Although Imperfect - Robust, Neutrally Hosted and Strongly Functional
January 09, 2017

Although Imperfect - Robust, Neutrally Hosted and Strongly Functional

Mark Potter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Aconex

Aconex was used by our project team on a $30 million horizontal infrastructure project in Toronto for a public sector client. The project participants were the client (owner), project manager (our firm), constructor, landscape lead consultant and a civil engineering consultant. The Aconex "project" was bifurcated into the design development/construction documentation and construction phase. Aconex addressed both neutrally hosted file sharing and business process control.
  • File Sharing - unlimited storage, version control and access control on a neutral host - Aconex is significantly superior to ftp, SharePoint or a contractor hosted platform in that once onboarded, each user organization has equal privileges and can in turn onboard any number of members within the respective organizations.
  • Process and Workflow Management - while imperfect, Aconex offers the opportunity to customize process control and enforcement. Our team used these processes for RFI preparation and response, submittal tracking and other custom requirements.
  • Neutrality - while mentioned, the neutral host places all project participants on a equal basis. Typically, non-neutral platforms favor in-house participants to the detriment of the project. Until shared, files are 100% private to the respective organizations.
  • Mobile interface - good (not perfect) access to unlimited project file information from a mobile device.
  • Audit trail - no more "I didn't get that document". File sharing and file opening is tracked by user. Transmittals are a matter of record and there's no 'delete' function.
  • Interface needs work; graphically inelegant, somewhat non-intuitive.
  • Process controls could be better 'templated' for industry standards.
  • Dashboard/to do for project managers - it's still too hard to see who is slowing the project down.
  • Reductions in print costs alone (subcontractor bid process) paid completely for the use of the product. Further benefits to all project participants included process streamlining and 100% access to all project documentation (Drawings, Specifications, Contracts, Notices of Change, Change Orders etc.) from any online source including mobile devices. Benefits probably accounted for 150% of product cost.
  • Intangible benefits included reduced exposure to claims as a result of good (and agreed process tracking).
I am currently using file sharing such as Egnyte and ShareFile which are useful but don't have much of a transmittal or inmail functionality so I can't really speak to other products in the same league as Aconex. I don't typically like proprietary contractor solutions due to their non-neutrality and embedded agendas, which often are not consistent with the owner's interests.
[It is] well suited to large scale complex construction projects with many participants. Aconex requires patience and training and, although it's good, it could be better. Short duration, small projects probably aren't a good fit.