The last time Microsoft and Bluebeam worked together, tech fans and construction industry players were treated to the debut of the Microsoft Surface Dial. The dial was used with the Microsoft Surface Studio to control digital solutions like Bluebeam’s PDF-based Revu® and Studio programs for construction professionals. The two tech companies joined forces yet again, this time across the pond, where Microsoft sponsored the Bluebeam Challenge from October 10-12 at the NEC in Birmingham, England, for UK Construction Week. Some 33,697 attendees entered the convention space, yielding the perfect opportunity for Microsoft to experience the impact technology is having within the construction industry, and the extent to which technology adoption is driving the industry forward.
Attendees not only checked out the Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Books loaded with Revu—visitors to the Bluebeam booth also had the opportunity to compete in the Bluebeam Challenge. Challenge participants used Microsoft devices loaded with Bluebeam Revu to engage in pre-loaded scenarios that illustrated Revu’s intuitive interface and smooth interaction. Giveaways for the winners included Microsoft Surface Books and copies of Bluebeam Revu, as well as Samsung 360 cameras.
The rationale behind Microsoft’s sponsorship of the Bluebeam booth at UK Construction Week quickly became apparent to Microsoft Business Sales Manager Adam Coiley. “This creation of an intuitive kind of user-friendly technology, I think it’s incredibly important, especially in the construction industry because they don’t necessarily have IT departments,” explained Coiley in between user demos of the Microsoft Surface Studio and Surface Dial. “What I have learned over the last three days is that there is so much potential in the products for the marketplace.”
Coiley’s enthusiasm for the future of tech within the construction space matched the attendees’ energy, as they packed into the Bluebeam booth all week for demos, product knowledge, and of course a shot at the bigger prizes. “We saw a very diverse crowd from students to professionals, interacting with our Bluebeam Challenge using the Surface Book,” says Kristine Stene, Bluebeam EMEA Manager. “Being able to team up with Microsoft to compare perspectives and resources within the UK marketplace is certainly a positive situation for the industry going forward.”
Bluebeam VP of Strategic Development Sasha Reed has seen the relationship between the two companies grow organically, as the construction industry has become extremely invested in technology. It is increasing operational efficiency, and, more recently, is proving to be a bridge between generations of construction professionals. “I enjoyed seeing students who are the hub of our future coming up to the Microsoft Surface Studio, seeing Revu and being amazed,” says Reed. “To the point they still wouldn’t say ‘This is for a construction job.’ We believe that having technology can only help attract young people to bridge the huge skills gap facing the construction industries in the UK.”
Coiley left the three-day event with a clear impression of the potential technology has in construction, and an appreciation for the collaborative spirit of Bluebeam. “I think the partnership between the two [companies] is really helping customers understand that there is software out there that you can incorporate into a device to work in a very sound and easy manner, without having to go app crazy,” says Coiley. “People can actually look info up on one PDF through Revu, and I think that’s what people have seen in the [Bluebeam booth] in the last few days, especially with a Surface Book. It’s just such a slick device; a great way to actually see the drawings.”