A Windows-based application that synchronizes files across cloud platforms, internal corporate networks and most data-storage systems is releasing a new version this summer that allows administrators to manage operations at a desktop level. A second update, scheduled for release late this year, makes data on all the platforms searchable.
Joseph Lombardi, a superintendent with Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction, was introduced to SkySync when his company won a $200-million contract and needed to expand the technology it used to handle the job, which was larger than usual. “We picked up Autodesk BIM 360,” says Lombardi. “One feature that was difficult was file management.”
To solve the problem, Autodesk introduced Lombardi’s team to SkySync, an app that can integrate dissimilar platforms in minutes, allowing data to be copied across platforms and synchronized. If a file is updated in Google Drive, it also is updated in Autodesk’s BIM 360 and all other platforms. “It eliminated the need for project managers to manually keep multiple databases up to date,” says Lombardi. “It was a huge time saver, and their customer service is unbelievably good.”
All popular data storage systems speak a different language, says Mark Brazeau, CEO Portal Architects, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., creator of SkySync. “Imagine one’s French, one’s Italian, one’s Portuguese. We glue all of them together.”
In version 4.0, due out this summer, administrators will be able to automate security and save more time. “Instead of the admin controlling everything, admin can grant different users different levels of permissions,” says Brazeau. But the CEO is more excited for version 4.5, scheduled for release by the end of the year, which will allow users to do a federated search across multiple systems and multiple servers. “Not only will you be able to find everything, you’ll be able to organize it, too,” says Brazeau.
Brazeau says he created a construction-specific tool after studying the industry’s needs. The tool is called Group Folder Mapping and Conventioning. “One commonality we saw in construction is, every project had a common set of subfolders,” says Brazeau. Using the conventioning tool, construction users can move or update, for example, all the folders labeled "subcontractors" in hundreds of different projects at once.
SkySync is available as a 14-day free trial. After that, a license costs $1,495 per year to manage up to 1 terabyte of data, $4,950 for up to 10 terabytes and $19,950 for 10 terabytes to more than a petabyte.