By Jeanie J. Clapp
Published August 28, 2012
The fourth annual AGC IT Forum Conference kicked off at the Swissotel in Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 16 with more than 225 attendees eager to learn, ready to share and willing to engage.
"Where Technology and Construction Converge" was the theme and focused on hot topics, such asinteroperability in the cloud, mobile computing, enterprise content management (ECM), affordable solutions and IT trends.
James Benham ignited the event on the first day with his exciting keynote presentation on interoperability in the cloud. Benham, founder and president of JB Knowledge Technologies, Inc., stressed the importance of integration. As he noted, other industries are integrating and the construction industry should be as well. "Why can’t we come up with simple de facto standards that exist?" he asked the audience. While agcXML was the industry’s attempt at establishing standards in 2007, adoption unfortunately did not take place.
Enter the Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA).
According to Benham, COSA is comprised of five small software companies that will work together to create industry standards. Those companies are Cloud Takeoff, eSub, Note Vault, Online Plan Service and SmartBidNet. The captured audience at the AGC IT Forum Conference was the first to hear of this exciting new development.
COSA will work to develop quality, robust out-of-the box integration that endorses agcXML standards. Benham stressed, however, that in order to impact change, users must demand integration, participate in the standard and try cloud integrated software. For more information on COSA, readers should visit www.constructionosa.org.