In a previous post on the GovDesignHub, we caught up with Nick Stefanidakis, General Manager at iOFFICE + SpaceIQ—a leading facilities management solutions provider, to discuss the announcement of his company’s recent strategic alliance with Autodesk and the value the partnership is adding to iOFFICE + SpaceIQ’s customer base.
This week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Bob Bray, Senior Director and General Manager of Autodesk Tandem, to learn about the benefits Autodesk users can expect from this strategic alliance, how digital transformation and modernization are enhancing and improving owner-operators’ workflows and processes, as well as discuss Autodesk’s expanding footprint in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) arena.
Here is what he had to say:
GovDesignHub (GDH): Autodesk recently announced a strategic alliance with iOFFICE + SpaceIQ. How does the iOFFICE + SpaceIQ solution synergize with Autodesk’s existing offerings?
Bob Bray: The iOffice + SpaceIQ solutions have existing integrations with Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit. Our investment will enable iOffice + SpaceIQ’s Maintenance and Space management solutions to benefit from more direct integration of Autodesk’s design portfolio. We envision a future where there is a workplace management solution that can be initialized and updated through as-built design and construction data, and where the as-built context is providing immediate value to facility operators, technicians, and space planners.
GDH: How is the digital transformation of critical asset management impacting the AEC lifecycle? How will owner-operators benefit from modernizing their workflows and processes?
Bob Bray: So far, we have not seen a big impact on the AEC lifecycle, but we believe there should be. The digital transformation of asset management will put additional data in decision-makers’ hands that can and should inform future AEC project requirements.
Many owner-operators have a lot of siloed systems and data – asset management systems, maintenance management systems, space planning systems, building management and control systems, and lately the emergence of IoT and Smart technology. By modernizing workflows and processes, owner-operators will be able to correlate those data silos leading to data-driven, informed decision making.
GDH: Autodesk has also recently made inroads in construction – expanding the use of its solutions across more of the AEC lifecycle, beyond the design of buildings and critical infrastructure. Part of that involved the introduction of Construction Cloud. Why is Autodesk a natural fit for the construction industry? Why was the construction industry primed for digital transformation?
Bob Bray: The construction industry has been facing many challenges, including an aging workforce, a need to reduce waste and cost while improving quality, and reducing risk and rework. Digital transformation of construction is the key to addressing these challenges.
“For Autodesk design users, understanding how spaces are utilized will help them optimize future designs. For engineers and construction professionals, understanding how equipment and systems perform will help them make better decisions when it comes time to retrofit existing systems.” – Bob Bray
At Autodesk we believe connecting the lifecycle from design through construction and into operations is the key to digital transformation and why we are a natural fit for the construction industry.
GDH: What capabilities and benefits does Construction Cloud bring to the construction industry?
Bob Bray: The Autodesk Construction Cloud provides a connected environment for design collaboration and model coordination, quantity takeoff and estimating, bidding and bid management, and construction project management. Our solutions connect design to construction and professionals in the office to contractors in the field ensuring that everyone on the project team has access to the latest information at their fingertips.
GDH: In addition to the introduction of Construction Cloud, Autodesk has also made investments in other construction technologies – including PlanGrid and Eyrus. Why were these good acquisitions for Autodesk? How do they add to the company’s construction capabilities?
Bob Bray: Autodesk made a number of key acquisitions including PlanGrid and Building Connected, along with key strategic investments in companies like Eyrus. Each acquisition or investment brings unique capabilities that we are integrating into the Autodesk Construction Cloud to create an integrated solution for enabling connected construction.
“The digital transformation of asset management will put additional data in decision-makers’ hands that can and should inform future AEC project requirements.” – Bob Bray
PlanGrid, for example, brought to Autodesk a mobile field solution that is often regarded for its ease of use. Building Connected adds bid management and the builders’ network to the Autodesk Construction Cloud.
GDH: How will these acquisitions and strategic alliances impact Autodesk end-users? What about iOFFICE + SpaceIQ and Eyrus customers? What benefits will they be seeing down the road? What changes will they experience?
Bob Bray: Over-time end-users will benefit from greater integration between the products they use. Space planners will have direct access to BIM data to streamline their workflows, and maintenance professionals will have access to as-built information, including knowledge of where the assets are they need to perform maintenance on, what they need to access it, and locations of key safety equipment and egress routes in case of an emergency.
For Autodesk design users, understanding how spaces are utilized will help them optimize future designs. For engineers and construction professionals, understanding how equipment and systems perform will help them make better decisions when it comes time to retrofit existing systems.
“We envision a future where there is a workplace management solution that can be initialized and updated through as-built design and construction data, and where the as-built context is providing immediate value to facility operators, technicians, and space planners.” – Bob Bray
GDH: Autodesk core offerings were originally in BIM, 3D modeling, and digital design. Then the company introduced Construction Cloud, expanding into the construction section of the AEC lifecycle. And now, the company is enhancing its construction capabilities and making strategic alliances with companies that specialize in building management. It would appear that Autodesk is working to have a hand in every part of the AEC lifecycle, and the entire life of a building. Why is this a good thing for the government agencies and organizations that own and operate these buildings and infrastructure projects? How does the digital transformation of the entire life of a building benefit them?
Bob Bray: Autodesk makes technology that millions of people use to design and make the world around us. Understanding how buildings and infrastructure operate in the real world is the key to helping our customers plan, design, build, and operate more energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure, while reducing carbon footprint, and providing a healthier lifestyle, work environments, and infrastructure for everyone. That is what motivates Autodesk to invest in a fully connected AEC lifecycle.