How LucidLink is helping the AEC industry solve collaboration and mobility challenges

In an ideal world, project owners within the architectural, construction and engineering (AEC) sector would collaborate seamlessly on creating, modifying, visualising, optimising and sharing large, complex project files. However, the reality is that it’s rarely that straightforward. Keeping everyone on the project involved, including contractors and subcontractors, when working on large complex files can be a major challenge, especially when everyone is using different platforms and software.

The new way of remote working makes matters even more complicated as people are now choosing to access files – which can include heavyweight files such as AutoCAD, AutoDesk or SolidWorks, weigh up to 1.5GB per file – while on their phones, laptops or tablets. Now more than ever it is vital for the AEC sector to consider how to share, store and secure files and ensure anyone involved in a project can access them remotely.

Without considering any of these factors, it can have detrimental impact on any project. These include project delays, duplication of work, errors, missed deadlines, budget blowouts as a result of data egress charges and the list goes on.

And while AEC organisations have in the past looked to obvious peer-to-peer file cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, SharePoint or Google Drive, there are limitations to them. There’s the inability to lock files that are shared outside of the traditional network or when they are “in progress” of being developed or edited, which frequently leads to a lack of version control, permission and configuration outside of the remit of the actual AEC organisation.

Meanwhile, other AEC organisations have looked to other alternative cloud-based solutions like Panzura, Nasui, NetApp Global File Cache to overcome these challenges. Although, these solutions are limited as well. These are common branch-based caching solutions, which are redundant when users are working remotely and can access files on their office-based workstations via VPN or through a virtual desktop.

So, what’s the solution?

As we have noticed this is a recurring problem faced by many in the AEC sector, we have a partnership with LucidLink, the world’s first client-cache file sharing solution for the AEC sector, that allows our AEC customers to share and store design projects in the cloud from any location and through any design application including AutoCAD, Autodesk or SolidWorks.

LucidLink has been designed to address the growing needs of AEC professionals today, and bring many benefits to building design workflows including helping them lift their file sharing game through automatic backup to the cloud.

Let’s take a closer look at how LucidLink is helping the AEC sector overcome common collaboration and mobility challenges:

  • Distributed team members can immediately retrieve files on-demand immediately on any device through LucidLinks’s streaming file service without the need to fully sync or download the file.
  • Multiple users can be granted access and permission concurrently to the same Filespace with each user given specific access allowing real-time collaboration to happen anywhere, anytime.
  • Files on LucidLink can be shared with external parties, such as contractors and subcontractors, at file or folder level to allow contractors and partners to work with the LucidLink storage without the need for them to set up a LucidLink account and trying to manage their access to the entire Filespace.
  • Global file locking can be enabled, which is critical with distributed AutoCAD users where users are accessing the same data in a LucidLink Filespace concurrently, for example. This feature is supported on Windows operating systems only, however.
  • LucidLink is compatible with any object storage provider that utilises cloud, on-prem, or hybrid storage, and it supports all major operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  • All data is encrypted at AES 256 in flight and at reach, and each Filespace entry has its own encryption to ensure that projects files are always protected and secure.
  • LucidLink utilises infinitely scalable cloud storage as the platform allows AEC companies to use their own on-prem or public cloud storage, and leverage object storage as the backend, reducing any potential cloud computing cost blowouts.
  • Automatic snapshots of file projects can be enabled to ensure that if any file corruption occurs at any point of time, users can still restore to a prior version of either individual files or revert the entire Filespace to an earlier point.

To learn more about how Cloud Solutions Group can help your business overcome collaboration and mobility challenges, book a free LucidLink demo and consultation here.