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APAC Live Demo: See Construction 365 Deliver a Complete Project View



37 Minutes

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Matthew Macaras:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to our webinar today on Construction 365, delivering a project with a complete project view. Sit back guys and relax and enjoy the webinar. We will be going through a few slides at the beginning and the end, but the bulk of our time will be in a live workshop, a live demo of the solutions, showing how InEight and Microsoft Dynamics work hand in hand to provide a complete enterprise solution. As we go through today, feel free to ask questions in the chat. We will answer those at the end of the session, and yeah, feel free to pop them in as we go through. And feel free to give us feedback, there’s a heart scale at the top of the broadcast, so feel free to give us feedback as we go through today.

My name is Matthew Macaras, I’m a Senior Solution Engineer for InEight in the APAC region. My background is in industrial construction, doing everything from field engineering through to project management, incorporating, estimating procurement, superintendent, you name it. I got involved in and dabbled in a little bit of everything. With me today are Marko and Syed. Marko, did you want to introduce yourself?

Marko Maljkovic:

Yeah, sure. My name is Marko Maljkovic, I’m Technical Specialist for Dynamics 365, finance and operations. I work in Microsoft Australia. I have spent last 15 years implementing, architecting, and being in pre-sales of Dynamics 365, and I was helping our customers going through digital transformation using Microsoft technology, which is my job in the last five years. Syed?

Syed Sadiq:

Thanks, Marko. My name is Syed Sadiq, I’m working as a Tech Lead in HSO ProServ. I’m part of the team which will this integrations for between InEight and D365 finance and operations. I’m also part of the team which is implementing these integrations to D365 customers of InEight.

Matthew Macaras:

Right. Thanks, guys. So just a little bit of high level of who we are, InEight is a capital project solution that’s delivering project certainty for customers all over the globe. Our solutions cover the entire project lifecycle, from concept all the way through to completions and in operations. As I mentioned, we are a global organization with well over 300,000 users, 750 companies, and in countries all around the world. Marko, did you want to introduce Microsoft?

Marko Maljkovic:

I think Microsoft is widely known, so I’ll skip that and go straight into our mission. So we aspire to empower every person in the organization to achieve more. It is a very inclusive statement, includes construction among other industries. What sets construction apart is that it is very mature industry and has a processes that are specific and very well defined. So these companies usually work on the same project, they collaborate using the same standardized tools and processes, and that’s where I think relationship with our partner InEight is really important. We scale through our partners, and InEight is being a great case in point, because they bring that experience and references in construction and Microsoft brings our commitment to digital transformation and best of breed products which we have as application for back office and finance, supply chain, project accounting teams, etc.

So partnership is timely, and I think that in preparation for post-COVID construction boom and Olympics in 2032 in Brisbane, here in my city, I think this is really great way to kick that off. Thanks Syed.

Syed Sadiq:

Yeah. Thanks, Marko. HSO ProServ is a Microsoft gold partner and also we’re part of the Microsoft inner circle, and also the leading global provider of Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions for professional services and other project driven organizations across the globe. HSO ProServ, we combine the power of Microsoft Cloud and platform and also the internally built ISV solutions, which helps our customers run their businesses smoothly and effectively, and also achieve more profits. The key industries in which HSO ProServ operates is AC, accounting, consulting and legal. So we are also the D365 partner for InEight. So that’s all about us, let’s hear more about C365 that will bring further project certainty for InEight customers. So, Matthew.

Matthew Macaras:

Great. Thanks Syed, thanks Marko. So what is Construction 365 or C365? At its heart, it’s a unified enterprise platform that allows you to run your entire capital projects business through the combined solutions of InEight and Microsoft Dynamics. It has been built, purposely built, for the capital projects industry and is industry proven. It is enterprise grade and it spans the entire enterprise needs from sales, CRM, marketing, all the way through to IT, operations, human resources, and the very important project delivery phase of any capital asset. It’s been built and really provides value in terms of it provides a unified source of all the information for your projects, and allows the different teams to work in the different areas that they specialize in, and the solutions that are applicable for their role, but always leveraging the same data.

So some of the benefits of Construction 365 is really that it’s a unified enterprise platform. It helps streamline the communications between the back office and the field, between the guys who have their boots on the ground installing the work and building the work, and the team in the office that is managing the HR side of things, the dollars and cents. It allows those teams to communicate seamlessly back and forth with each other, through leveraging the same data, the same workflows, and the same solutions. It also provides the organization with a single source of truth, because the solutions are now combined into a unified platform. What it allows the teams, different teams, to do is use all of the same information, so the field teams, the project teams, are able to input and interact with information that’s applicable to them. And that same information is available for the back office team or even the project office team to leverage and use in their day job.

So they’re all using the same information, working off that same information, so there’s not a disconnect as to the project is worth this much to the project team, but the it’s worth this much in the finance system, all of that information is one spot, and is really providing that single source of truth. And it allows us to visualize the project progress in real-time through standard tabular reports such as cost reports, or labor reports, but also through real-time dashboards in Power BI, built right into InEight and built right into Dynamics, so that we have that all that information that’s visible to us so that we can become proactive in managing our projects, proactive and managing the business. Because as things are happening in real-time, we’re able to see those, react to those, without letting them drag on and wait for reporting cycle that maybe one week, two weeks a month away. And all of our information and decisions are then reactive instead of actively managing and rectifying issues or increasing opportunities.

And it also serves as the integrated, really the integrated data repository for the organization. Again, that’s leveraging that single source of truth, so that the data repository allows the different business units, the different departments, to use the same information for what they need to do, but still have that same underlying information. And then it increases confidence and increases accuracy by reducing manual processes. Because the solutions are now leveraging that single source of truth, we don’t have people entering information in each system, we don’t have people taking paper time cards and entering them into InEight and then into Dynamics, or taking the digital time cards within InEight and then manually transferring or exporting and uploading into Dynamics.

All of that information is now handled seamlessly between the solutions, increasing that accuracy. Syed, can you walk us through the interfaces, four of the main interfaces that we’re going to be looking at in the Dynamics and in InEight?

Syed Sadiq:

Sure, Mathew. As Matthew pointed, for success of any of these projects, you should have the right data, information, available for the people who are making the decision at the right time. That’s what these integrations does, we have a single source of truth, and also the integrations are seamless. The person who is sitting on the other side of the system need not know what’s happening, he can go request the data, and whenever he is getting into the system he’s seeing the information, what he needs. So if you see here on the slides, we have four key areas of integration.

The first one is the master data, wherein you’re setting up all the master data like the equipment, employees, vendors, and even setting up the projects within D365. And then those projects, I mean, that master data is readily available within InEight. And then InEight can go load on the project, they can go load the estimates, structure and budget, and then that sync to D365 on the second side. Then on the ERP side, under D365 side, we have the cost, information loaded from the employees. And those employees, if you see in the third option in the manpower data, so during the day, the who are employees working on the field, the hours are, I mean the W Plans are entered for them for the employees and the equipment. And that information when it is approved, it’s seamlessly integrated synced to the other side of the system.

But now since we have the cost there, and it calculates, it post the data there in the back office, and on the InEight side, when the project manager goes and sees the cost for the day. So he’s got all that information readily available for him. That’s on the manpower data. And on the vendor side, you can easily raise the purchase orders from the field and that requests are coming to the D365 side and approvals are happening. And yeah, that entire cycle runs as if… It behaves as a single system and the integrations are working seamlessly without any issues. So there are no double entries, data is integrated seamlessly here. So I think here we see more about these integrations in the coming slides. Matthew.

Matthew Macaras:

Right. Thanks, Syed. So I’ll take the screen and so what we’ll do is we’ll dive into software from here. So as I said, the solutions are fully integrated and interoperable. So as we’re working through today, we’ll see that the systems are leveraging the same information, and that we’re allowing the different teams to perform work and perform actions in the system that makes sense for their job role. So it’s enabling teams to work in purpose built solutions, but leveraging the same data. So what we’re looking at here is, on the left hand side, we have the InEight platform and on the right hand side we have Dynamics 365.

And if we look at this and we just start drilling into the, I guess the background data of the solutions, and if we start looking at things such as our vendor data or our master data libraries, we can see that if we pull those up within each solution, that we’re leveraging the same information. We can see that within InEight we have a list of vendors, and within Dynamics we have a list of vendors. And those are the same vendors leveraging the same information, so if we were to select one of these in more detail, this Countryside vendor, we can see that that vendor has the same ID, the same name, the same groupings for text types, the same addresses, we’re leveraging the same information so that when project teams are interacting with the vendor, maybe through raising purchase orders or raising contracts, that information is seamlessly transferred and is pulling from the same information within Dynamics so that when we perform actions within InEight those actions are able to be seen and used and leveraged for additional business activities within Dynamics.

And this goes beyond just vendors themselves. If we look at some of our other data libraries such as our operational resources, the people that are actually working on our projects, we can see that through our employees here that are employee lists are the exact same, the employee IDs are the same. We’re leveraging that common data, so that when we pay people and raise time cards within InEight, we’re able to transfer that into Dynamics and pay those team members, pay those employees, seamlessly without having to double enter information, without having to worry about over or under paying someone because of a mistake in entering data.

We can also see that the projects between the two are shared. So if I were to go in and filter our view in Dynamics, we can see that we have this Bulky Building project with the ID of 10,003. Within InEight we have that exact same project that’s connected to all the InEight solutions. And really, this project is the exact same in each, and this is where we start to see additional synergies between the two solutions and where the integrations really come into their own. If we dive into the budget within this, within the project that we’re looking at, this Bulky Building, within InEight we can see a hierarchical view of our budget. We can see the different positions of our budget, the descriptions of the line items that we are going to be capturing cost against and measuring progress against within InEight, and we see our unique identifier, the WBS phase code.

This WBS phase code is actually the unique code that we leverage as the communication device between the two solutions to ensure that data within one system correlates the data within the other and we’re able to navigate through that seamlessly. We can also see our task details, we can see information around our quantities or units of measure, our account codes, as well as our budget views within InEight. If we dive into this same project within Dynamics and look at a view that may be a finance person will be looking at this project. So remember, InEight is the work-in-progress system, the project system where the project manager, the project engineers, the project cost, these will be working in and operating in, and Dynamics is where the finance team, HR teams will be operating in.

So if we look at the finance view of this project, we can see we’ve got the same information. We can also click on our work breakdown structure and we can see that these are the exact same work breakdown structures between the two, we can see that our WBS codes, our higher propositions are the same. All of our effort comes across, our quantities have come across, all of this information is within here. We can also go in and look at the actual budget within Dynamics. So if I come across and scroll to the right into our project budget, so when the financial controller or the finance team wants to look at how we’re performing against the budget, they can look at that in the system that’s been purpose built for them. So we can see the exact same information within our budget, the different WBS codes, the type of work, the transaction types that are associated with it. And we can see that our overall total approved budget is the same in between those two systems.

Now, the connection between these two systems can be automatically refreshed between a scheduled, at scheduled intervals, or it can be accomplished through manually syncing. So if work is been performed in InEight, or things have been happening within Dynamics, that information is transferred across seamlessly, either based on that time interval, or if we need to see the data immediately, we can come across and push and pull information between the two systems to ensure that we’re looking at everything in the same view and seeing the same information.

The unified data and the common data between the two systems also extends well past just the vendor lists and employee lists and the budgets. If we’re looking at direct hire work or if we’re looking at how we capture construction progress, the systems are in sync and leverage the same data for that as well. Within InEight, when we are capturing data, field data, whether it’s daily time cards or progress within the system. we are doing that in our field capabilities, in something that we call a daily plan. And a daily plan in InEight is a combination of a daily diary, but also a combination of a daily diary, but also a daily timecard as well as a place where we can raise issues and impact changes into our project.

We can see in in InEight here we’ve got a series of daily plans and daily diaries. We’re going to spend some time in this number 272 that was executed on the 31st of August. Within Dynamics, we have that same structure, if we look we can see our daily plan status within Dynamics as well. If I go back out one screen from InEight, we can see that daily plan, all those daily plans that we’ve had created are existing within Dynamics. And we can see that each one of these has a sync status. So we can see what the process is, whether or not they’re completed, whether or not they’re not they’re waiting approvals within InEight, and we see those directly within Dynamics 365 as well.

If we dive into this plan 272, which we can also see over here, we’ll see that what we’ve done on this daily plan is we’ve assigned, we’ve filled out our timesheet, we have gone through and we’ve said that Frank Harper is not working a lot today but he is essentially working six hours in these particular codes on our project. We can also see what the equipment that we’re going to be using, what equipment we’re going to be using and how that equipment has been assigned. Once we fill this information out in the field from a mobile device, either online or offline, it is able to be synced with that common data environment and that backed, that unified data, and that then gets approved, both in terms of hours as well as quantities planned, and that information comes across into Dynamics to be then transitioned into the next stage.

So from a supervisor perspective, the supervisor will be out in the field capturing this time, capturing those quantities on a mobile device. Once those quantities and man hours are approved, they then show up in Dynamics to be able to, let me just expand this, so that we can then enact and proceed with those hours to pay the employees and to track any equipment hours that are spent either for rental agreements or to start tracking in terms of maintenance. So if we were to look at this plan ID, and we’ll just going to filter this on 272, we can see that here are the different hours that we’ve captured on this project, that are on this plan. We can see that resource 919 aligns up with Frank Harper resource number 919. And we can see that he has been coded against these particular phase codes, these particular unique identifiers, with the hours associated with it.

So we pass all that information across, and once it’s approved within InEight, we’re then able to go ahead and pay that employee or capture that time for a vendor. And the same goes for the equipment. So here we’ve got a water truck, we come in and we look at our daily planning equipment, we’ll see that that exact same information has come across, here is our water truck against the against that same plan, two hours against those applicable codes that we have worked against for that day.

So really, what we’re showing here is that the information and the integration between these two systems leverages common data between the two and it enables project teams to work in an environment that is catering for the way they need to work, tracking the level of detail that they need to track. But also makes that same information available through that common data, that single source of truth, to other teams whether it’s the finance team, the equipment team or anyone else that operate within the finance environment, and make that information available between the two and they’re able to work in a system that is purpose built for the way they need to build work or the way they need to enact work.

What we’ll do now is we’ll go ahead and jump back into the slides, to round us out for the day. So just a quick recap, what is Construction 365? Really what it is, is it is a Microsoft is your hosted, unified platform for businesses, enterprise, to perform their complete capital projects business. It’s all based on Microsoft technology and spans the entire business, from CRM, HR, IT to project delivery, and project delivery all the way from the concept phase through to completions, operations and even decommissioning. It is in use across the globe on five of the continents, through multiple organizations. And really, it’s been designed to increase accuracy, removing double handling, and removing the risk of having to add in, to enter information in multiple spots and accidentally entering that information incorrectly.

It’s increasing efficiency by enabling teams to leverage the same data but use that data in a way that their role requires or their portion of the business requires. So provides that project team with their project-centric view of the world and allows them to work the way they need to. And it provides the HR and finance teams to their view of the world to work the way they need to, but all leveraging that common data, that central source of truth. And that’s one of the next points is that it allows that centralized data, so all the information within the organization is stored centrally, is able to be used where it’s necessary, and importantly, is able to be reported against so that you know that your reports from a project and in the business on the finance side of things are going to add up.

You don’t have to worry about projects becoming out of sync with what’s actually happening in the back office, because those are using the same source of data and seamlessly transferring information and enabling cross company business processes where the project team can start a business process and the finance team is able to complete that business process or vice versa. And it enables reduced overhead, both through the increasing of accuracy, increase in efficiency, by centralizing the data. So we don’t need to maintain data in two systems, were able to now maintain at one spot and reduce overhead not only in terms of personnel, but even in terms of server costs and hardware costs and those types of things. The two solutions, or the integrations, are available on Microsoft AppSource, so you can go on there and have a look, or additionally, contact sales at InEight and we can help you out. Marko, did you have any additional comments to add?

Marko Maljkovic:

Yeah. I think just to maybe recap, similar to what you just said, data is front and center of digital transformation, and in order to be able to innovate you want to connect that front and back office. And that’s not where it ends, I think if we don’t empower organizations with high quality data to empower their employees to have better experience while they’re working, then we’ve missed the target. It’s not just about back office understanding what’s going on, it’s about people having data at their fingertips where they need it, and really real-time. Long are gone the days when you could sync things once a day.

So I think this integration is bringing exactly that, that’s the whole point. Is connecting the whole ecosystem, putting data where it can be used to innovate and provide. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of questions in Q&A, pretty much when you have the data state with all this data, it’s up to you how you create line of business apps or reports, or AI even to run on top of your projects and to get some insights. Basically, that’s all then possible, which wasn’t really possible when you have a spaghetti system of many different types and different data formats.

So I think because these applications, both from Microsoft Dynamics and from InEight are very modular, I appreciate that InEight went through this effort to make a meaningful flow between two systems and remove what I would call noise, in terms of like which time she do I use, which project journal do I use, etc. It’s basically single flow, streamlined flow, and opens for any further innovation on top of that and for customers to build additional value from the system. So thank you, Matt, that’s pretty much from our side the most important thing that we have, the holistic solution [inaudible].

Matthew Macaras:

Yeah, it’s very good point Marko. And the data at the fingertips and the right data to the right people at the right time is what the system provides. And it is that enterprise, that complete solution that you need. Syed, did you have any additional comments or thoughts?

Syed Sadiq:

No, Mathew. I think you guys pretty much covered everything. Yeah.

Matthew Macaras:

All right. If anyone has any questions, I know there are some in the chat, we’ll go through and answer a few of those as we go through. But if anyone has any additional questions, please feel free to put them in the chat, we’ll answer those. So, from Patrick, is InEight available as an Azure resource? So InEight is hosted within Microsoft Azure and leverages Azure technologies and Microsoft technologies. So yes, it is, it is in Azure. I think that was the main one there. Could you see any other ones, Marko? There we go, let me scroll through. Does it work offline? So InEight and Dynamics are SaaS solutions, InEight has portions that work, that are online and offline.

So our budgeting capability is online, but when we start looking at our field solutions, such as that daily plan solution, that’s available on a mobile device, or document management solution and others, they’re available on mobile devices and work both online and offline. Or you can either create things when you’re offline and sync them when you have connectivity, or create them and then head out to the field to work offline, and when you come back into service, sync that back into the system. So yes, it is both online and offline.

Is it a single user interface? So the InEight platform is a single user interface that has been built and tailored to the way capital projects operate, and built and tailored to the way that portion of businesses operate. And then similarly, Marko, if you want to confirm that for Dynamics as well, that Dynamics has been built for, I guess that that back office has that user interface that is applicable to that way of working?

Marko Maljkovic:

Yeah, Dynamics has main interface for Dynamics 365 is that finance and project operations in the backend for mainly financial in this use case.

Matthew Macaras:

Yep. Great. Thanks, Marko. And there’s a question from Michael, who is selling, implementing and supporting the InEight D365 integration in Australia and New Zealand? So InEight is selling and, InEight and Microsoft are jointly selling the combined Construction 365 package and implementation is able to be done by HSO or existing implementation partners.

I’ll just have a look see if there’s any more. I think that there’s a question from David Robertson, does a solution cover revenue tracking and margin performance for projects? The answer to that is yes. We didn’t go into that today due to time constraints. But yes, the solution, the joint solution covers revenue tracking and margin performance for projects at the project level as well as the detailed cost item level within the budget. Are columns configurable to define the cost sheet from a general contractor view or an owner view? 100%. So the solutions themselves are end user configurable, and InEight is a user configurable, so you can create those views on a project by project basis as well as an organization basis. And individuals have the power, given the correct permission, to create their own view if they have a specific way that they want to view information, and have a specific way that they want to work.

There are quite a few in here, I don’t think we’ll be able to get to them all. I’m just kind of scrolling through. So I’ll answer a couple more and then we might close off the session. Any questions that we don’t answer we will respond with written answers to that individual. There’s another one from Patrick in here. So including all cost control and project controls, RFI submittals, etc., basically the entire lifecycle from project ideation to turn over to O&M or facilities, is it captured in the system? And the answer to that is yes, the different phases of the project may use different portions of the solution, such as when you’re at the idea phase of a project, you may only need document management as well as estimating, but as we go through the execution of that and move that project through its different cycles it will incorporate additional areas of the InEight platform as well as additional areas of Dynamics.

With that, I think we’ll close off questions for the session. Any questions that we didn’t answer, we will connect with you out of this session and work to get answers to those questions. Additionally, if there are any other questions, please feel free to reach out and we can take conversations from there and answer any additional questions that you might have.

Syed Sadiq:

Mathew, one last note. These integrations are currently used by the customers in different regions, like there are customers in Asia, there are customers in Europe who are using it, and definitely there are customers in U.S. as well. So there is no restrictions for the regions or localization, so this is supported across.

Matthew Macaras:

Very good point. Any closing comments, Marko?

Marko Maljkovic:

Thank you for inviting me to this webinar.

Matthew Macaras:

Thanks for joining. Thank you everyone for joining. Have a good rest of your day.

Syed Sadiq:

Thanks, everyone.