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U.S. ERP Vendor Viewpoint Reels In U.K. Collaboration Service 4Projects

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The picture of software delivery for managing contractors' business processes, documents, projects and 3D model-based collaboration shifted on Feb. 6 with the announcement of an acquisition intended to consolidate those functions into one in-the-cloud integrated service.

Viewpoint Construction Software, Portland, Ore., aims to integrate its enterprise-grade business-management software for contractors with the project management services, including collaborative BIM, of U.K.-based 4Project Ltd., a cloud hosting service. Viewpoint's business tools are offered via either internet software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery or on-premise provisioning.

Privately held Viewpoint acquired 4Project for an undisclosed sum in a deal on Feb. 1.

Twelve-year-old 4Project's current 2D construction-document management-collaboration service holds a strong market share in the U.K., with more than 30,000 users, according to Viewpoint. The company also has resellers in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand and a few users in North America.

4Project is pushing into BIM collaboration, too. It is the lead partner in an academic and industry consortium that is developing software systems, interoperable processes and guidance to support collaborative BIM and help the U.K.'s construction industry meet national requirements for BIM deliverables for all public projects by 2015. 4Project's browser-based, cloud-provisioned BIM collaboration tools move out of beta and go public this March. They are designed to support compliance.

Jay Haladay, Viewpoint's CEO, says the acquisition reflects Viewpoint's "holistic approach." It links 4Project's web-oriented, multi-tenant, cloud-based construction-document management and BIM collaboration services with Viewpoint's V6 construction-specific, integrated financial, project, document, equipment, risk- and business-management tools in a cloud-serviced package for Viewpoint subscribers.

Alternatively, Haladay adds, the BIM collaboration service will be offered as a stand-alone. "We expect to bring their product to the North American space," he says.

Richard Vertigan, 4Project's founder and CEO, says his 61-employee team is "energized" by the opportunities ahead and its role in Viewpoint's strategic direction.

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