Autodesk expands its construction project management portfolio

End of the year acquisitions of BuildingConnected and PlanGrid give the company modern, cloud-based tools for construction.

Just before Christmas hit the fan for 2018, Autodesk announced the acquisition of BuildingConnected for $275 million and PlanGrid for $875 million. The acquisitions extend Autodesk’s tools into preconstruction and deeper into the field.

BuildingConnected offers a cloud-based environment to handle bid-management, which in turn enables companies to centralize budget information, bids, and interactions with contractors for a better overall picture of a project from the earliest phases. BuildingConnected maintains a database of more than 700,000 subcontractors to help companies find the workers and vice versa. The company is proud of its interface and dashboard tools.

PlanGrid is a construction management platform, which connects the people working on a project and provides access to project-related data and workflow tracking. It provides access to project plans, punch lists, project tasks, progress photos, daily field reports, submittals, etc.

PlanGrid says it has over 12,000 customers with 120,000 paid users.

At a glance: Building Grid provides dashboards for the projects and access to the contractors. (Source: BuildingConnected)

In the announcement of the acquisition, Autodesk CEO Andrew Anagnost said BuildingConnected and PlanGrid will be integrated into Autodesk’s lineup of AEC products including BIM 360, Revit, and AutoCAD, and its earlier acquisitions Assemble Systems.

What do we think?

This is a typically elegant Autodesk swoop that expands the company’s project management portfolio and focuses on a critical segment of the AEC industry—the workers in the field and the actual building process.

The tricky part of digitalization has always been the non-digital elements, otherwise known as people. People are mobile and they need to communicate with each other and stay connected with the details of a project. The cloud has made that possible. The tricky part for Autodesk and its competitors as they add-on new applications and capabilities to long-established products is integrating the capabilities in a way that makes the process seamless.