These days it’s all about the complete lifecycle of a construction project. Gaining full visibility into all phases of a project has become particularly critical to owners organizations. However, many are still working with disparate systems that help to measure and track various key pieces to the process, such as cost, scheduling, and even facilities management.
Construction technology providers are working hard at providing owners with a fully integrated set of tools, which can subsequently help these organizations move away from costly and cumbersome data bridges that often are necessary when piecing together two disparate pieces of software.
Earlier this week Oracle, www.oracle.com, Redwood Shores, Calif., commented on the direction it plans to go with linking its Primavera and Skire product lines in order to help owners (and in some cases, even contractors) gain a more streamlined and unified version of the truth, so to speak. We are seeing this trend start to develop even further as more acquisitions occur in the construction technology market.
For example, last week RIB Software, www.rib-software.com, Stuttgart, Germany, announced it has acquired a controlling interest in U.S. COST, www.uscost.com, Atlanta, Ga. As a cost consultancy, U.S. COST is also known for its development of the Web-based estimating solution Success Enterprise, which is used by many large owner organizations. The plan, says RIB Software, is to vertically integrate the Success Enterprise solution with its own 5D construction estimating solution iTWO.
The hope is to provide companies a concept-to-completion solution ideal for the owner segment of the market. This can be accomplished due to the fact RIB’s product contains process-oriented 5D simulation, which helps supplement common BIM (building information modeling) procedures with central information related to all phases of a construction project.
As BIM continues to become a more integral part of the complete lifecycle in construction, this level of integration will become highly necessary. This is particularly the case for owners, which for the most part have been starting to embrace more elements associated with BIM. The big question will be how such systems will link deeper into things like facilities maintenance and asset management solutions, as key pieces of the model will need to referenced and documented for the lifecycle of the facility.