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Is the GCC embracing project management tech?

by Neha Bhatia on Feb 28, 2016

Adept’s software was used on Sarooj’s Oman projects.
Adept’s software was used on Sarooj’s Oman projects.

Project management software systems have come a long way since their inception in the 1950s. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software dominates modern-day construction activities, and the Middle East’s project management segment appears to be catching up with its global counterparts.

In October 2015, Conject, a manufacturer of cloud software for the life management of built assets, announced that its ConjectPC application had been selected to support the delivery of the Reem Mall development in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The $1bn (AED3.67bn) project is being developed by National Real Estate Company (NREC) in partnership with United Projects for Aviation Services Company (UPAC).

Reem Mall’s developers will utilise the integrated document and commercial management capabilities of ConjectPC to support collaboration, efficiency, and supply chain performance throughout the project’s construction schedule.

Stuart Ingram, director of development for the Reem Mall project, said: “Reem Mall is one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the partners, and as such, we must make sure that we have the right technology in place to support its delivery.

“The ConjectPC system combines the integrated document and commercial management capabilities that we require with a user-friendly platform,” he added.

Reem Mall’s adoption of the project management software makes it one of the few regional developments to utilise such technology, but industry experts believe there is a long way to go before the practice becomes commonplace.

Sreejith Gopinath, general manager for Adept Business Solutions in Dubai, tells Construction Week that some firms display a reluctance towards the adoption of project management software due to concerns relating to the technology’s cost.

“In the context of any sector, professionals working on manual tools, such as Microsoft Excel, will find it difficult to migrate to ERP,” he explains.

“We’ve found that construction companies in the UAE are more inclined towards using customised and flexible solutions that are available locally. They prefer these to international products, which cost around 30% to 40% more.”

Having previously worked with Oman’s Sarooj Construction and the UAE’s Imdaad, Adept’s portfolio includes Sage 300 ERP, for which the company acts as the authorised local dealer.