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From Australia to Silicon Valley: Leigh Jasper’s Amazing Journey with Aconex (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Nov 5th 2012

Sramana: What is the total available market for the construction management software?

Leigh Jasper: That market is probably $500 million at the moment. We are the biggest player in the space, followed by AutoCAD. After that there are around 20 smaller companies that do around $10 million apiece. We see this as a multi-billion dollar opportunity once we are able to get the remainder of the construction industry to begin adopting and not rely on lose-fit technologies like SharePoint. We have been very successful in beating our direct competitors, but the ultimate opportunity is for us to beat the substitute technologies. We lead our space because we think about how we replace our indirect competitors, which are substitute technologies. When we first started, we were convincing people that they needed to use a project collaboration system. They need something that complements their SharePoint installation.

Sramana: How do you successfully make that argument?

Leigh Jasper: The first thing we point out is the need for a full audit trail. There are disputes on projects. Lawyers make a lot of money on projects because there will inevitably be a mistake on a project, and people will argue over the who, what, and when. When something goes wrong on a project, you need to be able to go back and identity why it went wrong.

If one company is running an internal system like SharePoint, it is the only company that is going to be using it. Other companies are not going to put their documentation on your SharePoint server. That results in duplicated systems with lack of centralized management and views. We explain to our clients that they need a neutral third space where multiple companies can come together and manage the flow of information. You get greater efficiency and productivity as well as a third-party audit trail regarding what happened with the project. That helps a lot with disputes.

Companies that have had problems on projects immediately get that message. The industry is not a fast-adopting industry, but that also provides an opportunity. Once they use the product, they are likely going to be long-term adopters. It is an enterprise sell, but you have to start with one project before moving across the enterprise.

Sramana: So dispute resolution and documentation audit trails are key differentiators for your product?

Leigh Jasper: Absolutely. The majority of the problems and mistakes that happen on a project are a result of someone having the wrong information. Sometimes people just make mistakes, but in reality poor workmanship is not the biggest cause of waste. We give people an efficient way of working on a project with the correct information.

This segment is part 5 in the series : From Australia to Silicon Valley: Leigh Jasper's Amazing Journey with Aconex
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