BIM 360 Docs on an Island


Autodesk, Micrographics, BIM 360 Docs

As a technical consultant and trusted adviser, I often have put myself in the shoes of my clients. It is no good dreaming of an ideal world and then expecting reality to suddenly change. There are real pressures and constraints that impact clients, and ignoring these can be detrimental to a client rather than adding value.

But when the situation is favourable, not spending money on new technology is a killer to a business, because the competition is going to embrace it and gain efficiencies that are going to be difficult to counter. We saw this when moving from CAD to BIM and we are going to see this again in the era of connected BIM, where the Common Data Environment (CDE) is going to play an increasingly important role.

BIM 360 Docs is the Autodesk CDE:

Autodesk, Micrographics, BIM 360 Docs

When considering BIM 360 Docs in isolation, there are some benefits to be had for a company, but is it compelling enough to spend the money? With this in mind, I could not help smiling (and agreeing) when an architect recently said to me: “BIM 360 Docs is like a walkie-talkie (two-way radio). It makes no sense for us to have one and for the other party not.”

Autodesk, Micrographics, BIM 360 Docs

But it also made me wonder, how would I use BIM 360 Docs to my advantage even if I were not required to interface with other teams? Consider the following:

  • Only one party manages the licenses on a project
  • There is no Vault functionality on BIM 360 Docs, so using it as an interactive storage facility is not a good idea.
  • BIM 360 Docs gives one unlimited storage space.

Here is what I would do.

  • Create a folder for each of my employees to which only they have access. That way Vault-like checking-in and checking-out of files is not required. They can also create shared files on their own local drive, giving a dual redundant backup, although they would not be work sharing with anyone else unless they have a Design license.
  • Have a document manager load files into the shared area when required.
  • Change the culture of my business so my employees can work from home, and at the same time cutting my overheads as little IT administration of licensing or server infrastructure would be required. It would give them unlimited internet access at home to facilitate this, and keep them from having to travel in peak traffic, should they have to come into the office.
  • Start marketing my business and forming partnerships with others that would like to move onto a CDE.
  • Backup my projects periodically.
  • Investigate how the other BIM 360 products can benefit me.

Now sure, this is not going to work for every company out there, but perhaps some of the ideas above resonate with you.  Contact Micrographics if you need advice on adopting Autodesk BIM 360 Docs as a CDE for your company.