Traditionally, one of the biggest challenges of getting technology to work in your favor, particularly if you need a custom configuration for your processes, is the fact that you have to build it. With developer resources almost always running tight in construction, folks either grab something off the shelf or do without.
With rapid innovation across all industries around integrations, there’s been a rise in no-code platforms that you can use to build custom workflows. This is also why we’ve invested into delivering Autodesk Construction Cloud Connect for you. ACC Connect is a no-code platform that allows project engineers, project managers and VDC managers to connect hundreds of common SaaS applications to Autodesk Construction Cloud.
See ACC Connect in action
When working with common business applications like cloud storage or back-office tools, most construction teams have unique ways they want their file structures organized, information flowing, or analytics databases arranged. With ACC Connect, a project manager can configure integrations that work around their business needs, not the other way around.
It allows you to sync key data across several tools with a convenient, self-service approach. In other words, ACC Connect enables construction teams to configure integrations to common business apps without having to rely on developer support for custom code. This, of course, saves a tremendous amount of time and resources, while empowering teams to automate repetitive tasks or inefficient workflows.
“Transferring data between the applications we use and those used by our clients and subcontractor partners can often be a complex, expensive, and error-prone process,” said Blaine Crawford, Director of Information Technology at C.W. Driver. “ACC Connect lets us easily build custom integrations between the solutions used across each of our project teams and workflows so we can streamline our data management, spend more time on project-critical tasks and ultimately drive more productivity.”
Here are 6 ways ACC Connect can easily integrate with common tools in your tech stack and accelerate the value of your Autodesk Construction Cloud deployment:
1. Collaborate with non-Autodesk users via cloud storage
From turnover processes to archival requirements from owners, ACC Connect allows easy collaboration between construction teams and non-Autodesk stakeholders.
Project managers oversee facilitating collaboration and alignment of project stakeholders. Not every company has access to Autodesk Construction Cloud. Even if they do, they might want to archive or retain information somewhere else. ACC Connect allows you to intelligently sync information with your project and their cloud storage solution of choice.
The biggest benefit here is that ACC Connect allows you to create smart workflows using simple computer logic to route files from Autodesk Construction Cloud to specific subfolders or sections of a cloud storage application. That way the information is stored exactly where someone needs it, rather than just doing a data dump. External collaborators like this because the integration works around their business processes and not the other way around.
For example, by using ACC Connect to create your own Sharepoint workflows, you can watch for new or updated documents or drawings uploaded to Sharepoint. Those can automatically be sent to relevant projects and folders in Autodesk Construction Cloud, BIM 360 or PlanGrid. Then they can be accessed and marked up by project or field teams. You can also collaborate on documents and project files via other cloud storage solutions like Box, Dropbox, and Egnyte. Each solution offers its own set of workflow automations.
2. Improve processes by connecting online spreadsheets
No matter if you’re a small business or enterprise, companies of all sizes use spreadsheets in their day-to-day operations to track, manage and improve processes. You can sync all your most important project data from Autodesk Construction Cloud with Google Sheets, Excel Online, and Smartsheet, among others. Smartsheet, for example, makes it easy to automate creation and updating of Gantt charts when your project data gets updated in Autodesk Construction Cloud.
Benefits of connecting your spreadsheets:
- Use pivot tables to easily analyze data
- You can create Gantt charts for tracking timelines on submittals, RFI’s, and issues
- You can export Takeoff or Forms data for aggregate tracking
- Analyze spreadsheets using queries and advanced formulas
No more chasing people or spreadsheets down to get the info you need. Instead, you make it available where it’s easiest for stakeholders to access it, and accessible right when they need it. Data analysis and project management just got a whole lot easier.
3. Automate reminders with notifications and calendar tools
How many times have you missed a simple task that set off a costly ripple effect of new tasks just to course correct? By automating reminders with notifications and calendar tools, you can skip that whole round trip. Within ACC Connect, you can set up customized email notifications in applications like Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar for triggered events. For example, you may have a workflow which notifies a team of users on a project when a new drawing or file has been posted into an Autodesk Construction Cloud project. You can just as easily trigger notifications in Slack or Microsoft Teams as tasks created or due dates get closer.
You’ll not only help yourself by setting up these automatic reminders, but the whole team will thank you for pinging them with mission-critical tasks. It’s an easy way to avoid costly mistakes and can be done without any code in ACC Connect.
Use cases for automating reminders:
- Automatically create events in your calendar to track deadlines and due dates in Outlook Online or Google Calendar
- Use reminder features in calendars
- Ping Slack, Microsoft Teams or Webex channels with a notification when a new submittal or issue is created
- Create intelligent workflows so calendars and messaging apps communicate updates with each other
4. Keep projects on track with popular task management tools
Arguably the toughest part of project management is not just keeping everyone moving forward, but keeping everyone focused on the tasks that have the most impact on project progress.
With ACC Connect, you can copy your project data to JIRA, Asana, and Trello for agile project management. This is another way to create Gantt charts with your project data. You’ll be able to tag and group objects for analysis, which allows you to identify trends for common issues, RFI’s, or submittals.
5. Make office-to-field collaboration seamless with cost, accounting and CRM integrations
Every company is going to have a system for managing their customers and managing their budgets and balance sheets. Connect the office to the field by pushing relevant data from Autodesk Construction Cloud into back-office applications like QuickBooks Online and Xero. You’ll also be able to integrate with Acumatica, SFDC, and Dynamics, among others.
With ACC Connect, you can build a link between back-office and field activities. This allows you to eliminate duplicate data entry–saving time and minimizing errors–while guaranteeing teams on both sides have access to the key data they need when they need it.
By opening up the flow of data between the office and the real-world impact in the field, it becomes easier to execute jobs on budget and on time.
This is a big win for project managers looking to make life easier for their entire team.
6. Make better decisions with advanced analytics tools
Advanced business intelligence (BI) tools, like Power BI and Microsoft Analytics Platform (APS) collect and process large amounts of unstructured data from other systems, like Autodesk Construction Cloud. You can actually copy all sorts of data from your project – whether it’s cost data, timeline data, issues, RFI’s, form data, takeoff data, and more – and pull that into a data lake as unstructured data to be analyzed and run BI dashboards on top of. You can aggregate information across other applications in your tech stack and run custom analytics to identify and understand deeper business insights.
If you’d like to learn more about these project management tools and more, please check out all our integrations here.