Dropbox Targets Construction, Forms Partnerships with PlanGrid, Others

Screenshot of the PlanGrid-Dropbox integration, via Dropbox

Screenshot of the PlanGrid-Dropbox integration, via Dropbox

Once upon a time, Dropbox was a place to store your files on the cloud.  Now, users are demanding much more collaboration with their files and their teams, so Dropbox has been evolving to meet those needs. Much like other technology companies in Silicon Valley, Dropbox has taken note of the opportunity for growth that the construction industry offers due to general unwillingness to adopt new technologies in the past. The company recently announced that they are forming partnerships with several construction technology companies like PlanGrid and Aconex.

Dropbox’s DBX Platform is very similar in nature to other software integration universes that we’ve talked about in the past, like PlanGrid’s Partner Ecosystem and Procore’s Construction OS.  Tech companies are beginning to realize that one software cannot meet every need of their clients, so they are allowing other tech companies to integrate their software into their main platform.  That reduces the user’s need to use multiple different applications to get the data they need and can eliminate information silos.

The DBX Platform already has partnerships with many other non-construction specific software companies, like Microsoft, Adobe, and DocuSign, along with an upcoming partnership with Google Cloud. Dropbox’s first venture into the construction industry was an integration with the AutoCAD desktop application in November of 2017, which allows you to preview .DWG files directly in Dropbox.

On Tuesday, several integrations with construction software were announced, including PlanGrid, Aconex, BulldozAIR, and Fieldwire.  Generally speaking, the integrations allow the drawings and documents that are being managed in each respective app to automatically sync to your Dropbox Business account or vice versa, to help make sure all of your documents are up-to-date.

PlanGrid users will be able to save As-Builts (PDFs) and Snapshots (photos) on the PlanGrid platform and then back to Dropbox. Aconex users can manage their draft documents on Dropbox and then share the final versions for distribution on the Aconex platform. BulldozAIR users can upload, change, and save plans and documents from Dropbox to BulldozAIR and save reports from BulldozAIR to Dropbox automatically. Fieldwire users can use markup tools on the Fieldwire platform, which will then sync with Dropbox for distribution to the team.

James Cook, Head of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships at PlanGrid, had this to say about the integration with Dropbox: “Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex and require sophisticated coordination between many different organizations. Through our experience of working on over a million projects around the world, we know seamless collaboration with everyone on a job site is the fastest way to increase productivity both in the field and the office. Together with Dropbox, we’re empowering construction teams to do more with less.”

Software collaborations are a good sign for all of us in the construction industry.  As more companies form partnerships, it will give us easier access to files and reports that we need, while also keeping the entire project team working off of the latest set of plans. It’s expected that Dropbox will continue to push for more partnerships like the ones mentioned above in the future.

Full story: Expanded partnerships give construction teams more ways to collaborate | Dropbox