Tuesday May 17, 2016

Providing Individualized Content to Clients and Employees

Civil + Structural Engineer

By:  Bob Drake

http://cenews.com/article/10344/providing-individualized-content-to-clients-and-employees

According to Oracle, modern technology has created an era of where personalized experiences are no longer just nice to have, essential to stay competitive. Oracle released a report The Era I Enterprise: Ready for Anything summarizing a survey of 300 C-level executives across 10 industries to understand how prepared organizations are to address the fact that consumers increasingly expect, and even demand, to have it their way. The report revealed that most organizations are dealing with this shift 84 percent of respondents across all industry sectors said their organization has experienced a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience and 70 percent have experienced this trend from employees but fewer than 20 percent give their organization an in its ability to offer those experiences.

Within the engineering and construction industry, 77 percent of respondents have experienced a trend toward customers wanting a more individualized experience; 67 percent have experienced this same trend with employees (see Figure 1). Fifty-seven percent of engineering and construction executives surveyed said this shift is a growing challenge in their ability to compete effectively.

Digital age has brought us to a point where we now expect the ability to make real-time decisions, transact, and customize options at the tap of the screen. In the new service-driven economy, innovative enterprises must focus on two things: taking care of their customers and taking care of their said Bob Weiler, executive vice president, Global Business Units, Oracle. study reveals that organizations are unprepared to manage the need for personalization in Era I, but those seeking a competitive advantage stand to gain.

Respondents in the engineering and construction industry said the greatest opportunity for the industry to take advantage of more individualized content, products, and services for customers and/or employees are the following (respondents asked to select all that apply):

  • More interactive and connected enterprise project portfolio management that delivers highly personalized information to stakeholders (engineers, contractors, project management, owners, etc.) in their preferred format (63 percent);
  • Mapping and planning the entire life cycle of a facility from design and engineering through decommissioning (60 percent);
  • Effectively modeling and communicating the impact (on cost and schedule) of specific change orders (53 percent); and
  • Building information modeling (43 percent)

These engineering and construction executives said that the biggest obstacles the industry faces in delivering more individualized content, products, and/or services are (respondents asked to select all that apply):

  • Budget/cost constraints (63 percent);
  • Experienced staff retiring/attracting talent (47 percent);
  • Inability to effectively share real-time data with clients, partners, contractors, engineers, and project managers (43 percent);
  • Security concerns (33 percent); and
  • Inability to manage and analyze project data (27 percent)

According to survey, nearly all organizations surveyed (97 percent) believe IT investments from business intelligence tools to customer experience solutions to industry-specific applications will play a vital role in improving their ability to offer individualized customer and employee experiences. Furthermore, within the engineering and construction sector, 70 percent of respondents said there is an important link between cloud-based IT solutions and their ability to offer an individualized experience.

Among benefits of cloud-based IT solutions are scalability and flexibility, said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Primavera. Security concerns are related more to use of mobile devices than to the cloud itself, he said.

Wednesday Feb 24, 2016

Oracle Delivers a New Contract Management Solution Customized for Engineering and Construction

Oracle Delivers a New Contract Management Solution Customized for Engineering and Construction

The new Oracle Contract Management cloud accelerator gives engineering and construction project teams a range of new tools for more closely controlling contract management and keeping costs in line with project expectations. Find out what the solution's key benefits are and where to learn more. [Read More]

Friday Feb 19, 2016

Five Reasons to Move to Cloud-Based Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Five Reasons to Move to Cloud-Based Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Industry studies show that 20 percent of projects may fail as organizations take on more risk in search of higher rewards. To mitigate risk, organizations are turning to modern project management solutions such as Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service. Learn about five critical benefits of moving project management to the cloud.

[Read More]

Monday Dec 14, 2015

Discover the latest version of Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack and EnterpriseTrack Mobile

Oracle's Instantis EnterpriseTrack is the leading, cloud-optimized enterprise project portfolio management (PPM) software used to improve strategy execution and financial performance through better work and resource management.

Join us for our webcast and live Q&A to learn about significant improvements in the 15.2 version.
Register Now . [Read More]

Tuesday Dec 08, 2015

The Risks of ‘Word of Mouth’

By: Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle Primavera

Where’s Bob?

When a kitchen appliance isn’t behaving as it should, it’s best to consult the manual. That’s if you can find it. In the digital, searchable, online world, it is easy to forget how much valuable information is hidden away. Until someone really needs it.

Multiply this problem by thousands and the difficulties in the maintenance of large capital assets become clear. Information needed by maintenance engineers might be in the architect’s drawings, the engineer’s calculations or in any documents from thousands of suppliers. It might be in the notepad of Bob, who heads up electrical engineering, his team made some changes to the set-up of the security schematics. Where is he? And where is the information?

The problem is that it might even have been mentioned in any number of project meetings and even the handover meetings between the construction contractors and the owner-operators. But where was the information captured?

With many different specialists (Bob#1, Bob#2, Bob#3, etc) working on a single capital asset, information gets stuck behind ‘tribal’ boundaries and sits in silos. Bob’s scenario is all too frequent and the complexity throughout the project lifecycle is magnified.

A lack of clear, consolidated, searchable data on components, materials and construction techniques can making maintaining buildings highly inefficient. It also creates a risk of the building being poorly maintained. Mistakes here lead to costly reactive work further down the road. It’s not a good place to be.

But there are better ways to manage the hand-over of large-scale capital assets. There are tools available that allow the main contractors to capture all the data in a coherent but flexible workflow. With so many people involved in a large project, keeping track of all the adjustments – it can make maintenance a lot easier, creating massive savings in the lifetime cost of the asset and more to the point – fewer ‘where’s Bob’ moments.

To discover more, read our latest business brief.

Tuesday Nov 24, 2015

The Benefits of Moving to Cloud PPM

To stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape, business units demand access to innovation. They want it fast, and they want it now. But increasingly, IT groups can’t keep up with rapid advancements in technology. In fact, the No. 1 problem facing IT departments today is nonstop demand, according to research firm Gartner. Demand for more capabilities, faster connection to the Internet, more computing capability, storage, networking and human resources is increasing at a rapid rate, with no let-up in sight.

Businesses that want a competitive edge today are moving to the cloud to keep pace with innovation. Right now, more than 360,000 projects are being managed in Oracle’s Primavera cloud, representing $250 billion in project budgets managed each year.

These companies know that moving software to the cloud can bridge the growing gap between current software and the newest versions while raising the bar on performance. Overloaded IT personnel have the help of trained professionals and can focus on keeping the business satisfied. Updates are regularly scheduled, all the newest capabilities are available and handled by the service provider, and security is ensured as partners and contractors access systems to collaborate on projects.

Cloud computing yields substantial economies of scale and skill, while lowering costs, according to The Hurwitz Group. The total cost of ownership of running software in the cloud can be 77% less than on-premise, according to the Yankee Group.

Still not convinced? Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service offers even more benefits to moving to a SaaS model.

A Platform for Business Agility

Cloud services allow companies to take advantage of world-class infrastructure and a much more robust IT environment than what most currently have in house.

The cloud infrastructure supports high speed, load balanced environments, which means companies can quickly scale up or scale down without over- or under-utilizing their investment spend on servers. It also guarantees system availability of more than 99%.

Primavera spends over a million hours of development effort every year to quickly bring new capabilities to users. Of course, it would be nearly impossible to consume all those updates in house while tackling other IT responsibilities. With cloud services, you can upgrade seamlessly to make sure you’re always on the latest version and can take advantage of new capabilities.

Primavera schedules two releases every year for its flagship Primavera P6 PPM suite -- in the fall and spring – so you can plan on innovative functional enhancements being introduced at a regular cadence. If you’re in the middle of a project or a critical issue and want to hold off, Primavera’s cloud team can schedule the upgrade to match your schedule.

Enhanced Support and Best Practices

Cloud services take a lot of pressure off IT departments when it comes to break-fixes, uptime and best practices. In the cloud, Oracle is responsible for your success. Subscription models replace upfront license fees, so Oracle’s entire business model of recurring revenue is dependent upon customers’ satisfaction and usage. They’ll work hard to make sure you stay.

Companies can also keep up with best practices by taking advantage of the cloud’s staging environment. Here they can test new software before moving it into production.

Taking the Plunge

Moving to the cloud may seem daunting, but Primavera’s team of professionals can do most of the work for you.

Scalability – When you’ve decided on Primavera P6 EPPM as a service, a team of Primavera’s most seasoned developers is the first to start work. The team’s highly skilled pros are responsible for sizing and configuration options to ensure you’re going to get the optimal solution.

Security – There’s always some nervousness when thinking of moving corporate data to the cloud. The Primavera cloud uses a single tenant model. That means only a single instance of a software application and supporting infrastructure serves one customer. They set up an environment that is solely used for you.

Security extends to third-party interactions, even using mobile devices. Projects almost always involve stakeholders outside the company, and information is constantly imported and exported into systems. With cloud services, you don’t have to worry about giving access to third parties into your network. In the cloud, project leaders can confidently roll out mobile solutions and give third parties access to networks because Oracle is managing the security.

Cost – When considering a move to the cloud, companies often compare only the costs of a cloud subscription fee with the cost of on-premise software, but there are other costs to consider. When calculating costs, think about annual maintenance costs of on-premise software, yearly costs for maintenance on databases and middleware, hardware and networking costs, and floor space for hosting servers.

The Primavera P6 EPPM Cloud Solution

Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service includes Primavera P6 Professional - the desktop client, Primavera P6 Web Interfaces for project and resource management, Primavera P6 Team Member -- the solutions that lets staff enter status updates via mobile devices from the field, Oracle BI Publisher -- the reporting engine embedded in the Web, and Web Services.

Also enabled with Primavera P6 Cloud Service are Oracle BPM for workflow requirements, and Oracle’s AutoVue for in-depth collaboration with technical and business documents without the need for CAD tools.

Companies can also add on Primavera Analytics for deep reporting. Cloud functionality with this solution is identical to on-premise functionality, with no difference in the interface.

Conclusion

Today’s business pressures have IT departments overwhelmed and make it tough to keep up with software upgrades. Updating requires time, purchases, resources and money that many IT departments don’t have. Some have even settled into the status quo and have postponed upgrades to avoid disruptions or maybe even failures.

As the years go by, that gap widens between older versions and the newest software features – making updates even more elusive – at least until something major breaks, and you can’t avoid the problem any longer.

Moving to the cloud can solve these problems. Leading companies already know that moving Primavera P6 to the cloud gives them access to Oracle’s world-class infrastructure, guarantees timely updates, provides all of the features of Primavera P6, frees up IT staff and saves money.

Don’t fall into the upgrade void. Bridge the gap by moving to the cloud.

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Join us for Primavera Day, coming in your area

Join Oracle for this exclusive customer briefing and learn all about Primavera’s latest solutions directly from Oracle’s executive team.

Primavera provides organizations of all sizes, across industries and regions with a global business foundation that reduces costs and increases productivity through a portfolio of rapid value, integrated and industry-focused solutions available on premise and in the Cloud.

Attend this event and get the information you need to actively evaluate plans for moving to the latest release, leverage the power of the Cloud and mobile applications, — and find out how  Primavera Cloud can further improve your business. 

 Find out more at   http://bit.ly/PrimaveraCloudDay

Thursday Oct 22, 2015

Swinerton Elevates Project Controls and Collaboration with Primavera Cloud

By: Yasser Mahmud, vice president industry strategy and business development, Primavera Global Business Unit, Oracle

Swinerton Builders, a construction and construction management services company operating throughout the Western United States, has been building excellence for more than 125 years. That is no small feat in the engineering and construction sector, where volatility is the norm and competition is consistently fierce.

Innovation has been fundamental to the company’s success, whether through its 100 percent employee-ownership model, focus on green building initiatives (which have garnered numerous awards), or the creation of its Center for Excellence in Project Delivery, designed to help the company adopt advanced construction technology even faster.

Most recently, Swinterton embraced innovation in the form of the cloud and Oracle’s Primavera enterprise project portfolio management (EPPM) platform to bring project controls, collaboration, and client satisfaction to a whole new level. Mike Murphy, corporate manager of project controls, Swinerton Builders, recently shared the company’s cloud journey in an exclusive webcast. There is a lot of talk about cloud and project portfolio management, and I think Swinerton’s story offers some valuable information and lessons that can help break through the noise.

So why cloud for EPPM? Based on its experience with Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Cloud Service, here are Swinerton’s top five reasons:

  1. Extend collaboration and project controls across the business. A single repository for all project-related data provides stakeholders with access to real-time data, supports continuous improvement and best-practices adoption across the company, and eliminates cumbersome, paper-based spreadsheets. It also enables them to establish enterprisewide standards. The company now has a complete and accurate picture of project performance and supports consistency across the firm using standards, which include codes and templates.
  2. Gain new visibility into and control over critical projects. Key stakeholders—including project owners—can instantly check the progress of active projects, accessing up-to-the-minute information from their mobile devices as well as PCs and laptops. In addition, Swinerton executives can view critical data for all construction projects in progress across all divisions from a single screen, providing unprecedented insight.
  3. Scale up system users quickly and cost-effectively to match construction sector growth and project demand. The group can add users in minutes, with the confidence that the process is managed by a world-class IT support organization, while avoiding additional on-premises hardware investment. The flexible, cost-effective model also enables Swinerton to roll out the solution to more stakeholders, such as partners and project owners, which widens visibility and collaboration while accelerating decision-making.
  4. EPPM innovation. Right now. Swinerton gets instant access to the latest functionality, empowering users with the most up-to-date capabilities.
  5. Get out of the IT business, and put the focus back on what Swinerton does best—engineering and construction. The cloud solution alleviates strain on IT as it reduces the need to coordinate support for the application with the technology that sits below it.

To learn more about Swinerton Builders’ move to Primavera cloud, check out the full webcast with Mike Murphy and Garrett Harley, director, engineering and construction strategy, Oracle Primavera. And if you haven’t already, be sure to register for a Primavera Day event in your area and get additional information about Primavera cloud, including Primavera P6 Cloud, Primavera Unifier Cloud and more.

Sunday Feb 08, 2015

Managing Change on E&C Projects

Written by Krista Lambert, Director Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle

 As the saying goes: change happens. But the recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Building in Change: Project Construction in Asset-Intensive Industries revealed that for engineering and construction projects, change is not only inevitable, it creates its own set of challenges. According to the report:

  • More than 60% of survey respondents blame unexpected change for at least one-half of all project overruns
  • 55% of the executives surveyed consider their companies as average or below at anticipating change

Clearly, both owners and E&C firms feel that they could vastly improve their ability to manage change. An enterprise-wide project management system not only provides greater visibility and insight into changes, but also improves communication across organizational boundaries, so you can quickly adapt to disruptions in labor, materials, and costs. To find out more, read the article Critical Components to Effective Project Execution in the latest issue of Construction Connection.

Wednesday Feb 04, 2015

Visualization and the Digital Project

written By Garrett Harley, Director, Engineering & Construction Strategy, Oracle

5D virtual construction will transform the construction industry

 Redesign should take place on the computer, not on the construction site.

 5D virtual construction modeling, or 5D BIM (short for building information modeling) enables the various participants of a construction project—from designers and contractors to owners—to visualize and display the entire construction progress sequentially over time, factoring in a critical component: actual and forecasted costs. It has the potential to vastly transform the delivery of projects large and small.

 Here’s how BIM technology has progressed through the years:

3D: Three-dimensional design modeling that enables project visualizations, walkthroughs, clash detection, and item scheduling

4D: 3D modeling plus time, linking the project schedules: resources, tasks, etc.

5D: 4D plus cost, integrating design with estimating, scheduling, and costing

 Leveraging the data available in the 3D BIM model, 5D BIM optimizes construction project management, enabling project team members to visualize the progression of construction activities and the associated costs. Beyond the ability to maximize physical and constructability constraints, 5D virtual construction gives companies the ability to better manage budgets and forecasted expenditures. Understanding construction sequencing can help prevent problems related to constructability and optimize cash flow within the framework of construction sequencing.

 In today’s environment, many E&C companies and some owners have begun to adapt and adopt 5D into their work processes. Recent surveys predict that 100 percent of owners and 80 percent of contractors will use BIM in some way in 2014.

 Currently, there is no standard definition of BIM and many partial or incomplete solutions. Dual standards have been developed by different organizations such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) by the buildingSMART allianceTM and ISO 15926. The number of developers in the BIM space has also grown creating integration issues.

For visualization to drive projects from concept to completion and into operations and maintenance, developers must extend current BIM capabilities. Users need mapping and display capabilities between the embedded construction schedule and the 3D model. They need easy, effective ways to verify clearances, identify design incompatibilities, and detect clash or collision points.

 All construction contractors are currently investing in standalone, specialized niche technology, so now is the time to bring those niche technologies together in an interoperable environment.

 For more information on BIM, read the whitepaper: “Leverage 4D Building Information Modeling (BIM) to Help Meet the Challenges of Infrastructure Growth”

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