Give us a brief overview of your organisation
Viewpoint is a division of Trimble Inc. a multinational corporation with major business streams in the Construction, Transportation and Agriculture industries. We have offices globally, with the HQ in California. We have many offices and locations across the UK.
Locally, our office in Newcastle is just behind the Central Station on Forth Street and is home to almost 100 people. We were originally a small startup company (4 Projects) so we have deep roots here. We were acquired by Viewpoint Construction Software (Portland, Oregon) who were in turn acquired by Trimble Inc, in 2018.
We provide specialist software for the construction industry which includes software that provides a secure, integrated platform for sharing and collaborating on building models, designs and documents as well as mobile “on site” applications.
Integrating our solutions with our parent company’s hardware and software technology is bringing massive benefits to our customers.
Some examples include Trimble’s augmented reality solutions combining hololens hardhats to see “through” walls to structures, piping, electrical systems etc.
Automated surveying using drones and autonomous robot “dogs” is speeding up surveying tasks and capturing data that can be shared quickly and efficiently allowing project managers to quickly see the build status.
As a technology company, it’s a really exciting time. It can also be tough – and there are many technical challenges, both for our customers and ourselves. Our software solutions are cloud based and we have to handle massive amounts of data with thousands of users accessing and collaborating on a global basis around the clock. Globalisation, data privacy, security and harnessing the impact of Artificial Intelligence are just some examples of the challenges and opportunities we face.
Our customers are involved in everything from house building to football stadiums, from hotels to construction projects of national strategic importance (HS2, Crossrail, Hinkley Point etc). If you see a construction project – and it’s gratifying to see quite a few going on around the region – chances are the contractor will be using Trimble software and tools to help make it happen.
We have invested heavily to ensure that we provide a reliable, robust and secure platform. As a result we have a lot of cloud expertise and a lot of cyber security and compliance programs (ISO 27001, ISO 19650, Cyber Essentials, SOC, NIST, G-Cloud etc.).
What are the benefits of basing your business in the North East?
Obviously we’d say the people! The North East has both a rich pool of talent and relatively low costs allowing us to operate competitively. This was especially true as a small start up company but is also still true today being part of a global company that has access to resources all over the world. Being a business that is truly global we are actually neatly placed, being halfway between US and Asian time zones.
How does your organisation strive to make a positive impact ont he local community, and why is this important to your overall mission?
Our whole business is really focussed on trying to help solve global challenges.
This ethos drives a lot of locally focussed efforts too. Some examples of this include the fact that our staff are given an extra day off work annually to contribute to the local community (everything from painting local buildings to cleaning beaches).
We also support a number of local charities, helping contribute to local food banks and providing toys for underprivileged children at Christmas.
What are your hopes of the future of the North East’s tech and digital industry?
We really want to see the North East tech industry keep developing. We need a good local supply of talent and we want to help develop that. We do this through our active apprenticeship program and by establishing links with local Universities. We’ve run several joint development and research projects, for example.
What are your business objectives for the next 12 months?
We are really focussing on our strategy of providing our customers in the construction industry with the best integrated solutions to meet their construction needs.
We also have a focus of expanding our business into Europe this year with our partners in Trimble who already have a strong presence there.
Why did you join Dynamo?
Mainly to take part more fully in the local North East tech and digital scene. We are sure we have expertise in certain areas that might benefit others and we are interested to find out more about what other companies’ expertise is available to share.
We think there are many common challenges that we might be able to tackle jointly rather than solve individually.
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