Autodesk Construction Cloud Seeks To Streamline AEC Industry

If you missed this year’s Autodesk University conference, you missed out on a wealth of insight tailor made for AEC industry professionals. From compelling keynotes from industry thought leaders to enlightening breakout sessions covering diverse aspects of construction management and hands-on instruction, the event offered something for everyone. As exhibitors, the ProjectReady team gained a unique perspective on the dynamic developments occurring in the AECO software space. On this special episode of the ProjectReady Podcast, we’re summarizing, reacting to, and providing our perspective on the 2023 Autodesk University conference.

Women of ProjectReady | Women in Software Development | Autodesk University 2023 | ProjectReady
Nicole Leibow (from left), Shaili Modi-Oza, and Abbey Kanellakis helped represent ProjectReady on the Autodesk University 2023 expo floor.

The Focus On Autodesk Construction Cloud Integration

Engaging with attendees on the Autodesk University expo floor revealed a noticeable shift toward embracing efficiency and cloud-based solutions,. Particular emphasis was on the role of construction project information management in delivering a comprehensive approach to construction technology and project management. Discussions also highlighted the significance of connecting data and integrating the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) with other platforms like Microsoft 365 and Procore.

On this episode of the podcast, we explore the features of our ProjectReady Autodesk Construction Cloud integration, including BIM 360 sync across platforms, collaborating on RFIs in real time between Autodesk Construction Cloud and Procore, and improved BIM 360 document management across platforms and email. All these points appeared to resonate with attendees.

Topics such as content synchronization, Microsoft 365 and Procore integration, automated project setup and simplified security of SharePoint, M365 Groups, and improved email management, including email search, all made waves. But it was the upcoming release of two powerful features that stood out most with those with whom we spoke: Program Management and Automated Autodesk Construction Cloud Project Site Setup.

In fact, so many companies continue to use SharePoint for construction project management, but continue to fall short of optimization because they still don’t have an easy way to manage M365 in the scope of the project. Those who stopped by to have a conversation with our team were surprised to learn that ProjectReady actually makes SharePoint for construction manageable through the automation of site creation and roles-based security.

Program Management Sneak Peek – Think Autodesk-to-Autodesk Integration

Perhaps one of the most anticipated breakthroughs in our industry pertains to the ability to connect and share content between multiple instances of Autodesk and Procore. After years of work, ProjectReady has finally built a solution that solves this AECO industry challenge.

ProjectReady’s Program Management ensures that all project team members and stakeholders are always on the same page and in possession of a single source of truth that persists across the multiple projects and platforms in play within a program.  With program management, users can now:

  • Synchronize content across different tenants of Autodesk Construction Cloud as well as different Procore tenants.
  • Centralize reporting across multiple projects within a program.
  • Monitor the status of RFIs, Submittals, Change Orders, and more across multiple instances of ACC or Procore.
  • Associate vital project information to the program level.

Finishing touches are being made on the solution. Therefore, ProjectReady’s Program Management will officially be available to the public in January.

Conversations with Autodesk representatives also shed light on the enthusiasm surrounding key developments and investments, positioning Autodesk as leaders in seamlessly connecting with other systems.

The Future of Cloud-Based Construction Management Software Solutions: Autodesk Construction Cloud + ProjectReady

Looking ahead, as we delve into upcoming plans and the expansion of our own Autodesk Construction Cloud integration in response to industry demands, we are eager to fortify our partnership. This collaboration aims to provide construction professionals with access to even more advanced tools and capabilities and we are, frankly, thrilled to be a part of it.

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Read The Transcript

To view the full transcript of this episode of the ProjectReady podcast, extend the section below.


Joe Giegerich: 

Hi everybody. Thank you as always, coming out to listen to the Project Ready podcast. As always, it’s myself, Joe Giegerich, the CEO and founder of Project Ready and Shaili Modi, who is our head of development.

Previous podcasts that we just released pretty recently, Navigating the Challenges of AEC Project Owners. That includes project owner reps, program managers, and the like. We were fortunate enough to have Jeff Walter and Sala Eckhart on that podcast with us. Also, Managing the Chaos of Document Control. Document control is one of the first places that we really showed a lot of innovation back in the day, and so it remains near and dear to our heart.

Upcoming webcasts, we have Navigating the Challenges of Project Managers in the AEC, as well as Navigating the Challenges of IT Professionals Within the AEC Industries.

So today’s podcast, however, is just a quick update as to Autodesk University, which we just got back from a few days ago. And so with that, Shaili, I had some key takeaways, but do you want to start? 

Shaili Modi-Oza: 

Sure. Yeah, definitely. I think we can start with an overview.

Of course, it was a great conference, wonderful experience, a lot of people. So I think generally, the setup of the EXPO was great, and we had a lot of good interactions. I did attend a couple of sessions and keynotes as well.

So I guess just starting with the overall experience, met a lot of good, interesting people, got a lot of great info. 


Yeah, it was really busy. There’s a palpable excitement. We just did Procore not long ago as well, as to the industry’s embrace of innovation. Fair? 


Yeah, definitely. Definitely being to previous AU conferences, and this one that there was a big change in everybody confidently kind of heading towards moving to the cloud, AI, all of that was fairly visible and everybody seemed very excited about it for sure. 


Yeah, that was definitely one of our challenges early on. We were really early in what we did when we released the beta of the product in late 2019. What we had found was though a lot of companies had not gone to the cloud. In fact, the number of companies at the time said, we’ll never go. All of them have gone. And the pandemic obviously really sealed that deal there for everybody to move out there. And now that they’re out in the cloud, one of the resounding consistent things between this and Procore was people recognize… Well, how can I say it?

There’s always going to be more than one system, and they need to get the content and the information in disparate systems, Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC), other people’s ACC get to that in a moment, Procore to ACC. And in fact at Procore we got a lot of requests, “Hey, can we connect Procore to ACC?” And one of the many requests that we saw common on the floor was, “Can we connect ACC to Procore?” So that was one consistency. Do you agree? 


Yeah, agreed.

Because a lot of the teams internally, they’re using one system or another, but at a project level we’ve seen that consistently they’re working with clients and vendors and contractors who are all having their own different systems and there’s a lot of manual work trying to consolidate all of that together.

There’s an RFI in one system, there’s no other way right now than manually inputting it back into your system. So definitely saw a lot of interest around that and bringing those together, for sure. 


For what it’s worth, folks, we connect Procore RFIs to ACC. Hopefully we’re going to be doing the same in reverse with ACC, where it can initiate from ACC. And on that connection of systems, on the content level, big announcement from us is our program management feature, because you point out it’s not just your systems.

It’s your vendors, and the owners and we can now ship content from your ACC to a different tenant’s ACC. This tends to be your owner or your vendor, and that was really well received. So on the topic of that though, also some of the technology, I mean this is obviously your end, and you want to talk about some of the technology announcements that were there that you found interesting. 


Yeah, definitely with the move towards more people now everybody’s using ACC, and they are definitely announcing and bringing in the new APIs, the brand new endpoints for the account admin. Where we will shortly be able to now create and provision projects in ACC as well. I think that’s a big one, because we’ve been waiting for that API.

We are able to set up and create projects in both M365 and Procore right now, so we’ll be able to do the same with ACC.


And I’d like to add very quickly for our listeners, that feature is not going to take us terribly long to roll out, because of the way our architecture works. You think it’s like a few weeks and we’ll have that feature out there? 


Yeah, I think definitely in a few weeks. So we should be able to set that up. 


Certainly by the end of this year, Q4. Okay. 


Yep. That’s correct. So yeah, basically that was an exciting announcement to be able to set up projects in ACC.

They have read APIs for submittals already, so at least that gives us the ability to now surface APIs from ACC into our project-release project dashboard like we do with Procore. And we already do surface the ACC issues, RFIs, so we can now bring in submittals as well, into that single view. And even across different ACC tenants, ACC projects, we can basically now bring in the ACC submittal information. So that is exciting. 

And there were a lot of good announcements around even ACC trying to kind of make their endpoints better, in terms of helping us get all of this information across different projects in ACC, different trends we can get for submittals and RFIs and use all of that data points effectively to show in our dashboards as well.

So I think that was pretty exciting, that we can now use all of these APIs and not just get the data, but over a period of time, the different trends for how long does it normally take for RFIs to be completed, which projects generally have more overdue RFIs, all of these data points are being made available more and more easily from Autodesk. And us being able to get all of that data across a portfolio of projects will really be helpful over time. 


Yeah. And particularly on the program management feature that we just released, because now you’re consuming all that information, time to delivery, all the rest of it, not just in your project or projects, but in all the projects that roll out to a portfolio.

So that particularly from an owner and owner rep perspective, this is usually impactful. And of course with that, I mean we’re a scalable taxonomy.

We automatically generate a data warehouse when you set up anything with us. And so also part of our roadmap, which won’t take us a whole heck of a lot, Q4, we’re going to start applying AI against those kinds of metrics that you just referenced. Which now allow an owner, for instance, to go which company has the faster response or the least number of conversions to COs.

So that will be available by the end of the first quarter of this coming year. Does that sound about right? 


Yep. Yeah, correct. 


The other thing on the technology front too is that speaking to Autodesk folks, they were more than cognizant and receptive to, for instance, get the wright ability with W, as it relates to submittals.

Because once we have that, then we can continue to develop Workbridge to connect Procore and ACC submittals, which will really round that out. And that from our experience, that’s been the bigger bear to wrestle with.

All right, some other key takeaways for us, there’s an expression, I’m a musician my whole life. If you play a wrong note once, it’s a wrong note, if you play it twice, it’s a motif. And so again, these commonalities between Procore and Autodesk, and this will tie into our other cast that we’re going to do, which is around the little things that add up, but the ability to connect all these different systems and be able to orchestrate the management of that content via sync as well as capturing information via email for the creation of a task, to send out attachments easily in the form of email, all spanning these different systems was another thing that we found really resonated well. 

You would go through, obviously we’re doing this for a living here, folks, no surprise, but when you would talk to people and you would go along, “Well, we can provision this or we can’t do that.”

The email thing, again, one of those things that resoundingly is a needed touch point. There are solutions out there, but we really do think ours is the best, and some of them are very unique like creating a task and connected attach.

But that was another thing that really stuck out for me. And I guess the last thing that I would say about this show that we heard repeatedly was, “Oh, we’ve been working on trying to provision and automate various things that our product does.”

And so the very fact that a lot of our prospective clients and clients have made attempts at doing things that are components or subsets of what we’ve already rolled out really validates two things. 

The recognition in the industry that it will never be one platform is not…

The common data environment is only common to you if that’s all you use. And that desperate need to connect these systems and to automate the provisioning.

We really are the only product out there that we know of that will automatically set up all these projects with centralized metadata, build that data warehouse on the fly.

And the fact that a lot of companies have put their toe in that water, it was gratifying to me, and I would imagine you as well, Shaili, that we already got there, we were early. So this is good for us. The reason why it’s good for us is because the industry itself has really come to this. We have to figure out how to consolidate, aggregate, synchronize, and have single views of all this information in flight, which is something that we do incredibly well. It’s really kind of the foundational purpose of the product. 


Yeah, definitely agreed. I think it was very reassuring when so many people stopped by and their eyes lit up like, “Oh, this is something we’ve been trying to do internally as well, and this would be very useful.” 


Yeah, and then we showed them 12 other things they didn’t know were possible, which is just fantastic. But that awakening, I mean, again, going back to 2019 when we launched, what was the beginning of this product, the core of it. And you would just get, “Eh, we’re on premise. We’re on file systems. I don’t trust the cloud.”

What a difference a few years makes.

The one takeaway that I’ve been getting from the shows that we’ve been going to of late is there is the awareness and recognition of a need to really start to bring systems together and apply automation.

And when we have conversations with folks, particularly on the automation piece, they have done some chunk of it. But not with the view for the comprehensive management of data across CDEs.

That’s the trick. Not just automate the setup, but how do you automate the connection, automate the synchronization? How do you make it more efficient? How do you make it easier for end users to find all this data that you’ve automated the creation of, but now no one can find it. 

And so again, this is something that we really do represent, and it’s just the resounding commonality of there’s a recognition, there’s a bigger picture out there I think than a lot of groups have addressed. And I think we really address it like nobody else. And really looking forward to what’s coming down the pipe because like Procore, Autodesk as well is very forward-thinking on making available the various APIs for us to do the work that we do and that the rest of you out there are also doing. So I guess we’ll keep this fairly short and sweet. It’s a quick update of the EXPO. It was really well run by Autodesk too, I have to say.

The food was decent, not enough coffee, I will say that. But the food was decent, which is a rare thing to say. And the way it was set up, the foot traffic was excellent. So those of you who are vendors out there, that was a good thing too.

All right, without further ado, this is Joe Giegerich and Shaili Modi and we’ll talk to you the next time.

Thank you. 


Thank you.