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Foreseeing Construction Needs, Aurigo and Autodesk Integrate

Software for planning and managing capital projects now works more closely with software for designing them, in an effort to make construction more efficient and manageable as the economy tanks.

Highway construction in Orlando, Fla.
Highway construction in Orlando, Fla.
Noting that the United States scored a D+ on its last infrastructure report card and its unemployment rate may pass 20 percent later this year, two companies are integrating products to help state and local governments rebuild and put America back to work.

The Austin, Texas-based Aurigo, which makes software for managing capital projects from planning to maintenance, today announced an integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud, a set of design and management tools used in the construction industry. Aurigo’s founder and CEO, Balaji Sreenivasan, explained to Government Technology in an email that the two companies’ respective products will be sold separately but with pre-built integrations, allowing for seamless exchange of data and information at all stages of a project, from planning through design, construction and maintenance.

“There are various actors involved in the whole lifecycle, and they all need different technologies to do their job efficiently,” he wrote. “More often than not, these different products they use do not talk to each other … causing inefficiencies and poor decision-making. For example, it would be very beneficial for a capital planner to be able to view the conceptual design, or for a construction manager dealing with a change order to collaborate directly with the contractor.”

The integration is in keeping with Aurigo’s strategy as described by Sreenivasan in November: include in a single platform the data sets and tools for as many phases of a project as possible, and add integration hooks for other software tools that handle phases that aren’t included. In the case of Autodesk, that means design.

The integration also brings Autodesk, a major player in design and construction for the private sector, into the arena of public projects, where Aurigo has been busy. Aurigo said its year-over-year revenue grew 80 percent in 2019, with more than 40,000 projects in North America now using its products. The news release said Aurigo’s key platform, Masterworks, has been involved with more than $300 billion in capital programs, including infrastructure projects for departments of transportation in Massachusetts, Nevada, Iowa, Utah, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the city of Las Vegas and the city of Houston’s Public Works department, the largest public-works organization in the U.S.

Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager for Autodesk Construction Solutions, pointed out in a statement that after COVID-19, labor and funding shortages are going to put the efficiency of new capital projects under a microscope.

“This partnership not only redefines the construction software landscape for both capital management and private development, it empowers project owners and the construction industry at large to come back stronger, increase productivity and better manage capital assets,” he said.

The role of public-sector construction projects in driving a comeback was on Sreenivasan’s mind as well. He said construction projects will play a “huge role” in economic recovery after COVID-19, for two reasons: first, because America will need to spend more than $2 trillion in the next decade to bring its aging roads, highways, water treatment facilities and airports up to standard; second, he said, infrastructure spending creates jobs while rebuilding communities.

“It is essential for both businesses and households. Infrastructure connects the nation's businesses, communities, and people driving our economy and eventually improving our quality of life,” Sreenivasan wrote. “However, managing a large infrastructure spend has its own implementation challenges. This is where we come in, delivering modern cloud software to streamline the entire infrastructure build-out from planning through completion.”

Andrew Westrope is managing editor of the Center for Digital Education. Before that, he was a staff writer for Government Technology, and previously was a reporter and editor at community newspapers. He has a bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and lives in Northern California.
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