Monday, October 24, 2011

DBIA, Newforma and confessions of a tradeshow junkie

I admit it. In years past, I have been a candy-scarfing, koozie-snagging conference attendee who zipped through the aisles of tradeshows on my way to redeem my drink coupon. But now I’ve experienced the other side of the booth, and I have a changed perspective.

Dustin Anderson, Dan Conery and I attended the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) annual expo in Orlando last week. This was my very first tradeshow as an exhibitor, and I sure learned a lot!

For instance, tradeshows have an interesting behind-the-scenes economy. Who would have thought that you rent the square of carpet that marks your booth? And I’m so glad I brought my most comfortable shoes. Not because I was standing a lot at the show, but because it surely was 2 miles from my hotel room to the exhibit space on the opposite side of that enormous complex.

I also learned that Newforma has developed great name recognition over the past 5 years. It seemed every person I met had used Newforma in some capacity—either directly as our customer, or as a team member receiving Info Exchange transfers.

I was glad that we had plenty of time to talk with our visitors at the show. We had the laptop queued up so that we could give a quick overview—or an in-depth product demonstration—to people who were new to Newforma. Current customers stopped by too, and we could show them the newest features and get feedback on their priorities.

The next time that I’m an attendee at a tradeshow and you are an exhibitor, I promise that I will stop by your booth. I’ve learned that meeting each other in-person is the most valuable part of a conference, so I’ll be sure to visit with you for at least 10 minutes…on my way to redeem my drink coupon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Making Dollars and Sense – Newforma’s New VP of Finance

We’re excited to welcome Joe Santiago, our new VP of Finance, to the Newforma team. Joe brings topnotch expertise and a proven track record with venture-back high growth organizations. Joe is skilled in the areas of financing, reporting, revenue recognition, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning and international operations having managed the finances at a variety of companies including Cedar Point Communications, Telcordia, and Granite Systems. Joe's experience traveling and living abroad in Singapore complements his understanding of doing business globally. Joe also worked at Ernst & Young and is an accounting graduate of Bentley University. Newforma is growing and with Joe at the finance helm the sky’s the limit.

Speaking of growing, you too can become a member of the Newforma team! We have several openings right now including a Customer Support Specialist in the UK, a Product Designer and Software Engineers. Check out “Careers at Newforma” for more information.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Newforma named Innovation Rocks! Award Winner for October

All of us at Newforma are excited to be recognized as the October “Innovation Rocks!” award winner! Innovation Rocks! is an initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development in coordination with Rock 101 (WGIR-FM) to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of New Hampshire innovators.

I thought the comments were pretty much spot-on when it came to describe why Newforma was chosen:

“Newforma shows how a relatively young New Hampshire company can have significant market impact,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Chris Way. “It’s only been a little over six years since the First Edition of their Project Center software was put out in limited release, and now Newforma’s software is being used by 49,000 licensed users in 620 companies across 10 countries to manage 650,000 projects. That’s innovation that works.”

This award means a great deal to us. Even though Newforma products are being used by industry leading Architecture, Engineering, and Construction firms on projects all around the world, it is especially rewarding to be recognized in your home state as a leader in innovation.

I also personally like the connection with both the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Rock 101. I grew up in New Hampshire, and I’ve seen firsthand all the great things that NHDED have done for the state, and of course, Rock 101 was my go-to station for the best Rock and Roll!

We really appreciate the award and are very proud of the recognition. However, as is the Newforma way, we won’t rest on our laurels. To quote classic rockers Bachmann Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Newforma Punch List tablet app: why we started with Android; where we go from here

We built the first version of our mobile punch list app for Android® tablets instead of the popular Apple product, the iPad® mobile digital device (as is its legal name).

Why start with Android? Newforma Vice President of Customer Satisfaction and Construction Solutions Dan Conery answers that question and others in a quick conversation.

Q: So, why release on the Android platform first?

Dan: We knew an application for disconnected information capture at the jobsite would require apps for both the Android and iPad platforms. Since this is our first solution on the 10.1 inch form factor, we wanted to make sure we nailed it before we scaled it. So we had to select one to start. Two reasons drove the decision:

  1. We have many customers who either have standardized on the Android or who had not made a decision on which tablet platform to roll out within their organization.
  2. The 8 megapixel camera on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 allows for more detailed images than the iPad camera, which is less than 1 megapixel.

Q: So, you plan on support both iPad and Android?

Dan: Of course, one cannot be serious about supporting our industry and not support both of these platforms.

Q: Why would the camera resolution matter?

NewformaPunchlist_FINAL_122Dan: After talking with several of our existing customers, pictures came up over and over again as a critical component of a Punch List solution. You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? One senior executive with extensive field experience told us that he wanted to be able to read the label on an electrical outlet on a picture of an entire wall. This expectation means camera resolution is important.

Q: Will Punch List work on a phone?

Dan: Our first release will not scale down to the phone. It quickly became clear that access to the floor plans and detail drawings was an important part of the punch process. Trying to review a floor plan on a phone is not a good experience. The 10 inch tablets are a perfect combination of mobility and screen resolution.

Q: Will you be releasing phone applications in the future?

Dan: We will evaluate all form factors: phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop, as we continue to develop field solutions.

Q: So, when will the iPad version of the Newforma Punch List app come out?

Dan: Although it is too early to provide a specific release date, I can tell you we are already in the development process with our iPad solution.

Q: What has the reaction been so far in our early testing of Newforma Punch List?

HOK punch list field trip 14Dan: Better than I could have imagined. In field tests with one of our early customers, their informal comment was that they were moving through a building with our Android tablet app twice as fast as they were using their current electronic punch list process.

Q: How do you compare yourself to other Punch List solutions on the market?

Dan: We went for simplicity. As with all of our solutions, folks like to use them because they are quick to learn. It takes less than 30 minutes to get up and running, and that includes the time to learn how to use the tablet.