If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “Wow – that’s a fast turn-around. Vico Office R3 was just released in March.”
The release structure is just part of continuous improvement efforts at Vico. The Development Team implemented Agile Development back in November 2010 as part of their team betterment plans. Agile Development means an intense focus on quick turn-around on customer needs. At Vico this means that after new features are prioritized by customers, each member of the team considers how much work in involved in meeting that goal. The commitments are achieved in what is called “sprints” – all out efforts to hit the goal. (The Flying Dutchman has a blog entry comparing Agile Development to our own Model Progression Specification.)
What this means to Vico Customers is that point releases become predictable and the rapid development cycle makes us more responsive to customer needs. The new system means that each point release is production-ready software that you can trust your business on. And we are defining Release 3.1 as a mandatory upgrade for all our customers as a result of all the customer enhancements (140 to be exact) that have been implemented.
Here are the new features:
Vico Constructability Manager: As new model versions are added to the Vico Office environment, the system checks previous clashes to see if they are still relevant. For the BIM Manager or the Coordination Leader, this means that your Constructability Issue Reports are updated when new model versions are published and all the previous Constructability Issues and RFIs are analyzed (in case they are no longer relevant). We intentionally provided Customers with a different path: clashes are automatically identified, hence the solution simply removes them when they have been addressed in a new model version. But since Constructability Issues and RFIs are user-identified, we simply mark them as still relevant or not. (For a guide to using Constructability Manager during preconstruction to speed quantity takeoffs, please review The New Preconstruction webinar.)
Vico Cost Planner: One of the benefits of working with Vico Office as a database system is that it comes pre-loaded with fields you will want to track for your projects. Two new columns are now available for the Estimator: the Cost per Parent Assembly Unit and the Percentage of Parent Assembly Cost. Both these fields offer tremendous reporting capabilities for Estimators, quickly showing the Owner which pieces of the design are contributing the most to the cost of the project. (You can find video tutorials of how to use these new fields in Level 8 Cost Planner Training.)
Caption: As an Estimator, you would like to review the most expensive parts of the project to see if there is any way you can keep the price down. One way to review the items which are contributing to the cost is to look at the cost per parent assembly unit and the percentage of parent assembly cost. We can add these columns to our Cost Plan by using the Column Chooser.
Vico LBS Manager: We improved the usability of the polyline tool with geometric intelligence. With the polyline pencil help lines, the user can find the accurate location of the first/next polyline points…even if the point location is not clearly defined as part of the model geometry. (For a guide to using LBS Manager for designating locations in your project, please review the Introduction to LBS Manager webinar.)
Vico Office Training Videos: We developed a series of tutorial videos from the Estimator’s point of view. These videos, only 2-5 minutes in length, are designed to help Customers learn the features that enhance the Estimating workflow. Approximately 50 videos walk the user through setting up the cost plan, pulling in past project data, working with new BIM models, quantity takeoffs, locations, and even reporting. We encourage all Customers (and Community members) to walk through the videos step-by-step. With so many Estimators scared that BIM means they are out of a job, or under a false impression that BIM-based estimating means pressing a few buttons and out pops a complete estimate, these videos are factual and comprehensive and present model-based estimating in an easy-to-learn format.
The download link for Vico Office 3.1 is available in your Vico Customer Portal. If you need any assistance, just let us know – we are more than happy to help your team. You do not need a new license file – just the download link.
We hope you appreciate the new, predictable release schedule with Vico Office. We are positive that more issues will be resolved in a timely manner and Customers can be assured that production-ready construction management software is just a click away.
Vico Office Resources
Vico Office is a different way of working with BIM models – it transforms 3D BIMs into information powerhouses integrating construction-caliber quantities, 4D scheduling data and 5D cost estimating data. The result is a live construction management model that empowers Vico Office users to accurately and rapidly assess the schedule and cost impact of changes, whether those changes occur during preconstruction planning or during the project’s build phase. Learn more about Vico Office with resources available for your team on our website: