In this screenshot depicting business intelligence tools, a dashboard categorizes jobs based on profit ranges determined by a dashboard user with the ability to group by company, department and project manager, as well as selected profit range and project metrics.

Viewpoint Construction Software has rolled out a major upgrade to its product suites with a new platform that supports improved collaboration and web-based tools among far-flung project teams, while providing better internal systems integration for operations.

It also includes an estimating product that marks a return to estimating systems for Viewpoint, and keeps it close to its roots as a provider of major accounting job costing tools for construction management systems.

The platform update, which rolled out during the firm's annual user conference at the Portland Civic Center in late September, represents a shift to support web-based software, while providing integration tools for customers on traditional platforms along with mobility and support for open systems on building information modeling (BIM) transfers.

At the heart of Viewpoint's core enterprise resource planning tools, the Vista platform integrates systems such as accounting/HR, project management software, project collaboration platforms, as well as mobile devices, estimating systems, content management and tagging platforms. In this release, Viewpoint officials say, customers can leverage more operationally focused dashboard reports using Vista's business intelligence module.

Formerly known as V6, the Vista product suite leverages Microsoft's .NET platform, with SQL Server integration, to build future growth and functionality into current systems—without disrupting a customer's current systems.

"The power of the Vista platform is that it is extraordinarily extensible," says Bruce Kenny, vice president of product development for Viewpoint. That means "our software adapts to our customers' business practices, providing them one size fits all functionality."

The platform now incorporates products such as UK-based 4Projects, a collaboration platform for BIM integration, which it acquired in 2013. It is now called Viewpoint Project Collaboration or VPC. Its image-tagging platform CI is now called Viewpoint Content Management.

 VPC ties many systems together to help users share and publish documents across far-flung project teams. It includes an HTML5-compatible interface that helps users search on documents with most browsers. 

Customers can tailor the products to their needs, adds Rob Humphreys, vice president of product management. "It really is that collaborative capability that the market is asking for."

With the acquisition of Maxwell Systems this year, Viewpoint is now incorporating its ProContractor accounting and financial control tools into the Vista platform, while targeting mid-sized contractors who might want less functionality than the Vista platform, which is geared for contractors with revenues of $100 million and up. A key part of the assets is estimating tools that Viewpoint is now offering.

Humphreys says with the growth of the firm and its product base, the time is right for Viewpoint to return to offering estimating tools.

"We see a lot of synergies with the ability to tie into the use of BIM data and reduce the amount of time to do [quantity] takeoffs during pre-construction," he adds. "Getting that data for estimating systems, and then to be able to float a model through the execution stage of a project,  with your estimate data, is going to be a great story for us to tell.  It's really makes sense for us at this time."