Collaborating on construction projects can be challenging—especially when there are hundreds or even thousands of geographically dispersed project participants. Not only do these teams need a solid strategy for sharing data, but they also need to be able to access that project data on any type of device.

One developing trend is project-management solutions more frequently becoming available in the cloud. With more providers putting data in the cloud, construction companies are able to keep users abreast of the latest project information when on a job.

Bentley Systems,, Exton, Pa., recognizes this trend and has focused many of its efforts on improving information mobility for the construction industry. Key to moving this initiative forward was yesterday’s announcement from the Year in Infrastructure 2013 Conference that Bentley CONNECT Services will be fully provisioned through the Windows Azure cloud from Microsoft.

Choosing Windows Azure as the technical foundation allows Bentley to extend its capabilities with new services for the cloud. The company says it is aligned with Microsoft’s commitment to hybrid environments, comprising cloud and on-premise computing, which is crucial for infrastructure construction projects.

Bentley CONNECT can span across participants, firewalls, supply chains, joint ventures, and disparate software, as well as across Bentley’s information modeling application portfolio, Bentley’s ProjectWise collaboration services, Bentley’s AssetWise servers, and Bentley’s line of mobile apps.

The cloud services being previewed for users include Bentley CONNECT Project Sharing Services, Bentley CONNECT i-model Validation Services, Bentley CONNECT Content Services, and Bentley CONNECT Scenario Services. These will allow the construction industry to push collaboration further on projects.

For construction projects with thousands of participants located in multiple locations and with a range of software applications and file formats, collaborating with technology can be challenge. A lot of time can be wasted looking for a file, or trying to determine if a file is up-to-date. Bentley, for example, is working to give its users an easier way to collaborate on projects.

This Friday, Bentley will address how construction companies can accelerate teaming with construction collaboration, as part of the construction eSeminar series. This will be the second in a series of educational Webinars hosted by Bentley Systems. This session will help construction firms understand how to find, share, and interact with diverse content in order to improve processes and reduce risk on construction projects.

For the construction industry, the ability to collaborate using technology can provide big value, especially on large construction projects. Now, it is just a matter of implementing the right technology and finding a way to easily distribute and manage that data across a geographically dispersed project team.