This fall I got excited about a new building just constructed in Paris and wrote a blog entry on it as I was fascinated not only about the design, but that Gehry’s team had used two Trimble technologies, SketchUp and Tekla, as well as nine other technologies for the design, construction and fabrication of the art museum. They used Gehry Technologies platform to share data amongst the 15 global teams consisting of 400 architects, engineers and fabricators for the project. The next morning as the blog was being published, a press release from Trimble announced the acquisition of Gehry Technologies (now you have to admit, that was an amazing coincidence!). My colleagues and I knew at that point the word ‘Integration’ in IWMS would have an expanded meaning. Let me explain.
When Michael Bell created the term ‘Integrated Workplace Management System’ in 2004, he was referring to the number of disparate business processes performed in the work of real estate and facility management that were brought together under one enterprise system and linked together for more effective and efficient planning and management. They have been expanded since that initial definition over a decade ago to include the integration of:
- Portfolio planning and workplace strategy development
- Big Data/Analytics
- Program and Project Management
- Site selection
- Acquisition and Disposition
- Space Planning and Management
- Space Scheduling
- Operations and Maintenance
- Sustainability (including Energy Management)
- Financial Management
While today we have Project Management that integrates with the design and construction information of a new building or renovation of an existing structure, there is now a new platform Manhattan Software can utilize for more comprehensive integration throughout the building lifecycle. While most IWMS solutions have interfaced with building information models (BIM), Trimble is now integrating the work that is done in these two phases with its newly announced Trimble Connect, the software platform that was known as Gehry Technologies I mentioned in the first paragraph.
Trimble Connect currently allows users to collaborate around documents and 3D-4D models through all phases of a building’s lifecycle providing a social environment for all of the project team members like what was used for the Vuitton Museum. This now creates a foundation for interoperability that we all have been anticipating for many years. In this case, it is not only integration across the Trimble product portfolio, but allows third party developers to leverage these capabilities through the Trimble Connect API. Manhattan has created a prototype using this platform in the UK and is continuing to develop linkages for a new type of integration. Stay tuned for developments in this exciting area.