Construction

Will simulated work-sites drive digital transformation in the AEC industry?

Oracle’s Sherief Elabd tells MECN that the Innovation Lab sparks digital transformation in construction and engineering through innovative solutions

MECN sat down with Sherief Elabd, director at Industry Strategy & Innovation Construction and Engineering GBU at Oracle to talk about the organisation’s role in empowering new technologies and strategies to boost digital transformation in the AEC industry through its flagship Innovation Lab.

“We have one central lab to start with, in Chicago, for which we have started phase two of its expansion plan. Since it’s called the Innovation Lab, we wanted to make sure that the lab is being built using the latest technologies in construction and that it is sustainable. It’s going to be equipped with 5G network and will be AI (artificial intelligence)-enabled, so it will be a smart innovation lab,” said Elabd.

He added that the plan is to have different hubs in different parts of the world responding to market demands; right now Oracle is focusing on Australia and EMEA. “Hubs are not much different from labs – labs are bigger and will have a sizeable audience, but both will have the same technologies. In addition, certain things will be live streamed from the main Innovation Lab to the hub. Otherwise, hubs will have technologies and hardware in place which will showcase all the integrations that we have built into our solutions.”

“Another advantage of the Innovation Lab is that we can hear back from our customers and the wider community within Oracle; hence, whenever we spot a new technology that has a new use case, we take it into our R&D and process it. For instance, we have a project progress-monitoring application that we have developed with one of our innovation partners, Triax, that automatically collects and transmits location, utilisation and safety data via the cloud network that can be accessed through any smartphone application. Innovations such as these encourage collaboration and integration and provide an example of how simulated work-sites drive digital transformation,” he explained.

Elabd further stated that the idea is to expand Oracle’s partner network for companies that excel and specialise in specific product innovation. “The whole point around embracing innovation in the construction industry is to boost performance, and that includes the performance of workers on-site, to material delivery, to complex projects and just-in-time installation works,” he concluded.

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