Perkins + Will is a leading global architecture firm, responsible for designing some of the world's most incredible commercial properties. The firm employs more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 offices. Perkins + Will partnered with Box and Cognizant Digital Works to design and develop an iOS application, Blueprint, to share and collaborate with executive clients on their projects.
The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is a complex and multi-faceted industry. Every project, whether designing a museum or an international airport, involves dozens if not hundreds of stakeholders, and is completely centered around content. From sharing budgets and project plans to architectural designs and construction photos, hundreds of documents, images, and videos are exchanged throughout each project, requiring input, approvals, and collaboration at every step.
Spearheaded by Perkins + Will Chief Information Officer Murali Selvaraj, the team at Perkins + Will set out to design an experience that would simplify the process, allowing Perkins + Will clients to easily access information about a project from anywhere in the world, at any time, in a way that was simple yet immersive. Moreover, Perkins + Will wanted the experience to be collaborative, allowing project teams to share inspiration and provide feedback.
With limited technical resources, Perkins + Will needed to find a platform that would enable them to develop such an experience. The team sought a partner for their innovation and a solution that was secure, open, and allowed them to design an experience that was completely tailored to their brand.
In the summer of 2016, the technology team at Perkins + Will met with representatives from Box to learn more about how Box could help their employees securely share and collaborate on their information in the cloud. The conversation, however, took a very different turn when they started to discuss their ambitions for redesigning their client experience.
Within hours, Perkins + Will mobilized a team of developers, with support from Cognizant Digital Works, and set out to design and develop their Blueprint iOS application. The application would allow clients to view all the information about a project, from schedules and budgets to architectural designs and photos and videos from the construction site, in a simple application on their iPhone. In just six weeks, Perkins + Will designed and built an application that would transform their business forever.
The application leverages Box Platform APIs to power all the content services in the application. From rendering documents, images, and videos, to allowing users to add comments to files and collaborate on important information, to securely storing all the project information in the cloud, allowing access from anywhere in the world, Box Platform dramatically simplified the development process and acts as the content backbone of the entire application. Perkins + Will also leverages several other cloud platforms in the application, including Amazon Web Services as a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, Auth0 for authentication and user management, Autodesk Forge for CAD rendering, Adobe Sign for eSignature on important documents, and SendGrid for sending transactional emails throughout the process.
Reduced Development Time - Perkins + Will, with the help of Cognizant Digital Works, was able to design and develop the application in just six weeks. Using Box Platform, Perkins + Will could focus resources on designing an incredible, tailored user experience instead of rebuilding a content management system for their application.
Immersive and Collaborative Experience - Using Box Platform’s preview services, Perkins + Will is able to display interactive viewers for more than 120 different file types in the application with just a few API calls. Today, the application displays documents, images, and HD videos, but soon the application will support 360-degree photos and videos and virtual reality content.
Seamless Integration - Apart from using Box Platform to build the Blueprint application, the team also licensed Box as the cloud content management and collaboration platform for their entire company. That means that the Blueprint application is built on the same content platform that their employees use every day, meaning architects using the Box web and mobile applications can easily share and collaborate on content with clients while the clients access that same information using the Blueprint application.
Security - security was of utmost consideration when choosing a content platform, as all the information about a project needed to be protected and governed in the event of a lawsuit. Box’s keen focus on secure, compliant storage meant that Perkins + Will could trust that their information was protected allowing them to focus on building an application that was engaging and immersive for clients.