Building new roads and airports is complicated. Microsoft’s technology just made it easier

aerial view of roads

Building the roads, skyscrapers and airports that millions of people will use every day will become easier after a key collaboration tool used in the construction industry was integrated with parts of Microsoft Office 365.

Bentley Systems’ ProjectWise 365 program is used by engineers, architects, planners and IT managers across the world to collaborate and share information before, during and after infrastructure is built.

It is now expanding its integration with Microsoft, adding chat-based communication service Teams and automated workflow tool Flow, adding to the analytics capabilities in SharePoint and PowerBI. This means workers will be able to automate certain tasks and find it easier to collaborate with other team members.

“The extended integration between ProjectWise and Microsoft Office 365 helps companies to go digital, empowering them to improve productivity and deliver better outcomes,” said Ron Markezich, Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft Office 365 Commercial.

ProjectWise, which uses the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, can also give staff secure access to specific parts of their project, depending on their need to know that information. Dashboards use PowerBI to show schedule and financial information to workers in real-time, allowing them to spot trends and potential issues earlier.

Noah Eckhouse, Senior Vice-President of Project Delivery for Bentley, said: “Through Microsoft Office 365 integration, automated digital workflows are now so convenient that I expect every project team to benefit.”

Engineering firm AECOM uses ProjectWise 365 to give management access to more data and increase collaboration.

Elizabeth Berna, Information Manager at the company, said: “Our project managers now see the value of data, which is identifying trends in project performance and providing the information needed to pro-actively influence better outcomes.”

Microsoft and Bentley Systems, which is based in the US but operates in more than 50 countries, are also working together on applications for the HoloLens mixed-reality headset that will let users create 3D holograms of buildings.

Rather than put users in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them. As the Windows-10-based product does not have wires or external cameras, or require a phone or PC connection, users can walk around the objects they create and interact with them using gestures, gaze and voice.

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