This guest blog post comes to you from TrueLook Product Manager, Jimmy Hodson. As Product Manager, Jimmy takes a strong customer-focus, and diligently works to understand the problems they are facing and implement solutions and new features that will enable them to do their jobs better.
A 2018 report by Ernst & Young found that 98% of engineering and construction companies agree that digital solutions are critical to the future viability of their company. In the wake of COVID-19, this has never been more true. During the crisis, organizations across every industry and sector had to digitize processes in order to operate, and many found new ways to streamline workflows, increase efficiencies and make it easier for people to work and collaborate from anywhere.
Most construction firms remained active throughout the lockdown, continuing to rely on digital collaboration and project management tools to exchange and update information in real-time — and an important enabler of better collaboration is access to data from the field. In fact, a recent report from Viewpoint and Dodge Data & Analytics found that 71% of respondents said the ability to access data from the field while in the office was a key driver for digital transformation.
Some of the critical data from the field includes video and photos from construction cameras. Through integrations with project management software such as Procore, construction camera solutions such as TrueLook’s can significantly enhance collaboration among all stakeholders during a construction project, providing visual documentation of what’s happening on the jobsite.
Integrated or Embedded?
Anytime information is shared between applications and made actionable within them, adoption is easier and more powerful. What users can do with both applications expands as the features and functionality of one platform complement and enhance the features and functionality of the other. That’s why integrations that enable real-time access to data from the field are a rising trend in construction, where time is of the essence and efficient workflows help to increase margins. According to programmableweb.com, firms have access to more than 12,000 APIs for connecting applications of all kinds.
TrueLook cameras have integrated with the Procore platform for some time, enabling teams to view visual documentation and share noteworthy photos with Procore contacts. Capabilities such as quadview comparison and image markup within the TrueLook platform help to keep teams informed and make data-driven decisions throughout a project’s lifecycle.
But until recently, users had to log into the TrueLook application interface separately to access those capabilities. Photos and video from TrueLook cameras flowed into the Procore interface, but users couldn’t do much with them unless they left the Procore application. Say a user was working in Procore and wanted to view and mark up a photo to support his documentation. To do so, he would have had to log out of Procore, log into Truelook and complete the markup, then log back into Procore and import the modified photo.
Now, users can leverage all of the great capabilities of the TrueLook platform — image markup, quadview comparison, overlay and more — right within Procore, with no disruption to their workflow. Considering most firms are facing tighter budgets and timelines in this era of uncertainty, shaving time off project management work and enabling more efficient collaboration can provide competitive advantage.
A Catalyst for Innovation
COVID-19 was a catalyst for many vendors to think outside the box and come up with creative ways of integrating technology to help firms collaborate more effectively, cut costs and complete work faster. I believe there will be many more announcements to come from construction tech vendors who are actively looking for ways to combine essential software and streamline workflows to accelerate the construction build lifecycle.
TrueLook is wrapping its new features in APIs for this purpose, ensuring they can exchange data with other applications easily. It’s just one more way TrueLook is working to remove barriers to adopting its solutions and enabling other applications to expand and enhance theirs.