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Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

Project Delivery Professionals Gather at Oracle Knowledge Sharing Event in London

Kirsten Mann
VP Product Experience, Construction and Engineering Product Strategy

Another Oracle Future of Projects event is behind us, but the insights shared by Oracle Construction and Engineering customers and other thought leaders hold no small measure of promise for our attendees charting their own course into the fast-evolving landscape for project management and delivery.

Befitting the event’s location just a few minutes from London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios, a key theme running across the event evoked John Lennon’s entreaty to “come together,” with project partners collaborating to achieve real innovation and improvement in the industry and in attendees’ businesses.

Indeed, the word “together” appeared frequently in presentations, including “digitising together” and “transforming together”. In addition, several speakers referred to the concept of finding “a better way” to build, manage, and bring change to the industry.

Sessions kicked off with a lively discussion on the future of global infrastructure development between Norman F. Anderson, CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure, and Andy Verone, Oracle Construction and Engineering global vice president, Industry Strategy and Innovation.

Next up, Karthik Venkatasubramanian, Oracle Construction and Engineering vice president, data science, analytics and strategy, provided impactful and inspiring observations on the importance for construction and engineering businesses to have a data strategy. He observed that the industry “uses disparate systems that aren’t integrated” and posed the question: “Is there a culture of ‘data first’ for decision making?”

Assystem: Enhancing engineering efficiency and complex project delivery with Oracle’s Primavera

Arnaud Gerber, Assystem’s project management information systems manager, talked about the challenges facing complex infrastructure projects and how they've integrated Oracle’s Primavera Unifier, Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, Oracle enterprise resource management, and other technology to meet those challenges. Arnaud said that “we want to deliver and operate projects in a digital way.”

A key point of Arnaud's presentation was the need for a common data environment (CDE).

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"If you don’t have a CDE from the start of a project, you can’t leverage the power data can provide."

-Arnaud Gerber, Project Management Information Systems Manager, Assystem

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Alstom

PLM Program Director, Christophe Besson, Alstom spoke about how their organization took a complex issue around collaboration and challenged 30 years of documentation management processes and tools to find a solution. Using Oracle Aconex, Alstom created a leaner model to share and exchange information based on a single common collaborative platform to deliver the next generation of TGV, the very high-speed train.

Oyak

Aydin Barış Akyüz, Oyak’s project and portfolio planning manager, has led the digitalisation of project management processes with Oracle’s Primavera P6 and Unifier. He discussed how Oyak re-organised its engineering division and adopted a process of digitalization, all in the space of four years. Aydin included some of the challenges that led to these changes, the journey the engineering division of OYAK Mining Metallurgy Group went through, and the solutions they adopted to help facilitate this change.

The digital transformation of J Murphy & Sons

J. Murphy & Sons Limited is a leading global, specialist engineering and construction company founded in 1951 that operates in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada

The company began its digital transformation with Oracle Aconex about two years ago. Alex Jones, Murphy and Sons’ group head of BIM & digital construction, gave an account of the journey to-date, including lessons and best practices learned along the way.

Alex said: “Oracle Aconex has helped us track all our communications. Just by controlling this in a CDE has made a huge impact on our business.” Murphy and Sons’ presentation demonstrated the notion of how transforming together surfaced. He said that you must work hard to ensure that your businesses digitizes together.

Highways England Smart Motorways Programme

Construction on motorways is difficult. There’s a lot to do, including adding to an existing highway. The key to all their projects has been Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management, which provides integrated schedules that highlight what everyone is doing and why they need to do it.

Primavera P6 EPPM allows everyone working on a project to easily identify clashes. For example, two motorways can’t be shut down at the same time.

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“We need to make sure we are ‘driving’ in one direction, if you pardon the pun.”

-Will Reynolds, Head of Planning, Highways England

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Other industry presenters included Matt Gough, head of digital, Mace, Joanne Ellman-Brown, program director, Ministry of Defence, Ian Milne, project controls director, Ministry of Defence, John Flaherty, project management and project control specialist, Ministry of Defence.

Importance of digitising back-office processes

Kevin McCarthy, Oracle Construction and Engineering country manager for Oracle Textura, and Mike Antis, Oracle Construction and Engineering global vice president, took a hard line in their presentation: There’s no point digitising your front end processes if you don’t also digitise your back end.

And given the highly regulated nature of financial operations, with watchful governments monitoring at almost every stage, customers struggle to stay on the right side of legislation. Kevin and Mike showed how Oracle Textura helps ensure compliance, minimises data errors and incorrect payments, and delivers cost and time savings.

Trust, adoption and neutrality: the keys to project success

Do you believe projects are more effective and efficient when all project partners are working to their best? And do you believe in equipping your teams and partners with the best tools to allow them to do that?

Andrew Barron, Oracle Construction and Engineering director of product management, showed how Oracle Aconex creates a level of trust within a project community. Oracle Aconex demonstrates that the project tool is working for the best interests of all parties—and the sum of the best interest of all parties is better project outcomes.

Panel discussion: How women are taking a different approach to problem-solving and innovation in AEC

Diane Nicolls, Oracle Construction and Engineering global vice president, professional services and I led this session around diversity and innovation.

I kicked things off with a short introduction to the diversity numbers in construction—improving but not great!—and then presented an innovation/problem-solving framework called “Known Unknowns”. This framework is useful for honing in on the challenges that require more creative approaches to understanding and solving business problems.

This was followed by a panel lead by three women in the industry: Alison Sage, Primavera specialist, Bombardier, Kelly Goodwin, deputy chief information officer, and technology strategy and commercial director, Highways England, and Vicki Reynolds, digital manager, Multiplex. The women talked about their experience in senior positions and their approaches to bringing a different voice to the problems that their businesses attempt to solve.

CDE: How projects benefit from the smart usage of data

Our common data environment (CDE) evangelist, Frank Weiss, Oracle’s senior director, new products, brought his usual passion and energy to the room, taking customers through the power of a unified data platform to accelerating improvement and increasing efficiency.

Frank discussed how the Oracle Aconex Model Coordination cloud solution enables construction design and project professionals to collaboratively manage BIM models across the entire project team in a true common data environment (CDE). He shared how the use of a true CDE is key to efficient and effective model management as part of next-level BIM project delivery.

How an innovation lab is driving digital transformation in construction

Burcin Kaplanoglu, Oracle’s executive director and innovation officer, led a group of customers through an introduction to the Oracle Industries Innovation Lab. His presentation highlighted the value the Lab delivers through its careful curation of solution partners.

Burcin also outlined the roadmap for how the Lab will continue to develop to bring customers and future tech together. The razzle-dazzle moment came with a live-cross to the Lab in Deerfield, Illinois, where Burcin discussed many of the experiences, including: VR crane training, a tour of the new Lab in Oracle Aconex virtual reality, and a live demonstration of Triax Technologies’ worker safety tracking sensor technology.

Recognizing project excellence around the world

The day’s formal activities culminated in the Oracle Excellence Awards ceremony, where Oracle Construction and Engineering Senior Vice President and General Manager Mark Webster recognised the 2019 Europe, Middle East, and Africa award winners for their achievements this year.

The award winners in attendance included:

•    Assystem, Platform Expansion in Energy and Resources, Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management and Primavera Unifier
•    Bombardier Transportation, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Public Infrastructure, Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
•    ITER, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Energy and Resources, Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
•    J. Murphy & Sons Limited, Solutions Implementation in Public Infrastructure, Oracle Aconex and Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
•    MBDA, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Industrial Manufacturing, Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

•    Multiplex Construction Europe, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Residential and Commercial, Oracle Aconex
•    Royal Schiphol Group, Platform Expansion in Public Infrastructure, Oracle Aconex
•    SPG Dry Cooling, Solutions Implementation in Industrial Manufacturing, Oracle Primavera Cloud
•    Tractebel Engineering GmbH, Solutions Implementation in Energy and Resources, Oracle Aconex
•    United Living, Systems Integration in Residential and Commercial, Oracle Aconex

Additionally, Mark congratulated three award winners from Qatar:

•    HBK Contracting, Data-driven Insights in Public Infrastructure, Oracle Aconex
•    Public Works Authority Qatar, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Public Infrastructure, Oracle Aconex, Primavera P6 EPPM
•   Qatar Diar Real Estate, Enterprise-wide Standardization in Residential and Commercial, Oracle Aconex

Explore how you can deliver project success with Oracle Construction and Engineering.

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