What does it truly mean to be integrated? For some it means linking together the critical technology systems within the company. For others, that means extending out to external partners. For others still that means trying to get a better handle on all the data associated with a construction project.

Each task around integration seems difficult. However, some technology providers are giving their best effort and providing solutions that tackle all three levels effectively.

This week, Newforma, www.newforma.com, Manchester, N.H., announced updates to its set of products and services for the AECO (architecture, engineering, construction, owner) industry. The latest version of its Newforma Project Analyzer helps AE users better understand and manage the planning and deployment of resources firm-wide.

Newforma Project Analyzer combines planning and staffing information with historical accounting data, which can help to provide a complete picture of project performance across an entire AE firm. With up-to-date revenue, billing, staffing, and budget projections by office, by practice, and across the company, firms are able to make more informed decisions about schedules, staffing, and budgets that ultimately determine project and firm success.

While this release most greatly impacts the AE side of the construction team, the overall theme here for Newforma is the fact it continues to refine the idea of complete team collaboration. Beyond the idea of simply bringing together the multiple different disciplines of a project team together, its technology strategy involves blending the higher-level processes for a project with the more granular data involved with day-to-day information.

For example, taking its idea of PIM (project information management), which relates to the management of all the structured and unstructured information that occurs in association with a project, and combining it with BIM (building information modeling). The company has been working diligently to help contractors pull in all relevant information from a model, and associate it with the other work processes and deliverables that come as a result of a portion of that model. In essence, Newforma is looking to create a complete PIM-to-BIM integration in order to help manage the volume of these deliverables.

This is where the company’s Newforma Add-in for Autodesk Revit becomes an enabling solution. For example, it can help manage the spatial data associated with a virtual model. In this instance, the Newforma Add-in for Autodesk Revit links space data with the model to ensure that client requirements and design documentation are synchronized throughout the lifecycle of the project. By connecting room and space planning spreadsheets with live Revit models allows the programming and modeling staff to work asynchronously on a coordinated project room and space program.

This is simply one example of the way in which Newforma envisions bringing together the world of project information and virtual modeling. The idea is to take integration to a new level, going beyond simply tying together all the pieces of the project team. By taking another step forward, this level of integration means bringing together mission-critical project data with all associated and ancillary data that can often go overlooked as influencers in the process.