By Andrew Morawski, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Communications
Construction is one of the most impactful industries to all of us, affecting homes, roads, schools, businesses, cities, and societies as a whole. For the communications industry, construction has always provided a critical piece of the connectivity infrastructure on which we all rely. And now, communications increasingly underpin much of the transformation disrupting the construction industry, which is becoming a testing ground for digital innovation in communications, networking, cloud, AI, machine learning, robotics, analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The immense pressure to be faster, safer, productive, efficient, and cheaper has transformed construction from purely physical to an amalgamation of physical and non-physical. Inspired by the IoT, the boundaries of construction are changing, as with 3D-print cities, AI/ML digital workflows and analytics, cloud-enabled building information modeling (BIM), wearable sensors, Bluetooth-enabled asset tracking, and WiFi mesh networking—all of which are helping to connect and manage an extraordinary amount of “things,” whether machines, devices, tools, and equipment, as well as the human beings operating and relying on them.
The ability to pull in various forms of data and information, and to communicate it in real time is increasingly important as far-flung project teams seek to be simultaneously informed about what’s happening and to quickly understand and adjust for the impact of change. Graphics, drawings and information models must be synchronized to foster real transparency and trust among all stakeholders. The harmonization of information through photo and video sharing, annotation, and chat has greatly improved communications, collaboration, and performance across key areas of construction, including:
The worksites of tomorrow also require high-performance, highly resilient networks that promise reliability and redundancy. This is especially true for construction projects that have a low tolerance for link failures or capacity issues as with bandwidth-hungry construction applications for desktop virtualization and collaboration.
Because of the rapid pace of IoT in construction and the need for better safety, performance, and efficiency, Oracle Communications’ work in 5G, SD-WAN, signaling and policy, network and border control, and enterprise communications will help bring the construction and engineering world into full view, with unprecedented visibility and control through a connected supply chain that will drive performance, mitigate risk and inspire new levels of collaboration.