Page T1.1 . 29 August 2012   
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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GTeam Cloud Collaboration Tool

by Kenneth Wong

A new A/E/C-centric collaboration and communication hub from Gehry Technologies has promise to put your project team on cloud power, whatever the size of your A/E/C firm.

When Marc Benioff launched its web-hosted CRM software Salesforce.com in 1999, he ruffled more than a few feathers by declaring "The End of Software." Benioff's eulogy for traditional shrink-wrapped software — the kind that you need to install in a desktop or laptop computer in order to operate — may have been a bit premature.

Nevertheless, thanks in part to ubiquitous Internet access, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become an integral part of IT lexicon, proving web-hosted software has found a market. SaaS products for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) usually come in the form of project management and collaboration tools.

One notable example is Autodesk BIM 360 — "BIM in the Cloud," as Autodesk calls it — a comprehensive suite of web-hosted applications for conceptual design, collaboration, energy analysis, rendering, and more. In August 2012, Gehry Technologies, spawned from the research and development division of Gehry Partners 10 years ago, enters the "cloud" with its own offering, GTeam.

Delivered solely through a standard browser, GTeam allows A/E/C project teams to maintain a secure file repository in the cloud, manage file access, track project statuses, and view common 2D drawings and 3D models with an online file viewer.

With SaaS model's no-hardware, instant-on approach, GTeam could be an attractive alternative to small and midsize firms that need to collaborate but lack the IT and financial resources of larger firms.   >>>

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From GTeam's home page, as seen in Google Chrome browser, the left-hand dropdown window offers options to filter items according to release date, user recently joined, and other criteria.
Image: Kenneth Wong/ ArchitectureWeek Extra Large Image

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With files uploaded to GTeam, placing the mouse over a file automatically launches a thumbnail preview of the file's content (in this case, a .RVT, or Autodesk Revit model).
Image: Kenneth Wong/ ArchitectureWeek Extra Large Image

 

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