First off, Happy New Year everyone! Let's hope 2009 is simply a great year.
Now, those of you who know me know I've promoted the idea of snapping photos of important documents (invoices, RFIs, etc.) on job sites with digital cameras (instead of scanners) for a few years now. I think digicams are a great way to integrate paper-based documents into a digital construction workflow. Most people just instinctively think "scanner" when they think about how to get paper documents into a digital form.
You do need a scanner if you need a highly accurate, high-quality image of a document for record-keeping or printing purposes, but in the case of most non-contract construction docs, that level of accuracy is not necessary. A simple image of a receipt, sketch, or subcontractor RFI will oftentimes do the trick.
Enter the lowly digital camera. Just point and shoot at the document in question, and upload to the collaboration service of your choosing.
Snapter is software that will auto-correct and clean up your digital photos of paper documents and get them ready for sharing. It's great to see tools like Snapter helping people incorporate the digital cameras they already have into the effort of making their projects more efficient. Check it out and let us know how it works for you.
As a twitterer, I love that I can keep up with what my friends are doing and vice versa using a simple web or SMS service. How great would it be to have the same updates available for work? I can see big benefits to companies of encouraging their employees to share "what are you working on" in real-time, so that others get connected to what expertise their co-workers have, what projects are ongoing, and generally where people are spending their time.
So yesterday a new service launched -- Yammer -- intended to provide exactly that. Turns out some Web 2.0 company had built their own internal twitter server for their employees to use, and they turned that into a product and a company.
Micro-blogging (fast, short updates in real-time) have the promise to take over where other forms of collaboration fall short. Will Yammer catch on? Maybe, maybe not - but I can at least lay claim to being the very first person at Autodesk to sign up for an account!
Our Ops team just put out a new white paper that should help you understand the level of seriousness with which we treat the security and availability of our customers' data on Constructware and Buzzsaw.
You missed a deadline. You let an engineering error creep into your drawings. Maybe you made a mistake that cost an owner a couple thousand dollars, or more. The thought of most of those would send many designers or builders into a bit of a cold sweat, a nervous state, or even a panic.
But not this guy. He knows the real importance of remaining calm under pressure (so to speak).
Our marketing all-stars just posted a brand new case study on one of my favorite builders, Veridian Homes, who are the largest builders in Wisconsin. In this excellent case study, Dan Gorski, Veridian's Vice President of Estimating, Purchasing, and Design (pictured, at right) is quoted:
“Most of the guesswork has been taken out of our building equation. The cost, the performance, even the appearance of the house—they’re all built into the Revit platform model, so there’s less chance for error—resulting in a better product for our customers.”
“We have over 250 users—from roofers to cabinet manufacturers to appraisers—using Autodesk Buzzsaw,” reports Gorski. “With Autodesk Buzzsaw, we can get project information to them faster and more economically.”
I said it yesterday, I'll say it again: Excelsior!