Earlier this year, Oracle Construction & Engineering opened its Innovation Lab on the grounds of its Deerfield, Illinois offices. The site gives visitors a hands-on look at how technologies can be utilized on the job site, and how partnerships between companies can morph construction sites into safer, more efficient places. Visitors have the opportunity to walk the grounds of a hypothetical job site, and actually see and use the products themselves. Technology partners include Assemble Systems, Triax Technologies, DAQRI, Reconstruct, HERE, Bosch, and Jovix.
“We decided that rather than showing people PowerPoints or having them in an office, our lab would be a very unique, hands-on experience,” said Burcin Kaplanoglu, Senior Director of Innovation and Strategy at Oracle Construction & Engineering.
BuiltWorlds’ Construction Tech had the opportunity to visit the Innovation Lab, and actually see some of the solutions at work. Here are three of the top takeaways from our time at the lab:
1. Connectivity is king
Many BuiltWorlds members were taken aback with how connected the job site actually was, and how each of the solutions worked together.
“I really like how we can now gather multiple technologies and see how they can connect and interact in an active simulated job site,” said Travis Voss, the Technical Manager at Mechanical Inc.
During BuiltWorlds’ tour of the Innovation Lab, Triax Technologies and Bosch teamed up to demonstrate how Triax’s Spot-r network equipment tracking technology can be applied to Bosch tools, which become easily located around the job site.
"There are many solutions out there, some are integrated, some are not. And there are lots of players out there trying to solve the same problems of the industry. We're hoping that this lab is going to bring those parties together,” said Kaplanoglu “We hope they not only integrate with Oracle and Oracle solutions, but they also integrate with each other to build an ecosystem that is really bringing the best value to our customers.”
There are many solutions out there, some are integrated, some are not. And there are lots of players out there trying to solve the same problems of the industry. We're hoping that this lab is going to bring those parties together.
2. Hands-on experience is vital
The ability to actually get on the job site, and see these solutions at work is crucial to many of BuiltWorlds members during their visit to the Innovation Lab.
“Our industry is very disconnected, so the only times you have the opportunity to play around with this stuff is live production, which is kind of risky,” said Keith Onchuck, CIO of Ozinga. “The thing I like most about the lab is having a sandbox to go play in.”
This provided visitors with an inside look at how these solutions and technologies work, and how they can be strung together to create an effective connected job site.
“I think the Innovation Lab is an excellent addition to the construction technology space. I really like how we can now gather multiple technologies and see how they can connect and interact in an active simulated job site,” said Travis Voss, Technology Manager at Mechanical Incorporated. “Being able to see how different platforms can play together in a sandbox will greatly improve our evaluation processes and aid those providers in expanding their view of what their solutions can do."
3. Partnerships and integrations are driving the industry forward
As opposed to being siloed off from one another, many companies are linking their solutions to work in tandem. The industry has seen many large profile partnerships and acquisitions recently. This was apparent when BuiltWorlds members were on Oracle’s demonstration job site, seeing the solutions actually working with one another. The jobsite featured both solutions from companies that Oracle has partnered with (Triax Technologies) and software associated with Oracle’s competitors (Assemble Systems, which was purchased by Autodesk). And this is a trend that we believe will only continue to grow.
“I think we will expect to see more partnerships and I believe that we’re going to see more labs like ours,” said Kaplanoglu.
Oracle provided a great example of how collaboration among construction tech companies can really push the industry forward and bring job sites into the 21st century. It is incredibly encouraging and exciting to see.