Blue Sky Innovation With Cloud

9 September 2013

Costain is using the latest mobile technology that takes advantage of its cloud platforms to develop innovative smartphone and tablet device applications for use across its operations, which could potentially help to save time and money on its projects.

Costain’s MobiCloud applications address a broad range of construction issues, such as managing safety permits, access to policies and site procedures, incident reporting and asset management.

The initiative is supported by the European Commission’s MobiCloud project, a corporate appstore which contains applications, or apps, which are connected to a cloud-hosted platform and which allows users to access, store and analyse large amounts of data. Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering a hosted service over a secure internet connection.

The first MobiCloud application to be deployed by Costain is a tablet-based site diary, which records every event that takes place on a construction site, thus replacing the need for the current paper-based records system.

Mark Collier, a Graduate Civil Engineer, said: “Wherever you can save time on site will have a direct benefit to safety and quality by allowing an engineer more time to monitor site work. This extra productivity, and therefore cost saving, can then also be passed back to our customers.”

Jason Scott, a consultant for COMIT, an industry association which promotes the use of mobile technologies in construction, said: “The MobiCloud site diary enables Costain to quickly search for the relevant records and matching pictures, but also to make sure that the information is more accurately documented by its engineers.”

Commenting, Tim Embley, Group Innovation & Knowledge Manager at Costain, added: “Costain has a commitment to innovation and the application of new technology. MobiCloud enables us to explore how mobile and cloud technology can help us to improve our operations and deliver better service to our customers. Following the deployment of the MobiCloud site diary, we continue to develop more apps that continue to enhance the services we provide to our customers.”

The MobiCloud consortium is led by Appear (Sweden) and includes Nettropolis (Germany), EsperantoXL (the Netherlands), Costain (UK) and COMIT Projects (UK). The MobiCloud Partner Program allows any organization to access an infrastructure to develop and run its own corporate appstore, or evaluate an existing MobiCloud application.