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Transforming AEC email management: Insights for IT leaders

2 April, 2024

In an era where project delays are becoming the norm and margins are increasingly thin, our recent "Unchain your data" webinar presented by our team at Ideagen Mail Manager provides a fresh perspective on overcoming information silos that plague the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.

The insights shared by our Sales Director, Lucy Prior, Product Manager, Stephanie Fabre and Head of Collaboration Product, Tim Satchfield, are not just a reflection on the state of information management within AEC but a clarion call for embracing change.

The sector now stands at a pivotal junction. Traditional methods and tools, once the backbone of AEC project management and communication, are increasingly proving inadequate in the face of modern demands. This change prompts a critical examination of current practices and an embrace of innovative solutions, particularly on the topic of project communication where email, unsurprisingly, retains its status as an unsung hero.

Breaking free from silos in construction projects: The call for integration

The AEC industry, characterized by its complex projects and multidisciplinary collaboration, has long grappled with the challenges posed by information silos. As Lucy Prior stated, "outdated tools ultimately lead to outdated results”. Why?

The 2023 State of AEC Project Management Report 2023 highlights a startling reality: 90% of AEC leaders are concerned about the accessibility and visibility of their project information, with over a quarter of organizations at risk when staff depart. The fragmented nature of data, compounded by the reliance on disconnected tools and storage struggles, not only hampers efficiency but also elevates the risk of disputes which, as noted, have seen a significant uptick.

Future-proofing your projects with Microsoft 365 and Ideagen Mail Manager

As we navigate through this digital transformation in AEC project management, the role of Microsoft 365 and Ideagen Mail Manager becomes increasingly pivotal. The limitations of existing archaic solutions in adequately addressing the needs of email management within the AEC sector underscore the necessity for specialized tools.

Tim Setchfield, Head of Collaboration Product at Ideagen, points out the essential role of emails in legal transmissions and the inadequacy of archaic solutions for email storage, sharing and searching.

“Email still remains. It's increasing, it's even increasing in every sector but especially in AEC I think because it's so convenient to send an email and it is an autonomous document that represents a point in time, point of view — its ownership is clear. I think in terms of legal transmission of information, it's got a strong future even as we see move towards platforms such as chat.

"So, we're still left with where to store emails centrally and how to share them and considerations such as how do we make sure that we're clear and able to govern the ownership of that data and to ensure that that data is stored in the correct region?"

In contrast to archaic solutions, Ideagen Mail Manager emerges as a strategic tool that not only complements Microsoft 365 but also addresses the industry-specific challenges, enabling a seamless transition into a more integrated and efficient digital environment.

Unchaining your data to empower accessibility

"Looking at the challenges that you might be facing if you're trying to deal with email just using traditional systems without a specific email tool, you're going to find it very difficult to capture everything.

"Those emails are going to protect you from disputes in the future, they're also going to help you with any repeat projects, projects of a similar type. How sure can you be that all of those emails are captured as people maybe have changed roles in the business or even left the business?"

Tim Setchfield, Head of Collaboration Product at Ideagen

The journey towards modernizing information management involves dismantling the barriers to data accessibility. The alarming statistics from The 2023 State of AEC Project Management Report 2023, where a significant percentage of firms admitted to the difficulty in retrieving critical project information, particularly in legal disputes, signal an urgent need for change.

Tim stated, "we have the challenge, obviously the inveterate challenge of managing the storage in mailboxes, mailbox limits being exceeded and even if you can find a way to store them, you need specialist tools to search them effectively."

Ideagen Mail Manager's approach to email management exemplifies how targeted solutions can transform project communication. By ensuring that emails are systematically filed and easily retrievable, Ideagen Mail Manager not only mitigates the risk associated with information loss but also enhances collaboration and decision-making processes.

If you’re an IT leader in the AEC sector, the transition to a specialized email management solution represents more than just an upgrade in technology—it signifies a strategic move towards future-proofing your organization.

The benefits extend beyond the immediate improvements in data accessibility and project communication. They lay the foundation for a more agile, transparent and efficient operational model that can adapt to the evolving demands of the industry.

Are information silos and data inaccessibility taking up your valuable IT time?

With email remaining a crucial component of project communication, solutions like Ideagen Mail Manager offer a beacon of hope in addressing the inherent challenges of the traditional approaches.

By breaking free from silos, future-proofing your projects and empowering data accessibility, you’re not only enhancing the efficiency and resilience of our operations but saving yourself valuable IT time, so you can put your resources elsewhere.

Discover how to break free in our webinar, "Unchain your data: An IT leader's guide to escaping information silos in AEC." Watch on-demand now.



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