AGC & COSA Combine Efforts to Improve Technology Integration in Construction
Bryan/College Station, TX and Washington, DC
(PRWEB) October 24, 2014
A recent survey of 1,000 commercial construction professionals revealed that only 4% of builders have full integration across the software applications that they use daily. Nearly 60% of builders are using the latest software solutions but relying on antiquated, manually intensive workflows which incorporate spreadsheets to transfer data between those software solutions. Like many business technology providers, the construction industry falls significantly behind in identifying standardized solutions with the level of integration offerings that end users see in their consumer technology.
To remedy the construction data integration gap, in 2012, the Associated General Contractors of America reintroduced its 2008 agcXML effort to develop open source integration standards that industry technology providers could build into their software. These standards allow independent software to ‘communicate’ with each other – simplifying data transfer and collaboration for the end user. That same year, the Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA), an organization of construction software providers eager to support efforts like agcXML, was established to develop complementary standards and to be a voluntary test group for standards developed by agcXML.
“We founded COSA because our end users were experiencing pains trying to transfer data between applications. They expressed that unless they used a one-stop-suite of software, their data might never be fully integrated. agcXML addresses these same frustrations and COSA is very excited to officially join forces with an organization and membership as reputable as AGC,” commented Benny Baltrotsky, Vice President of eSUB Construction Software, a project management software for subcontractors and a co-founding member of COSA.
This month, COSA officially takes over stewardship of the agcXML effort, dedicating resources from member firms to develop and deliver open source integration standards that industry technology providers can build into their software. As the baton is passed from AGC to COSA in this initiative, the agcXML staff, legacy contractor and technology provider members will join the COSA initiative.
“With the groundwork laid by the agcXML initiative, COSA plans on pioneering a new generation of construction software development that meets the integration needs of builders. It’s time technology providers put their differences aside and realized that the majority of contractors no longer employ a one-stop-software-suite. Contractors are employing the best of breed independent software solutions that each department demands. By optimizing their applications for integration with complementary software, technology providers can increase their competitive advantage by meeting end users’ integration needs,” stated James Benham, President ofJBKnowledge (Makers of SmartBidNet) and a co-founding member of COSA.
Since 2012, agcXML and COSA have developed standard schemas for the exchange of Contractor Record, Time Card, Plan Room, ConsensusDocs 721, and RFI data between software solutions. This means that as of now, any software provider in the construction industry can opt to add these already developed code schemas into their software so that contractors using their software can seamlessly transfer and request relevant Contractor, Time Card, Plan Room, CD 721, or RFI data to the other software solutions they use.
“We are always interested in identifying, leading and promoting initiatives that benefit our members and the industry as a whole,” said C. Fara Francis, Chief Information Officer for the Associated General Contractors of America. “Establishing interoperability standards for construction software is the best way to make sure the industry can get the most out of available construction technology.”
Currently, there are seventeen technology provider members of COSA. With the additional strength of twelve agcXML contractor, technology provider and AGC staff members, the next step for COSA will be to form membership committees and organize technology provider and contractor members to continue developing and testing current and new integration standards. Companies interested in learning more and applying to join the effort can inquire at constructionosa.org/contact.
About the Construction Open Software Alliance
Founded in 2012, the Construction Open Software Alliance is a community of software developers and providers who support an open integration standard in construction software. Currently with 17 technology provider members, COSA develops, tests and implements open source code schemas for software providers to adopt into their software, allowing integration of construction data between independent software solutions. COSA believes in facilitating an uninhibited flow of information between the complementary software applications construction professionals depend on most. Learn more at constructionosa.org
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A full service national trade association with a nationwide network of exceptional chapters, AGC represents more than 26,000 leading firms in the industry – including general contractors, specialty contractors and service providers and suppliers. Operating in partnership with its nationwide network of chapters, AGC provides a full range of services satisfying the needs and concerns of its members, thereby improving the quality of construction and protecting the public interest. AGC members play a powerful role in sustaining economic growth, in addition to producing structures that add to productivity and the nation’s quality of life. AGC is truly the “voice and choice” of the construction industry. Learn more at http://www.agc.org