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AEC IT Roundtable

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					AEC IT Roundtable
Meeting Notes
April 20-21, 2006


Intranet Show and Tell
Katie Kish: Anderson Mason Dale Architects

Katie’s experience is in databases and worked with the Antarctic program. Her
background is in databases and knowledge management.

Using Sharepoint portal:
AMD is using as Intranet and Extranet.

Knowledge Management: “getting the right information to the right people at the right
time.”


What is SharePoint?
Portal:
        Collaboration
        Ties data from 2 or more disparate systems together.

Windows Sharepoint Services 2003 (WSS) Web site development tool highly integrated
with Office 2003 allowing easy development of customizable collaboration sites. A
blank slate that allows you to set up folders and files. Easy web development tied to MS
Office.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003
Aggregates Sharepoint services sites and indexes.

Home Site
Project Sites
Knowledge Base (Intranet Site) Calendar

Security
$250 for client access CALs. Or $30,000 for universal access license. Includes SQL,
SharePoint and Server 2003. SharePoint Portal Server is $4-5,000.

Use Active Directory

Creates a single user for each client. Only need a CAL for each “user” but not for every
“contact.” If a project has ten owners, you can set up one user with ten contacts.

“Alert Me”
SQL Server 2000
      Databases
      There are three databases that are created for SPS. They are PROF, (profiles)
SERV, (services running) SITE (the data on the site) +SPS config.

Backups in SPS are terrible. Use SQL.

Contacts
Pushed into SharePoint and can be downloaded to Outlook.

AMD structured all of their “lists” so that data structures matched. Eg. Priority field uses
“high, medium and low” in all forms vs. previously some forms used “1,2 or 3” for
priority. All fields must be the same for them to interact.

MODI Deltek Vision Search. Will load a Vision tab in Word or Outlook.

SharePoint
Ease of implementation: Five considerations.
Authentication: who may access?
Taxonomy: how will it be organized?
Personalization Who can do what on each site.
Workflow:

Views
Allows users to slice and dice the information sorted in the most effectivce way.

Corasworks: visual studio development tools. Pieces of code that add functionality.
Corasworks allows you to aggregate tasks within multiple WSS sites. Brings multiple
projects into a single portal to ease information access by users.

Allows you to create profiles for each site and drag and drop documents from one site to
another.

Revit Integration
Design Issues Log: shows all open issues grouped by discipline. Links in to Revit model.
Used Visual Studio to program a utility that brings specific design elements from the
Revit model over to SharePoint Portal.

Use SharePoint as a client access portal to a BIM database.

Can link RSS feeds into the portal.

My Site:
Is a personalized site. Has email, alerts and a personalized library. Sort of a personal
home page. Uses the Exchange Web Part to link email to Exchange.
Lessons Learned:
One portal site with many WSS sites. Works best as a huge monolithic application
rather than multiple small sites. WSS sites for external collaboration.
Adobe integration – two thumbs down. Adobe “I Filter” doesn’t work.
Mind Manager does link well with SharePoint.
Ghosting pages: SharePoint pages are ugly. Cascading style sheets can be used and sites
can be modified with Microsoft Front Page. However, if you make changes you will
“ghost” the page and it can never be edited again. Don’t believe what Microsoft says you
can do. Don’t delete anything. If you need to get rid of something, reduce the font to one
point or set to same color as background.
Admin password: Should not match your system admin password. Password CANNOT
be changed!
Backup: Don’t use sharepoint backup. Use SQL backups.
Customization vs. Configuration:
Database sizing: Need to design your database carefully so that users can access data.
        Use of FTP sites.
Licensing
        Distribution lists
CA use vs. SD/DD use – posting model to site.


Collaboration Discussion

Questions about IT support time. How much support does it take to set up and maintain
these sites; both for Intranet and Extranet? IT is in charge of setting up users, passwords,
etc.
Large company vs. small company ability to react. Katie pointed out that because AMD
Architects is a small firm, they are able to roll out something like this fairly easily
without all of the process required in a larger firm.
Can’t charge clients. Clients’ expectation is that extranets are provided as a part of our
overhead, not as an extra item for them to pay for. AMD charges a one time fee of $250
for the license CALs, but no ongoing support even for multi-year projects.
Advantages of in house fast set up and relatively low monthly cost (especially if large
files are stored) vs. Buzzsaw
Time benefits of replacing FTP administration.
Replaces large costs for storage on Buzzsaw.
Other collaboration tools used: WebEx, Gotomeeting, tidebreak.com


Data Management Group Discussion
Led by Reg Prentiss, Gehry Partners

“Everything we do is data management.”
Even Phones…if they’re IP phones.
Wikis: Open source content management solutions. Good for sustainability workgroups,
for example. Wikis have the advantage of being “out of the box” Don’t need to spend a
lot of resources developing a Wiki. Can be applied to projects or a wide variety of
internal purposes such as FAQs processes, IT documents, etc.

X1 search engine can be linked to Wikis in order to drive more visits to Wiki and make
data available.

Security: Tikiwiki (open source) allows for a robust security application with more than
just “in or out” levels of security. Workgroups can be set up with different levels of
accecss.

Single Sign On Logons:
Very few Roundtable participants are now using single sign on. Some are looking into
AD or a separate SQL database for authentication. (NBBJ) Bergmeyer is using NB
Identity to log in to Novell, AD and Windows. Single password can be updated in one
place.

Open Source Wiki software: doesn’t work well on Windows. Much better on Linux.
The authentication process is often the most difficult part of setting up Wikis. Either
LDAP or integrating with Active Directory.

Forms: make all forms that people fill in and make them databases.
Forms in XML (Darren Burns) Once you figure out XML, it is a very flexible tool and
can be customized as much as you want and it’s easy to deploy. Use Oracle, SQL or
Filemaker with style sheets to present XML on the web.

Quality management systems: electronic forms control processes and project
management. Helps when using ISO 9001 quality programs to track process.

About 40% of roundtable participants report that they use electronic forms instead of
paper or MS Word templates for data management.

Adobe PDF can be used as a database front end. Can also go the other way from
database to PDF. (Stantec is doing this.)

Email Archiving:
Symantec Enterprise Vault is being used by KPF. Evault archives email and
attachments. Everything that goes into public project folder. A toolbar can be pushed
down to the user level. Altavista is the search engine that is used to search emails and
attachments. SQL based system. Leaves a shortcut in the public folder so that the
documents can still be retrieved from the original location.
Legal issues arise with archiving email. Need to have a clearly defined methodology
which is followed. You must state that all project emails are stored on the project emails
and that no project related emails are kept on a persons’ local .pst file. If you enable a
retention period on their inbox you can protect against having personal emails being
accessed during a deposition.
Klaus does not allow for personal email accounts at Behnish Associates. Everyone
communicates only via a group email address which is the project email. Normally 5-10
people in a group share an email address. There is no use of internal email since the
groups all sit next to each other.

About half the Roundtable participants use project name aliases or project email boxes so
that emails can be directly mailed to the project.

Personal Email vs. Business Email:
Some companies prohibit personal email while others prefer that personal email come
through the company account so that it can be controlled for viruses, etc. There was no
consensus on this issue. It was pointed out that Gmail works well as a personal account
since it will pop-up to let you know when email has arrived and you don’t need to check
it constantly.

Backup
Pst files are exported and backed up.

Attachments
Users want to keep the attachments with the emails as a project record. Utilities that will
strip attachments work well, and they can put a link to the project folder so that the
original document can still be found.

SAN vs. DAS
Scalability is better on SAN. Can add and reallocate storage more easily on a SAN.
Reliability: typically a SAN is more reliable.
Snapshot utilities are often built into a SAN.
Byte level replication is often available on a SAN.

DAS can perform some of these functions:
Double Take or Backup Exec 10d Continuous Protection Server can be used for
snapshots on direct attached storage. Double take does data replication and failover.

Lock-In:
Investing in a storage platform requires you to stay with the same vendor for 5+ years.
Some vendors such as Dell/EMC will charge support equal to half as much as the original
purchase for additional two years. This can make it cheaper to go to new equipment with
four times the storage from Equalogic than to stay will EMC for support on old
equipment.

Microsoft Windows Storage Server Release 2
Allows an index process for the operating system to find all the duplicates and store only
one and put a pointer to all other copies. Also includes bit level replication. This
software is OEM only and can only be purchased on a box.
Macintosh X server good for large and inexpensive storage.


Newforma Presentation

Information:
The newforma project home page links to the Windows folders on which project files
reside. All file management and quick access to files is available through Newforma.

Document Sets
Virtual folders can be created to bring files together from multiple locations and display
them together for all team members in a single place.
Working documents include current sets for use by the team. Supports all major cad
packages with Revit currently supported only with DWF at this time, but will be fully
supported in the future.
Archive: takes information from the production area and optionally compresses it and
makes it searchable. Links to the original document in the file system.

Compare
Loads two copies of the DWG file and will highlight where two CAD drawings are
different. Allows you to compare what has changed. RED items display what has been
removed. Magenta items are in both drawings but have moved locations, etc. There is
also a slider that moves from baseline drawing to the revised drawing to show changes.

Project Email
Consolidates email into one location on the project home page. Takes email messages
out of Outlook and saves them on the Newforma server in a .msg file. Messages have all
Outlook functionality for reply, forward, etc.

Search
Emails are all searchable at the Project Home level. DWG, DGN and Microsoft files are
all searched for text inside the documents. 207 file formats are supported. Search plus
filtering allows users to quickly find documents, messaging, etc. You can also search
across multiple projects and archives, not just within one project. Newforma will reveal
that a document exists to users even if they don’t have security access to the document
itself. They will still not be able to preview or open the document.
When you find a CAD drawing using Search, the results will highlight all the places in
the drawing or document where the search term(s) show up.

Markup Tools
When CAD drawings are opened from NewForma, comments and drawings are stored
with the drawing without having to open Autocad. Can then send as a .pdf or .png but
not .dwf from within the application. Snapshot tool can be used to create markups on
non-supported formats such as ESRI, ArchiCAD or Revit.
Deltek Vision Integration
Can add projects and team members from Deltek Vision. Pulls one-way from Deltek.
Future plans to launch Vision info centers from within Newforma.

Issue Manager
Issue management has full change notification ability, so it automatically generates email
to everyone who needs to know about it.
The majority of issues come through email, so there is a “New Issue” button on the
Outlook toolbar that allows you to add an issue that has come in through email. This
button will automatically generate a populated issue with description filled in. Can
assign priority and responsibility to team members. Can also add a pointer to a file
location for supporting files to the location. External team members will receive
notification, but will not have access to the supporting documents.

Transmittals
Newforma creates transmittals as well as tracking incoming transmittals. When sending
.dwg files it will add any x-refs as well automatically. Notification and expiration dates
keep the information fresh and keep people from downloading outdated information.
Contents to transmittals can be removed after a specified amount of time. Recipients
receive an email with a link that downloads the files that have been compressed into a
single zip file. Senders can be notified regarding who has downloaded the documents.

Pricing
End user pricing model.
1 year and 2 year options.
Volume discounts.
1-50, 51-200
200 person firm is $595 per seat. Outside users are “free”.

Discussion:
    NewForma can be considered as a suite of tools including search, email
       management, file management, document compare, whiteboarding/markup,
       transmittals, etc.
    The ROI for a company will depend on which of these functions are utilized by a
       firm. In some ways this looks like a compilation of Snagit, X1, SharePoint, etc.
    One challenge with adopting a tool like this is that you would have to dump a lot
       of your existing tools.
    Process change management is another challenge to get people to use the features
       regularly on their projects.
    One consideration is that for multilocation companies a server must be purchased
       for each location.
    Security logging is also a consideration.


Comprehensive Project Archiving
       Firms are moving to storing archived projects on inexpensive drive arrays vs. CD
        or DVD.
       Challenges with Project Managers copying entire project files back from archive
        server onto Project server.
       One way to limit the need to copy a project back to the server is to have the
        project managers plot all drawings to PDF before the project is closed out.
       Challenges with Project Managers being responsible for file management. Some
        companies
       Hierarchical Storage Management: automatically moves files to cheaper storage
        after pre-determined time periods of disuse.
       Archives can be kept on the same server as the main projects when you use low
        cost storage. Project folders just move from one folder to an archive folder.
       Archives are smaller than current projects because data files are so much bigger
        now.
       DFS allows you to combine multiple drive volumes into bigger storage systems
        on one drive letter. SCSI limits you to 2TB per volume.

Adobe

Macromedia acquisition
Look for merging of technologies such as PDF and Flash together to allow you to
collaborate live on-line while working within a PDF.

Acrobat 3D
Allows for 3D content to be embedded into PDF. No need for having the 3D authoring
tool. Poll: two roundtable members are using Acrobat 3D. List price for Acrobat 3D is
$1000 vs. Acrobat Pro is $495. Allows for editing, fly-throughs and rotation of 3D
objects without having the original authoring tool. Allows you to read inside of the
standard reader. 3D PDFs can be created from a file without having to have the original
authoring tool. Also allows you to reverse out a 3D image so that you could put it into
Word or PowerPoint. There are direct translators for the 14 top 3d packages. 3D studio
max, solidworks, etc. For those without converters, there is a Capture OpenGL utility
that can be used to build a 3D file from. With Capture you have to have the 3D
application on the computer you’re using to create the file. (Note: Revit, Sketchup,
ArcDesktop, Autodesk products, Intergraph, etc are all done with Capture.) Catia,
Solidworks, UGS, Prodesktop, Versacad, Ironcad, Rhino. Form Z is working on a
converter.
When creating there are many options for lighting, image quality, etc. Allows you to
click and rotate, pick default view and edit properties after the image has been brought in.
Allows you to take apart assemblies and view parts separately from the whole. Can also
take sections and view inside. Can add notations and comments just like regular Acrobat.
AcroPlot works well for creating PDFs out of AutoCAD.

Silk Cape Beta Program
License management.
Separates the license from the installation. Allows you to install Acrobat on every
computer in the environment. The license server tracks the licenses separately. Silk
Cape will be standard on all Adobe products. Acrobat 8 will be the first product to use
Silk Cape. All the license manager does is to report number of licenses used and usage
patterns. It does not allow for concurrent license management like Autodesk offers. This
package will be optional for users; not required.

The Silk Cape system was NOT well received by the Roundtable as a “solution” to
the license management problems with Adobe.

Roundtable Poll: Who uses exclusively non-Adobe tools for creating PDFs? 2
companies. Who uses a combination of Adobe and non-adobe tools? Almost all. Who
uses exclusively Adobe PDF tools? 2 companies.



Adobe Breeze
Web based collaboration tool. Can be installed locally on an individual company’s server
vs. Webex. Allows for a persistent meeting room. The presenter downloads a small
application that converts the screen to SWF format.
Poll: How many people are using Breeze in the group? None.
Poll: How many are using Goto Meeting? About 8.
Breeze is also offered on a hosted basis. Ten users for $750.month.
Five user server license is about $5500



Adobe Live Cycle Policy Server
Allows you to allow/disallow opening of PDF files. Tracks how often and when a file is
opened. Tracks whether the file has been emailed, etc. Soon will allow Word, Excel,
etc. Works with passwords for when documents are sent out of the internal network.
Allows you to “expire” a document after a period of time so that people can’t open it.

“Intelligent Documents” integrates data from business systems into the PDF to
collaborate and secure data. Process management/workflow. Security, digital signature,
certified documents.

Adobe Designer
Used for making input forms. Instead of having to input the document and then add
fields on it, we can directly connect to databases using OLE. When you connect ot the
database, all the fields in the table will be brought in to designer. Can almost instantly do
Find, Next, Previous, etc.
Adobe digital signatures are now totally legal in the court system in 16 of the 50 states.
In California all architects and engineers can use digital signatures, but not Landscape
Architects.
PaperForm Barcodes capture all the XML on the form. Allows for getting the data out
without having to re-key in the data.
Can build in buttons such as “Approve” or “Reject” to PDF forms for workflow.

Workflow Server
LiveCycle Form Manager. Route dynamically to people. Read/write data. Send email
notifications. Automates notification when new records are created. Routes documents
to each person in a predefined order. This differs from Documentum or other form based
document systems because this system can be based on what’s IN the form as well as
what is on the form. E.g. if a dollar amount is over a certain value, the workflow will
route through CFO, if less, then it may route through the Controller. Dynamic workflows
vs. hard-coded.
PDF-A are archival locked versions that can’t be changed or modified. The workflow
server will “flatten” the data into a static image for records management at the end of the
workflow process. It can then be stored in whatever file management system you’re
using.




Sean Melchionda
Corporate Account Manager, AEC/EPC Accounts Nationwide

Tim Huff Sr. Business Development Manager – AEC

Sean and Tim are resources with a conduit to Adobe developers to communicate issues
such as malfunctioning rotation in PDF file creation.
They will come to cities and do a four hour training session for your company/local
roundtable.

Brian Huffman
Geographic sales rep. San Diego, New Mexico, Arizona




Day 2

BIM Discussion
Reg Prentiss/Gehry Partners

Quick Poll:
How many companies do not do any BIM? Response= about 5
50% or more of projects are BIM? Response = about 3
How many companies have less than half of their projects on BIM? Response: About 23
How many companies have employees who spend more than 50% of their time on BIM?
Response = 5

Collaboration with Engineers
There are several challenges to using BIM when collaborating with Engineers. One is
that they have a different model for how they work and how their cost structure is set up.
Since BIM requires them to do the work up front early in the project, they are challenged.
Another difficulty is that software tools are not yet fully developed for engineers so that
they can integrate with the project.
Some engineering companies are simply behind the curve on adopting BIM. Some are
using BIM compatible 3D software and don’t even realize it.

Interoperability
What tools do we expect mechanical and structural engineers to use?
Navisworks does not work well with Revit yet. Revit is working on an MEP version that
is in Beta now. People are using Navisworks with success with ADT, SteelCAD,
solidworks and others. One of the biggest benefits of Navisworks is the collision
detection.

Quick poll: Who is excited about BIM? Response: about 70%.
Quick Poll: How many people here are using 3D printers? Response: 3

Challenges: it’s a long process of change management. As teams move over to BIM,
they get excited about it, but changing how design firms work and interoperate and
collaborate with each other is challenging. Everyone needs to change their workflow in
unison to make the process work.
There are economic challenges with who does what work. If architects are making all the
decisions that others would have done and hand off a nearly complete package for CDs,
then they are potentially doing more work that results in benefits to others, but not the
design firm.
Designers need to learn what is efficient to model and what is not. Designers may spend
too much time making everything exact down to the last sixteenth of an inch. Process
training needs to include training for what the appropriate levels of detail are in a model.
3D Studio users get it. They know how to “fake it” and “cheat” vs. creating detailed
models for every little thing.

Where is the value?
Speed.
People are spending more time on design issues (rather than detailed parts.)
Teams are able to deliver more and faster.
People are having fun.
Ease of communicating with client in 3D since they don’t get it in plan view/2D.
Raises the level of discussion with clients.
BIM forces people to think farther ahead in the beginning of the project.
Up to $15 per square foot of the building cost is caused by the inefficiency of the handoff
and coordination between design disciplines.
fThe big savings comes in construction, not just reduced design costs. Some design
firms are now able to ask for more of the money saved in the process. The design
model and detail models can be used by the trades. Design firms can charge for the
additional services of maintaining the model for the trades.
Savings occur not only in construction, but in being able to open and use the building
sooner.
A single Revit model can have multiple design options within it that can be turned on or
off. Design options can be turned on or off.


Key Drivers for Success
   1) Getting everyone to work together.
   2) Owners need to understand the paybacks of BIM.
   3) Build the building all off the same model. Ideally same model, same LAN, same
      office. Close collaboration of the design team.
   4) Physical proximity is important, not just digital connections.

Group Discussion: Production/Drafting Outsourcing

Quick Poll: Who is using outsourcing for production drafting? Response: 8
Quick Poll: How many are off-shore? Response: 8
Quick Poll: Of those who are not outsourcing, how many are thinking about doing it?
Response: 4

Lessons Learned:
   1) Have to treat outsourcers like your own staff. Need daily communication.
   2) Project Managers need to schedule these people as a resource on the projects.
   3) VPN link with Steelheads work well to connect with outsourcers.
   4) Some staff may have concerns about “outsourcing to India”. A political issue vs.
       a business issue.
   5) Concerns about developing younger architects. If you’re outsourcing, you may
       not be feeding the bottom of the staffing foodchain and may find that you’re not
       cultivating your future project managers because they’re all overseas.
   6) Can take a wider variety of jobs including those with relatively low margins
       because of the reduced costs of outsourcing.
   7) The quality of what you get is often excellent.
   8) Language barriers/accent barriers can be a challenge.
   9) ROI can be found sometimes not just in cheaper work, but also in getting round
       the clock work done to accelerate project process because of the time differences.
   10) Outsourcing rules for some state and municipal clients often require the same sort
       of rigorous process as if you were hiring a foreign worker. Need to show that the
       labor is not available.
   11) Another benefit is that recruiting is often a challenge in some of the places we
       have offices. Outsourcing allows us to “hire” staff that we can’t be found locally.
   12) How do you choose an outsourcer? Most of the people doing it now used existing
       relationships and people who moved overseas. This allowed them to bring the
       processes and CAD standards with them.
   13) CAD and IT support can be taxing on your local office if the remote office does
       not have its own support resources.
   14) Need to plan to use outsourced staff from the beginning of the project rather than
       scrambling at the end because you’re over budget or don’t have enough resources.

Outsourcing Other Functions
Telephones
Most companies don’t have good phone expertise in house.
Outsourcing can be good, but can also be a nightmare. Covad does not do a good job.
Skype is a non-enterprise VOIP system. Takes 8-16K bandwidth. Report good quality.
Email outsourcing can be very expensive if you already have a solution in place, but can
make sense for small offices without IT support.


Vendor Presentation
Centerbeam Outsourcing Solutions

Centerbeam Services
Desktop Management: Antivirus, backup, patch, asset management, sw distribution.
Support Services: Helpdesk, remote support.
Messaging Services: Microsoft Exchange Hosting
Telecom Audit Services: voice/data/mobile/internet, cost management, audit and
recovery.
Microsoft Licensing: SPLA, monthly subscription pricing
Internet Fax Services: inbound/outbound integrated with MS Office. OEM Venali’s
services.
Server Management: Antivirus, patch, sw distribution, asset tracking, active directory
management. 24x7 technical monitoring.
Citrix Management: Antivirus, application integration.
Network Management: device management/monitoring, site to site vpn.
Remote Access Services: client based VPN management. UUNET global dial up.
Project Based Services: new implementations, moves, infrastructure projects,
consulting services. PMI certified managers.

Future offerings:
VOIP hosted solution.
Microsoft CRM synchronized with Exchange.
Adware, spyware, SharePoint, Instant Messaging.

Differentiators:
Prevention (Six Sigma, Kaizen, quality cycle), Technical OperationsCenter (24x7
monitoring), Rapid Recovery (Hot spare servers for Exchange, weekly fire drills,
streaming off-site backup), Security (private network approach, active directory
credentials and audits), Technology (leverage fortune 500 tools)

Support Matrix
For vertical specific applications a support matrix is developed with the top support
issues and resolutions for them. This allows phone support staff to answer many
questions for Autocad, ESRI, etc. without having to escalate back to local support staff.

Support “Pods”
A company typically works with a “pod” of three people so users often get in contact
with the same people. If the pod is busy, calls are routed to other available agents.
Escalation through three levels of support, then ultimately to an on-site support person.

Full Service Costs
Server, Desktop, Helpdesk, hosted exchange. $100/user/mo
Helpdesk only $5000 per month up to 250 calls.
$29.95 per desktop per month for helpdesk.
$249/$199/month for server management.
$99/month for network management (based on number of routers, switches, firewalls)
Implementation Fee: They charge to get everything up to par at the beginning. All
systems on the same OS, install the remote access and asset management software. LPA
paid $50,000 to start up.

Change Management
Users receive a welcome kit with their Centerbeam ID card and ID number. A pamphlet
lists the Centerbeam services. Posters are set up in the office during implementation.

Lessons Learned from firms who have used outsourcing:
Most of our issues in AEC are not standard issues.
The matrix solution doesn’t always work as well as hoped.
Pay per call is sometimes better than the monthly service. That can be a good deal for
24x7 support.
It takes a long time to get them up to speed. There is a lot of work involved with
implementing all of the standards that they need to run the systems.
Centerbeam can’t support AEC applications. They’re great at Microsoft stuff, but not at
design tools.
Since everything is a la carte, network management, patch management, etc. can all be
outsourced and the rest can be kept in house.

Other Options for “do it yourself” patch management and auditing:
Altiris
LANDesk
EZ Audit
VNC
WSUS
Business Meeting

Next meeting in Savannah, Georgia
Tentative Date: November 2-3, 2006

Activities:
Brad Milton: Central Mail
Brad Horst: Revit
Malcolm Davies: Gehry Technologies
Topics: Virtualization
SCAD: Savannah College of Art and Design


Next/Next meeting in Vancouver
Tentative dates: End of April, 2007

Bylaws Discussion
The group asked whether the bylaws were making the group too “corporate.”
Suggestions:
Could be just a one page document with a few bullet points re: members, dues, vendors.
Could be done through the web site.
Create rules for how to run a meeting:
        e.g. six weeks before the meeting everyone signs up. If there are more people
signing up, then only one comes from each company and those who attended before have
priority. Checklist includes: nametags, how much to charge vendors, how to secure a
room, finances, getting powerpoints from presenters, getting vendors up on the website.

Add a request to join form on the website. We discuss the invitees at the meeting and if,
approved, they may join. Or, just send out the bio to the group. 2 rules: can’t be a
vendor and they have to be invited to join the group.


Chris Pinkney will look into filing for non-profit status.



Intranet Show and Tell

Alex Maxim, NBBJ

660 employees, 17 in Technology
Topics:
The Firm
Design
Markets
Process
Delivery

Suggestions:
Allow users to customize their menus (like MyYahoo) and they can put their most
frequently accessed items on the top level.
Use Active Desktop on users’ workstations to put the Intranet right at their fingertips
without having to open Explorer.

NBBJ In the News
VisionDatabase
NBBJ Podcast Network

Intranet is developed with asp pages. Use some Cold Fusion. One style sheet for
everybody.

One to One Section:
My NBBJ
One to Many Section:
Announcements
Many to Many:
News

Corporate vs. Usefulness
Details, graphics standards, etc. How do you find them?
The header categories are a challenge.
Three levels maximum for mouse-over menus. Site map also helps.

Employee Resumes
Pulls resume from Vision. Includes a link to get into Employee document to edit in
vision.

Employee Manual
Updated by HR director. No longer use paper manuals.

HR: Recruiting/job openings

Helpdesk
Developed in house in SQL. Has a simple front end with lots of great metrics and graphs
on the back end.
Knowledgebase: has a write up on various technology issues. Fully searchable. Includes
links and animated gifs, embedded graphics. Cascading style sheets format the
knowledgebase entries. Alex uses SpiderWriter for quick html editing.

Other Areas:
Project Request Forms
Marketing/Communication/PR
Have looked at a number of Wiki packages.
EZ Wiki, Wiking, MediaWiki.
Studio key indicators metric: studio leaders get together monthly to evaluate their studios.
Shows a graphic representation ranked by color how each studio is doing. Predicts the
outlook, financial, personnel, project quality, environmental and market.
International Projects and International Travel Information

CA Tools
An extranet tool to track CA process. Share data with Turner and other local construction
companies. Looking to link in to Prolog in the future. Tracks RFIs, submittals, change
orders.

Intranet Success Attributes
Belonging: Personalized
Freedom: Collaborative tools, align strengths.
Satisfaction/Fun
Power: Required knowledge. Sharing increases reputation.

Freshness: Site should change on a weekly basis.

Next version
The next Intranet is going away from html coding to a .Net format. Using Visual Basic.
Looking into Content Management Systems

				
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posted:9/20/2011
language:English
pages:17