AEC Cloud Expertise Applied to Microsoft OBA Experience

“Does Excel count?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this statement from respondent in a recent construction technology survey. This obvious tongue-in-cheek response to a question about integration sheds light on the fact that while as an industry, construction has indeed come very far with regards to adopting advanced IT applications, in many ways it still relies on some of the tried-and-true tools with which the industry originated.

What’s more; nearly two in every 10 respondents to that same survey name Microsoft Excel as their primary tool during the estimating process. Think about that for a moment: A rather substantial number of construction firms are relying on Microsoft Excel at perhaps the most critical stage of their projects.

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With all of this in mind, to that respondent’s statement I reply, “Yes! Excel absolutely counts.”

And perhaps much of that has to do with the fact that Excel really isn’t what it used to be—it’s much better than ever. This is thanks in large part to fact that Microsoft has made some rather substantial investments behind the scenes to ensure its suite of Office applications can integrate better with the broader range of applications in use across business today.

obasCentral to that strategy are Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs). As applications written for Microsoft Office and based on .NET technology, OBAs uses Web services to connect to a standard Line of Business (LOB) or other application.

For instance, a Microsoft Excel-based OBA, allows for a pre-mapped, secure, two-way connection over the Internet between Excel and the LOB. This has proven to be a somewhat cumbersome process using traditional import/export methods. OBAs work by using Microsoft Office as the interface to capture information that is sent via Web services in XML format.

What this means is that you can perform work outside what some perceive to be as the constraints of a LOB—collaborating with extended team members, for example—yet still remain connected to the Microsoft Office system.

This presents the ease of using familiar Office-based applications while still being able to connect to other enterprise applications. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the most commonly used OBAs in construction are based on Microsoft Excel.

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Beyond Excel The value of OBAs goes beyond Microsoft Excel. In fact, OBAs can be developed to extend LOB applications to more and more products. For instance, the ability to build a workflow application for managing documents. Or implementing an application that consolidates multiple user interfaces into a single Office system document or SharePoint Server Web page.

Important to note on that last point is the fact that while OBAs and SharePoint have a common technology foundation, OBAs do not require SharePoint to run. However, as SharePoint and Microsoft Office evolve, the lines between SharePoint and OBAs continue to blur, to which another class of applications called Office Web Applications (OWAs) have emerged.

A Smooth and Specific OBA Experience Some companies choose to buy OBAs from their application vendors, or go the route of building their own. Of course, there are challenges associated with both routes; the former working with a vendor that does not have the expertise, and the latter requiring in-depth programming knowledge and resources.

When it comes to the use of OBAs that are specifically designed for the AEC industry, AEC Cloud is the pioneer.

We have been building OBAs as products for this industry since 2009. We offer an online source called the OBA Store, which contains both pre-build content, along with the ability to help your custom build OBAs. We manage the OBA content that we build, along with the related licensing.

The OBAs we provide are designed, written, packaged, licensed and managed by AEC Cloud. This means that the OBA Store—along with the OBA Cloud, which is used for OBA hosting—is designed and managed by us, allowing us to have full control over the OBAs.

Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems were the first AEC software provider to openly provide web services that could be used with Microsoft’s OBA technology—and we were early adopters. But that doesn’t mean our OBA options are strictly limited to Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems. In fact, we work to help customize OBAs specific to your environment.

Our OBAs are commercial applications, and that is the way in which we manage them. We help you understand which ones are most popular, can help provide you with better assistance with regards to support agreements, version control, and more.

obasWorking with OBAs specific to the AEC industry shouldn’t be taken lightly. As you look to extend the capabilities of your LOB applications to ensure that you can effectively work offline and capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets, work with a partner that has deep expertise and knowledge of the industry, along with a track record of success. It will help ensure you experience is one that is both seamless and specific.

This sounds great. Where do I get OBAs?

At the OBA Store!

Start browsing the largest collection of AEC related OBAs now!

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

 

 

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

Eliminate Import/Export Of Data: Use Excel to Update Your Line of Business Apps

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OBAs, Microsoft Office Business Applications, 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 to update Prolog, Primavera, Viewpoint and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms your employees already understand?
  • Update information in one location and have it update in multiple applications?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

 

obas

 

Advantages of using Microsoft Office Business Applications:

  • Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch lists, and most other features.  
  • You can use our standard forms or base them on yours.
  • OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

Want to learn more about connecting your Line of Business Applications with Microsoft Excel?

Fill in the form to the right >>

 

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.

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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

A Basic Understanding of Cloud Computing

Sometimes I feel that we have to go back to the beginning in order to understand where we are now. Below are a few basic questions that clients often ask us here at AEC Cloud. Questions that often times take us aback in their simplicity, but are critical in understanding what the "cloud" is and how it is such a part of our lives we take it for granted.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is so common in our lives that you probably aren't even aware that you are using it. Currently it is estimated that over 95% of people are now using cloud services such as social networks, streaming music, streaming video or online banking.

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Cloud Computing is a set of hardware and software that work to deliver the end user these online services. Users have access to files and applications from any type of device such as a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Any device that can access the internet.

You already know the big names in the field. Gmail, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, just to name a few. These applications and files can be accessed from any device that is connected to the internet. The actual application and files are on a cloud hosted server and "viewed" by your end device of choice.

How is computing from the Cloud different from computing from my local PC's hard drive?

Computing from the cloud is different in that the files and applications are not physically located on your computer or device that you are currently using. Instead those files and applications are stored on servers hosted outside of your office or home. Those servers can also spread your data across different locations and servers, allowing for a wide array of storage protection and business continuity.

In other words, with cloud computing, your files are copied across many different servers and safe from natural disasters or hardware failure.

What are public and private Clouds?

Public Clouds are just what they sound like. They are cloud networks that are open to the public. Gmail is a good example of a public cloud. Gmail is an application and data storage system that is open to the public. Each user has an account within the wider public cloud application. Private Clouds are more or less the opposite. They are protected applications and data typically behind a range of protection barriers or firewalls. These applications and data sets are not open to the public and are typically used by corporations to house sensitive data.

 

What are some common Cloud services and companies?

As noted above, there are many many cloud hosted services that you are already using in your day to day life. Gmail for your personal email; Dropbox for file storage and sharing; Spotify to stream your favorite music channel; Netflix to view a movie on your laptop or television at home.

All of these are services that allow you the end user to access data and applications through any device that has an internet connection. For business, these services offer a huge advantage in that they do not have to design, develop and host their own application and store those files. This greatly reduces IT costs and allows for more flexibility in testing different applications that works best for the business or project at hand.

 

Do I need Cloud computing?

The simple answer is that you are already using cloud computing. Maybe a better question is, can you live without Netflix, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.?

Now apply this to your business model and you can see why cloud computing continues to grow exponentially, year over year. The instant access to developed applications and files from any device, from anywhere allows businesses to be competitive at a very low cost.

It is just to cost prohibitive to setup your own cloud computing center given the costs of hardware, storage, servers and networking hardware. And it does not make sense in the end since much of this would just sit idle and go to waste. Instead with cloud computing, you can pay for only what you use.

 

Are my files safe in the Cloud?

The short answer is yes, your files are very very safe in the cloud. The possibility to create duplicate data sets and store those across different geographical locations, ensures that data will never be lost. Business continuity is basically guaranteed as the data and applications can be quickly brought back online in a matter of hours, instead of weeks or months needed with locally stored files.

 

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

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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  • 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

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Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information Combine

nexus-of-forcesThe Nexus of Forces is a concept developed by consultancy firm Gartner Inc. that describes how the convergence and mutual strengthening of four current trends, or forces, are shaping enterprise business IT decisions and creating new business opportunities. Those four forces (current trends) are:

  • social media
  • mobility
  • cloud computing
  • and information

The four forces, or trends, are distinct and happening now, but together, combine to form a new pattern of interacting with information, and how that information is utilized in the business environment.

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Information is the context that is at the center of social media and "virtual" interactions. Mobile devices are the platform for social media, allowing for new ways of working. Cloud hosting enables the delivery of the information and applications. Thus, the four forces converge, creating a fifth force that is driving technology and business into places we can only begin to contemplate and understand.

The Nexus of Forces concept is applicable to both social and enterprise spaces and is not limited to any one organizational size.

Research group Forrester, recently found 71% of enterprises believe mobility is a top priority, with 45% of the workforce qualifying as “anytime, anywhere.” Employees are now expecting companies to accommodate their mobile needs, with 55% saying they are more satisfied with their job if the company they work for emphasizes mobility first.

Based on a recent study completed at the MIT Sloan School of Management, businesses who consider mobility a priority and build initiatives around mobility are 26% more profitable.

Adaptation is the key to survival. The business landscape has changed, and with that the methods of doing "work". For all of us, it has been a mobile mind shift. It's hard to remember when these devices we hold all day we not there. When was the last time you left your house or office without your mobile device? And tell me, how did that feel?

If you are like me, then you went running back to get the device. The fact is, mobile devices are part of our everyday lives. Anytime/anywhere. We are connected with friends, colleagues and business associates via social media. Sharing information that is hosted on cloud servers. This is what I am calling the "Mobile Mental Shift".

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 on-board 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]

 

 

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.

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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

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The Demise of the Desktop Computer

Engineer on building site using tabletToday I was doing some research on enterprise mobility and came across an article on Tech Crunch about the death of the desktop computer. The article is a couple years old, but still highly relevant and interesting to consider. Is the desktop PC going the way of the dinosaur?

In my opinion, the short answer is no, but we can see a huge shift in workplace mobility. Tablets and smartphones have forever changed the definition of the workplace. Access to data and applications, anytime, anywhere have increased employee productivity. By one estimate, more than 240 hours per employee per year, have been gained. That's a lot of added work time.

Here is an interesting snapshot from a Gartner research piece on sales of PC vs. mobile devices:

gartner-2013

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Yes, this is now rather dated, as we are now at the far end of the sales estimates. But you can easily see that mobile phones and tablet sales have shot up, and the end of the growth is far from over. Almost 3 billion mobile devices will be sold in 2017. That is a 70% increase year-over-year. Astonishing to say the least. Seeing those numbers alone tell me that we are in the midst of a huge transition akin to the introduction of the desktop computer in the office back in the 1990s. The workplace will never be the same.

The PC desktop has transitioned from the sole access point to information and software, to one piece of the growing access points. The PC desktop has it's advantages and place in any work station matrix. With it's large screens, full size keyboard and mouse, for myself, there is just a place and time to use the desktop.

That said, mobile devices also have their place, and the Gartner illustration clearly shows that. Workers are on the move and are taking advantage of access to cloud hosted data and software. The idea behind Enterprise mobility is the opening up of the traditional office environment boundaries. While obviously the main office not going anywhere soon, the idea of the office is beginning to shift in real time. Staff is on the move which opens up the possibilities of new opportunities to gain business and increase efficiency.

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

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Enterprise Mobility - Three Keys

Construction worker in construction machinery discussing with engineer blueprints on pad or tablet computer on siteThe idea behind Enterprise mobility is the opening up of the traditional office environment boundaries. While obviously the main office not going anywhere soon, the idea of the office is beginning to shift in real time. Staff is on the move which opens up the possibilities of new opportunities to gain business and increase efficiency. There are three components to "enterprise mobility".  All three are based around accessibility. Accessibility from anywhere, and accessibility anytime.

  • Data
  • Applications
  • Desktops

With all three of these components accessible via cloud hosting, enterprise mobility becomes a reality. Staff can work when they need to, and more importantly from anywhere they are located.

Real Benefits

  • 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 - A Key Component to Business Efficiency

Entrepreneur on building site using tablet There are many components to increasing business efficiency. One of those components is giving your employees access to their digital work space anywhere, anytime. This is exactly what enterprise mobility is.

In a nutshell, enterprise mobility is the idea of moving files, software and desktops to a server that is accessible via the internet, from any connected device. Laptops, tablets, smart phones all become access points to view data, open software and view the users' personal desktop.

This real-time access, allows the user to move between job sites, meetings and home, without losing the ability to access critical data and information needed to keep the project moving forward.

Enterprise mobility is a growing trend as more and more companies realize the power and potential of a mobile workforce outside of the physical office environment. Corporate data is now fluid. Moving from one user to another in seconds. One location to another location across the globe. An employee works on a presentation at their local Starbucks in the morning using their laptop. That afternoon, they sit down with others on their team at the job site to give the presentation on their iPad.

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.

[/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]

 

How Enterprise Mobility Will Further Penetrate AEC

Construction team working on project with tablet The AEC industry is mobile by nature—always has been. So topics like ‘enterprise mobility’ aren’t so much a discussion about what is new—but rather, what is next.

The landscape in construction today looks like this: Workers equipped with smartphones, tablets and other connected devices interacting with countless apps of all types, everyday in order to improve productivity and streamline workflow.

So at a broad level it’s safe to say that mobile has indeed permeated the AEC industry. What comes next, however, requires a bit deeper of a dig in order to uncover just how deep it will penetrate into the enterprise. Not only that, but it becomes a situation in which builders and contractors are looking to best prepare for what’s next.

When looking ahead for the AEC space, I believe it is important to evaluate the broader landscape of technology. Going forward, I see four broader trends associated with enterprise mobility with the potential of having wide-sweeping impact on how the AEC industry gets things done.

  1. Mobility Integration. Enterprise mobility is no longer operating in isolation from the rest of the enterprise. Integration with other key technologies will continue to progress, as data from these applications must be linked to back office functions and even play a greater role in processes like BIM (building information modeling).
  2. The AEC App Store. Could we soon be nearing a time when larger AEC companies are managing corporate-sanctioned apps on PCs and mobile devices? Enterprise app stores are indeed a real thing and promise greater control over the apps used by employees. Not only that, but they hold the potential for greater control over software expenditures. It’s not too far fetched to believe that as more and more large AEC firms embrace the idea of enterprise mobility that they will want to have greater control over the apps that their employees are accessing.
  3. Prime Time Cloud for Construction: Today you have major cloud vendors like Amazon AW, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure Cloud all making a play to extend their offerings to include mobile cloud solutions and services. The AEC space is ripe for these cloud giants to extend their mobile offerings.
  4. Cloud Content is King. All those great cloud-enabled storage apps like Box and Dropbox or productivity apps like Evernote suddenly become a gateway to putting your corporate data on the public cloud. More and more, these applications are being embraced for collaboration on all levels. We are already seeing the trend where major software applications are integrating with applications like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and One Drive, among others.

construction worker using digital tablet with crane on the background

The days of early adoption with regards to enterprise mobility are well past us. In fact, being mobile is simply a prerequisite these days for getting things done effectively. Our clients have been adopting cloud-based desktops, apps and file storage.

Take as an example, Torcon, Inc. This privately-held construction management and general contracting firm is a long-time AEC Cloud client, running our hosting services for its deployment of Prolog from Meridian Systems.

The contractor is taking this system to a new level through the addition of a tablet PC-based field technology solution called Converge, which integrates with Prolog. With this mobile solution, such tasks as punch list updates, safety notices and daily field reports are available from the field. And the value does not stop there as Torcon anticipates using the mobile application for a range of additional functions like punch list management and the initiation of RFIs (requests for information).

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167Torcon’s use of enterprise mobility is highly indicative of the current AEC landscape. And that begs the question: What is next for enterprise mobility in the AEC space, and how will you best prepare your firm going forward?

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]

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]

Added Value: Mobility And Construction Projects

AdobeStock_88855189Today, as never before, mobile solutions are a critical component of any construction project life cycle. Architects, engineers, and project managers, to name a few, all need to communicate in real time. Posting and sharing critical job site data across the entire team can be the difference between success and failure of any project.

Add to this the fact that rarely are any of the team members at the same location, at the same time. Virtual offices, virtual desktops, access to files and data, and applications across platforms are at the center of an effective mobile team. Construction companies now have multiple office and job sites, that require the team member to be "connected" at any given time.

With today's economy, staying competitive means being more productive. Mobile solutions, along with cloud hosted applications, data and desktop are a requirement in the productivity equation. Optimizing operations and the stream of job site information, allows team members to do their job faster and with less costly errors.

Project plans, budgeting, resources, filed issues, contact information can all be accessed when that data is hosted in a cloud environment. Enterprise application hosting allows those critical applications to be accessible via any thin client or mobile device. Virtual desktops bring the familiarity of a Windows desktop environment from anywhere that team member might be working. It all adds up to access to valuable information to the project team anywhere, anytime.

AdobeStock_80460584To boil it down, here are some of the major points to consider about cloud hosting data, apps and desktops.

  • Clear lines of communication: ALL team members can share data, images and job site information. The field office and the home office are connected virtually. Everyone knows what is going on with the project, at any given time.
  • Better Analysis: Correct data and current data are critical to getting the big picture on a project. Accounting, payroll, building plans, workforce data can all be analyzed using real time data.
  • 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

At 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.

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]

 

 

Enterprise Mobility is Changing the Definition of 'The Office'

AdobeStock_83070874The Office. Where exactly is that anymore? We all can say it's located at such and such address, but does every employee go to the office everyday to work? Or if they do, the bigger question is, do they need to go to the office to work? Can they work from their home, the job site, a cafe or even the beach? The very idea of forcing your staff to go to an official office with "their desk" is quickly becoming an out of date idea. Why? Well you probably already know the answer which is the mobile desktop. No longer are we chained to a specific location to perform our work duties. Workers can now harness the multitude of advantages in our current technological state. Mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and even laptops, along with cloud services have broken those chains. And management, and especially IT departments, should be rejoicing. The amount of overhead costs associated with a physical office, with individual workstations can be wiped off the budget sheet. Downsizing of office infrastructure, workstations, furniture, physical space leads to immediate cost savings and headaches.

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

Enterprise mobility is a growing trend as more and more companies realize the power and potential of a mobile workforce outside of the physical office environment. Corporate data is now fluid. Moving from one user to another in seconds. One location to another location across the globe. An employee works on a presentation at their local Starbucks in the morning using their laptop. That afternoon, they sit down with others on their team at the job site to give the presentation on their iPad. AdobeStock_44575060The power of cloud hosted applications, software, data and desktops has literally revolutionized how we are working. And I believe we are just beginning to see what this means for all of us in our daily lives. New technologies and ways of interacting with data are becoming available on a daily basis. Stuff of science fiction you might say. Here is a partial list of what you can expect by migrating your applications, software, data and desktops to the cloud:

  • 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

 

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.

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

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When Paperless Leads to Even Greater Efficiency

AdobeStock_34165921Could it be possible that less than 5% of businesses today are “paperless”? According to one business survey, this may be the case. What gets lost these days amid major tech trends like mobility, Internet of Things and virtualization grabbing headlines is the fact that some companies are still in the process of taking primary steps in their process of innovation.

I recently came across an article that cited a survey from German-based print management services provider ThinPrint that revealed only 4.5% of business users surveyed have gone paperless. While the survey was focused more on the idea of printing practices, it got me thinking about AEC firms and their own struggles with going paperless amid the seemingly endless paper trail that can make up a construction project these days.

In fact, many of our customers here at The Cram Group initially came to us with help reducing the amount of paper that would circulate on a typical job. Take DECCO Ltd., for example. This contractor, based in the Cayman Islands, was looking for a way to streamline its file management system by moving from paper to electronic files.

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300With roughly 30 employees working in the office and in the field, the need was for an easier way to communicate and share information electronically. In 2010, AEC Cloud began hosting Meridian Systems’ Prolog Manager and Prolog Converge for DECCO, helping the company streamline its file management and archiving system.

Fast forward to 2015 and the company is much less dependent on paper files than ever. According to Harlan Dews, Senior Planner and Scheduler with DECCO, what was thousands of paper files used on projects has turned into a cloud-based one-stop shop for all project-related information, with the ability for files to be accessed any time from any location.

For a company like DECCO, the demand to go “paperless” was a steppingstone of sorts to unlocking even greater potential of a cloud-based service.

feature02Since deploying AEC Cloud’s Portal Cloud Hosting Services in 2010, DECCO has also evolved its use of the technology. Today it plays a role increasing efficiency in other aspects of its construction projects. This includes the ability to provide a higher level of accountability and reporting capabilities, controlling project costs, tracking employees’ time spent on projects, and increasing employee productivity.

“We’re making better decisions earlier in the construction process, which translates into cost savings as projects progress,” says Dews. “We’re also more organized and efficient because we’re notified electronically as projects move forward. This helps prevent projects from becoming backlogged.”

It’s a true testament to the role that a good technology solution can play within a company today. Technology designed to solve one challenge that can evolve to play additional roles within an organization can prove to be a valuable investment. Today’s AEC firms that are simply making a push to go “paperless” are making a step towards improving efficiencies across the board.

With a solution like AEC Cloud, these benefits include:

  • 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

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  • 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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

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Enterprise Application Hosting: User Support

AdobeStock_34165921Many hosting companies offer application hosting, but rarely offer any kind of user support. We all know that hosting your enterprise applications, data and desktops is a growing trend. The benefits far outweigh any reasons not to either have already made the move from in-house servers and an IT team. The missing link during this transition is supporting your end users when problems arise, which they will. Having a team of support staff in-house does not come cheap and the question arises as to how much time they are being utilized or sitting idle. Out sourcing the user support makes a lot of sense when you take into consideration:

[contact-form-7 id="6186" title="Inpage Contact Form" html_id="sidebar_contact"]
  • How knowledgeable are the support staff with your hosted applications
  • How knowledgeable are the support staff with the server configuration
  • Are the support staff being fully utilized?
  • Are they available 24/7?

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Hosting your enterprise applications with AEC Cloud, come with a built in support team that quickly handles any problems when they arise with end users. An easy support ticket system with live call back is a guarantee that issues are handled on a personal level quickly and efficiently.

Whether your team is in the physical office or out in the field, they will be accessing their data and applications from a myriad of different devices. When they cannot access their data or applications, the problem needs to be remedied immediately. That is why a support team that is available 24/7 is a must.

Here at AEC Cloud, we have been helping businesses in the AEC industry make those decisions in a calculated and planned way. We have over 15 years in the business and have consciously chosen to focus on the AEC industry. We know what you need before you do. We are specialists in cloud hosting, and that knowledge base we have built for the past 15 years is yours to share in when you use our services. Why take the risk with some off the shelf general "cloud hosting" company?

At 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.

The benefits are just too many to ignore.

EM03Real Benefits

  • 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

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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done. If you don't see what you need in our list below, just ask!

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

  • 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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

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Your Workforce is Mobile, Shouldn't Your Data Be Too?

Today's workforce is already mobile and this is only increasing everyday. The mobile workforce has been possible largely to a shift in technology that allows real time data to be shared anywhere, anytime. I'm talking about the cloud. Cloud hosting has revolutionized where work takes place. The days of being tied to an office cubicle are over. Staff is much more efficient when they can move outside the walls of the office. That efficiency is compounded when you add the accessibility of desktops, files and applications on the go. AdobeStock_44575060Tablets, smartphones and laptops have opened up how we access and share data. Information is power. When your staff has access to real time data shared among a project team, productivity goes up. In addition, costs come down as projects can move faster with less down time or costly mistakes.

On site or off site, the lines of where work has historically taken place are now blurred and largely erased. Employees can instant access to everyone on their team and fresh data that can be acted upon. This has removed the delay of on site data collection and off site management decision making. Projects can move faster with less down time.

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Being nimble in today's work space is the key to success. Business owners always have to stay ahead of the curve in regards to the tools they have at their disposal. That goes for heavy equipment, as well as for communication and data sharing. Enterprise cloud hosting is now a proven powerful tool that has revolutionized the workforce. Businesses have to move fast and be flexible. Having the most up to date data and information is key to that recipe. This is where cloud hosting comes in.

The road map to getting your data from a static server to to a cloud hosted environment can be daunting. At times it even appears to be a leap of faith. Choosing the partner in this business decision is key to a successful transition with limited or no downtime.

LeadershipWidget_270_blueHere at AEC Cloud, we have been helping businesses in the AEC industry make those decisions in a calculated and planned way. We have over 15 years in the business and have consciously chosen to focus on the AEC industry. We know what you need before you do. We are specialists in cloud hosting, and that knowledge base we have built for the past 15 years is yours to share in when you use our services. Why take the risk with some off the shelf general "cloud hosting" company?

At 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.

The benefits are just to many to ignore.

Real Benefits

  • 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

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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done. If you don't see what you need in our list below, just ask!

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[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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

[/row]

 

Enterprise Cloud Hosting Benefits

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300 Enterprise cloud hosting is the buzz word of the past year. There has been a convergence of technologies that have made the option of hosting desktops, files and applications outside of the office a viable reality. Whether you are looking at private cloud hosting, public cloud hosting or a hybrid situation, the benefits are just to clear to ignore.

LeadershipWidget_270_blueThe workplace has changed, and we argue for the better. The clearest gain in external cloud hosting is giving your workforce mobility to work whenever and wherever they may be located. The days of the office cubicle are slowly fading and dissolving into a worker that can move outside the walls of the office and still be productive. In fact, more productive than they ever were while chained to a stationary terminal. The workforce is allowed to move which brings opportunities for inspiration they can bring back to the workspace.

Smartphones and tablets, not to mention laptops, have opened the doors to reducing office space requirements. Workers can now work efficiently from home or any other place they may choose to perform their tasks. It's been said before, a happy worker is a productive worker.

Mobile workers can now access their personal desktops, files and enterprise applications when the business makes the move to cloud hosting. Plug and play. Always connected to colleagues and the office no matter where they are. A dream for any department manager.

The next biggest factor for consideration is a reduced IT budget. Purchasing and hiring a team to manage updates and troubleshooting are removed from the equation. By spreading the cost of support and infrastructure across multiple clients, the cloud hosted option realizes real time cost savings. No longer is a business required to bear the entire burden of costs associated with purchasing and maintaining an entire IT department. With this old model, the drain on resources and overall budget just don't make sense anymore.

Flexibility and scalability are other aspects of this cost savings. Are you operating servers and infrastructure that you are only using a part of? What if you need to add an additional ten users overnight? Would your IT department be able to execute that. I'm guessing probably not. With an enterprise cloud hosted model, scalability is built into the system. Scale up or down your user base, in a matter of hours, not weeks.

At 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.

The benefits are just to many to ignore.

Real Benefits

  • 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

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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

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.

Software we host:

We host any enterprise business application you need to get your job done. If you don't see what you need in our list below, just ask!

[row]

[col_three]

[/col_three]

[col_three]

[/col_three]

[/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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

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