Just in case you missed it, Viewpoint Construction Software recently held its annual User’s Conference 9/24-9/26/2013 in Portland, Oregon. From the inspiring Keynote speech by global circumnavigator Neal Peterson to the final session on Thursday afternoon, all three days were well worth the time invested. Sessions ran a broad variety of topics. Learning to maximize workflow proficiency using Viewpoint’s latest development efforts, seeing planned future enhancements still in the pipeline, and watching users display their creative and powerful skills with V6 are to name just a few. One thing Jay Haladay, Viewpoint’s CEO, pointed out in his opening address that caught my attention is the recent trend toward “micro-apps.” New, nimble, single-purpose apps are proliferating online, interacting with more complex legacy software. Additionally, these micro-apps can be developed using new tools that can compile the code to iOS, Android, and Windows, all with a single programming effort. The days of the behemoth, monolithic, do-it-all mega-apps are numbered. I think the next few years will see the “de-construction” of these legacy apps into more discreet subroutines, each with a choice of designated micro-apps that can efficiently perform its function over the Internet using laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
In the four years I’ve been working with Viewpoint, I’ve seen a shift from its legacy folder-based workflow. Work Centers, more efficient open architecture screens without a rigid hierarchy, are replacing the old folder view. Vantage Point, Viewpoint’s excellent online learning center is also getting a complete overhaul, with the more free-form, intuitive structure of a web app replacing its current (also folder-based) hierarchy. Even more exciting to Ops guys like ourselves are the newly-acquired apps that Viewpoint is rolling out in the upcoming October release, Viewpoint for Project Collaboration (formerly 4Projects, or VPC here), and Mobile Field Manager. Both these web-served new additions to the Viewpoint family are aimed at increasing communication and productivity among the entire project team, including team members in the job shack, the owner’s & architect’s office, subcontractors, and the contractor’s back office. Both VPC and MFM can be implemented with Viewpoint’s V6 Accounting suite, or as stand-alone point solutions that will push data back to whatever accounting or project management system that the GC currently owns. As members of Viewpoint’s Business Development Partner network, we are jazzed to help our clients work with these exciting new tools.
The one thing we can be sure of is that Viewpoint isn’t sitting still. It has put itself in the unique position of offering under one roof a complete suite of integrated tools from the BIM model (VPC) all the way through the entire project life cycle to punchlist and closeout (V6 Preconstruction, Project Management, & Accounting). Whatever happens in the construction software industry in the next five years, we think Viewpoint has cemented its role as a leading force in its direction and development.