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Wes Smith set to speak as AEC Futurist on EngTech panel at The Future of Money and Technology Summit, San Francisco


AECCloud Founder and Cloud Executive Officer, Wes Smith will be speaking at The Future of Money & Technology on December 4th in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together the best and brightest visionaries in money and FinTech, including startups, entrepreneurs, developers, press, investors, services and solutions providers. Panelists will discuss the evolving money ecosystem in a proactive, conducive to dealmaking environment. The conference topics will cover Bitcoin, Ethereum, Other Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, Tokens, Blockchain, Banking, Investors, Startups and more!

Dan Robles from IEBC extended the invite to Wes to speak on the EngTech panel “How will Blockchain, AI, AV, AR impact the Engineering Profession?” as an AEC Futurist.

Panel Summary: There is not enough money to meet the infrastructure needs of society. In order to bring those costs down we must develop a fundamentally new project delivery system utilizing new technologies to the fullest – but at what cost? Tim Chapman’s wonderful video (to be shown – see here) describes the potential and perils that blockchain, artificial intelligence, autonomous machinery, and augmented reality may pose to the industry. How are we to create senior engineers needed for innovation if the formative junior level jobs are performed by machines? Alternatives?


Read More: Interested in more info on these issues and the potential role of Blockchain for the AEC Industry?  Check out some further resources below:

IEBC Whitepaper including Engineering Blockchain Applications

Dan Robles Breaking down blockchain [Video]

Project Management Blockchain series by Marc Minnee

The Impact of Blockchain Technology on the Construction Industry by Dave Hughes

Construction Open Software Alliance Consortium focused on developing standards for the AEC Industry.


Wes Smith, AEC Cloud, Cloud Executive Officer

Passionate about people and process driven technology, Wes Smith has 20 years experience enabling AEC Industry leaders & participants with business focused technology. He has participated in thought leadership sessions with AGC, Constructech and ENR Magazines as well as Citrix, Oracle, Trimble and Viewpoint.

His company, AEC Cloud, is a certified Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and developer with extensive experience providing intranets, hosting, integration, and business technology consulting services to the AEC Industry. Major clients include Hensel Phelps, The New York Times, The Pentagon Renovation Program, and Turner Construction.

AEC Cloud EVENT: Christian Burger: Personal Experiences & Challenges Ahead for AEC IT

We now have a panel of three leaders in the AEC IT space.

Do not miss this FREE event!

In our ongoing FREE educational luncheon events, we are excited to announce that Christian Burger, President Burger Consulting Group, an IT consulting firm based in Chicago, will be joining us to talk about his personal IT experiences, and the challenges that lay ahead.

  • Christian is a veteran in the AEC Industry IT space. He has been working with some of the largest AEC firms for over 25 years and has literally seen it all.
  • His firm focuses on IT strategy and leadership. Working up best practices for implementation of current technology and thought leadership.
  • He is a frequent speaker and publishes in leading industry journals.
  • He is a professor of technology at Northwestern University’s Masters in Project Management program.

Learn more about Christian’s firm here: http://burgerconsulting.com

 

This is a FREE educational luncheon.
We now have a panel of three leaders in the  AEC IT space.

Do not miss this this event!

If you have not signed up yet, there are still a few spaces left!

Click here to save your spot.

Please note: Space is limited.
Let us know if you have any questions, info@aeccloud.com

Special Educational Luncheon Event
February 09, 2017  ·  Stone Brewing, San Diego, CA

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

Case Study: Torcon Increases Productivity with AEC Cloud Hosting

Case Study: Torcon Increases Productivity with AEC Cloud Hosting

The Problem: A Need for Reliable Reporting Capabilities Torcon is a builder that provides construction management and general contracting services to leading
corporations and private institutions.

With 175 employees and clients across the country and in Puerto Rico, the company needs to ensure that its employees are connected and can access reports and other information they need.

“We typically have 20 clients, and between 30 and 40 different projects running concurrently,” said Rich Zavali, Engineering Application Manager at Torcon. “We need our staff to have access to database files and other project-related documents, whether they’re at a construction site or working in the office.”

 

The Solution: AEC Cloud’s Hosting Solution
Torcon started working with AEC Cloud in 2006.

Before working with AEC Cloud, we had security concerns and our database access was limited,” Zavali said. “AEC Cloud gave us reporting access from different locations, and allowed us to run global reports across different databases.”

Over the years, AEC Cloud worked with Torcon to introduce new applications. Today, their custom solution gives Torcon’s employees access to an integrated package of virtual desktop, document management, financial, and project management tools.

The software package includes:

  • Meridian System’s Prolog Suite,
  • Prolog Converge,
  • and Prolog Connect

AEC Cloud also recently began hosting CMIC, Torcon’s financial software system for the last seven years. Employees can access these tools from a job site, or any of the company’s three offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia, or Puerto Rico.

This increases their productivity and helps them provide better service to clients.

Torcon recognizes the importance of partnering with a company that understands the construction industry and can support the software it uses on a daily basis.

“AEC Cloud understands the products we use and has proven expertise in the Architecture Engineering and Construction industry,” Zavali said. “This allows us to focus on our core business of managing our customers’ projects, and not worry about the technical issues.”

Torcon also appreciates the reliable technical support that AEC Cloud provides. “They provide excellent customer service,” Zavali said. “If there’s a problem, we know we can call a qualified person to help us.

We don’t need separate people to keep our IT systems running, which also enhances our productivity and helps keep operating costs down.”

AEC Cloud is also an expert in ensuring document security. “We’ve had excellent document security and stability over the years,” Zavali explained. “Even though our employees are working at various locations, we never worry about security.

It’s comforting to us and reassuring to our clients.”

Torcon plans to continue working with AEC Cloud for its IT hosting needs. “Partnering with AEC Cloud allows us to focus on our clients and continue providing excellent customer service,” Zavali said. “We’ve increased our efficiency and productivity, which helps us compete more effectively with other companies in our industry.”

“AEC Cloud really cares about your business, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

AEC Cloud understands the products we use and has proven expertise in the Architecture Engineering and Construction industry. This allows us to focus on our core business of managing our customers’ projects, and not worry about the technical issues.
Rich Zavali, Engineering Application Manager at Torcon

 

 

 


About The Cram Group & AEC Cloud
Since 2001, The Cram Group is a leading Consulting, Hosting, and Development services provider focused on the AEC Industry. Core offerings include education about Cloud Computing and Solutions based on the NIST Cloud Definition; Software for Unified Application Management and Role Specific Applications; and Services from Advisory to Maintenance which are available direct and through a nationwide Certified Partner Network.
For more information, call 212-505-0381, or email us sales@aeccloud.com

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About Torcon
Torcon is a builder that provides construction management and general contracting services to leading corporations and private institutions. Headquartered in New Jersey, Torcon is one of the largest, most active builders in the Mid-Atlantic States, as well as the premier construction management company in Puerto Rico. Torcon is ranked among the nation’s 80 largest at-risk construction management companies according to ENR, the industry’s leading publication, and was named ENR-New York’s Contractor of the Year in 2013.
For more information, visit www.torcon.com

 

OBA: Request for Information, Detailed Form Released to the OBA Store

78030_TOS_9017_RFI_DetailedForm_FileAttach_Thunmbnail v1_0The Request for Information, Detailed Form (with Attachment) OBA is an Excel based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of RFI records in Prolog Manager with the Attachment feature as an enhancement.

Installation Requirements

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

 

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

 

Office Business Applications

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

Would you like to…

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

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

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

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

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78030

ENR Futuretech | Let's Print Some Buildings and Connect Some Cities

Just off the heels of McGraw Hills ENR Futuretech shindig here’s a few thoughts. I guess this is my 4th among 50 or so other conferences I’ve attended. If you haven’t been, I recommend it among the advertisement neutral events in the AEC industry. They have one on the West Coast and the East. If you can’t make it because your abroad, I’m pretty sure at some point they post the presentations, so here’s the event site:

http://www.construction.com/events/2013/FutureTechSF/default.asp

Generally, there’s a lot of BIM talk, which makes sense in the context of the case studies they find that are driving its adoption. Also because BIM is generally perceived as a centralized container for at least the start of all building life cycle information. It was also great to see so many examples focused on Cloud. While this primarily focused on Documents and the use of web service API’s for connecting the built planet, references to the NIST cloud definition were ubiquitous whether or not intentional. Whether its from BIM &Cloud basics or any other information source, there’s some cool stuff heading our way.

One of the most profound discussions to me was around 3D Printing of buildings. I was originally turned on to BIM beyond the model and 3D printing from my industry friend Jordan Brandt during his Harvard/Horizontal Glue days (now Autodesk 360 Glue). We’d never talked about printing buildings though. Enter CRAFT, the Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies from USC. Although they have vision far beyond track housing, the impacts of this for impoverished people alone are mind blowing. So if this is new to you, go check out the CRAFT site @ USC. Nothing short of amazing.

http://craft.usc.edu/Mission.html

Probably second most profound to me was a chat with Cisco. That’s right, the switch people. In case you aren’t aware, they make devices that manage a boat load of Internet traffic via IP addresses. From a fundamental “Infrastructure” view, they do in fact connect a large portion of the inter-webs. They talked about connected and smart cities, vs. just buildings. Essentially connecting everything with an IP address. They’ve just come off a prototype with IBM to make their facilities more efficient. Now it’s on to entire cities. Good stuff.

Aside for sessions there was a good exhibitor contingent with probably 40 or more exhibitors. The general sessions generated a lot of good conversation beyond the normal product pitch banter. It’s nice to theorize a bit with our clients product vendors from this perspective. We really enjoyed all the talk on centralizing, connecting, integrating, and beyond as our company is in the business of stitching, so to speak.

To round it out, we had an hour chat with the ENR editorial crew, where we were able to give some feedback, a bit of info on our perspective, and field some interesting discussions with their staff. The most notable, but simple questions being…Everyone says the [AEC] industry must change to survive. Do you think all this technology will help do that? My answer…I think their are certainly issues beyond technology, but there must be at least 20/30% improvement possible from reduction of errors caused by communications and low quality information alone.

What do you think?

(Published from 35k feet en route to Florida)

The AEC Cloud & The NIST Cloud Definition

I just attended the AGC national conference.  That being as good a beginning as any to the 2013 conference season, we are off to another promising year of the AEC Industry adopting many new technologies.  As buyers, vendors, consultants and industry pros sharpen their knowledge and plans of attack on each other, the NIST Cloud definition is always a good and often humbling tool to have handy.

Since the 2008 time frame I have yet to be in a discussion where consensus on what cloud is has been reached much less if we want to go there.  With the NIST Cloud definition as a base, there is no question we want to go there…it’s more an issue of how fast and what’s stopping us.

While the NIST Cloud definition was first published in 2009, it was not until 2011 that I started to see it referenced in keynotes by the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, Apple and other major technology companies.  I picked it up in 2010 some time and without a doubt, in every case I have experienced, a fundamental understanding of this definition gives all stakeholders a common baseline to have informed discussions about where we all want to go.

Whether it’s Architects, Engineers, Contractors or Owners looking to get ahead of Application Management, Integration and Business Intelligence trends or simply improve, Financial, Project, Scheduling or Enterprise Content Management  solutions, there is no doubt the NIST Definition helps us all make better choices about creating, buying and implementing the myriad of options.

As usual I have a boat load of topics to cover with this definition as the basis, but for now, I’ll part by saying all technology panels should start with this definition being handed out on a little card as if it were the ground rules for engagement and cutting through the vapor.  Until then, below you can find links to the simplified interpretation used by my company and the full NIST publication which that is based on.

The Cram Group Business IT & Cloud Definition

NIST Cloud Definition Full Publication

 

Sharepoint | Clearly The Answer to Everything, Sort Of!

The only word I may hear more than Cloud is Sharepoint. Much like the word Cloud, I find most people do not have a clear definition of what Sharepoint is.

My general response to people that ask me what Sharepoint is? Sharepoint is one of the most well marketed commercial products ever. Most people know the name, many have a license yet very few know what it does, what it can do, what it should do or have any idea what it costs. This is near parallel to the word Cloud, and since I’ve done a pretty good job at steering my company, customers, and parts of the AEC Industry on Cloud, I figured I’ll take on Sharepoint next.

For perspective, I’m generally approached by non-IT business application managers that are having to answer this question for the manager level and above in their company. I’m going to address this from several angles including; what is is, what does it do, what can it do, what should it do, and how much does all this cost.

Note:
Keep in mind I am talking software only. For more details on why I say this, reference my other posts on separating Software and Services. I’m fully aware of the costs beyond software yet I’m a huge fan of breaking things down to a least common denominator starting with splitting software and services, non-human, human. That’s an IT function insight that I firmly believe business people should be entitled to request and providers (including in house IT) should have or work toward a good answer for.

Away we go…

Read More

TCG Activity in the News

Looks like my company & the AECCLoudBlog got picked up in a recent Constructech Article.  TCG also made it into the Top 50 Companies earlier in the year.  On top of that, we’ve been invited to speak on the vendor roundtable @ the Constructech Tech Day on October 5th.  Come on out to the show.

The NIST Cloud Definition

The more conferences I attend, the more I realize people are unaware of the NIST definition of Cloud and how to apply it.  Ironically, I hear a lot of smart folks talk about a lot of business and technology needs, and then treat Cloud as a marketing term, even apologizing for it’s use some times.  While “Cloud” certainly gets mis-used, I’ve found that using the NIST definition, or a slimming down of it for Business folks lends itself to a great baseline for us to talk about everything that everyone from the CEO to the ultimate end user user is asking for out of technology solutions.  I have provided a few links below to the current NIST definition, and then a business person version of it that I use in every discussion I have around technology.

Read More

Acquisition Fever

In a quick 6 months the AEC Tech Space has seen a few interesting acquisitions. Autodesk acquired Horizontal, Meridian Systems acquired Dimension 5, Viewpoint acquired Construction Imaging, Autodesk Acquired Vela Systems, and Trimble acquired WinEst and Tekla a bit back…

Will this and the string of acquisitions before it begin to become more useful and efficient by progressing toward cloud characteristics, deployment models and delivery methods or will it merely be a new umbrella focused on lowering overhead to distribute the same flavors?

Read More