Collaboration has been one of the hottest buzzwords in the construction industry in the past few years, but the value of using technology to communicate and share data across a project is much more than a passing fad. These days, technology aims to make it easier to share project information.

Yesterday, Newforma, www.newforma.com, Manchester, N.H., announced the release of the eleventh edition of Newforma Project Center designed for the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry. The new release has additional capabilities for cloud storage, delivery, and improved integrations and workflows, with expanded reach of mobile apps. In this edition, Newforma addresses many of the top concerns for today’s construction company.

For example, in the new release, the product provides sharing of documents via Box and Dropbox, as well as enhances integration with EDMS (enterprise document-management system) technology.

New features also allow contractors to improve the BIM (building information modeling) process, with integrations between Newforma Project Center and Bentley, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., ProjectWise, Microsoft, www.microsoft.com, Redmond, Va., SharePoint, and IBM, www.ibm.com, Armonk, N.Y., FileNet. The product also has enhanced integration with Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., Revit, using a new PDF print driver that improves the generation of sheets.

The cloud is a big focus in the new release as well. Ian Howell, CEO, Newforma, says many of its customers are evaluating or deploying cloud storage services, and the Newforma solution manages project data stored in the cloud via cloud providers. For construction companies, managing project information across a widely dispersed team can be challenging, and this solution aims to solve that hurdle.

Finally, another big enhancement within this release is the fact Newforma Project Center also integrates with mobiles apps that enable users to capture information in the field, supervise field tasks, and manage project email on smartphones and tablets.

For the construction industry, being able to improve collaboration on a project is key. However, finding the right tools to enable this collaboration is the first step toward easier data sharing in construction.