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Building up to the Cloud

SaaS is finally drilling its way into construction sites

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Construction is notorious for being one of the least digitized industries in the world.

It makes sense. Before the advent of cloud computing, processing happened on-premise, and a construction site is not a great place to host a server. A few back-office computers would keep records and process spreadsheets at the companies' headquarters, but computing was rarely a priority.

Within the past few years, however, because of the proliferation of cloud computing, mobile devices and 4G wireless internet, SaaS developers have started lacing up their workboots. Today, 85 per cent of contractors have implemented (or plan to implement) cloud solutions.

IPM Construction Management Software is taking advantage of the shift.

"Construction companies are always on the move. They need flexibility," says Miree Le Roy, IPM's Product Evangelist. "That's what lead us to move away from job cost accounting systems and toward Microsoft Dynamics."

Construction-related spending accounts for 13 per cent of the world's GDP, and IPM wanted a slice of that pie. By leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365's versatile framework, IPM delivers not only back-end financial information but a real-time view of projects, tasks and operations.

"We fill that big hole, that mishmash of everything," says Le Roy. "Around 80 per cent of the construction market use tens of systems: spreadsheets, an app here and an app there, pen and paper. None of (the systems) talk to each other."

IPM, powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365, solves that problem. And it solves it for both large and small companies.

Because IPM runs from Microsoft's cloud service, its clients don't need to invest in infrastructure development, which is traditionally cost-prohibitive for smaller firms. Companies' employees can leverage IPM's service from their tablets, phones and laptops.

"The thing is,” Le Roy says, “regardless of how big or how small they are, construction companies all have the same problems.”

And IPM is there to fix them.

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