Share Live Construction Updates Using a Webcam

Share Live Construction Updates Using a Webcam

In October of 2016, VICC | Venco Imtiaz Construction Co. selected VPO as their construction project management software to manage the construction phase of the World Bank Group’s Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. We launched VPO so that the project team could start collaborating by sharing contract drawings, managing reviews of RFIs and Submittals, and uploading progress data.  

Traditionally our clients upload photos and videos to VPO to keep the project team informed of construction progress. For this project, VICC has installed a CCTV Webcam located at the job site, with multiple cameras that allow their team to see live video and interact with the camera through zooming and panning capabilities. They can also record a video feed of live action.

The project manager of the World Bank Group asked us to incorporate the CCTV Webcam directly into VPO so that the project team could view the job site while logged into VPO, where they are managing other project data. We offer VPO on SharePoint Online through Office 365 and discovered we could add a Page Viewer Web Part to our SharePoint site to display the browser software provided by the manufacturer for viewing the Webcam on the page. Our setup even includes the controls for interacting with the live video feed—such as selecting the camera, zooming in, and panning the job site. 

Team members can also access the Webcam from their mobile devices, using an app called iPOLIS mobile. Go ahead and view a sample video of the footage captured at the job site, with the ability to zoom in, zoom out and pan the job site. We suggest watching in full screen mode.

What’s so great is that although many of their team members work on the job site, a lot of the people working on the project work in the United States; but with this Webcam feature in VPO, they have an easy-to-access live video feed. It is exciting for us too, because we would never be able to see this client’s project in person otherwise, but this way, it feels like we can.

If you would like to find out what type of system VICC used for this project, visit the manufacturer’s Website. https://www.hanwha-security.eu/business-security-products/srn-873s/. 

The World Bank Group, the Owner of the project, is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development.

VICC | Venco Imtiaz Construction Co., the General Contractor on the project, is a multinational corporation operating in the Middle East, South Asia, and North America specializing in Engineering Services, Turnkey Construction Solutions, Infrastructure Development and K-Span Pre-Engineered Buildings.

Are you using Primavera Contract Management? What does the future of it mean to you?

Are you using Primavera Contract Management? What does the future of it mean to you?

Primavera Expedition

I remember back when Primavera Expedition (now Primavera Contract Management) was “the market leader.” Our biggest competitor at the time was probably Prolog, and even that product was barely competition. People who used Expedition, LOVED Expedition. It was their bible for managing construction projects. Our customers who used it were primarily General Contractors. They needed a way to manage their contracts, keep track of RFIs, submittals, drawing revisions, and track information from the field like daily reports and punch lists.  At that time, Primavera Expedition was installed as a client/server application or just standalone on a Windows PC.

Pressure to move to the Web

After some time, companies like Prolog continued to focus and increased their market share in certain sectors. Prolog offered one Primavera Expedition for the Webproduct whereas Primavera offered several products including their flagship planning and scheduling software Primavera Project Planner (P3) which would later become P6. Prolog was the first to move to a web-based platform, and Primavera was forced to do the same. In my opinion, Primavera did not have the time to take a step back and truly architect the system for a web-based platform. One advantage of moving to a web-based platform is the open architecture it provides. When they moved to the web, the interface was a bit quirky since they essentially ported a Windows-based application to a web-based application. Also, the product had two flaws – no audit trail and no concurrent licenses which discouraged collaboration between Owners, Designers, and Contractors on a construction project and is now the foundation of construction project management systems.

Enters Oracle

Oracle purchased Primavera Systems and took on all of its products including Primavera Contract Management. One of the first improvements that Oracle made was to the user interface – they cleaned it up and made it consistent with their other products. However, clssic_PrimaveraContractMgmt_lgin future releases, they increased technical requirements by introducing an Oracle report writer that required major database upgrades and rewriting custom reports. The technology was just getting more and more complex and challenging for our traditional General Contractor customers to maintain Primavera on their own on premise environment.

I just don’t want to move!

Incidentally, I still have one customer who never upgraded from Primavera Expedition version 8.5 –the Windows version. While in the minority, there are still people who prefer to use the older product and won’t stop using it until it is broke!

Oracle continues to add to their Construction technology stack, but they are leaving their core product alone. A few years ago they purchased a company offering a product called Unifier who was getting traction in the large Construction Owner market. Oracle most recently purchased a company called Textura to complement their construction products for payment application and contract automation. However, these tools are not built for the traditional General Contractor.

What do companies who have invested in Primavera Contract Management do now?

Well, like one of our customers, they can stay with it until it breaks! However, another option is to move to a different offering.

Most companies in the market for software today desire a Cloud-based solution that is hosted for them so that they do not have to invest in hardware and perpetual license fees of project management software. They prefer a Software-as-a-Service model that is managed and supported –even for the people that they invite to their projects –encouraging collaboration. They want an interface that is familiar, intuitive and requires little or no training to use. They want a system that they can add any construction documents to and make it their own as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.  Moreover, they want something up and running yesterday because their project has already started and they are under the gun to start tracking the project!

Well, look no further, a different offering is VPO. We have migrated many customers who were using Primavera Contract Management to VPO, and this is what they have to say:

“What used to take multiple steps in preparing submittals (in Primavera CM), now takes just one step in VPO and saves our staff so much administrative time.”

Just one advantage of VPO. Explore VPO to find out how your projects and people can benefit from it too.

VPO

Finding the Value in a Construction Management System

Finding the Value in a Construction Management System

Many construction professionals wonder if there’s really anything they can do to help their projects run more smoothly and efficiently. To improve communication and information-sharing, to keep everybody on the ball–to trim the fat, so that their whole program of projects functions like a well oiled machine. A profitable machine. Chasing down people and paper is exhausting, and it’s effort poorly spent. If everybody on the team could use one “place” for all project talk and work, then many costly mistakes and delays could be eliminated.

Chaotic WorkflowOne of the biggest challenges is making, and sharing, decisions—wisely and quickly. While somebody’s looking for the latest information, everybody else is waiting. Everybody’s waiting for somebody else, and nobody can move forward with work on the project. But when up-to-date project data is right at the whole team’s fingertips all the time, and being routed automatically to next-in-line decision makers, then critical decisions can be made carefully and quickly. shutterstock_156525005

 

The Construction Industry Institute estimates that $15 billion is spent annually on rework—often because some project team members are accidentally referring to outdated drawings during builds. It’s a common, and expensive, problem—with an elegant and easy-to-use solution. Version control and change history give everybody a full and clear view of the whole picture. Knowing exactly what has happened helps everybody to collaborate on plans for the future, as an informed team. 

For decades, technology developers have assumed that construction teams would resist adopting new Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, so this segment of professional planners has been underserved—until now. With VPO, construction management is becoming streamlined and sleek, because project information is more than available; it’s being managed proactively.

If timely reviews and approvals of documents are critical to the success of a project, for example, then the process by which those documents are circulated should be standardized and automated—using communication methods, such as e-mail, which are already in everyday use by team members; and document formats which are familiar and intuitive. VPO provides a secure, online workspace that project stakeholders use for viewing and privately publishing up-to-date information, and measuring progress—while streamlining cumbersome processes like Bid Management, RFIs, Change Orders, and Submittals, that commonly diminish success on projects. VPO allows team members to access information on a mobile device as well –keeping everyone connected to the latest information no matter where they are working from.

Office 365 LogoBy leveraging leading Cloud-based solutions from Microsoft’s Office 365 suite like SharePoint Online, Project Online, Exchange Online, Office, and Skype for Business, and combining them with project management expertise and content, VPO packages a scalable project management system that works for small, fast-paced projects as well as for large, complex projects–and for a combination of both. 

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Construction management teams deploy VPO quickly by using proven content that can be customized and enhanced over time–to develop a system that is truly built for them. And VPO takes a hands-on approach, to support our customers and the people whom they invite into their systems. We help clients focus on what they do best: managing their projects.