Cyberco began working with BLOC Parti, a design development and construction group located in Washington DC, to develop an integration between Procore and Smartsheet.
A Procore client needed a cloud based, zero touch, scheduling system that would eliminate human error and the need for on-premise software that integrated with the Procore platform.
Cyberco, an application integration and business workflow automation firm, saw an opportunity to solve this roadblock by utilizing a web based system known as Smartsheet.
Good ideas often happen out of necessity or chance. In Jack Crane's case, it was both. As the President and CEO of Cyberco, his goal was, and is, to create innovative solutions to help his clients' businesses thrive. It all started with a project that one of his firm's clients was working on. The client, a recently on-boarded Procore user, had rolled out the new cloud-based construction project management software, soon realizing that they still needed additional onpremise software to fully manage projects due to the schedule. Yet what Jack's client initially thought would be a roadblock for them instead turned out to be an innovative solution for both their own projects and the industry as a whole.
Before the integration (called Smartsheet Sync), a company using Procore would have to use Microsoft Project, Primavera, or other scheduling tools which they would manually upload through their Procore Drive or the Procore platform.
Coincidentally, Jack had come from the construction development architecture industry and knew what needed to fit with the integration. After diving into initial research for web based scheduling tools, he and his team discovered about fifteen solutions that could potentially solve the challenge. One of the tools, Smartsheet, ultimately won the favor of the project's leadership team for its reliability, flexibility, and feature set.
At this point in time, in 2015, the API for Procore had recently been released and much was still in beta, so Jack and his team approached Procore's development team with the idea.
Jack explains, "That's kind of how we started, we were really just filling a need for what we saw as an absolute need for our mutual clients moving forward, taking advantage of automation and cloud-based technologies."
Working with the Procore API team, Jack and his colleagues were able to easily gain an understanding of what could be integrated, how they could help structure future integration tools, and how they could collaborate with Procore on value-add features for other marketplace developers.
According to Jack, the first version turned out to be a beta product and was never actually released for general use. However, by learning what worked and what didn't, Cyberco was able to make revisions to the initial product and come up with a more comprehensive, effective tool. Since "version two" of the product was released in February of 2017, the integration has crossed about 100 companies that are actively using the integration. As of January of 2018, the product had close to 300 installs since inception.
In the end, the success of the integration turned out to be a two-way beneficial street—enhancing the user's experience across both platforms. Jack explains, "Cyberco's Sync integration actually adds value to Procore by providing a complete cloud based scheduling automation solution and attracting new clients from the current Smartsheet user base; and then also it returns the favor by demonstrating the power of Smartsheet to Procore's current clients that ultimately benefit from both systems."
While this integration was created out of necessity, it has also proven to be a successful example of what purpose-driven development software solutions can become when integrated on the Procore Platform through its Partner Marketplace.
Jack noted that after "version two" of the product was released, "It took probably about two months for the product to pay for itself, meaning the monthly maintenance compute resources were being paid for. It took probably another two months for staff to actually get a salary. And now we're just kind of hitting that level where the initiative may be considered profitable. So I would say it's probably a good two-year cycle from beginning to end to where we started turning a profit."
When Jack's team first came up with the idea, they realized they had something big on their hands; they quickly understood that it wasn't just something that their client needed, but rather it was something that everyone in the construction industry was asking for in different ways.
"When I looked at what was actually available at the time, I thought, ‘This is literally a no-brainer.' I think once everybody sees this, it will be the most popular add-on for Procore clients. Cyberco Sync enables the only true cloud based scheduling tool for Procore users."
So, who—if anyone—would not want to take advantage of this groundbreaking feature, you might ask? "The only meaningful objection to date has been companies that are contractually required by a project owner to use a different scheduling tool. So we know there are a few of those scenarios related to contract obligations, but basically everyone that has the functionality demonstrated to them say, ‘This is great.'"
While the integration has proved to be a successful addition to help Procore clients manage their projects more effectively and efficiently, the implications span industry-wide. Although late to the game, the construction industry has rapidly begun to make the shift from pen and paper to the cloud.
Jack elaborates, "I think the most successful companies in real estate construction and in real estate development are taking technology very seriously and are doing some pretty awesome things."
Going digital can ultimately decrease project delays, costs, rework, and mitigate legal risk. Integrations like the Smartsheet Sync is simply one facet that is making the industry a more reliable, efficient, and safer place. With such a plethora of benefits, construction management companies are switching to digital platforms like Procore's more than ever before. This in turn, means that the marketplace for integrations within the construction management software space is at an all-time high. And what better place to turn to than the #1 most widely used construction management software?
"Procore is the category king for the commercial construction industry. Moving forward they are the platform that everything related to construction should be connected through… [Technology for the construction industry] should definitely integrate with Procore at some level if you want it to be successful."
So according to Jack, what does the future hold for the construction industry?
"We are seeing consolidation in technology, statistically speaking, so that there is a single company that reigns as king in most technology spaces. So it is becoming more common for one giant company or platform to kind of rule the rest in related industries. An easy example that everyone can kind of relate to right now are search engine companies. The search giant Google takes up 80-90% of the market share, and then there's everybody else that takes up the remaining 10-20%. And what Procore is doing right now is positioning itself to be the Google for project management in the construction industry."
Since the inception of the Smartsheet Sync integration over two years ago, Cyberco has continued to watch the number of installs increase. For Procore clients, this means the elimination of double entry and disparate systems, while providing greater efficiency and more productive solutions for project management needs through automation. For Cyberco, this has not only led to a new relationship for future business and shared clients, but it also has become a viable solution that will be used by thousands of Procore clients for years to come.