Marco, what is a Building Information Modeling solution?
Marco L.: At different paces, all industries are undergoing a transformation thanks to multiple digital technologies that are becoming market standards. This historical phase, defined as “Multiplied Innovation,” is also affecting the AEC sector (Architectural, Engineering, Construction) that is driven by the innovation of the BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology, which means the creation of digital representations of building projects, for the integrated life-cycle management of a construction work.
Why has Eupragma focused its interest in the AEC industry, and what needs did you find in the market?
Marco L .: Eupragma has always dealt with companies’ consultancy and change management, and this initiative started from the observation of the profound change underway in the AEC industry, both internationally and nationally. In the scenario observed, the numerous digital solutions based on the BIM methodology were mainly verticalized in specialized application subdomains; on the contrary, an integrated solution is absent, and this refers to an end-to-end tool that is useful to the whole supply chain, which included every phase of a building’s life cycle, including design (with 3D modeling), construction, maintenance, facility management, building automation and control (supported by IoT technologies), and connecting companies, suppliers, and customers. This is why Eupragma conceived 4Days, a startup for the AEC industry and designed a solution focused on this sector to answer integration needs with a tool that we can define: Integrated Building Information Modeling management system.
"An end-to-end tool that is useful to the whole supply chain, which includes every phase of a building’s life cycle, including design, construction, maintenance, facility management, building automation and control, and connecting companies, suppliers, and customers"
Can you tell us more about 4Days?
Marco L .: The idea was born less than 2 years ago, initially within Eupragma, with the outlook to create a company at the achievement of business objectives. From this point of view, we have moved faster than expected, reaching a million euros in revenue after only a year and thus creating 4Days.
What does it do?
Marco L .: The startup borrows and verticalizes the principles of Eupragma in the AEC industry. 4Days integrates Eupragma skills with sector-specific ones, dealing with consultancy services on strategy, organization, management, BIM, and digital innovation. The last point constitutes a main company development driver, because it allowed us to achieve and exceed the business objectives we set, thus accelerating the growth of the startup.
You have chosen WebRatio as your digital innovation partner. What are the considerations that led you to this choice?
Marco L .: We have chosen WebRatio as both an integration and application development framework and as a partner because we have been working with the company for over 10 years, and we have always appreciated its skills in the digital innovation and project management fields, as well as the accuracy and speed of its implementation.
Furthermore, the creation of a new experimental project had a high degree of uncertainty, as we did not know how the market would respond to this new methodology. The choice to integrate WebRatio’s skills into our project was a winning one: in 18 months, we exceeded the most optimistic forecasts, because today our tool is used by international customers and by some of the top 20 engineering and construction companies in Italy, with over 150 technicians in 100 projects and over 10 thousand shared documents.
"The choice to integrate WebRatio's skills into our project was a winning one: in 18 months, we exceeded the most optimistic forecasts"
Roberto, how did you integrate your WebRatio skills with thyours?
Roberto A .: The trust that binds our company to Eupragma is long term. It is based on recognizing each other specific skills, and this has created a natural synergy with proven effectiveness in many innovation projects.
The BIM methodology is similar to the WebRatio Platform approach: abstraction and modeling allow you to structure and share information and data in an easier and faster way in order to create many interfaces for the different actors who use the digital solution. Collaboration with Eupragma for the creation of this project was like reliving the birth of the WebRatio Platform because both tools act as disruptive innovation technologies in their business areas.
"The BIM methodology is similar to the WebRatio Platform approach: abstraction and modeling allow you to structure and share information and data in an easier and faster way"
How did you develop the digital solution?
Roberto A .: Our development methodology with the WebRatio Platform is Agile, which is especially useful for experimental projects such as this one, because it gives flexibility wherever there is greater uncertainty. We worked with a series of 15-day sprint for development and 15-day sprint for testing and improvements, during which the following sprint requirements were collected. The solution realized is therefore business driven because it is perfectly suited to the needs that emerged from the market analysis.
You named Multiplied Innovation. What is it? And how does Eupragma’s BIM system bring the AEC industry into the Multiplied Innovation era?
Roberto A.: The analysts of International Data Corporation (IDC) have defined the period of technological innovation that we are experiencing today as “Multiplied Innovation”, thus defining the end of the first phase of digital transformation as experimentation. I agree with their point of view because we can observe multiple technologies that are now consolidated and that are scaling in terms of importance and turnover, thus supporting the birth and growth of new businesses and entirely new industries. Our startup provides the technology to the construction industry to let it gain all the benefits of digital transformation, in a scenario of market innovation, with new skills and new approaches to project management, in which the BIM system is a tool that looks to the future of this industry.
Among the technologies that are like levers of digital transformation in companies (IoT, AI, and Blockchain), I also want to include low-code, because it brings innovation, enables new development processes and user/customer experiences, and simplifies the creation of very complex solutions, as in the case of our project.
"We can observe multiple technologies that are now consolidated and that are scaling in terms of importance and turnover, thus supporting the birth and growth of new businesses and entirely new industries"