Autodesk acquires productivity software developer

Autodesk is to acquire PlanGrid, a leading provider of construction productivity software, for £684m.

The acquisition will enable Autodesk to offer a more comprehensive, cloud-based construction platform.

PlanGrid software offers real-time collaboration, keeping the field and the office on the same page. It gives construction teams real-time access to project plans, punch lists, project tasks, progress photos, daily field reports, submittals and more.

“As designing and making converge, Autodesk is connecting project data from design through construction and putting predictive insights into the hands of contractors,” said Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk CEO. “There is a huge opportunity to streamline all aspects of construction through digitisation and automation. The acquisition of PlanGrid will accelerate our efforts to improve construction workflows for every stakeholder in the construction process.”

Tracy Young, PlanGrid CEO, said: “At PlanGrid, we have a relentless focus on empowering construction workers to build as productively as possible. One of the first steps to improving construction productivity is the adoption of digital workflows with centralised data.

“PlanGrid has excelled at building beautiful, simple field collaboration software, while Autodesk has focused on connecting design to construction. Together, we can drive greater productivity and predictability on the job site.”

Autodesk and PlanGrid have developed complementary construction integration ecosystems to which customers can connect other software applications. The acquisition is expected to expand the integration partner ecosystem, giving customers a customisable platform to test and scale new ways of working.

Jim Lynch, construction general manager at Autodesk, added: “This acquisition allows us to do more for general contractors, and we’ve got new growth opportunities with subcontractors and owners. We’ll integrate workflows between PlanGrid’s software and both Autodesk Revit software and the Autodesk BIM 360 construction management platform, for a seamless exchange of information between all project members.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Anagnost believes Blockchain technology can end corruption and improve trust in the construction industry, the Australian Financial Review reports.

Anagnost was speaking at the 2018 Autodesk University conference in Las Vegas when he made the comments while speaking with journalists at a roundtable discussion. 

He said Autodesk had considered the integration of Blockchain for its design software, but the company has refrained from making its view public.

Anagnost believes the integration of the Blockchain technology will help deliver trust in the sector.

“What is blockchain good at? It’s a distributed, trusted ledger that cannot be altered and allows traceability and accountability. A technology like that in an environment like construction where various people involved in the process don’t trust each other is going to find some application.”

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