Archive for Viewpoint Construction Software

AEC Industry Cloud Transition Cost Management: Part 5/7, Value Engineering and Quality vs. Cost

Welcome to part 5/7.  Once you start to flush out your model with products you have or want to use, you will likely start to see a few trends.  After some option analysis, if you end up with costs being the same, you will be left with analysis of quality.  This Cost vs. Quality ratio may not be a new issue for the seasoned buyer but the model we developed will help anyone make more seamless parallels between traditional and cloud offerings.

To better illustrate, let’s park Quality for a minute and use 3 scenarios to paint a spectrum of what the cost allocations of your IT solution might look like today.  For organizational purposes I will use the Deployment Models (Public, Private, Hybrid, Community) from the NIST Cloud Definition to line out the options.  Remember the NIST Deployment Models are referring to how many entities the solution is provisioned for (across all 3 layers of Software, Platform, and Infrastructure) vs. where they are located.  So whether your solutions are on or off premise is not relevant at this time.  Hybrid is simply a hybrid and Community is just a limited number of entities somewhere in between so we will leave it out for now.  I have also put a ratio of Human:Non-Human costs.

Scenario 1: Private

Let’s assume all your solutions are managed by your staff and you own/license/manage all the products used.  For example you pay for Software Layer licenses of Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle Primavera Unifier, Autodesk Revit and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  You also pay for/maintain all the Platform Layer licenses of Windows or Java Servers  and perhaps you use VMware products for Infrastructure.  This is fairly traditional, and while not the definition of NIST Private Cloud, it is a private solution.  Your ratio of Human:Non-Human costs may be something like 3:1, 4:1 or higher.

Scenario 2: Hybrid

Let’s assume 50% of your solutions are owned/licensed/managed by your staff and 50% by a 3rd Party.  For example you pay for Software Layer licenses of a financial application like Viewpoint V6 and enterprise content software like Viewpoint Construction Imaging as well as all the Platform and Infrastructure required to run the solution.  This is the Private half. Then for example you pay for some other Software Layer solution like eBuilder for Project Management and Aconex for collaboration.  These are SaaS offerings so they also include the Platform and Infrastructure layers.  This is fairly common and again, while it does not define NIST Hybrid Cloud, it is a hybrid solution.  Your ratio of Human:Non-Human costs may be 1:1.

Scenario 3: Public

Let’s assume 100% of your solutions are managed by a 3rd party and you do not own/license any products.  Basically you are using 100% SaaS only offerings.  For example you pay for Software Layer solutions like Quickbooks Online, Salesforce CRM, and Office 365 all of which include the Platform and Infrastructure costs as well.   This is not very common yet in the AEC Industry, but of the 3 scenarios is more likely to be synonymous with the NIST Public Cloud definition as these solutions are generally not provisioned for your organization’s exclusive use.  Your ratio of Human:Non-Human costs may be the opposite, say 1:5.

With all likelihood Scenario 1 will be least expensive, Scenario 2 in the middle, and Scenario 3 the most expensive.  When this is the case, the Private solutions generally lack some expertise/breadth or meeting NIST Cloud Essential Characteristics but make better use of Resource Pooling across the solution layers.  The Public offerings may be better automated, but they are generally not sharing the Platform and Infrastructure layer costs across the entire solution.  And so the fun begins.

If you are an in house IT team gunning for Scenario 1 you might cross your arms and say I told you so.  If you are a Consultant or Managed Services provider (like my company is) then you may lean toward Scenario 2 and say but let me give you the best of both worlds. If you are are a SaaS provider fitting into Scenario 3 you may say sure, but there’s no IT headaches, we take care of all that.  Perhaps this is all true, but it can be extremely confusing and the reality is until you get the Software, Platform, Infrastructure and related Human Resource costs organized in a way that you can actually make an intelligent comparison between past, current, and future options, decision making is a fairly futile endeavor.

So you may ask, what has this got to do with the Cloud Transition Cost Management again?  Well the model we have developed here makes all the costs transparent, at each layer of the solution.  There is no more guess work unless Vendors will not provide you the information for comparison.  This is rapidly changing with more Software Only licensing models being offered which enable you use a deployment model (Public, Private, Hybrid) of your choice.  With the right information plugged into the model, you can understand exactly why one solution cost differs from the other.  With costs uncovered, you can spend more time on analysis of quality, features, and value engineering the right mix with a very modular model that can be used throughout your organization, not just for IT.

Stay tuned for Part 6: Lab Exercises and Tools where I will provide some visuals that embody what has been discussed in order to get you moving if you have not already taken off down the run way.

Did You Know we can deploy Viewpoint V6 in less than a week?

Just like many other products we work with…we can deploy Viewpoint V6 & Construction Imaging for application access, hosting, integrations and more…  On top of that, no one focused on the AEC Industry knows the NIST Cloud Definition like we do.  Whether it’s the 5 Essential Characteristics, 4 Deployment Models or 3 Services Delivery Methods we can help!  Give us a call to discuss your business or technical issues with Viewpoint V6 and other Viewpoint products!

Unified Cloud Solutions Presentation

We recently spoke @ Viewpoint Collaborate 2013 on Unified Cloud Solutions.  We covered a range of solutions topics including Unified Application Management, Business Intelligence, Integration and Interoperability.  To illustrate these solutions, we used examples from our work at the Pentagon, New York Times, and other clients as well as a range of AEC vendor offerings.

Based on a range of feedback, our demystification of Cloud and our vision of the future is a great framework for getting non technical and technical teams on a level playing field for communication.

Click Here to Request a Copy!

Viewpoint Collaborate 2013 | Cloud Exhibit, Expert Discussions & More

We are looking forward to Viewpoint Collaborate 2013.

Event Activities:

We will be exhibiting in the vendor showcase so come by and visit us in booth #5.  As always, we will have experienced staff on site prepared to talk about real, in depth, end to end cloud solutions vs. sales and marketing fluff.

Our President and Cloud Executive Officer Wes Smith is speaking at Collaborate 2013 on Wednesday, September 18th, 10:30AM.  The topic is Unified Cloud Solutions for Efficiency and Productivity.   Wes has been a guest speaker at 4 past Viewpoint events as well as numerous events for ENR and Constructech Magazines.

We also have a group of runners that are planning to meet a few mornings to get to know each other a bit better and burn off some of that great food from the famous Portland gourmet food trucks.

Viewpoint Competencies:

We are a Viewpoint Development partner and our competencies around Viewpoint products include Application Hosting, Unified Application Management Software, Mobile Software, and advanced technical services for V6, Content Manager and other products.

AEC Industry Competencies:

If you are not familiar with us, we are one of the longest running, innovative providers of cohesive solutions including hosting, software, and services for the AEC Industry.  We have been responsible for or part of teams that have implemented large and small scale solutions from a range of companies from owners like The New York Times, to North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and The Pentagon Renovation Program to a range of global and regional builders like Hensel Phelps, Turner, Torcon and The J Companies.

Why is this important?  This means in addition to our unique understanding of the AEC Industry and related end to end IT management , we get the nuances of managing the software, platform and infrastructure IT layers required to run the products both individually and as part(s) of a cohesive system.

Connect with Us:

If you are interested in learning more, a demo or discussing options on Viewpoint products as part of a Unified Cloud Solution, please contact us [Click Here] and we can schedule an appointment at Viewpoint Collaborate 2013 or any time that is convenient for you.

Contact Info: The Cram Group Contact Info

Web Form: AECCloud Information Request

Twitter: AECCloudCom

TCG to Participate in Viewpoint Collaborate 2013

We had a great time in Portland last year and are pretty excited for this years annual conference.   Certainly one of the top AEC Industry events we have been to (and we’ve been to a lot) including location, educational perspective, client, vendor & partner attendance.  We will be sponsoring and speaking this year in a special session on Unified Cloud Solutions for the AEC  Industry.  We’re looking forward to highlighting the innovative work we have been able to do around the family of Viewpoint Offerings.

Events Archive Prior to 2013

We participate in numerous events throughout the year in order to keep our knowledge and network current among the 4 pillars of our organization.

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2012-09-20, Viewpoint Collaborate 2012 | Exhibit & Sponsorship

The Cram Group participates & provides base sponsorship for Collaborate 2012 – Viewpoint’s annual user conference held September 18 – 20, in Portland, Oregon.

2012-04-12, Construction Imaging Peer Exchange, Denver

The Cram Group attends and speaks about NIST cloud standards at the Construction Imaging Peer Exchange event in Denver, CO.

2012-03-08, Construction Imaging Peer Exchange, Oakland

The Cram Group attends Construction Imaging Peer Exchange event in Oakland, CA

2012-03-16, Construction Imaging Peer Exchange, NC

The Cram Group attends and sponsors the Construction Imaging Peer Exchange event in Charlotte, NC.