Automatic updates are a hot button issue - those that like them appreciate the time they can save, and those that don’t like them worry that they can cause more problems than they solve.
Our construction contract administration software (called FIVE) is bundled with an automatic update service that runs silently in the background. By default it is enabled, but it can be disabled to accommodate IT departments that prefer to handle updates manually on an as-needed basis.
Although the service can be disabled, it is our strong recommendation that it should be left enabled, and here is the rationale:
Automatic updates reduce the demands on your IT department. The vast majority of our customers have been successfully using the automatic updates feature. Our interaction with their IT departments is highly limited, and in some cases non-existent (that is to say, it “just works”).
Automatic updates are no riskier than manual updates, and problems can be fixed more quickly with automatic updates enabled. There will always be an inherent risk that an update could accidentally break previously working functionality, but this risk exists whether or not an update has been applied automatically or manually. If you apply updates manually, then the next update we release to fix the regression (typically within 24 hours) won’t get applied until you have a chance to manually re-update the software. In our experience it can take weeks or months for a heavily burdened IT department to update using the manual process. Using the automatic process, our users can have a solution within hours or days, without placing any additional burden on limited IT resources.
Changing requirements in the real world mean that new features are constantly required, in some cases “yesterday” Waiting weeks or months for a new feature or bug fix is not a viable option. Sometimes your client requests new data that we don’t have automatic calculations for - but we can add those calculations within a day. If you have to wait for a manual update, it can be a long time before you get the new feature, and in the meantime your client is left unsatisfied. We also release updates to improve the speed of the program, and improve workflow efficiency that will save you time and money. If you’re waiting for updates, then you are missing out on these benefits, and a significant advantage of your FIVE subscription.
Remember that one major benefit of your FIVE subscription is that you get unlimited product updates at no additional cost. Updates keep your firm ahead of trends and changes in the industry, increase security and functionality, and improve the overall software experience based on the feedback that we get from our customers across the country.
If your firm has decided against enabling the automatic update feature, we think it is a good time to reconsider that decision, and if you have any further questions or concerns about the automatic updates service, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Announcing the new project homepage in FIVE - construction contract administration software for architects and engineers. See automatically generated summaries, dashboard, and charts. The new keyword search feature is a powerful feature that highlights the benefits of our database driven approach.
We recommended watching the video full-screen in HD mode (click the gear icon in the embedded video player, and then click 720P or 1080P, then click the full-screen icon).
If you are an architectural firm working with StatsLog products, we know that your privacy is important, and sometimes critically so depending on the type of projects you are working on.
Last month I visited Vancouver and Calgary, it was the first time in almost ten years. The goal was to visit some existing clients, meet some prospective clients and establish an advisory group in each city.
The trip demonstrated to us once again that the profession of architecture is undergoing an historic shift, one in which assumptions about how contract administration is defined are being challenged. Whether it is the contractor being more aggressive or the owner assuming everything is changeable at any time, the pace of construction is moving along at an accelerated pace.
One observation I’ve made is the continuing decline of the contractor providing any direct management of their trades—in the best cases they allow the architect to provide that service and the owner pays. In the worst case, the process is missing completely and by close-out all are resigned to a messy finish. Obviously, we cannot solve this circumstance, but it is a problem worth identifying.
We currently have two internal projects underway at StatsLog, that have been prioritized due to our conversations with the advisory groups. One is to develop an app for tablet users, and two is to build a comparison matrix of contract administration software. The first is in its infancy and will require several months before a beta version will be available. If you feel brave or adventurous, let us know and we will add your name to our roster of testers. The second will be available for discussion this FALL. I am hoping that professional groups such as the Contract Administration Committee of the OAA, Architectural Societies or provincial associations elsewhere will be interested and add it to their meeting agendas. When we started out in 1984 there was little competition in our field, but since 2002 several new products have entered the market. This matrix will compare the service and terms of these products. We are still the best kept secret in Canadian architecture, but that is about to change.