Arup is a global professional services firm headquartered in London which provides engineering, architecture, design, planning, project management, and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects, delivering innovative solutions for clients across more than 160 countries.
Arup often subcontracts on projects under prime vendors. In these scenarios, project documents are usually stored within the prime contractor’s construction management system, which will vary from project to project.
To improve and standardize document management and retention processes, as well as protect the business in case of dispute, Arup sought a means to continually back-up project files they own but that reside in prime contractor content repositories to their internal platforms.
The Importance of File Ownership in AEC
A key driver in Arup’s quest for continuous back-up with BIM 360 is securing project data ownership for legal and compliance requirements.
When AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) firms’ project data is stored within external systems, they run the risk of losing access to this data that may be integral for settling potential legal disputes after the construction project has ended. By continuously backing up the data as they work, firms can maintain proper file governance for the business as well as improve document retrieval for past and present projects.
“We don’t want to find ourselves in a situation where we’ve been cut off from access, or we closed out a project without retaining copies of the project data for our records,” said John DiCamillo, CIO of Arup’s Americas region said. “If we don’t have a copy of our project data to review in the event of a complaint or legal dispute, we could find ourselves in an unfavorable situation.”
SkySync’s Autodesk BIM 360 Integration
SkySync’s content orchestration platform enables the transfer of files across a variety of on-premises and cloud-based storage platforms while maintaining critical file data and corresponding document versions.
After learning that an architect team in Arup’s United Kingdom office had used SkySync for a small cloud storage migration to Microsoft’s SharePoint Online, the IT team at Arup Americas began to consider the possibility of using the content orchestration tool to create the sought-after continuous back-up between Autodesk Construction Cloud’s BIM 360 and third-party AEC platforms.
“We’ve needed to synchronize an external SharePoint Online site with Arup’s SharePoint Online environment to create a backup of important project data. When we discovered that SkySync supported a variety of other platforms that we encounter often, and that they support Autodesk platforms, we immediately saw the potential. We engaged SkySync in a discussion about creating a connector for the latest BIM 360 Docs platform,” DiCamillo said.
Due to the breadth of connectors available within the SkySync platform, Arup saw SkySync as a one-size-fits-all solution to their needs. With SkySync, Arup and other AEC firms have the ability to integrate virtually any content repository with their existing construction management tool, without having to invest in additional AEC platforms.
“We did the due diligence by looking at other one-off tools and considered building our own solutions. But we didn’t want to have to manage multiple vendors or tools to address all the different platforms that we need to integrate,” said Michael Siculiano, Compute & Storage Engineer at Arup Americas.
With SkySync’s BIM 360 Docs connector, Arup Americas will be able to continuously back-up external BIM 360 tenants with their internal environment as well as other common platforms used in the industry, including Box, Dropbox, G Suite, Procore, SharePoint and others. This enables the firm to maintain ownership and possession of project data, no matter where it resides – and with no impact on security or operations.
SkySync + Autodesk & Arup
Currently, Arup has plans to deploy the joint SkySync and Autodesk solution in its Americas region, with the potential to scale out across the enterprise within the next few years.
“We use Autodesk products across 14 offices in North and South America. If BIM 360 Docs connector solution is as successful as we expect it to be, we have the potential to take it globally – impacting 18,000 people across 140 countries,” DiCamillo said.
“We haven’t seen another solution that can integrate BIM 360 with all of these other platforms. With Autodesk Construction Cloud becoming a standard in the AEC industry, we can see a lot of opportunity with the SkySync + Autodesk partnership in the world of AEC,” DiCamillo added.
- 14 offices in North and South America
- Over 18,000 employees
- Full integration of Autodesk BIM 360