SOURCE: Newforma, Inc.

May 13, 2008 09:00 ET

Newforma® Announces Release of Newforma Project Center Fifth Edition

Major Release Introduces New Capabilities for Contract Administration and Project Monitoring

MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwire - May 13, 2008) - Newforma®, Inc., a software company addressing the project information management (PIM) needs of the design and building industry, announced today that, after the successful completion of an early release program with eight Newforma customers, Newforma Project Center Fifth Edition is now commercially available. Building on the core, battle-tested capabilities of previous versions, Fifth Edition advances Newforma's support for the contract administration (CA) phase, greatly expands the ways in which external team members can collaborate via Newforma® Info Exchange, and introduces new and unique capabilities for project monitoring. A complete description of all the new and expanded functionality in Newforma Project Center Fifth Edition can be found at newformant.com, a recently launched community site for Newforma users.

"We have participated in Newforma's product development process since the beginning," said ADD Inc Chief Information Officer Jill Rothenberg. "Their early vision of a solution that would have measurable impact on project execution and the productivity of the project team has come to full fruition. Newforma has taken great care to listen to the needs of design professionals, and it shows in how all the integrated product features have come together in Fifth Edition."

"Especially in these times of economic uncertainty, architecture and engineering firms are seeking new solutions to help them operate at peak efficiency and to better manage their exposure to risk," said Newforma Chief Executive Officer Ian Howell. "Newforma Project Center Fifth Edition takes major strides to address both these business challenges: first, by reducing the manual, productivity-draining administrative activities of the CA phase of a project; second, by improving the communication of project activities and sharing of project information with external team members; and third, by capturing and presenting a dashboard of project activity to monitor project health against planned milestones. Fifth Edition builds upon the important fundamentals of email management, search and transmittals management for which Newforma Project Center is already well-known, and delivers a whole new level of project process support to our customers."

Streamlined contract administration

Contract administration continues to be one of the most vexing, time-consuming and profit-eroding phases of project execution. The new CA module of Newforma Fifth Edition improves support for managing submittals and introduces support for the logging and tracking of requests for information (RFIs). A submittal or RFI can now be created from an incoming email in Microsoft® Outlook®, received via Newforma Info Exchange or simply entered in the RFI activity center. From there, RFIs can be effortlessly logged, assigned, tracked and captured in reports. In addition, through enhancements to Newforma Info Exchange -- Newforma's solution for easy and secure exchange of information with the external team -- submittals and RFIs can now be shared with and addressed by external team members via an easy-to-use internet browser interface.

The support afforded for contract administration was in large part the determining factor in a recent decision to license Newforma Project Center at Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. (ADCI). "It is common knowledge to those in the profession that the contract administration process has been burdened by the manual handling of information and the constant monitoring, coordination and follow-up necessary to make sure that outstanding items have been resolved," said ADCI Managing Director Of Operations Chris Mael. "In Newforma Project Center Fifth Edition, we saw all the elements we need to streamline our CA work processes in a way that will automate logging, allow electronic review and response, deliver timely reminders and greatly enhance and improve tracking."

Expanded information sharing with external project team members

In addition to submittals and RFIs, Newforma Info Exchange has been enhanced to support external team involvement with action items and the exchange of updated project documents via the Project Folders activity center. For example, once a file folder or document set is published to Newforma Info Exchange, designated external team members will be notified of the availability of new files, and can also upload their own related files. As work progresses, internal and external team members can seamlessly re-publish and receive future revisions, ensuring that all members of the design team are working from a common, up-to-date set of coordinated reference drawings and models.

"When we first deployed Newforma Project Center, Info Exchange was a dream come true in terms of the many challenges of transferring large files," said Eppstein Uhen Architects Vice President Bret Tushaus. "However, this expanded functionality only increases the reach of Newforma Info Exchange -- it now promises to be an extremely effective tool for managing the give-and-take of project work with project team members outside our firm. Many of our consultants appreciate the ease of use and the fact that all they need is a browser and email to collaborate with EUA in a more effective digital way."

New dashboard for monitoring project activities against the project plan

In the midst of executing a project, with the reality of unanticipated changes in design, scope or field conditions, project managers are often challenged by the inability to easily foresee how any one or combination of events might impact project delivery. With the new My Project Center dashboard and unique Project Timeline functionality in Fifth Edition, architects and engineers can, at a glance, monitor everything about their projects -- from an individual action item or issue to overall activity against the project plan as a whole. As a result, project managers have the visibility they need to identify when project activities threaten to diverge from plan and can take corrective action. In addition, through integration with Deltek® Vision® software, project financial and planning data is united with other technical project information on every project manager's desktop.

ADD Inc, one of the eight firms involved in the early release program, is now running Fifth Edition in production. "There is always greater risk in being the first to upgrade to the latest version of any software," said Rothenberg. "However, the upgrade implementation process was well-orchestrated and, coupled with the excellent support from Newforma, our experience was almost effortless. The new feature set of Fifth Edition was of such high interest that we're glad we took the leap."

About Newforma

Newforma is a software company serving architecture, engineering, construction and owner/operator (AECO) organizations worldwide. Its mission is to develop and market software solutions which significantly improve the productivity of the building project team by streamlining work processes, reducing exposure from errors and omissions, improving coordination and communication, and enabling greater repeatability of project success. Newforma® Project Center, Newforma's flagship product, creates a more productive environment for project managers and the project team by organizing project information, facilitating information sharing, and enabling more effective project process. Newforma Project Center is currently implemented on over 50,000 projects in industry-leading AECO firms. For more information about Newforma, visit www.newforma.com or phone +1 (603) 625-6212.

© 2008 Newforma, Inc. Newforma is a registered trademark of Newforma, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Deltek and Deltek Vision are registered trademarks of Deltek, Inc. Windows, Office and Outlook are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such.

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