So I not inclined to write too many comment pieces, because (A) I don’t think I’m that great at writing them & (B) I’m never sure there that interesting. But yesterday’s announcement by Newforma & M-Six that Newforma will be licencing the Veo technology within its product, is massive in my opinion. I am a huge advocate of the Newforma technology, I won’t even begin to suggest I am an expert in all the functionality, but I am very clear that as a tool it is superb at managing working progress for BIM projects. Project data management is an essential component of the BIM process which is often overlooked as people get more excited by the fancy 3D eye candy of the model. You can’t blame people for that, because, certainly architects are visual beasts, so managing “project stuff” is often less compelling than managing models.
I remember somebody saying (they will remain nameless to protect the innocent), that Newforma was only any good for managing emails! How wrong they are, it is more than that. In some ways it’s difficult to explain everything it does, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s an Information management tool. But you could argue that whilst Newforma has the ability to view and manage digital BIM deliverables, dwg, dxf, dwf, pdf etc it did not have the ability to view model files, in particularly Revit files. Is this an issue? Maybe? Maybe not? I’ve never seen Revit as the ideal model viewing tool anyway, especially where you have multiple linked worksetted models. Trust me, you don’t want a casual user anywhere near this sort of project configuration unless they are trained & know exactly what they are doing. Not that I am suggesting that the model should be reserved to only experts, but without proper training & clear guidelines it can be easy to mess up a complicated dataset. Certainly it’s not like double clicking & opening a word document!
Eagle eyed viewers will be aware that I am also a big advocate of the M-Six Veo technology. For starters it not vapourware! Its real, but M-Six have played a very smart under the radar game which I find admirable. But the time for Veo is now. I have been toying around with this technology for some time; again, I profess not to be an expert in all its functionality, but I am very clear where it fits in the strategic BIM technology landscape. It’s also refreshing & different. Its ability to aggregate digital model data & throw these datasets around on a six-pence is amazing. So it was no great surprise to me when I started to hear rumblings that M-Six “may” be looking to talk to others about its technology & certainly Newforma seemed an excellent fit.
Newforma has the ability to view & manage the Project data, but is limited in its ability to view the models themselves. Step in Veo; has great viewing capabilities, can aggregate model data, is cloud based, seems like a match made in heaven in my humble opinion. As suggested in the Newforma / M-six press release…..
The integrated solution will provide Newforma customers with model coordination and review capabilities, including:
- View and navigate 3D building models without the need for the underlying authoring software.
- Search for information in models with the benefit of rich visual context linked directly to Newforma PIM data.
- Tie workflow items, such as action items, requests for information, submittals and more, to objects in the model.
Commercially it kills two birds with one stone! Rapidly pushes Veo to an established Newforma user base and addresses the criticism that some have pointed at Newforma for not having model data viewing capabilities. Only time will tell, but I’m excited & it starts to move the market ever closer to the Bew / Richards view of Level 3 BIM vision.