Minutes: EIS Winter Meeting


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Minutes: EIS Winter Meeting

  1. 1. Minutes: EIS Winter Meeting Georgia Branch, AGC - February 2-4, 2006 Attendance: Leadership: Gary Newell, Chair; Bill Cobb, Vice-Chair Members: Dan Bailinger Jim Burkett Walt Gamble Tary Carlson Kurt Koenig Maynard Lassonde Lane Mitchell John Nabholz Doug Nies Henry Petree Arch Willingham Guests: David Harris Tom LeMay Ray Rapuano Ron Stinson (via conference call) Michael Tardiff Matt Yacuzzo (via conference call) AGC Staff: Alyson Abercrombie Mike Dunham Dave Golden Dave Lukens Monique Valentine
  2. 2. Thursday, February 2, 2006 I. Georgia Branch Roundtable The AGC of America EIS Committee joined the Georgia Branch, AGC Technology Committee to review a variety of technology potentials. The event was successful and all members of both committees felt they had benefited from the joint session. Some of the technology demonstrated included: 1. EarthCam Webcam Network http://www.earthcam.net 2. Field2Base http://www.field2base.com 3. G-Mail Google Mail http://www.gmail.com 4. PPC6700 Smartphone http://reviews.cnet.com/Sprint_PCS_Vision_Smart_Device_PPC_6700/450 5-6452_7-31517199.html 5. Panasonic Tough Book http://www.panasonic.com/toughbook 6. AXS Info Paperless Office Solution http://www.axsinfo.com/ 7. Portable 60gig USB Harddrive http://www.iomega.com/na/landing.jsp 8. CloudMark Spam Filter Solution http://www.cloudmark.com/ 9. Kayak Airfare/Hotel/Car Rental Comparison http://www.kayak.com/ 10. Log Me In – Remote Access http://www.logmein.com 11. Windows Live Local Maps http://local.live.com/ 12. A9 Blockview Images http://maps.a9.com/ 13. Postini Spam Filter Solution http://www.postini.com/ 14. PrimoPDF Free PDF Creator http://www.primopdf.com/ 15. LogMeIn Remote Access and Desktop Control https://secure.logmein.com/ go.asp?page=home 16. Virtual Keyboard http://www.time.com/time/2002/inventions/rob_keyboard.html 17. Version Tracker Software Updates and Downloads http://www.versiontracker.com/windows/ At the end of the meetings, Gary was awarded a $50 gift certificate from AGC for the best technology presented. Earthcam. He generously donated the certificate to AGC to purchase a wireless print server.
  3. 3. ACTION: Staff will purchase a wireless print server. II. Rules of Engagement 1. We are colleagues. 2. There are no misspelled words. 3. No bad ideas. 4. It’s OK to disagree. 5. Listen for understanding. 6. Cut to the chase. 7. Have fun. 8. No volunteering others. 9. If someone is standing and presenting, lower your screen to show you are paying attention. 10. Place cellular phones on vibrate; take the call outside the room. 11. Go slow to go fast – open the space slowly and let the mass fill. III. IT Toolbox / Listserv (AGC) Dave updated the committee on the status of the new AGC Lyris List Server. He explained that the server has been set up at a hosting facility and he should have access to administer the lists soon. The new Lyris lists will be integrated with iMIS, the AGC membership database, so all members on a list are current AGC members and committee lists are maintained in iMIS. The new Lyris software would use message threading technology. Kerry Gunther, President of BrowserMedia, called in and explained the proposal for the IT Toolbox. The price of the proposal is $10,000. The toolkit was explained as a resource for members and staff to research and provide feedback on technology solutions in the construction industry. Kerry was invited to call back to join us for a session to discuss the AGC web site. The committee questioned whether an IT Toolbox was needed once the new enhanced listservs are added to the web site. The IT Toolbox is not necessarily a “how to”, but a best practices and what has worked in your company. This system would need a disclaimer the user must agree to before entering the toolbox. AGC would need to state it is not endorsing one product over another. ACTION: Staff will set up the lists and let the committee demo the lists before they are live. The committee will provide feedback before AGC makes all of the lists live. ACTION: Staff will create the EIS Listserv as soon as possible, but no later than 03/01/06 and notify the committee that they can begin testing. At convention, the committee will provide all feedback to staff. All
  4. 4. development should be complete by 06/01/06 and the roll out will be complete no later than 07/01/06. ACTION: Arch Willingham will be chair of this task force. IV. Website Review / Video Streaming Kerry Gunther joined the committee on conference call to discuss AGC.ORG. The committee provided AGC and BrowserMedia with constructive criticism: 1. The web site is slow. Kerry said this is because of the iMIS Integration and the problem should be solved once the membership database server is moved to the same hosting facility as the web server. 2. The search capability is poor. The new search engine must be faster, more precise, and include the listservs. The search should be “Google-like.” 3. Content is difficult to find. The EIS page is extremely difficult to find from the home page. 4. AGC should attempt to minimize the number of links and clicks a user must follow to access content. 5. The Meetings & Events page should combine the Calendar of Events and Register for Events. The Events should be displayed upon entering this section. The home page should not be so wordy and when listing events it should show more than four events per page. 6. When a user searches “Find a Contractor”, contact information should be displayed. The default search should be “ALL” and let the user select Contractor, Supplier, etc. Ray demonstrated the Cisco internal staff web site and the functionality of the search. The Cisco web site is easy to navigate and very user-friendly. Dave told the committee the web site traffic has doubled since the web site redesign. The web traffic reports show an average of 75,000 sessions, 1.3 million page views, and 4.25 million hits per month. Gary brought up the topic of multimedia on AGC.ORG. He navigated to the Ken Simonson audio broadcast on AGC.ORG. Dave explained that AGC had a large number of paid participants to hear AGC’s Chief Economist. After the live event, several recorded copies were sold. The committee recommended: professional “on demand” programs, PodCasts, video/audio, and downloadable videos in our e-STORE. Downloadable content should be inexpensive. ACTION: Staff will present current technology initiatives and goals to the committee quarterly to help set priorities and offer technology ideas. ACTION: Staff will contact Google and receive pricing on a search solution. Staff will also receive an updated “advanced search” proposal from BrowserMedia, including searching the listserv.
  5. 5. ACTION: Staff will set up a meeting for Tuesday, March 21st in Palm Springs, CA so the committee can provide feedback on the new Lyris lists at convention. V. Special Presentation: Reverse Auction Bidding Mike Dunham informed the committee about Reverse Auction Bidding and two cases in Georgia. He explained that the real issue is one of ethics around reverse bids. AGC Prevails in court; ruling stops Reverse Auction Bidding for construction services By Mark S. Woodall Director, Governmental Affairs AGC's Board believes Reverse Auction Bidding violates the law October 12, 2005 The Forum, Volume 1; Issue 29 Friday, February 3rd VI. AGC Internet Provider The committee discussed small business technology provisioning. The solution must include an internet connection, domain name, telephony needs, and e-mail. Walt recommended a low-cost web host called 1 and 1 for web and e-mail hosting. A high end solution was recommended from CrystalTech, Inc. for $39/month. Ron Stinson and Matt Yacuzzo from Covad Communications joined the committee to participate on a conference call. Covad is a Tier 2 Internet service provider (not International) and the office is located in Rochester, NY. Covad does not offer satellite internet for remote jobsites. Doug told the committee Turner Construction has had success using Covad. Monique told the committee she has had a lot of problems. This issue appears to be a regional inconsistency. Covad said “VoIP is not prime time for jobs.” The committee commented this statement is not true. It was agreed that Covad would not be recommended to AGC membership as a provider of any services. VII. Cisco “Job in a Box” Ray Rapuano from Cisco Systems showed the committee the Cisco Job in a Box. After listening to the feedback from contractors, Cisco created an inexpensive and easy to deploy technology solution for contractors. This solution includes WAP, VoIP, and a hardware VPN.
  6. 6. Ray will present the Jobsite in a Box at the National convention in Palm Springs. There is a potential revenue stream for AGC and a valuable service to the members can be provided from the Job in a Box. The box consists of: A metal briefcase with a wireless access point, a router, an IP phone and wireless IP phone. Once opened up and set up in a matter of minutes, the box provides WAP, VoIP, and a hardware VPN. Ray also demonstrated the custom applications that have been built on Cisco hardware. He recommended two companies that program this software in XML: Persipia and Nevotek. The estimated cost for the complete setup is estimated at $2,000 retail. Doug suggested creating a slide with the names, definitions, acronyms to back up what he is talking about. ACTION: AGC will meet with Cisco before convention to prepare a handout for the presentation. VIII. Virtual Construction Doug demonstrated how Turner is using ViCon, or Virtual Construction. Hochtief, the parent organization of Turner Construction, is using the latest technology. Contractors first started with pen and paper and many are still using pen and paper. Next, they went to drawings, then AutoCAD, then 3-D Modeling. With 4-D Modeling, a movie is created for the construction process. ViCon helps to be a better builder and win jobs, claim management, project management, and risk control on all building jobs. It clearly communicates solid competence in all fields of construction. Monique recommended Doug present this at a future EIS event or that AGC create a stand-alone IT event similar to the HR Networking Forum. John Nabholz recommended co-hosting the Hanley-Wood Event at World of Concrete. IX. New Business Bill Cobb explained that the committee used to be called the Computer Committee and then changed the name to the EIS Committee. Gary said he thought EIS has established a name for itself, both at the Executive Board level and those who frequent the National Conventions. It was recommended that the committee discuss this on the listserv. The committee would need a new logo and new shirts would need to be ordered. Tary said his local tech. committee is called the YCF Tech Committee. Gary said his local Georgia Branch committee is called the Technology Committee. Dave explained that anyone outside of the AGC organization does not know what EIS means.
  7. 7. When asked if the committee had any issues renaming “EIS Committee” to “IT Committee”, Gary indicated that the committee runs the chance of being regrouped under another Division rather than enjoying the autonomy under which it was established. Gary said, “Not on my watch.” ACTION: Committee will discuss changing the name from EIS Committee to IT Committee on the listserv and make a decision at the AGC Annual Convention. X. Mobile Computing Showcase 2006 / Las Vegas 2008 Maynard talked about the Jobsite Mobile Computing Showcase in Palm Springs. He has all cell phone numbers for the presenters and has had an AGCeMeeting with them. A schedule was created for the event. Dave discussed the logistics and sponsorship from Panasonic for the event. The committee recommended we collect business cards instead of giving out tickets to give away the Panasonic Toughbook door prize. The committee discussed BITS ’07 and Showcase ’08. The idea of “handheld input of business data” was suggested to the committee. “Building Information Model” was also suggested. The committee decided it would be acceptable for vendors to enter the contest without an AGC member. None of the participants could be sponsors. For BITS ’07, all six presenters should receive a prize. ACTION: Staff will create a flyer promoting BITS to be distributed at convention. ACTION: Staff will create a flyer promoting Jobsite Mobile Computing Showcase. XI. AGCxml Monique gave the committee an overview of AGCxml and the steps taken to get to where we are today. She reported that the RFP was sent out and FIATECH was selected at $90,000 in 2004. There were agreement issues – mostly over who would own the schema and receive credit for it in 2005. The FIATECH/AGC relationship was terminated during the 2nd quarter of 2005. NIBS was requested to do the work later in 2005. As of 02/2006, a proposal was received the night prior to NIBS arriving to join us at the EIS meeting. It does not contain a timeline or price for the project. David Harris and Michael Tardif joined the committee to discuss the proposal. They responded to the RFP based on what could be accomplished and took the liberty to reframe the work. They plan to use the IFC model to create AGC XML standards (not for the industry) as part of aecXML. The industry standard would add at least two additional years to the project. The AGC scheme could become standard. The project will take twelve months or less to complete. NIBS did not believe it was wise to develop the standards for the industry as a whole but to base standards on what AGC has now and extend to the industry. The committee issue is: understanding the scope of AGCxml over long term vs. phases to get to the long term goal. The potential steps are: 1. Establish stake by getting DocuBuilder documents coded in XML now
  8. 8. 2. Develop use cases and take to interested industry players for concurrence of direction 3. AGC must maintain AGCxml until it becomes part of industry wide standard 4. Potential talks with AIA and others to coordinate industry standard If a general standard is pursued first, the likelihood of success will be diminished by not having any model to use as starting point. Players would be caught in intangible discussions and potential disagreements over the long term. ACTION: NIBS will send the proposal to AGC within one week with the cost and timeline. ACTION: Staff will send paper and electronic copies of all documents to Michael Tardiff, NIBS. Saturday, February 4th XII. Budget 2007 Gary loaded the EIS budget on the screen and we discussed each line item. The 2006 numbers not allocated in spreadsheet to the actual budget. There currently is no real tie to roadmap. It was suggested by Doug that we need better way to develop the budget rather than discussion on non-critical items. The committee needs to agree, but discussion over travel and other small expenses is not effective at committee level. 2007 & 2008 will basically at the same level as 2006 when including AGCxml project for $90k in 2006. Monique listed the sponsorships the AGC Finance & IT departments have brought in: $20,000 iCore & Cisco $15,000 Panasonic $5,000 Chameleon Software XIII. Future Meetings In the near future, at minimum, we need to meet to have an AGCxml session. At best, we need to have another full committee meeting. Doug recommended we meet at least twice a year in a session similar to this. The committee said meeting just once with everything on its plate is not enough. Bill recommended having a two-day meeting twice per year. The AGC Midyear in San Francisco should have an AGCxml session. The 2007 EIS Winter Meeting will be in Dallas, TX. Doug offered to host the meeting at the Turner Construction Headquarters. The committee discussed having the committee at the local chapter and Turner, along with any issues moving all of our equipment and meeting space. Having a local committee roundtable was such a success in Atlanta, QUOIN should have a similar meeting. XIV. The Possibilities of RFID
  9. 9. Doug presented his ideas and concepts on RFID. The key is understanding what RFID is, what it can, and what it cannot do. RFID is more than asset tracking. Today we use it to tag item, store info on tag, track item, take action based on item environmental context. RFID is a small device that can be placed on an item that is activated via the reader to transmit a serial number and a small amount of data. It is not a large data retainer and there are now privacy concerns due to the IBM commercial showing that “big brother knows where you are.” There is two forms of RFID: near proximity (inches/feet) and far proximity, up to 15 meters. RFID is not a far-reaching technology or an uncontrolled security risk. RFID is getting much smaller and cheaper. In the future, we will use RFID to tie the tags to a database and use for authentication or chain of custody. We will be able to track that it has changed ownership. Standards are needed for RFID. Doug works with Emmitt Smith and a company called Provagroup that is attempting to create a standard to authenticate real autographs and memorabilia. To inventory the item, Emmitt signs it as it receives its RFID tag. There is a reader in the table that records the data that Emmitt signed it there. XV. Wrap-up Plus Delta Chapter Gadget Forum Speakerphone Georgia Branch RULES – Organization, Print Server Hospitality, etc. The Newell’s did a great job! Video cables/wireless device The Meeting Planner eMeeting on laptops Group talent and participation More understanding of AGC big picture and immediate needs/goals John’s dedication to AGCxml Timeline / Get Stuff Done Dave Lukens attends our meetings Not enough accomplished / Need more movement Support of the Exec. Board Chapter Execs missing Maynardisms – quick insights Refresh committee mission/goals Dave Golden’s Infrastructure Monique Valentine - great attitude and connection to AGC Doug’s Cutting-Edge Issues & Great Notes XVI. Conclusion The committee being fully exhausted and overwhelmed by the quality of the results from the 2006 EIS Winter Meeting adjourned until the Annual Convention in Palm Springs, CA.