Massive capital projects can involve hundreds of contractors, ten times as many steps and billions of dollars in expenses. Many project management tools fall short of a project of this scope, and the client, a subsidiary of a construction giant, wanted to tackle this industry-wide challenge affecting a market projected to grow from $7.4 trillion in 2010 to $10.3 trillion in 2020.
The client has been building software solely for the construction and capital projects industries for more than three decades. Each solution it builds begins with the real on-the-job challenges that contractors and engineers face every day and is tested by their parent company and other leading companies that comprise their Industry Advisory Award.
With no project management software in the market able to handle the challenges faced by large construction companies, the parent company formed the subsidiary in 2015 to build a cloud-based solution able to manage large-scale construction projects from end to end, from initial cost estimation to final completion and handoff of the project.
The subsidiary partnered with Concentrix Catalyst, which had been working with the parent company, to bring the project to fruition. Catalyst began by evaluating the client’s needs and determined that Microsoft Azure’s cloud-based platform would be a good match for the software company. The team then mapped out a strategy for development, testing and release that would meet the project’s aggressive deadline.
To keep one step ahead of demand, both companies hired and onboarded experts in short order, building a combined team of over 300 resources from Catalyst and the client. The logistics of giving a crash course in the project’s technological and business objectives to new arrivals became a key priority. The new arrivals joined forces with Catalyst’s proven experts and worked at full speed under a process-driven distributed agile methodology that emphasized collaboration between teams working in parallel across the United States, India and Argentina.
Months of hard work, significant investments and dedicated expertise combined to make the client’s attempt at developing a cloud-based project management solution a charm. The solution was ready right on schedule—within an incredibly short time, Catalyst and the client had created a one-of-a-kind, feature-rich, multichannel, mobile-enabled solution. The cloud-based system integrated seamlessly with back-end Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems—a success that caught the eyes of project managers inside and outside the construction industry.
No longer were construction managers forced to walk the site with a roll of blueprints tucked under an arm; the solution was accessible by tablets and smartphones on the job site. It also enables supervisors, who often work in hazardous or cold-weather conditions wearing gloves that make it difficult to write or type, to make use of voice-activated commands and gesture-based computing for easier record-keeping.
The first release of the software, which was marketed globally, was a success, with three more releases scheduled within a year, and Catalyst continues to partner with the client to market, implement, customize and support the product.
The next phase of the project calls for the teams to integrate drone technology that will allow construction teams to conduct visual inspections remotely and use artificial intelligence to automatically analyze images to identify and alert teams to any issues.
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