Event UPDATE: Jeremy Sibert, CIO of Hensel Phelps, to Speak

In our ongoing FREE educational luncheon events, we are excited to announce that Jeremy Sibert, Chief Information Officer at Hensel Phelps, will be joining us to talk about their experiences, challenges and insights. In case you do not know Jeremy, here are a few highlights of his recent accomplishments.

  • Jeremy Sibert is the Corporate Director of Technology for HENSEL PHELPS. 
  • Responsible for the strategic planning and deployment of all technology used across the company.
  • Has worked for HENSEL PHELPS for thirteen years.
  • Project Manager responsible for the successful completion of the renovation of Wedges 2-5 at the Pentagon.
  • Led his team to adopt a paperless environment utilizing technology and visualization to plan, communicate, and execute this highly complex project.
  • Worked with AEC Cloud for the past 12 years implementing IT initiatives throughout Hensel Phelps corporate

This is a FREE educational luncheon. If you have not signed up yet, there are still a few spaces left!

Click here to save your spot.

Please note: Space is limited. Let us know if you have any questions, info@aeccloud.com

Special Educational Luncheon Event February 09, 2017  ·  Stone Brewing, San Diego, CA

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 16 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 16 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 16 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 866 417-7230

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting? Three Questions Answered

I was up last night thinking about our business and the services it offers. I realized that some of you out there might not fully understand what it is that we do and how we are different for other "Cloud Hosting" companies out there. In this post, I will answer four basic questions about AEC Cloud that hopefully helps clarify who we are and how we can help your business transition to the next level of IT infrastructure and operations.

As always, we are here to help you and answer any questions you might have.

Who is AEC Cloud?

AEC Cloud is a full service, enterprise, cloud hosting company, focused on servicing the AEC Industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction). 

Our roots in the business started back in 1999, working in IT on construction projects with Turner Construction. We immediately saw that there was a huge gap between traditional IT, and the IT needs of a construction company and their projects. Everything from the software used, to the approach that construction companies take in assessing projects and understanding billing was different.

From those humble beginnings, AEC Cloud has become the leading enterprise cloud hosting company for the AEC Industry for over 16 years. We have literally seen it all, and leading construction firms leverage our knowledge base to help them make the correct decisions for their upcoming IT needs.

[contact-form-7 id="6186" title="Inpage Contact Form" html_id="sidebar_contact"]

What is AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting?

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting is a business that is focused on the AEC Industry and its specific unique needs. Not every cloud hosting company understands or has ever heard of hosting the software you use everyday in the office and on the job site.

Software such as:

Just to name a few.

And then there is integration of these software suites to leverage the job site data you have into information you can use in real time. Combining information from various software and coming up with new ways to see that data to solve problems and maintain a positive bottom line.

Here at AEC Cloud, we have been working closely with the AEC Industry for over 16 years and know any possible issues, before they become and issue.

Why choose AEC Cloud to participate in your IT requirements?

With over 16 years, solely focused on the AEC Industry's IT needs, we have a deep knowledge base of how to put together seamless projects. Out customers are happy and understand the value of bringing an expert on-board to help guide them through the murky and confusing waters of cloud hosting and technology.

We are NOT a new start-up, that has no history or experience. 

And then there is the overall cost savings and flexibility that AEC Cloud brings to the table.

The following are the other compelling reasons as to why it makes business sense to move your Enterprise Applications to a cloud hosted environment.

  • Staying focused on your core competency vs. IT headaches.
  • Redirecting capital to core business expenses vs upfront costs.
  • Receiving higher quality at a lower cost.
  • Leveraging knowledge and resources from experienced professionals with over 16 years of experience.
  • Production application hosting for all of your software programs.
  • Disaster recovery sites managed.

 

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 16 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 16 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 16 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 866 417-7230

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Two Workforce Trends to Impact Your Data Integration Strategy

Those looking for trends that will shape data-integration strategies going forward should look no further than the changing nature of the workforce. Trends point towards more mobile, analytical minds entering the workforce, and it has me thinking about how this could ultimately impact things like IT strategies. It is no stretch to say that employees have a profound impact on the business of construction. In this highly data-driven industry, it is the people who are shaping the ways in which data is being generated and shared. So suffice it say, as the nature of the workforce shifts so too will the way in which data impacts the business.

In particular, I see two workforce trends that will have an impact. One on the way in which data is generated, and the other on what we ultimately do with that data. And in both instances, there is a direct impact on the enterprise integration strategy.

The Connected Worker

AdobeStock_88855189It may seem like the cliché place to start, but the fact of the matter is that the world is growing increasingly connected. And much of this is being driven by millennials, which should account for roughly 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

And that workforce is one that is coming fully equipped with their own devices—complete with their own desires of generating a whole lot of data from those devices. And given the proliferation of mobile apps targeted at construction, it’s safe to say that more and more data will—if not already—be generated through the use of mobile devices.

And with this, it is important to think about how this data will integrate into your enterprise. Today, that level of integration is happening in siloed efforts—if at all—but in time you will need to consider a clear path to linking mobile and enterprise data. And soon enough, that discussion will extend beyond the connected worker and into the connected “things” on a jobsite. But perhaps that’s a topic best left for another time.

The Analytical Worker

With all of that great data entering the business, you now must find a way to use it in the most effective manner.

Earlier this year, InformationWeek published a list of the 10 top tech jobs for 2016. Coming in at #6 was a title referred to Analytics Manager. According to the report, Analytics Mangers are crucial to companies that require someone to analyze and make conclusions about data.

It makes me think about the rapid rate at which data is being recorded within construction and the growing need for companies to make sense of it all. We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the value of integration and the impact it will continue to have on your organization. A crucial strategy for AEC firms going forward is the ability to integrate key project and client data with the enterprise.

I refer to another article, from CIO, that cites deeper integration of ERP (enterprise resource planning) as a key trend to watch. In the article it states that ERP is becoming more versatile, providing deeper integration with a wide range of different systems. I agree that this is an important trend, and for construction that deeper level of integration includes systems like time tracking, mobile, and even customer-relationship management systems. More and more, data from these systems will need to become more tightly integrated with the enterprise.

For AEC firms, the need to have all of this information aggregated and interpreted will be key to success. While the role of Analytics Manager might not be one that you hire, per se, I would bet that there will be some person on your staff tasked with the role of analyzing and interpreting the data. Therefore, the need to have a strategic integration strategy for your enterprise systems will be a must going forward.

With all of this being said, it is important that your systems can handle anything that comes your way. At AECCloud, we like to say that the most successful integration strategies are those that are built on technology that is open, flexible and (construction) specific. Check out our integration page to help find the right applications to build your integration strategy.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 866 417-7230

Integration at the Next Level in AEC

Integration. In a word, it’s the promise of a more complete and clear picture of success across the AEC landscape. But as this industry grows increasingly complex, with data coming in from more sources than ever, we must be looking beyond what we typically know about integrated solutions in order to hit the next level of success. Of course, integration is nothing new. It’s part of that age-old dilemma of trying to merge business data together across multiple systems into one easily manageable and universally understandable platform. For AEC, integration is rooted in the idea that if we can, for example, get our project management database to easily translate to our accounting database then we reduce errors and complexity across the business. And that leads to better projects, higher profit margins and repeat business.

[contact-form-7 id="6186" title="Inpage Contact Form" html_id="sidebar_contact"]

Attempts at integration over the years have come in the form of middleware, code schema, adapters, and industry-wide standards.

But this is a complicated industry. Simply merging data from two or three disparate systems is no longer enough. Just look at the proliferation of new data flowing in from things like building information modeling, mobile apps, cloud-based programs and more.

Integration means new things in the AEC space. And that means looking beyond the AEC space in order to view a model of success.

Lessons from Healthcare I look to a case study from Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH,) a two-site community hospital with leading diagnostic services and clinical programs. The need for integration at MSH looked a bit complicated at the outset:

  • The need to support the healthcare data standard HL7, along with other industry requirements
  • The ability to process hundreds of thousands of messages daily
  • Maintaining near-perfect uptime

Sound familiar? Like a business in AEC, MSH needed to meet a high level of industry requirements for data, while also being able to ensure uptime was never compromised. For a solution, MSH turned to Microsoft BizTalk. BizTalk provides out-of-the box, cloud to on-premises and line-of-business application integration. It allows user to connect with any HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or REST data source

In the case of MSH, BizTalk Server was able to provide a platform that made it easy to modify and create interfaces to support the complex enterprise integration requirements for applications both within the hospital and for external partners. Complicated healthcare-related components had an integration path. And industry-specific components tailored how messages were processed for various healthcare applications. In all, BizTalk Server provided tools to help integrate a complex world like healthcare.

(Biz)Talk of Integration in AEC Microsoft-BizTalk-ServerThe Microsoft BizTalk integration platform is available in a PaaS or Stand Alone deployment model, which means that right off the bat the product is already speaking the language of AEC Cloud.

For AEC Cloud, our solutions help companies that need simplified, secure access to many applications from multiple vendors via one secure, server based solution. This is why our systems are based on a multi-tier configuration that include a dedicated enterprise storage layer, database layer, web services layer, client-server application layer, and collaborative web application layer—all integrated under a Unified Application Management Portal.

So when you look at Microsoft BizTalk, much of the same structure to integration applies. BizTalk will use Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the common data exchange language application integration on the Internet. And the true power, in my opinion, exists within the adapters.

According Microsoft, it will be providing a set of Adapters that connect BizTalk Orchestrations with such applications as Google Apps, QuickBooks, Salesforce.com, SharePoint, and others in a very simple manner. What that ultimately means is the ability to integrate BizTalk Server with all the emerging applications, databases and services that are rapidly becoming a part of the AEC world.

But perhaps more important is the fact that this it will also integrate with all those tried-and-true applications that run your AEC business, like Prolog, Sage, Primavera, Viewpoint, CMiC and others.

In the coming months, I will be taking a deeper look at the topic of integration, and of the Microsoft BizTalk tool in general in the context of the AEC space to see if it truly the tool that can take integration to the next level.

 

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 212-505-0381

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

Mobile And The Death of the Desktop Computer

AdobeStock_88855189The numbers just don't lie. The market for PCs continues its precipitous drop in sales last year. According to a recent Gartner report, worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.4 million units in Q2 2015, a 9.5 percent dip from Q2, 2014. The report further predicts an overall decline of 4.4 percent in 2015.

The biggest drop in nearly two years, market researchers have reported, once again reaffirming that personal computers are on their way out and mobile is taking it's place.

[contact-form-7 id="6186" title="Inpage Contact Form" html_id="sidebar_contact"]

An interesting statistic by researchers at IDC, stated that 66.1 million PCs had been shipped in the 2nd quarter of 2015. What is interesting is that Apple noted that it had sold 61 million iPhones during that same quarter. I do not have the numbers for tablets and other smart phone makers, but I think it is safe to say that over 120 million new mobile devices  hit the streets in 2015.

Apple revenue also reflects the growing trend away from desktop computers. Of Apple's revenue for the 2nd quarter of 2015, Macs accounted for less that 10% of the total revenue. The iPhone was almost 70% of that total.

Engineers on building site controlling projectThe trend lines continue to go down for the PC market, there is no denying it. Mobile has effectively dominated the hardware environment. And that is now being reflected across the internet with responsive website design, and Google's recent announcement of their focus on search results for mobile devices. Facebook has also announced in their last share holders meeting that mobile was their main focus moving forward.

I was looking through our website analytics this afternoon and was surprised to see mobile devices topping the list of how users accessed our website. Users on the move and using their mobile devices to get information on demand in real time.

And that paradigm shift from a stationary computing platform, to a mobile device is a natural one if you think about it. This shift is not being forced upon us from some higher authority. It is a natural organic shift that is taking place as technology continues to improve the mobile experience.

And why?

AdobeStock_83070874Who wants to sit in a cubicle inside an office under fluorescent lights for 8 hours? If you are like me, you want to get outside and interact with others. Go to the cafe down the street or local library where others are working on their mobile devices and real collaboration can take place. Interacting with others, whether from your work place or not, can and does trigger new ways of thinking, which in the end leads to new ways of doing business and ultimately an increase in productivity.

The world is hungry for this opportunity to break free of the walls of the office and start to interact with each other in new and exciting ways. It's almost Darwinian.

Mobile. 

I've gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 212-505-0381

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]

Redefining Enterprise Mobility - Beyond the Device

Doing more research on enterprise mobility on my "day off". A true geek at heart. lol. Today I ran across an interesting article by Gartner published back in 2012, Enterprise Mobility and Its Impact on IT. While the article is over three years old, it still holds some validity on our present situation. I also find it interesting in that it is a window as to where we were at three years ago and how far we have come in the arena of bringing business online and mobile. There are so many pieces to this puzzle and how business has had to adapt to the every changing trends of devices, apps, security, compliance, and the list goes on.

[contact-form-7 id="6186" title="Inpage Contact Form" html_id="sidebar_contact"]

The Gartner article pointed out that the tablet market did not exist prior to early 2010. Basically before the introduction of the iPad by Apple. I found this fact particularly interesting in that was only five years ago! Incredible how that single device, now made by many other companies, has worked its way into so many parts of our personal and business lives. How did we ever live without these devices before?

Life certainly existed and in fact thrived, but one fact remains. Life before mobile was a very different world that moved at a much slower pace that it does today. Business for one is the huge winner in this space with instant communication, and exchange of ideas and data in real time.

And now we have matured with mobile devices to the point that we can see that these devices are only one access point to the larger river of mobile applications, social media, cloud computing, mobile payment, interconnected mobile collaboration, just to name a few. We are living in a time that was purely science fiction back when I was a kid watching Star Trek. Talking to the home office on a small device that is pinned to shirt? This was a fantasy 30 years ago. Now we just take it for granted.

And the pace of innovation continues to accelerate on a daily basis. And this fast pace of innovation has pushed IT departments to the edge of their capabilities of management.

From the Gartner article:

Unfortunately, IT is burdened by an overwhelming array of regulatory, compliance, security, privacy, expense, organizational, policy and legacy technology constraints that dramatically shapes IT's response to these changes. Simply put, the innovation rate in mobile devices, social software and cloud computing is accelerating faster than the enterprise adaptation rate. IT organizations that fail to adapt to this new reality will lose their relevance in the era of pervasive mobility.

I highlighted the last sentence because I think this is a key point.

It literally is survival of the technological fittest. Those that can adapt and keep up with the change, will be the winners. Those that do not, well we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

Another interesting article I ran across this morning on Wired Magazine website, had a good breakdown of how enterprises are dealing with the break neck speed of innovation and change.

But as more companies deploy Mobile Device Management (MDM) and now Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) as part of their mobility architecture, this will drive the adoption of enterprise mobility beyond the initial stages that most organizations are today.

According to Gartner, mobile is among the top three CIO spending priorities in 2014.

To enable full mobile productivity, organizations now seek more complete offerings that let them flexibly leverage application and content management, secure email and productivity apps as well. On a strategic level, they now think about mobility in terms of mobile workspaces that provide access to apps, desktops, data and services anywhere, on any device, over any network — a trend with important implications for providers and customers alike.

And again, I highlighted the key point in this part of the Wired article. Devices are one access point to the ever growing stream of apps, data and communication. Our maturation in the mobile world of business enterprise continues, but now is becoming more clear that it is here to stay and will become an ever more constant in our business and personal lives.

Remember when the world wide web first became available? I don't know about you, but I was thinking, what is this all about? And how do I use it. It was like a maze that I was constantly getting so lost in that I would just close the browser. And now? The power of all the collective knowledge of the human race at your finger tips. Who wants to go back to 1990? Not me.

So my point is this. We are in the beginning, the dawn if you will of enterprise mobility. Sometimes it is hard to imagine what is all means and where it is going. But in the end, I believe that we are heading into something really powerful and really exciting. And in the end, you either get onboard and enjoy the ride, or sit on the sidelines and watch the bus go by.

I've gone over the benefits of bringing a business 100% mobile in previous website posts here. The brief is:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Reduction of maintenance requirements
  • Flexibility and scalability of resources
  • On demand user administration
  • 24/7 user support
  • Off-site backup of critical data
  • Regular maintenance and software upgrades
  • Employee mobility anywhere, anytime
  • Freedom to focus on core business

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300At this point, it is worth the time and effort for IT departments to take a hard look at this opportunity, and at a minimum do some cost/productivity comparisons. We are definitely past the days of early adoption, with many larger companies now taking the steps to move in the direction of cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple of our client names that come to mind.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 212-505-0381

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]

Enterprise Mobility: Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD), Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

Construction specialist using a tablet computer Business is on the move, and by that I mean on the move outside the physical walls of the office. Mobile devices have blown the lid off the "traditional work place" and now allow workers to move outside the office and still be productive. In fact productivity has increased, along with efficiency. Gone are the days when you could only check your email at your physical work station at the office.

I remember the day that I got my first Blackberry. What a revolution! Here I was sitting in a cafe checking my email and responding to clients and colleagues instantly! Before, I would have to worry I was missing some important email while outside the office at a meeting or running errands. It was an incredible watershed moment in the history of the mobile work force, and the technology has only continued to improve.

Tablets, iPhones, Android mobile, not to mention laptops, have opened the doors to access data, software and communication anywhere; anytime.

Of course we still use our desktop computers. Who doesn't like a large display screen and full size keyboard when there is a pile of work to get through? But what do you do when you need to go home to take care of something, but still need to push out that big report? This is where the Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD), also known as Desktop as a Service (DaaS) comes into play.

AdobeStock_88855189HVD is just what the name implies. It is a desktop that is hosted on a virtual server. Users connect to that desktop via their personal device, laptop, personal computer, tablet, etc. To the end user, the experience is the same. They open their personal "virtual desktop" and see all their applications, documents and data.

For example, a worker is at the office working on a document, but has to leave the office. He then goes home and opens his/her HVD and all the documents are still open, just as they were before back at the office. The "desktop" is accessible from any internet connected device and viewed anywhere, anytime.

Apart from the beauty of accessing your personal desktop anywhere, anytime, the benefits don't end there.

All maintenance, support, upgrades and backups are performed by the service provider operating the virtual servers where the desktops are stored. The service provider can scale up or down the amount of power a user needs, as well as offer redundancy and offsite data backup.

This of course is more interesting to the CIO, than it is to the end user. To the end user, the experience is the same, but instead of having access to their desktop at the office, they now have access to their desktop from any device. To the CIO, the advantages go well beyond that. Business continuity alone is enough to justify such a transition to HVD, not to mention the reduced costs in maintenance and support.

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Here at AEC Cloud, we have focused our hosted IT solutions to the AEC space. We have been in the game for over 15 years now, helping the big firms such as Hensel Phelps, to the small guys, make their IT transition into the mobile enterprise workplace as smooth as possible. We know what needs to be done, and more importantly, we know how to do it.

If you have been putting off your IT transition, the time has come to take another look. The technology in the space has come a long way, and continues to improve. And the benefits gained, far out weight the pain of making the move.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

LeadershipWidget_270_blueAEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 15 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

[/row]

[br]

[row]

*****************

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 212-505-0381

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]

Cloud Desktop: Access Your Desktop Anywhere Anytime

What is a Cloud Desktop?

virtual-desktopCloud Desktop is known by many names. The most common is probably "Virtual Desktop", but it also is called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

The idea is very simple, your "computer" is hosted on a server in the cloud and is accessed from anywhere, anytime. All you need is a web browser and by going to a webpage and logging into your account, you can have full access and control of your desktop. This will be the exact same desktop that you now enjoy on your local laptop or computer, with all the software you need and the documents to work on.

Once you move your desktop to the Cloud, you will never look back. In fact, I can say from personal experience that it has been the most liberating thing I have done with IT ever. No more syncing. No more waiting to get home to work on a file. No more backups. No more software upgrades. No more hardware worries. The technology is solid and the benefits are huge!

Cloud Desktops, or Virtual Desktops have come a long way in the past couple years. Now logging into your virtual desktop, you will be viewing the same desktop experience that you do now, but it just located on a server outside of your home or office. All your setting. All your files. All the software you use everyday. It will all be there ready to go. Efficiency factor goes up by triple digits, quite literally.

When working in your virtual desktop, you will access the files you need and they will be updated in one location. No more carrying around flash drives and syncing files with updates. Or worse, forgetting to sync and losing the updates you made on another computer or device. With the cloud desktop, you will update the file and that is it, done.

The virtual desktop is very easy to access. All you need is any device with a browser. Tablet, phone, laptop, desktop computer, they all work the same and give you access to your "Virtual Desktop" anywhere, anytime. There are no downloads needed, just a browser to enter your desktop.

The features and benefits are to many to ignore.

Here is a partial list of what you can expect by migrating your current local desktop to a cloud server:

  • Access from any device, i.e. smart phone, tablet, laptop, desktop
  • Access from a browser
  • No downloads
  • Access to all your files
  • Access to any software you want to install
  • Access to any file or folder
  • No more syncing
  • File transfer to and from your virtual desktop
  • Secure file storage
  • Backup all your files and settings
  • Software upgrades
  • 24/7 online support
  • Low per user cost
  • No hardware to worry about

So what are you waiting for? It is time to at least see a demo of what this technology can do for you and your business' productivity and bottom line.

See our offerings in action. Schedule a live demo today!

Cloud Mobility White Paper

Offerings_Hosting_370x320There is no question mobility hits the nail on the head as an issue for the AEC space. Cloud (see cloud definition post) is driving it and as a result the primary distinction here is if you have internet connectivity or require a disconnected state. This is the entry question to all others because it weighs heavily on your options. Either way, the connectivity gap is closing as the 3G, 4G and beyond come to fruition but there are still those tight spots on the remotest job site or in basements that struggle with connectivity. With internet connectivity users can leverage many more options via solutions like Citrix receiver clients which are available for most operating systems and devices. This enables use of any application leaving the reality of the form factor up to the user. In addition, connected users can leverage all of the disconnected capable applications as well. This would include all your applications being marketed as "XYZ Mobile" like the offerings from Oracle Primavera and Meridian Systems which include various operating system specific applications for Windows and iOS based devices. Android seems to be the laggard OS of choice among developers.

Along the lines of applications, some great things are happening in the AEC space. Beyond The extensions of existing line of business applications (like noted above) there is a nice community of 3rd party developers that are beginning to be able to add value as business application vendors get cloud capable. Remember cloud does not mean hosted. If you refer to NIST definition of cloud, I'm simply referring to the self service and programmable characteristics. Line of business application vendors that make their applications openly (key point here) accessible via technology like web service API's enable a community of developers to work with their community.

Among laptops, tablets and phones, tablets seem to be the sweet spot as a form factor for size, weight, and visibility. The ones with good touch controls introduce a completely new experience for us adults that learn visually or have big fingers. I've been using an iPad since its first launch, and write this blog using one. Trust me, it's great.

In case you were unsure about the tablet revolution...here's some more back up via a nice white paper.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/enterprise-guide/resources/Creating%20the%20Enterprise-Class%20Tablet%20Environment.pdf

Cloud Hosted Software is the Present

Hosting your Software in the Cloud

Home_CaseStudiesWidget_DECC_370x320Hosting software on external cloud server has now become the standard for business. The overall cost advantage coupled with lower maintenance has made this option the "go to" for IT departments globally.

Access to the software is no longer tied to the office environment, freeing your workforce to be productive where ever they are located.

This new method of accessing software has revolutionized the workspace and business operations overall.

Software We Host

We can, and do, host almost any software out there. Below is a list of some of the software we are currently hosting.

If you don’t see yours in there, just call or email us to find out more information.

Software

Platform

  • Citrix
  • Microsoft

Infrastructure

  • Cisco
  • EMC
  • Equinix
  • Juniper
  • Microsoft
  • VMWare

See our offerings in action. Schedule a live demo today!

What’s Your Level of Cloud Consideration?

Today we present the third of three articles about Cloud Hosting specifically for the AEC Industry. We look forward to your comments


‘Cloud is a viable option, but not a top consideration for many CIOs.’

As far as attention-grabbing headlines go, this one from Gartner certainly did the trick for me. More so than that, it got me thinking about the current state of the cloud in general, and how it’s truly being perceived within the AEC industry.

Offerings_Hosting_370x320Gartner recently released its 2015 CIO Survey, "Flipping to Digital Leadership: The 2015 CIO Agenda. The report uncovered that only a small minority of CIOs look to the cloud as a first consideration.

Here’s a quick glimpse at the numbers: 9% of users today are not even considering cloud computing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects and only 15% when it comes to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) projects

What I find most interesting is the fact that, according to Gartner, one of the biggest obstacles comes from infrastructure and operations leaders. Exhibiting a more protective nature when it comes to their existing infrastructure, I&O leaders are resorting to “cloud-washing” as a reason for not seriously pursuing a true cloud-based solution.

I can tell you that the idea of “cloud washing” is indeed a very legitimate concern, but should not be applied as a blanket reason for making the cloud a secondary consideration for IT projects.

So what’s the solution? Gartner suggests that I&O leaders should be instituting a 'cloud-first' consideration for every project on an application-by-application basis. Furthermore, companies should be evaluating all implementation models at the outset of a project in order to help save time and produce better results.

This advice, while certainly valid, can often fall under the category of easier said than done. Having worked within the AEC industry for over 15 years, I have experienced firsthand a user base that exhibits a ‘show me’ mentality when it comes to any technology. So I can certain attest to the fact that the only way to get tentative users on board with the cloud is to come at them with tangible reasons.

Take our customer Torcon as an example. Three years ago, Torcon approached us about hosting its Prolog solutions. This despite the fact that the company owns its Prolog and Prolog WebSite licenses. The company simply needed to run leaner and realized that by using our ProjectXnet Portal to host and maintain its Prolog solutions it could reduce the expense associated with in-house hardware and maintenance costs.

Home_CaseStudiesWidget_DECC_370x320That opened up a world of new possibilities. For instance, by handing off the hosting and maintenance capabilities of its Prolog suite to us, Torcon has now freed up resources to focus on true value add associated with those solutions. For example, custom reports. The company has built a rather impressive and extensive library of reports and letters all customized for Torcon.

The company has even been able to create custom cross-project reports to identify trends such as subcontractor safety. This is due to the fact that every project is executed using standardized processes and a single database. It’s one of those value-adds that could not have been as easily realized without the ability to have key IT resources freed up from hosting and maintenance, which is now handled via the cloud.

Technology leaders face two very critical challenges that are currently on a path of convergence: traditional technologies and operating models are becoming outdated and IT solutions need a fresh approach.

With that in mind, it makes me wonder why some in the market still aren’t considering cloud first. I agree with Gartner on the fact that in some cases on-premise, non-cloud deployment models might be the right fit, but all options must be considered in order to make the best use of available resources.

To that I turn the debate over to the AEC industry and ask:

Is cloud a primary or secondary consideration for your organization? And if it’s the latter, what group seems to be the biggest obstacle?

 

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

CMFA 2014 Las Vegas: Wesley Smith Presentation (Powerpoint with Audio)

CMFA 2014 Las Vegas Powerpoint presentation by Wesley Smith, with audio discussing cloud hosting for the AEC industry, NIST cloud definition, Public cloud, Hybrid cloud, Private Cloud, Hensel Phelps, Unified Application Management. Learn more about hosting your data and software on servers located outside the physical office, increasing productivity, mobility and lowering cost.

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

 

 

Newsletter: 10-28-14: Trimble Dimensions 2014: Now Taking Appointments for Meetings

AEC newsletter header

Will You Be in Las Vegas for the Trimble Dimensions 2014 Conference?

Do You Have Questions About How Cloud Hosting Can Help Your Business Be More Profitable and Effecient?

We are now taking appointments for a PRIVATE Q & A with one of the leading experts in the AEC Cloud Hosting space, Wes Smith.

This is an excellent opportunity to get a one on one session on AEC Cloud Hosting and how it can bring your business into the 21st Century. Wes Smith, a pioneer in the AEC Cloud Hosting space since 1999, will sit with you in a private session to answer questions about how your business can become more profitable by leveraging AEC Cloud Hosting technologies.

If you are attending the Trimble Dimensions 2014, taking place from November 3 - 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, then email us info@aeccloud.com or call 212-505-0381 to setup an appointment now. Space is limited.

This is an opportunity that should not be missed. Learn more about AEC Cloud Hosting from a well respected thought leader in AEC Cloud Hosting space.

See you at the conference!

Give us a call today and let us help guide your business to the "Cloud".

Call now 212-505-0381

Or email: sales@aeccloud.com

 

Newsletter: 10-27-14: CMiC Connect 2014: Now Taking Appointments for Meetings

AEC newsletter header

 

 

 

 

Are You Going to CMiC Connect 2014 on November 2-5?

Do You Have Questions About How Cloud Hosting Can Help Your Business Be More Profitable?

We are now taking appointments for a PRIVATE Q & A with one of the leading experts in the AEC Cloud Hosting space, Wes Smith.

This is an excellent opportunity to get a one on one session on AEC Cloud Hosting and how it can bring your business into the 21st Century. Wes Smith, a pioneer in the AEC Cloud Hosting space since 1999, will sit with you in a private session to answer questions about how your business can become more profitable by leveraging AEC Cloud Hosting technologies.

If you are attending the CMiC Connect 2014: CMiC Untethered: The Mobile Revolution, taking place from November 2 - 5, 2014 at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida, then email us info@aeccloud.com or call 212-505-0381 to setup an appointment now. Space is limited.

This is an opportunity that should not be missed. Learn more about AEC Cloud Hosting from a well respected thought leader in AEC Cloud Hosting space.

See you at the conference!

Give us a call today and let us help guide your business to the "Cloud".

Call now 212-505-0381

Or email: sales@aeccloud.com

Copyright © 2001-2014 AEC Cloud, The Cram Group, LLC October 27, 2014

 

OBA: Submittal Packages - Use Excel to Manage Details in Prolog Manager

The Submittal Packages OBA is an Excel-based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings. You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
***********************

Catalog #: 77179

Constructech Technology Day 2013 | Cloud Exhibit, Expert Discussions & More

We are looking forward to Constructech Technology Day 2013.

Event Activities:

We will be exhibiting in the vendor showcase so come by and visit us.  As always, we will have experienced staff on site prepared to talk about real, in depth, end to end cloud solutions and issues facing the AEC Industry.

Jeremy Sibert, Director of IT, Hensel Phelps and Wes Smith, Cloud Executive Officer, The Cram Group, are speaking, October 4th @ 2:25 PM.  The topic is Big Data and Business Intelligence.

AEC Industry Competencies:

If you are not familiar with us, we are one of the longest running, innovative providers of cohesive solutions including hosting, software, and services for the AEC Industry.  We have been responsible for or part of teams that have implemented large and small scale solutions from a range of companies from owners like The New York Times, to North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System and The Pentagon Renovation Program to a range of global and regional builders like Hensel Phelps, Turner, Torcon and The J Companies.

Why is this important?  This means in addition to our unique understanding of the AEC Industry and related end to end IT management , we get the nuances of managing the software, platform and infrastructure IT layers required to run the products both individually and as part(s) of a cohesive system.

Connect with Us:

If you are interested in learning more, a demo or discussing options around solutions for the AEC Industry, please visit us at the conference or contact us using the options below.

Contact Info: The Cram Group Contact Info

Web Form: AECCloud Information Request

Twitter: AECCloudCom

Unified Cloud Solutions Presentation

We recently spoke @ Viewpoint Collaborate 2013 on Unified Cloud Solutions.  We covered a range of solutions topics including Unified Application Management, Business Intelligence, Integration and Interoperability.  To illustrate these solutions, we used examples from our work at the Pentagon, New York Times, and other clients as well as a range of AEC vendor offerings. Based on a range of feedback, our demystification of Cloud and our vision of the future is a great framework for getting non technical and technical teams on a level playing field for communication.

Click Here to Request a Copy!

AGC IT Forum 2013 | TCG & Hensel Phelps Speaking on Unified Cloud Based Solutions for Efficiency and Productivity

Please join us in Chicago on Wednesday, August 14 and Thursday, August 15, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the 5th annual AGC IT Forum Conference where great peer-to-peer collaboration and networking are central! This year the theme is Strong IT Knowledge Driving Excellent Business Decisions.  [Official Event Site].  There are a number of great speakers covering Interoperability, Integration, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, and Mobility including industry colleagues of ours from  COSA & Burger Consulting. Our session is Thursday, August 15th, Details are below:

CONFERENCE SESSION:  Unified Cloud Based Solutions for Efficiency and Productivity

Jeremy Sibert, Director of Technology,  Hensel Phelps Construction Co. Wes Smith, President, The Cram Group

No single shoe fits all sizes, likewise no isolated application can address all of a companies needs.  Jeremy Sibert (Hensel Phelps Construction Co.) and Wes Smith (The Cram Group) will discuss the benefits of harnessing a range of applications and their vision for unified, interoperable solutions for the AEC Industry.  Topics such as the NIST Cloud definition, unified application management, business intelligence, integration and agcXML standards will be included.  Several examples will be demonstrated.

 

The Business of Intelligence in the AEC Industry

Pardon my play on words...let's dive into the deep pool of Business Intelligence (BI).  BI is often confused with reporting since the end result is well, a report, or looks like one.  But BI goes far beyond typical reporting.  A good BI strategy is meant to provide information that enables better decision making far beyond single projects, PCOs or RFI logs. An example for the AEC Industry would be correlating square footage to cost of construction.  This in turn might help correlate cost per patient room or bed in a hospital.  That might be useful to look at revenue and profit per unit as well.  Clearly this can apply to any space type, but I like this example because it's easy to see how data from Accounting, Project Management, Scheduling and Building Information Models could be used.  I also have a fair amount of experience with this from prior work with North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJ).

If your interested in more on the general concept of BI, I've included a couple sources for you that are reasonably applicable to any industry.

Like my example and the few references indicate, optimally you would leverage information from many sources allowing business people to perform analytics and have a more clear picture of indicators (typically called KPI's) for making business decisions.  BI could also come from one source like Accounting or Project Management which may be of value but does usually not give the complete picture.  This is in part why there was a case for "all in ones" in the early/mid 2000's.  At that time technology was limited in being able to connect many disparate systems whether it was the same vendor or multiple vendors products.  That was ok when all you had was Accounting and Project Management but now that we have 10 or more relevant sources, how do we deal with that?

Enter the Cloud Computing era and Essential NIST Characteristics like On Demand Self Service coupled with underlying technologies like Web Services and interoperable integration APIs that have proliferated to make BI easier.  If you digested this so far without glazing over, stay tuned for a a dive into more on how to connect to all these sources, possibly aggregate them, and a few ways that is done in the modern, cloud based world.

TCG announces AECCloud Suite 2013 for the AEC Industry

New Press release out today.  The Cram Group announces AECCloud Suite 2013 for the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry.  Next level cloud service delivers business driven transparency for industry specific IT solutions. [View Press Release]