Finally Getting Connected: Introducing Construction 365
By Mike Paul, Managing Director, EMEA, InEight
June 21, 2021
Something has happened in construction over the last 15 months.
While the world suffered through the greatest pandemic in a century, technology provided a welcome outlet, a conduit to help people navigate and solve their daily challenges. Through it all, the construction industry finally realized that a digital transformation was a requirement to operate.
A Shift in Mindset
Specific examples of this type of mental turn include everything from the reduction of in-person meetings and site visits, to the use of tablets and smartphones, to capturing and sharing information via dashboard analytics, plus reviewing progress and results. The impact of these changes was so great that this cost was seen as more of a necessity, an investment in their operations – with a measurable return on this investment – and less as an IT overhead expense.
However, less promoted, and yet equally valuable, is the realization of the need for system interoperability. This can include connecting separate, best-of-breed software products with third-party integrations, procuring complete interoperable platforms or integrating accounting department systems like Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) with project control systems. The latest of these scenarios deserves some particular attention.
The Connectedness of Interoperability
There has been a lot of consolidation in the construction software sector in the last 5 years, and with this an increase in investment to improve the quality of new and existing software. Even with these acquisitions, however, it is still common to procure a complete ERP system from one vendor and a complete project controls system from another vendor. But it is the connection of these two systems, which may include many modules for each system, that really produces interoperability and value to the end user. Conversely, if this connection is ignored, it can create new headaches from data loss, errors and wasted double entry.
One of the fastest growing ERP-Project Controls integrations can be found in Construction 365, the Microsoft-certified integration package consisting of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and the InEight Suite Platform. Construction 365 currently includes 31 different integrations – with several more under development. As a robust offering of back office, front office and project office modules, most construction companies are finding they can get all the solutions they are looking for in ERP and Project Controls with quick-to-implement integrations via Construction 365.
Building off the natural market demand for a connected platform, interoperability and data analytics, InEight has doubled down on its mission to ensure all project stakeholders have the information they need, when and where they need it. And the best way to make better decisions for everyone is from an end-to-end platform. Continuing to grow and optimize the integration between InEight and Microsoft is a strong step in that direction.
Both InEight and Microsoft realize the value of integration and service partners to help with the implementation of Construction 365. Additionally, none of this would be a success without finding and working closely with strategic customers who wish to realize the vision of true connectedness. These customers are critical to providing feedback on the integrations, helping InEight improve its commercial solution and speaking openly on the software’s value and benefits, some of which include:
- Reducing time spent searching for information and spent on double entries
- Standardizing processes to make sure information is consistent and reliable
- Improving the timeliness and accuracy of the information captured, entered and utilized
- Reporting early and often on project outcomes and updates to discover issues early on
Though it is ready for use now, Construction 365 will continue to evolve based on the needs of the industry and the demands of its customers. Companies on five continents have already realized its value and made the investment to achieve their own interoperability goals.
Ready for a deeper dive? Learn more about Construction 365 here.