Project management has been beefing up in construction lately as two major players in the construction technology market have announced major announcements. Both releases are focused on leveraging next-generation technologies that will certainly be welcome upgrades on the project.

Today Meridian Systems, www.meridiansystems.com, Folsom, Calif., announced the unveiling of Prolog 9, a product that has become a staple in project management for many in construction. This comes following recent news of Meridian’s new Prolog Sky cloud service, allowing users to access Prolog over the Internet. That means users can access Prolog 9, which includes updates to both Prolog Manager and Prolog Converge (Meridian’s Web-based application), via the cloud model.

The updates to Prolog Manager focus on support for Microsoft Office 2010, while Prolog Converge updates involved improved cost control, which includes 17 new cost forms. Seeing as how Prolog is ideally suited for project managers who are accountable for cost, scope, and schedule, the updates around cost control could certainly prove to be very useful.

While the next version of Prolog is certainly significant news, perhaps the bigger story for Meridian as of late has been around its Prolog Sky service. The cloud certainly has been buzz-worthy in construction these days, and project management definitely lends itself well to running in such an environment. The ability for users to get a system up and running easily, as well as the flexibility that such a model allows for being able to scale the number of users based on the needs of the project makes cloud-based project management attractive. Given Meridian’s commitment to Web services and now delivering a cloud-based delivery model for project management shows the company’s focus on next-generation technology.

Speaking of next-generation technology, Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., announced the release of Viewpoint V6 Software 6.4 last week.While not strictly a project-management technology, V6 6.4 features considerable upgrades to this area of the suite, along with preconstruction and business intelligence.

At the center of the new release is Work Centers, which is a centralized place where users can view graphical information in a dashboard format. Viewpoint says this enhancement is a direct response to customers asking for more immediate snapshots of the overall business and job progress. Such information is key to helping make more-informed and timely decisions by contractors.

In particular, this enhancement seems beneficial to project management as a single place to navigate records, view document logs, as well as launch, edit, and perform tasks. With an enhanced change order process and a dashboard for viewing critical data, project managers will now have their own central location to track and log critical information and view related records.

Another key part of the release is Business Intelligence, which helps deliver timely feedback on business performance. Business intelligence in general continues to trend upward as a critical piece to helping contractors gain key insight into critical business processes and make more informed decisions regarding the performance of the business.

Not to be overlooked in this release is Financial Manager, a reporting, budgeting, and planning tool that features the flexibility necessary to tie critical business processes around financial management. Enhancements to such V6 modules as Accounts Payable, Document Management, Payroll, PreConstruction, and Viewpoint Connects, rounds out the release from Viewpoint.

In the market for construction project management, the names Prolog and V6 hold considerable clout. These two major announcements have certainly upped the ante for others in the space, raising the bar on project management in construction.