Portland Oregon

Dev Day at Viewpoint’s Tech Center Moves Mobile Development Forward 

By Bruce Kenny, Vice President – Product Development
Viewpoint hosted the first ever Portland Xamarin Developer Day and the turnout was impressive – more than any Dev Day before – with over 100 participants. The event was held at Viewpoint’s new Tech Center (1510 SE Water Ave.) and attendees overflowed into the neighboring café space!

Xamarin is the Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP) that Viewpoint has selected as the mobile platform of choice. This platform gives us tremendous velocity and consistency of functionality across all three platforms – iOS, Android, and Windows – while maintaining the device specific user experience that is critical for fast user adoption.

You may already be experiencing (or will soon) the power of this partnership. The new ProContractor Mobile solution was built on Xamarin. The Field View expansion onto iOS and Windows is fueled by Xamarin. The soon-to-be-released Viewpoint For Projects Field Share product is also made possible by Xamarin.

Xamarin Dev Day October 2015

As with all our partnerships, this one affirms our stance on choice. Viewpoint’s approach is to ensure that the right tool and technology are used for the work you are doing, such as browser-based solutions for light data input or content viewing and rich client applications for heavy data input and data manipulation.

When it comes to our approach to Mobile solutions, we believe choice is equally important. Viewpoint’s investment in Xamarin and other similar technologies allow us to develop and release our mobile solutions simultaneously on iOS, Android and Windows platforms, so you don’t have to choose one platform over another. Furthermore, our approach ensures that all features and functionality are available on all three platforms in the native user experience of that platform. ..

Mobile is the major area of investment for Viewpoint and this event was a powerful reminder of our opportunity to build compelling mobile solutions for our customers across the globe. We are innovating rapidly and we look forward to bringing these advances to market in the near future.

 

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Turbo charged collaboration was the theme for this year’s Viewpoint User Conference and turbo charged it was! With well over 1500 attendees, the 2015 conference was the largest Viewpoint event yet!

Viewpoint CEO - Manolis Kotzabasakis Speaks at User Conference 2015

What makes Viewpoint’s conference different from any other user event? Viewpoint strives to place a high emphasis on customer engagement with our staff and industry experts as well as nurturing customer-to-customer relationships… This focus is exemplified in the various collaborative opportunities held during the three-day conference, such as the birds of a feather lunch, industry exhibit and showcase, customer showcase sessions and roundtables, and the atmosphere created to foster collaboration among attendees.

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Community is a big part of what makes Viewpoint successful. Our company community is built on respectfulness, inclusion and a vibrant, collaborative culture. These traits are the supports, beams and spans of the bridge to the community we share with our customers. Viewpoint also learned many years ago the importance of being a part of the greater community – the citywide communities that we share with each of our global office locations.

That’s why with the holiday energy in full effect around our headquarters and the city of Portland, OR, we decided to get into the spirit of giving with an interoffice friendly competition for the 2013 KGW Toy Drive. Starting Nov. 22, each Viewpoint department was asked to donate new, unwrapped toys from a list of items for children ranging in age from infant to teenager. Let’s just say the competition was fierce.

At the end of the toy drive, Dec. 13, the combined total of gifts collected by all Viewpoint departments was an impressive 577 items. Departments relentlessly taunted each other throughout the competition with the Marketing department coming out on top donating 90 items with Sales at a close second with 83.

That afternoon all 577 toys were loaded into cars and delivered to the KGW TV station office to be given to children in need all over the Portland area.

Viewpoint offices elsewhere did their part as well. Our Charlotte office contributed to the Magical Toy Drive; our U.K. office in Sunderland collected toys for Hope4kidz; our Rocky Mount office gathered toys and gifts for My Sister’s House; and the Wilmington office helped support the Holiday Smiles Toy Drive.

We’re proud to have all come together as a company with a unified goal of making the holidays a little brighter for those less fortunate. It was a small gesture toward being a contributing part of our wonderful communities.

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– Jay Haladay, CEO of Viewpoint Construction Software

Growth is a funny thing.  In the software industry, if you don’t have enough growth, it’s hard to make the investments in products and services to support your market’s requirements.  On the other hand, too much unplanned growth can lead to growing pains -some severe, some easily solved.  Most of you know, Viewpoint has grown over the past 5-7 years.  Let me share why I think we are growing at a proper pace, and for the right reasons.

In the middle part of the last decade, I saw some disconcerting trends with construction specific software.  Product features were not moving forward to meet industry needs; the products used poor base technology and customer support was declining.  Contractors were not getting their money’s worth from their technological investments, nor were they getting what they deserved.  We put a plan in place to make sure this didn’t happen to customers of Viewpoint.

We set about this journey in several ways.  First, the company took steps to make sure we preserved the best of Viewpoint’s customer and employee centric culture.  The management team was strengthened by providing leadership development for those already in the organization and by bringing in talented new team members.  Next, investments were made in our products, building on the robust Microsoft-based product we had designed from the ground up.  Investments were also made in our facilities and our infrastructure to support our employees and growing customer base.  Lastly, some strategic acquisitions brought both great software extensions to our products and construction knowledgeable employees into our organization (over 150 new team members in the last 16 months).

Recognizing that investments like these required capital, we went outside our traditional sources of investment capital and used the same tested methods used by almost every successful software business.  These investments have come from sources we vetted and trust, and are individuals who share our vision to become the most respected provider of software to the construction industry.  Not the largest, but the most respected.

Our growth has resulted from construction software users making a conscious choice.  The choice to move to Viewpoint includes robust construction specific software functionality and excellent after- the-sale service.  The metrics we use to measure our progress indicate that our investments in staffing are keeping ahead of customers’ service needs, and our 120+ developers continue to move our product forward, with over 100,000 man-hours of improvements to our software over the past 18 months.

We recently welcomed over 1,000 customers and partners to Portland for our annual user conference.  These customers were able to collaborate with Viewpoint team members and other customers with similar experiences.  We know we are not perfect, and our customers help us improve with their input and feedback on our products and services.  As a result of our commitment to collaboration, we hope we have grown to become the perfect construction technology partner.  It’s baked into our company culture.

What happens to companies that grow and keep their customers happy?  They have choices.  Those choices include how we fund Viewpoint’s future growth.  Could that be through an IPO?  Perhaps, many great companies have chosen that route.  There are other ways as well.  The result of these choices will provide the resources we need to help improve our products and services so that we can continue to serve our customers in a planned, responsible manner.

Any of us at Viewpoint would be happy to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Jay Haladay

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EmployerBikeDayBlogThe city of Portland presented the 2013 Employer Bike Summit at Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon on May 17th to an excited audience of bike commuters and business owners who believe in the benefits of human-powered travel. Viewpoint’s own CEO, Jay Haladay joined two other area business leaders in a presentation about “Building a Business Case for Bikes.”

Portland is unique as a city that spends a good deal of its annual budget on building and improving the cycling “infrastructure” around the metropolitan area. From expanding bike lines and routes to investing in repair and educational resources, Portland is a city that truly believes in the value of travel by bike. With this support in which to build upon, the first two presenters gave specific examples of the things their companies do to promote commuting by bike such as providing showers, bike storage and other special perks to cyclists. They also stated their business case for pedal-powered commutes by declaring the value of a healthy, productive workforce and the heath care insurance credits they receive for having biking as part of their wellness programs.

Jay also promoted the facilities and benefits Viewpoint has onsite to support commuting but he expanded his biking business case to state that “offering biking opportunities and support is only part of a larger effort for creating a unique culture that attracts and retains top employees.” He explained that a main driver for developing and opening the Viewpoint Headquarters on the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland (from its previous location outside the city) was the opportunity for more employees to take advantage of alternative commuting options – from bike commuting to public transit. As a cyclist himself, he also believes the importance of cycling for a healthy workforce and a reduction in company-wide insurance costs. Overall, Jay knows that offering and promoting cycling as a commuting option to the office, contributes to the overall culture of the organization and compliments the other attributes of Viewpoint’s wellness program such as yoga, on site gym and biometric health screenings. Jay ended his presentation by offering his email and phone number to any business owner that would like more advice on how to create a “culture for success.”

As a bike commuter, I’m proud to work for an organization that promotes the health of its employees as a key part of its business philosophy. I’m also glad that the support of bike commuting comes all the way from the top of the organization.

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