DCN talks to…Omar Sheikh, Technical Manager, Strategic Development, Bluebeam
DCN: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself, and your role in the built environment?
OM: As an Enterprise Platform Manager, I have the pleasure of working with Bluebeam, Inc.’s customers to maximise their productivity gains across the entire project lifecycle. When they adopt our flagship product Bluebeam Revu, and our included collaboration platform Bluebeam Studio, I help our customers make changes that support more effective and collaborative workflows across their Enterprise. Over the last three and half years at Bluebeam, I’ve been constantly amazed by the innovative ways our customers utilise our products.
Prior to Bluebeam, I spent eight years working for Foster Wheeler (now Amec Foster Wheeler) and Bechtel, in roles focused on leveraging technology, including the deployment and integration of Revu, to improve communication and collaboration on multinational projects.
DCN: What for you is the most exciting thing about working in the built environment?
OM: For me, seeing how construction technology is changing the way projects are run is the most exciting part of the industry right now. The digitalisation of the modern workplace has improved the way people communicate, collaborate and share information. A common data environment allows for ever increasing workflow efficiencies even as project schedules shrink and profit margins get smaller.
Lastly, witnessing some of the incredible buildings that our customers are creating, with the help of Revu as a markup and collaboration solution that connects all projects and teams, never ceases to amaze me.
DCN: What do you feel would help improve and encourage greater collaboration in the built environment?
OM: Embracing technology throughout the project lifecycle and taking a deliverable and its associated data from design, through construction and into handover, will ensure that all parties are invested from the start and working towards the same goal. The first step towards this is creating integrated systems and engaging with technology providers to create a common data environment to enable smooth flow of data throughout the design, build and operation process.
DCN: What challenge in your work life would you most like a technology or process to help solve?
OM: Since I began working, technology has dramatically changed the way I work. The one thing we still haven’t quite figured out is managing email volume and prioritization. Anything that can really differentiate between an email that needs my immediate attention vs. one that can wait a few hours would revolutionise my world.
DCN: Tell us about a recent innovation or technology that you’ve been most impressed by?
OM: Some of our Nemetschek sister companies are creating incredibly revolutionary software. Solibri and their Model Checker is a prime example of innovation enabling clash and deficiency detection at a level I’ve not seen before.
I also think hardware, specifically wearables, will be the next big phase of technology innovation in the industry.
DCN: Can you tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on and what role (if any) innovation and technology is playing?
OM: Our customers work on a vast range of projects from incredible high-profile projects such as the Daytona Speedway project in the US or the European Spallation Source in Sweden, all the way to single family homes. All of these face their own engineering and construction challenges, and Studio is being utilised in conjunction with LEAN methodologies to increase project communication and collaboration
DCN: What do you fear or struggle with the most in terms of technology?
OM: I’m actually a big fan of technology, especially in my day-to-day life. I will typically have a slew of the latest gadgets around the house and office. I tend not to struggle with the technology itself but the behavioural changes it requires. I still get up to turn on a light when I could simply ask Alexa (or Google Home) to do it for me.
The same struggle for behavioural change is something that we see across the industry as new technology is adopted.
DCN: What is Digital Construction to you and why is it important?
OM: It may seem simple, but today Digital Construction is the process of taking your paper workflows digital. There are still so many processes in the built environment that are paper-based and a quick win is taking those processes digital. BIM, AR/VR and other process and construction technology innovations are the future, but are not yet widely adopted throughout the industry and the entire design build process. Replicating paper processes digitally is that first step.
DCN: What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
OM: I plan to continue everything I have done for the last few years in helping customers adopt Bluebeam’s product offerings. From fitting our software neatly into their existing technology stack to working with them to ensure they are ready for adoption, my goal is to make sure they have a smooth transition and get the most out of their investment in our technology. Most of all, I hope I will continue to be amazed by the remarkable things our customers achieve with our software.
As for Bluebeam, we have many new enhancements coming in 2018 and will strive to reduce clicks and increase productivity for our customers. We will also expand our range of integrations that allow data to flow seamlessly between Studio and their software portfolio, ensuring customers have the choice of best in class software.
DCN: What is your favourite sci-fi movie?
OM: I know it is the easy answer, but Star Wars. Nothing can beat those movies.
Bluebeam are sponsors of this year’s Digital Construction Week at London’s ExCeL from 18-19 October – register for free by 1st October by clicking here…