Many construction companies use disparate technology for different pieces of the business. Flowing data from one system to the next can improve processes significantly, reducing the amount of manual input required in the office. As such, more technology providers are coming together to integrate systems.

This week, Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore, and JB Knowledge Technologies, www.jbknowledge.com, Bryan, Texas, which provides the SmartBidNet platform, have announced a new partnership.

SmartBidNet, which offers subcontractor management, project document distribution and collaboration, subcontractor prequalification, and bid invitation and management, is now part of the Viewpoint Construction Software Development Partners.

This means the companies will coordinate the transfer of data between the applications so contractors don’t have to manually input information. The providers say this will eventually include syncing subcontractor databases, subcontractor prequalification information, project lists, and project directories, among others.

While many software providers are looking to acquire to offer an integrated solution under one roof, many are also still partnering to offer integrated capabilities across disparate platforms.

Viewpoint, as an example, has accepted 30 industry software providers into its development partner program to facilitate and integrate the software for its general contractor, civil contractor, and specialty contractor clients. Viewpoint has also recently partnered with eSUB, www.esubinc.com, San Diego, Calif., and On Center Software, www.oncenter.com, The Woodlands, Texas, among others.

Executives at Viewpoint say it selects partner products that compliment Viewpoint V6 Software to extend the capabilities of the technology and enable specialty contractors to increase profits.

Beyond creating partnerships, alliances are another way integration capabilities can be improved for construction companies. Standards such as agcXML have garnered a lot of attention, but many in the industry are still looking for new ways to improve integration among myriad technology.

SmartBidNet, for example, has helped to spearhead a new alliance, COSA (Construction Open Software Alliance). Last year, this group was developed by software providers and aims to support an open standard in construction software, in order to provide integrated solutions to contractors. James Benham, president, JB Knowledge Technologies, hopes a grassroots approach by software providers will encourage broader adoption of the standard.

As construction technology providers look for new ways to share data between various platforms, construction companies have new options to heighten efficiencies. Understanding how technology is evolving in construction will allow contractors to move business forward. To learn more about COSA and other partnerships, check out in the Jan/Feb issue of Constructech, which looks to the future and highlights construction technology predictions for the year ahead.