Voyansi Voices Blog

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Software

How to tell if the software you chose is slowing you down

Every week, new platforms emerge to help manage every aspect of the business. There never seems like the right time to hop into something new. However, this week we'll discuss the other side. Understanding where your current software ecosystem is hurting your business. These areas can be hard to detect, especially when you've been running the same systems for years. Technical debt builds up beneath the surface, and before you know it, more agile competitors are producing things at a pace that seems like magic.

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Revit Server Collaboration

Last year, at the beginning of the COVID crisis. Voyansi started experimenting with the latest version of Revit Server (2020) for smaller (>10 person) teams. Our conclusion was that it's a powerful tool and a viable alternate to BIM360, but does not offer the same overall functionality or ease of setup. Often, our work standards are dictated by our clients and end users, so BIM360 is our most commonly used collaboration tool, however there are instances when this may not make the most sense for a small number of users. 

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The meaning of models

In recent years we have assimilated a lot of new ideas. Imagine yourself as a drafter in the 1950s, and how mind-blowing printing technology is today. How about a lot of the tedious calculation based work that has been replaced with software tools: quantity take-offs, spatially organizing office space in a building, or even in creating models themselves. We work in an industry that is constantly evolving and changing. BIM, our chart and compass guiding us in the right direction. 

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Building a new data ecosystem part 2 - Implementation

In our last few posts, we introduced you to our ecosystem design principles and the platforms we chose. Implementation can always be more perfect, and just as we changed a lot internally in the last 5 months, the next year will hold even more surprises for us. We know you are going through similar changes, so this is  of how we formed an architecture for our data ecosystem.

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Logic: the intangible building block

Think for a moment about your chest of tools as an architect, engineer, or designer. You have a variety of software systems, years of experience, and training. Experience tells you when things won't work well, like that element can't go there, it will cause a clash. If you are new to BIM, drafting in 3D, or using Dynamo, this probably sounds like a bright future, but how do you get to that level?

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Laying the Foundation for a Data Native Team

In my last post, we covered our rules for software selection and how we found the right pieces for our software ecosystem. Choosing the software is just the beginning, stitching them into a cohesive end to end system takes trust, effort, and time. Our teams have been hard building towards new workflows. In this post, we will cover some of our design principles around our data ecosystem. These keep us aligned in our goals and allow us to decentralized our decisions.

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Applying the Pareto Principle to Dynamo Training

Last year before AEC Lab rolled into Voyansi, we wrote about applying the Pareto Principle to software problems. To summarize in case you missed it, we discussed the fact that organizations can make large impacts by solving the biggest problems first. In summation, correctly identifying your largest “stones” or issues is your challenge. Finding the stone that represents 20% of the causality but solves the 80% of your problems.

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Building a new data ecosystem

2020 was a life changing year, and while some things may go back to normal, we took this opportunity to have a chance to return to better than normal. The change from AEC Lab and AEC Resource to Voyansi was more than just a brand change, we fundamentally changed the way we work.

At the end of the day, we deliver data. Over the next few weeks, I'll write about how we transformed our digital ecosystem to take our first steps as a data driven company, from end to end. We believe this is possible for any company where information work is the primary medium. Ever more so, we believe being data driven is a requirement to survive in the incoming competitive environment. 

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1943 Ford GPW

Reality Capture in your pocket?

In 1991, this advertisement appeared in print newspapers across the United States. This commercial for Radio Shack which ran in syndicated newspapers illustrates a variety of consumer electronic devices, headlined by a personal desktop computer for $1599 USD (approximately $3000 in 2020). Beyond the eye watering price of the PC, one interesting thing to note is that every single one of the devices featured in this ad has functionally been replaced by almost any smartphone available today.

This had us wondering: how far away are we from true Reality Capture in your pocket? To answer the question, we created a very basic test: Could our non-technical team achieve good results with off the shelf tools anyone could use?  

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Software and Architecture: The Perfect (de)Couple

Architects: just beyond your screen exists an oasis of automation, where doing your work is just as easy as building it, and day-to-day changes are automatically communicated across the entire team.  Need to revert back to an older version?  Done.  Want to see your project built in real-time as you’re designing it?  Great.  Come join our oasis, the magical world of software development.
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