As one of Bentley Systems’ flagship applications, ProjectWise is well-known in the engineering, architecture, and construction (AEC) industry. In fact, many of the ENR Top 100 companies rely on Bentley Systems’ enterprise collaboration solution ProjectWise Design Integration. It provides them with secure access to data when they need it for reviewing or sharing, as well as the ability to view multiple software formats and track progress throughout a project’s lifecycle, ultimately enabling complete design integration and work-in-progress coordination for large complex projects.

But what about small-to-medium AEC companies? Many of them want the benefits of ProjectWise Design Integration but find the implementation prohibitive.

Enter ProjectWise 365.

At its Year in Infrastructure (YII) event in 2017, Bentley introduced ProjectWise 365 as part of the ProjectWise CONNECT Edition. In 2019, it became available as a standalone service when the organization announced ProjectWise 365 cloud services at the last YII event in Singapore. Bentley introduced a new portal for ProjectWise 365 in October 2020, offering free subscriptions to help infrastructure teams who were working remotely stay connected and remain productive.

Today, ProjectWise 365 is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that enables teams to easily collaborate, conduct design reviews, track progress on engineering projects, and share data internally or with others, such as owners, clients, suppliers and stakeholders.

 

Benefits of Digital Project Collaboration

Robert DeFeo, Bentley Systems’ director of product strategy, project delivery and product manager for ProjectWise 365, explains the latest iteration.

“The application helps small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) collaborate easily through a browser so that they can deliver projects faster,” he says. “Project teams can work independently on internal projects or coordinate on external projects with owners and clients.”

The primary benefits are design collaboration, support for multiple file formats, real-time document and design reviews, streamlined issues resolution, and collaboration with external owners and clients. “As models are the core of any engineering project,” DeFeo says, “it is crucial that design teams have the ability to review and track the status of their models, as well as share progress with owners and clients to get engineering projects completed on time and on budget. ProjectWise 365 allows not only designers, but any project team member to participate in a real-time design review.”

ProjectWise 365 is also equipped with several tools for tracking issues, such as from a design review, deliverable package, or an ad hoc issue. A central dashboard helps visualize issues assigned for action.

Knowing the status of a project is priceless, explained DeFeo. “With ProjectWise 365, project managers can see project status and issues that still need addressing,” he says. “Teams can see priority tasks that need attention and also see what others are working on, meaning that they don’t have to interrupt their colleagues, allowing them to stay focused on designing and being productive.”

The ability to create deliverables and track them is another key feature of the project collaboration portal. Users can see if the deliverables have been acknowledged by the recipient and whether they have been addressed, or whether it is a transmittal or an RFI.

“General correspondence is registered and captured within the project with a full audit trail of who was sent what and on what date, and you can track whether it has been addressed in a timely manner,” says DeFeo. “Users can view all this information on the dashboard to see any delays, what caused the delay and who is responsible, helping them make more informed decisions on a project and pass that information on for additional projects so it is avoided in the future.”

 

Hear from the Users Themselves

Sharing information externally is critical for design teams. With ProjectWise 365, users don’t have to worry about protecting intellectual property, as it runs securely on Microsoft Azure cloud services.

Not only is ProjectWise 365 a secure service, but what also makes it appealing is that it aims to make file sharing simple. There is also a “connections” feature for companies using it with ProjectWise Design Integration.

Don’t just take our word for it, though.

Thami Mpala, director at Hydro-Utilities Consulting Engineers (Pvt) Ltd., says that, “We needed to ensure our engineers could quickly and easily collaborate with the larger project team, whether working on site, from home or any other location. We believe ProjectWise 365 will enable this by providing a fully web-based solution for internal and external project stakeholders to access real-time project documents, provide feedback on designs and manage outstanding tasks, to maximize our productivity and competitive efficiencies.”

Companies using ProjectWise Design Integration can give team members, clients and consultants easier access to their data and documents via ProjectWise 365. This web access is secure and can be controlled allowing accessibility to only the project information they need to collaborate effectively.

In terms of simplicity, ProjectWise 365 also enables companies to work with different file formats.

Bentley recognizes that AEC industry firms use many different file formats. When it comes to integration, in addition to sharing Bentley DGN files, ProjectWise 365 also supports AutoCAD’s DWG files and Revit files, as well as IFC and other formats. Engineers and designers can continue to work in their familiar desktop applications, while coordinating their data with the project team via cloud services. This coordination is effortless and without disruption to their workflows.

Gregory J. Ellwanger, project engineer at BLA, Inc., explains that, “The present work-from-home conditions and coordination with multiple parties highlights how critical it is to our business and our role as prime consultant on projects that our project teams always stay connected and productive. ProjectWise 365 cloud services enable us to rapidly deploy a common BIM collaboration environment that avoids the data silos, coordination delays and the other limitations we’ve experienced while using network drives, file-sharing services and email.”

 

Instant-on, Affordable Project Collaboration

ProjectWise 365 is focused on design-work-in-progress and collaboration throughout an engineering project, where other industry project collaboration applications are geared for construction workflows. In addition to design collaboration and PDF markup capabilities, users have access to Microsoft 365 document editing and can collaborate on projects right from Microsoft Teams.

Since ProjectWise 365 is accessed through a web portal, companies do not have to worry about expensive IT to get it up and running. Instead, users simply log in.

The interface provides users with the steps necessary to set up a project. In addition, there is a resource center that offers additional resources to learn more about the available features, including videos and an announcements section so that when a new feature is released users are notified. Users can also submit feature requests directly to Bentley’s product management team.

Learn more about ProjectWise 365 and get a free trial today!