Minutes: EIS Winter Meeting
Georgia Branch, AGC - February 2-4, 2006
Leadership: Gary Newell, Chair;
Bill Cobb, Vice-Chair
Members: Dan Bailinger
Guests: David Harris
Ron Stinson (via conference call)
Matt Yacuzzo (via conference call)
AGC Staff: Alyson Abercrombie
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
Some of the technology demonstrated included:
1. EarthCam Webcam Network
3. G-Mail Google Mail
4. PPC6700 Smartphone
5. Panasonic Tough Book
6. AXS Info Paperless Office Solution
7. Portable 60gig USB Harddrive
8. CloudMark Spam Filter Solution
9. Kayak Airfare/Hotel/Car Rental Comparison
10. Log Me In – Remote Access
11. Windows Live Local Maps
12. A9 Blockview Images
13. Postini Spam Filter Solution
14. PrimoPDF Free PDF Creator
15. LogMeIn Remote Access and Desktop Control https://secure.logmein.com/
16. Virtual Keyboard
17. Version Tracker Software Updates and Downloads
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
AGC Prevails in court; ruling stops Reverse Auction Bidding for
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
2. Develop use cases and take to interested industry players for concurrence of
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
ACTION: Staff will send paper and electronic copies of all documents to Michael
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
$20,000 iCore & Cisco
$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
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
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.
Chapter Gadget Forum Speakerphone
Georgia Branch RULES – Organization, Print Server
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
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
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.