Trimble and Microsoft to build Construction Cloud – exclusive interview

By Andy Brown28 October 2021

Trimble and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of construction by building the Trimble Construction Cloud powered by Microsoft Azure.

By leveraging the Microsoft cloud, the two companies will collaborate to develop, build and deliver industry cloud platforms and solutions that connect people, technology, tasks, data, processes and industry lifecycles.

Speaking to International Construction, Bryn Fosburgh, senior vice president, Trimble Navigation, said, “We’re really wanting to create an industry platform with a set of point solutions across the different industries we represent. In construction you have estimating, earthmoving, project management, and so on.

“What the cloud has given us is kind of a palette – like an artists’ palette with all of the paint on there – and we can now intermingle those colours, those solutions, for a more integrated workflow.”

This partnership expands Trimble and Microsoft’s existing relationship – the two worked together on the Hololens – to combine the Microsoft cloud with Trimble’s construction solutions and industry knowledge. Trimble’s construction solutions include on-machine and field technology, modeling and collaboration software, project and resource management, and all underlying analytics.

Fosburgh added that key to the new Construction Cloud would be that everything was in one place, that it would provide integrated workflows rather than files being handed off between processes.

“It is not only connecting data points, but also connecting the workflow from A to Z and the stakeholders from A to Z,” he said.

“Today, we’re seeing more and more connectivity within a certain task. Now we can broaden that across workflows – from estimate to design to earthworks. That’s where we’ve had discontinuity in the handoff. This cloud solution will help in that process.”

One of the key practical benefits of the Construction Cloud, according to Fosburgh, will be the ability to reduce the amount of rework that takes place. “No matter what you’re building, you always have rework, which costs us productivity, quality, and impacts us from a sustainability perspective, as it creates waste,” he says.

“Platforms like this not only improve productivity, it gives you greater transparency, improves quality, safety – both in human, material and data terms – and sustainability. These parameters are key in this digital transformation. This relationship, platform and cloud environment helps enable that.”

Trimble Construction Cloud will be available in 2022.

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