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Are you our next SharePoint Developer?

Are you our next SharePoint Developer?

As a software development company working hand-in-hand with organizations of all sizes on the selection and implementation of project management solutions which conquer the challenges they face, we develop custom business applications that meet the unique needs of our customers–like VPO. VPO is construction project management software that reduces turnaround time on review processes, eliminates rework and chaos, and provides real-time updates to people working in the field. It’s easy to use, quick to deploy, and accessible from any device. Our customers benefit from our 30+ years of project management expertise combined with a reliable Cloud platform, Microsoft Office 365.

Apply for this full-time position if you’re a dedicated individual with experience and/or interest in technology, great communication and organizational skills, and strong attention to detail–and you’re ready to join a team working in a fast-paced environment. The position available is entry-level, with potential for growth within our organization.

Skills/Qualifications:

We’re looking for an entry-level SharePoint developer with strengths in the following areas:

Experience in Azure and Microsoft Office 365 (O365)
MS development technologies including Visual Studio, .NET, C#, SharePoint API, PowerShell
Experience with Web Services / Web APIs: SOAP, REST, XML, JSON
Familiarity with Web Application Architecture (HTTP, Client/Server, HTML, JavaScript)

The successful candidate will be comfortable across a wide variety of technical disciplines, and show a willingness to embrace different technologies. Our new team member must have strong communication and code-documentation skills. Bachelor’s degree preferred.

Salary/Benefits:

We offer compensation commensurate with experience, and an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a 401k plan.

Work Environment:

While we’re headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Simplex employees telecommute, from home offices. Little to no travel is required. We provide each team member with a computer workstation and a virtual phone extension for use during their employment. We utilize workgroup technology like Skype for instant messaging and video conferencing. The successful job candidate must be comfortable with working independently.

Email us at hr@vpocloud.com or apply here.

VPO at COAA

VPO at COAA

VPO is taking off. . .and so is the VPO team!

CEO Laura Nee, and Business Consultant Lorraine Marks are heading to La Jolla this week for COAA 2018. Be sure to visit them at Booth 15. You might even win an Odyssey White Hot RX #9 Putter, just for stopping by to register.

Easy to use, and customizable, with fast deployment, and a dedicated account team, VPO gives you a secure single platform and portfolio-wide views. Book a 15-minute appointment, or view a demo now, if you’d like!

VPO at CMAA

VPO at CMAA


See you at CMAA!

Laura Nee and Lorraine Marks look forward to introducing CMAA attendees to VPO this Sunday through Tuesday. If you’re going to the conference too, then be sure to visit them at Booth 610. You might even win an Odyssey White Hot RX #9 Putter!

Easy to use, and customizable, with fast deployment, and a dedicated account team, VPO gives you a secure single platform and portfolio-wide views.

Book a 15-minute appointment, or just stop by Booth 610. Or view a short video now, if you’d like!

Microsoft Resolving VPO Issue

We’ve recently been made aware of an issue affecting some VPO users.

Microsoft has reported that some external users of SharePoint Online sites could receive unusual or unnecessary credential prompts, or other access errors. Even longtime external users of SharePoint Online and VPO have reported encountering this issue. Sometimes these prompts or errors resolve themselves within a few hours. Microsoft also suggests closing the credential prompt, as a workaround. However, we’ve received reports that some external users have continued to experience this issue for more than 24 hours.

Microsoft tells us they’re currently deploying a fix within their internal production environment, and within the week, they’ll deploy this repair to all affected customers. We wanted to make you aware of this issue in case you’re experiencing difficulty with accessing your project sites.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at support@simplexgroup.com with any questions or concerns. On behalf of Microsoft and VPO, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

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