Leading global tech solution company Aconex continues to be a game changer in the construction industry after nearly two decades. Partnering with the Victorian Government, the business is set to present the second Construction Tech Summit in Melbourne in October 2017.
The Melbourne start-up, Aconex was founded by Leigh Jasper and Robert Phillpot in 2014 who were frustrated by the reliance on paper-based practices in construction. Together they developed what is now the leading cloud and mobile collaboration platform for the global construction industry. With more than 70,000 user organisations and over A$1 trillion of project value, Aconex now has 47 offices in 23 countries around the world.
Cloud-based collaboration platform
Construction teams often form and dissolve according to the needs of a single project. This means there is limited continuity and ongoing collaboration, impacting on the potential for ongoing innovation. Aconex’s software solutions address this barrier in part by bringing teams together during a project, irrespective of their locations.
Primarily, the company focuses on delivering Software as a Service (SaaS) models to the construction industry. Aconex is recognised worldwide as an industry game changer because of its cloud-based, project-wide collaboration platform. Its features allow for streamlined workflows in construction contexts, providing increased visibility and control of cost, productivity and process efficiency.
Users of the platform can budget, forecast, track progress and performance, manage entire programs, manage contracts and process claims and payments. Aconex continues to innovate with plans to expand into financial services by using operational data about subcontractors and their projects to help lenders price credit to them.
Aconex has served projects valued at more than US$920 billion, with over 500,000 users. Clients include nine of the top ten engineering, procurement and construction (EPC/EPCM) firms; 23 of the 25 largest global design firms; and nearly all Fortune 500 construction and engineering companies.
In Beaumont Texas, Aconex’s platform is used by Orascom Construction to manage project information and processes for a greenfield, world-class methanol production complex that is being developed. In Iraq, Pell Frischmann uses the Aconex platform to manage the design of a much-needed US$700-million water infrastructure rehabilitation project. Closer to Australia, the platform manages SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited’s information and processes for the design and construction of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC).
Victorian strategy drives growth
“Victoria’s strategic commitment to growth in the tech industry is key to supporting innovation in this sector,” Aconex’s Head of Corporate Development Nick Peace said.
“It also helps that Australian construction and infrastructure industries are relatively progressive on a worldwide basis, in terms of how they look at technologies.
“Out of the major industries worldwide, construction would be amongst the least digitised, ahead only of hunting and fishing.”
When you consider that digitisation is now clearly linked to productivity gains and increased profit margins, the potential for growth in construction and related industries such as infrastructure and resources seems endless. So why is digitisation so slow? The answer lies in the industry itself.
Removing industry barriers
Victoria’s construction industry is worth A$21.6 billion. In the Victorian Construction Technology Sector Strategy launched two years ago, the Victorian Government set a clear policy agenda to accelerate the adoption of technology in the construction sector.
This global success has led the company to turn their experience into insight for others. Aconex is keen to see other home-grown startups continue to innovate and are working with the Victorian Government to present what will be the second Construction Tech Summit to be held in Melbourne later this year.
Construction Tech Summit
A year ago, Aconex partnered with the Victorian Government to launch the first Construction Tech Summit. It provided a valuable forum for entrepreneurs seeking insight into how to form partnerships, secure funding and open new channels to market. Attendees heard from industry leaders who had either grown construction technology businesses themselves or supported others.
Last year, Aconex presented several of the workshops during the Construction Tech Summit, able to share how their digital solutions have led them from Melbourne-based startup to global leader.
Aconex now works with some the world’s most successful owners, contractors and project management consultants across 16,000 projects in over 70 different countries.
More than 100 tech startups attended last year’s summit. All were focused on improving the performance of the construction and infrastructure sectors. Companies attending the summit made the most of the opportunity to network and gain insights into how technology is changing the face of the construction industry.
Based in Melbourne, Aconex has grown its global footprint to become the number one cloud-based platform connecting teams responsible for the world’s largest engineering projects.