, everyday in order to improve productivity and streamline workflow.

So at a broad level it’s safe to say that mobile has indeed permeated the AEC industry. What comes next, however, requires a bit deeper of a dig in order to uncover just how deep it will penetrate into the enterprise. Not only that, but it becomes a situation in which builders and contractors are looking to best prepare for what’s next.

When looking ahead for the AEC space, I believe it is important to evaluate the broader landscape of technology. Going forward, I see four broader trends associated with enterprise mobility with the potential of having wide-sweeping impact on how the AEC industry gets things done.

  1. Mobility Integration. Enterprise mobility is no longer operating in isolation from the rest of the enterprise. Integration with other key technologies will continue to progress, as data from these applications must be linked to back office functions and even play a greater role in processes like BIM (building information modeling).
  2. The AEC App Store. Could we soon be nearing a time when larger AEC companies are managing corporate-sanctioned apps on PCs and mobile devices? Enterprise app stores are indeed a real thing and promise greater control over the apps used by employees. Not only that, but they hold the potential for greater control over software expenditures. It’s not too far fetched to believe that as more and more large AEC firms embrace the idea of enterprise mobility that they will want to have greater control over the apps that their employees are accessing.
  3. Prime Time Cloud for Construction: Today you have major cloud vendors like Amazon AW, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure Cloud all making a play to extend their offerings to include mobile cloud solutions and services. The AEC space is ripe for these cloud giants to extend their mobile offerings.
  4. Cloud Content is King. All those great cloud-enabled storage apps like Box and Dropbox or productivity apps like Evernote suddenly become a gateway to putting your corporate data on the public cloud. More and more, these applications are being embraced for collaboration on all levels. We are already seeing the trend where major software applications are integrating with applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and One Drive, among others.
construction worker using digital tablet with crane on the background

Construction worker using digital tablet

The days of early adoption with regards to enterprise mobility are well past us. In fact, being mobile is simply a prerequisite these days for getting things done effectively. Our clients have been adopting cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage.

Take as an example, Torcon, Inc. This privately-held construction management and general contracting firm is a long-time AEC Cloud client, running our hosting services for its deployment of Prolog from Meridian Systems.

The contractor is taking this system to a new level through the addition of a tablet PC-based field technology solution called Converge, which integrates with Prolog. With this mobile solution, such tasks as punch list updates, safety notices and daily field reports are available from the field. And the value does not stop there as Torcon anticipates using the mobile application for a range of additional functions like punch list management and the initiation of RFIs (requests for information).

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167Torcon’s use of enterprise mobility is highly indicative of the current AEC landscape. And that begs the question: What is next for enterprise mobility in the AEC space, and how will you best prepare your firm going forward?

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

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Enterprise Mobility: Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD), Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Construction specialist using a tablet computer

Construction specialist using a tablet computer

Business is on the move, and by that I mean on the move outside the physical walls of the office. Mobile devices have blown the lid off the “traditional work place” and now allow workers to move outside the office and still be productive. In fact productivity has increased, along with efficiency. Gone are the days when you could only check your email at your physical work station at the office.

I remember the day that I got my first Blackberry. What a revolution! Here I was sitting in a cafe checking my email and responding to clients and colleagues instantly! Before, I would have to worry I was missing some important email while outside the office at a meeting or running errands. It was an incredible watershed moment in the history of the mobile work force, and the technology has only continued to improve.

Tablets, iPhones, Android mobile, not to mention laptops, have opened the doors to access data, software and communication anywhere; anytime.

Of course we still use our desktop computers. Who doesn’t like a large display screen and full size keyboard when there is a pile of work to get through? But what do you do when you need to go home to take care of something, but still need to push out that big report? This is where the Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD), also known as Desktop as a Service (DaaS) comes into play.

AdobeStock_88855189HVD is just what the name implies. It is a desktop that is hosted on a virtual server. Users connect to that desktop via their personal device, laptop, personal computer, tablet, etc. To the end user, the experience is the same. They open their personal “virtual desktop” and see all their applications, documents and data.

For example, a worker is at the office working on a document, but has to leave the office. He then goes home and opens his/her HVD and all the documents are still open, just as they were before back at the office. The “desktop” is accessible from any internet connected device and viewed anywhere, anytime.

Apart from the beauty of accessing your personal desktop anywhere, anytime, the benefits don’t end there.

All maintenance, support, upgrades and backups are performed by the service provider operating the virtual servers where the desktops are stored. The service provider can scale up or down the amount of power a user needs, as well as offer redundancy and offsite data backup.

This of course is more interesting to the CIO, than it is to the end user. To the end user, the experience is the same, but instead of having access to their desktop at the office, they now have access to their desktop from any device. To the CIO, the advantages go well beyond that. Business continuity alone is enough to justify such a transition to HVD, not to mention the reduced costs in maintenance and support.

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Here at AEC Cloud, we have focused our hosted IT solutions to the AEC space. We have been in the game for over 15 years now, helping the big firms such as Hensel Phelps, to the small guys, make their IT transition into the mobile enterprise workplace as smooth as possible. We know what needs to be done, and more importantly, we know how to do it.

If you have been putting off your IT transition, the time has come to take another look. The technology in the space has come a long way, and continues to improve. And the benefits gained, far out weight the pain of making the move.

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

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Enterprise Mobility is Changing the Definition of 'The Office'

AdobeStock_83070874The Office. Where exactly is that anymore? We all can say it’s located at such and such address, but does every employee go to the office everyday to work? Or if they do, the bigger question is, do they need to go to the office to work? Can they work from their home, the job site, a cafe or even the beach?

The very idea of forcing your staff to go to an official office with “their desk” is quickly becoming an out of date idea. Why? Well you probably already know the answer which is the mobile desktop. No longer are we chained to a specific location to perform our work duties. Workers can now harness the multitude of advantages in our current technological state. Mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and even laptops, along with cloud services have broken those chains. And management, and especially IT departments, should be rejoicing. The amount of overhead costs associated with a physical office, with individual workstations can be wiped off the budget sheet. Downsizing of office infrastructure, workstations, furniture, physical space leads to immediate cost savings and headaches.

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Enterprise mobility is a growing trend as more and more companies realize the power and potential of a mobile workforce outside of the physical office environment. Corporate data is now fluid. Moving from one user to another in seconds. One location to another location across the globe. An employee works on a presentation at their local Starbucks in the morning using their laptop. That afternoon, they sit down with others on their team at the job site to give the presentation on their iPad.
AdobeStock_44575060The power of cloud hosted applications, software, data and desktops has literally revolutionized how we are working. And I believe we are just beginning to see what this means for all of us in our daily lives. New technologies and ways of interacting with data are becoming available on a daily basis. Stuff of science fiction you might say.
Here is a partial list of what you can expect by migrating your applications, software, data and desktops to the cloud:

  • Access from any device, i.e. smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop
  • Access from a browser
  • No downloads
  • Access to all your files
  • Access to any software you want to install
  • Access to any file or folder
  • No more syncing
  • File transfer to and from your virtual desktop
  • Secure file storage
  • Backup all your files and settings
  • Software upgrades
  • 24/7 online support
  • Low per user cost
  • No hardware to worry about

 

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.

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

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Hosted Software Explained

AdobeStock_88855189With all the news about cloud hosting and the buzzwords surrounding it, I thought it makes sense to take a minute and explain a little bit about what “hosted software” is.

As the term suggests, it is your software that is installed and accessed on a remote server, offsite from the traditional “office”. The list of benefits is long, but that is for another article.

There are two types of hosted software. Software hosted by the manufacturer on a subscription basis (Software As A Service or SaaS), and software that has been purchased and installed on remote servers to be accessed by end users. Both types of installation can be accessed via the internet and a web browser. Traditionally the software has been focused on a desktop or laptop interface, but more and more these software applications are accessible via handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Hosted software is not installed on a user’s machine, but instead installed on a remote server and accessed via a web browser, much like going to a website and using Gmail for example. Computing power and data processing are not dependant on the local machine, and are done solely on the remote server. In this case, the end user can get away with using a low power computer that only needs to run a web browser. In days past, end users had to have high end latest model computers to run many of the popular software programs. With hosted software, the processing power of one server can be centralized and taken advantage of by many end users.

 

Updates, patches and upgrades are all done on the one central remote server, as opposed to all the individual end user computers. This allows the closing of potentially damaging security holes in the local infrastructure.

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Here at AEC Cloud, we have been helping businesses in the AEC industry make the transition to hosting critical software applications. We have over 15 years in the business and have consciously chosen to focus on the AEC industry. We know what you need before you do. We are specialists in cloud hosting, and that knowledge base we have built for the past 15 years is yours to share in when you use our services. Why take the risk with some off the shelf general “cloud hosting” company?

At 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.

The benefits are just too many to ignore.

Real Benefits

  • 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

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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done.
If you don’t see what you need in our list below, just ask!

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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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

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When Paperless Leads to Even Greater Efficiency

AdobeStock_34165921Could it be possible that less than 5% of businesses today are “paperless”? According to one business survey, this may be the case.

What gets lost these days amid major tech trends like mobility, Internet of Things and virtualization grabbing headlines is the fact that some companies are still in the process of taking primary steps in their process of innovation.

I recently came across an article that cited a survey from German-based print management services provider ThinPrint that revealed only 4.5% of business users surveyed have gone paperless. While the survey was focused more on the idea of printing practices, it got me thinking about AEC firms and their own struggles with going paperless amid the seemingly endless paper trail that can make up a construction project these days.

In fact, many of our customers here at The Cram Group initially came to us with help reducing the amount of paper that would circulate on a typical job. Take DECCO Ltd., for example. This contractor, based in the Cayman Islands, was looking for a way to streamline its file management system by moving from paper to electronic files.

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300With roughly 30 employees working in the office and in the field, the need was for an easier way to communicate and share information electronically. In 2010, AEC Cloud began hosting Meridian Systems’ Prolog Manager and Prolog Converge for DECCO, helping the company streamline its file management and archiving system.

Fast forward to 2015 and the company is much less dependent on paper files than ever. According to Harlan Dews, Senior Planner and Scheduler with DECCO, what was thousands of paper files used on projects has turned into a cloud-based one-stop shop for all project-related information, with the ability for files to be accessed any time from any location.

For a company like DECCO, the demand to go “paperless” was a steppingstone of sorts to unlocking even greater potential of a cloud-based service.

feature02Since deploying AEC Cloud’s Portal Cloud Hosting Services in 2010, DECCO has also evolved its use of the technology. Today it plays a role increasing efficiency in other aspects of its construction projects. This includes the ability to provide a higher level of accountability and reporting capabilities, controlling project costs, tracking employees’ time spent on projects, and increasing employee productivity.

“We’re making better decisions earlier in the construction process, which translates into cost savings as projects progress,” says Dews. “We’re also more organized and efficient because we’re notified electronically as projects move forward. This helps prevent projects from becoming backlogged.”

It’s a true testament to the role that a good technology solution can play within a company today. Technology designed to solve one challenge that can evolve to play additional roles within an organization can prove to be a valuable investment. Today’s AEC firms that are simply making a push to go “paperless” are making a step towards improving efficiencies across the board.

With a solution like AEC Cloud, these benefits include:

  • 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

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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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

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Enterprise Cloud Hosting Benefits

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Enterprise cloud hosting is the buzz word of the past year. There has been a convergence of technologies that have made the option of hosting desktops, files and applications outside of the office a viable reality. Whether you are looking at private cloud hosting, public cloud hosting or a hybrid situation, the benefits are just to clear to ignore.

LeadershipWidget_270_blueThe workplace has changed, and we argue for the better. The clearest gain in external cloud hosting is giving your workforce mobility to work whenever and wherever they may be located. The days of the office cubicle are slowly fading and dissolving into a worker that can move outside the walls of the office and still be productive. In fact, more productive than they ever were while chained to a stationary terminal. The workforce is allowed to move which brings opportunities for inspiration they can bring back to the workspace.

Smartphones and tablets, not to mention laptops, have opened the doors to reducing office space requirements. Workers can now work efficiently from home or any other place they may choose to perform their tasks. It’s been said before, a happy worker is a productive worker.

Mobile workers can now access their personal desktops, files and enterprise applications when the business makes the move to cloud hosting. Plug and play. Always connected to colleagues and the office no matter where they are. A dream for any department manager.

The next biggest factor for consideration is a reduced IT budget. Purchasing and hiring a team to manage updates and troubleshooting are removed from the equation. By spreading the cost of support and infrastructure across multiple clients, the cloud hosted option realizes real time cost savings. No longer is a business required to bear the entire burden of costs associated with purchasing and maintaining an entire IT department. With this old model, the drain on resources and overall budget just don’t make sense anymore.

Flexibility and scalability are other aspects of this cost savings. Are you operating servers and infrastructure that you are only using a part of? What if you need to add an additional ten users overnight? Would your IT department be able to execute that. I’m guessing probably not. With an enterprise cloud hosted model, scalability is built into the system. Scale up or down your user base, in a matter of hours, not weeks.

At 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.

The benefits are just to many to ignore.

Real Benefits

  • 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

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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done.
If you don’t see what you need in our list below, just ask!

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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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

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Hosted Applications + Virtual Desktop = WIN

Home_CaseStudiesWidget_DECC_370x320The mobile work force and the benefits it brings to any business model are here to stay. Smartphones and tablets have become the next generation thin client, using the power of cloud hosted applications, file storage and web services. While these devices have torn down the walls of the office, there is still a need for the desktop experience.

Many early adopters of the Virtual Desktop, or desktop as thin client, still bear the emotional scars of slow refresh rates, and overall poor performance. So poor in fact it was at times crippling to work productivity.

The technology of the desktop thin client has dramatically improved and is now a viable option for both inside the office, and outside. Virtualization of desktops has come a long ways over the past couple years with improvements in graphic acceleration, server protocols and server performance. End users of the Virtual Desktop can now enjoy a ‘normal’ desktop experience with full access to files and applications they need, when and where they need them.

Cloud-based desktops coupled with hosted applications and file storage open up increases in worker productivity and a lowering of IT costs. Employees can enjoy a mobile work-space, accessing their personal desktop, files and applications from any connected terminal.

At 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.

The benefits are just to many to ignore.

Real Benefits

  • 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

Proven 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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done.
If you don’t see what you need in our list below, just ask!

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[col_three]

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[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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

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