Glider hosted its inaugural ‘Glider Gathering’ on 2nd November, where the Glider team and many of their key gliderbim® users met to share its upcoming plans for the business and industry on a variety of topical points like Smart Buildings, Net Zero, The Building Safety Bill.
Having worked closely with gliderbim® Enterprise user Coventry University on the digitalisation of its built estate, Glider was delighted to hold its user group meeting at Coventry University’s Coventry TechnoCentre, where many of its key associates such as Coventry University, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Deutsche Bank, Mace, Kier, Arcadis, and the Government Industry Interoperability Group (GIIG) came together in person to share in industry discussions.
The day kicked off with Douglas Fewkes from Coventry University welcoming the attendees to the campus and its estate. Douglas commented, “Digital technology and the support Glider will provide to use here at Coventry University is crucial for all ongoing growth and activity.”
Following this, Paul Wilkinson delivered a keynote talk highlighting the trends impacting the industry and the growing significance of information management, security, openness and interoperability. Paul stated, “NIMA as an organisation used to be the UK BIM Alliance, and has been heavily involved in the last 10 years with digital progress. And that has now shifted its focus slightly more to a wider brief talking about information management as a much bigger picture. We help the industry make all the appropriate connections and to learn, grow and seize the opportunity of good information management.”
Diving into Glider’s Roadmap
Glider’s Managing Director, Nick Hutchinson then walked through the plans for the company growth plans and 2023 focus, summarised as ‘much more of the same’ as Glider cemented a position as a leading information management platform and services provider. The next 24 months, for me personally, are going to be probably the most exciting period so far for us. We are very close to securing some significant funding, as we are now in a healthy position financially to make the conscious decision to take on board some additional capital.”
He continued, “This move is really going to accelerate the growth and scaling of what we do. That’s going to be focused primarily on building out the product and development teams, much bigger than what they currently are, and that is going to allow us to accelerate the delivery of our product road map.”
John Adams, Head of Product at Glider, moved the focus towards gliderbim® and the exciting Roadmap plans over the next 6-24 months. Key focus areas highlighted were the scaling of data validation capabilities, the introduction of multi-file viewing capabilities and the incorporation of a powerful enterprise search and reporting capability. This presentation also included Luke Pibworth walking through the exciting new features coming to gliderbim®.
Commenting on scaling and SaaS, John said: “We are getting bigger, the platform is getting bigger, and we are getting more users. The last thing we want you to do is wait behind another customer to process a model. We want your models to process quickly; we want your data to process quickly. So, we are investing in making sure we are fit for that growth.”
Steve Rukuts, co-founder and Technical Director of Glider, continued the ‘Deep Dive’ of Glider’s roadmap, focusing on Glider’s security posture and continued technical hardening of the platform. Steve shared Glider’s plans to further strengthen Glider’s cyber security credentials which will enable us to support government clients as well as their supply chains to securely manage and share asset information deliverables.
Steve noted, “For the future we are looking to target secret and top-secret projects and our customers will also get the benefit of that investment. We are rapidly gaining a reputation as a provider of secure CDEs and we are seeing higher and higher demands for assurance. Many of our customers in defence and finance are very keen to see our security credentials and very keen to test us robustly.”
Stuart Bell, Director of Sales and Marketing at Glider, delivered a presentation on ‘Data Insights’, discussing the operational benefits that can be unlocked from a standard COBie data deliverable, and stressing the importance of starting with the end in mind with regards to information procurement. Clients specifying a requirement for highly structured asset data need to ensure this data has purpose and downstream value. Stuart also covered the growing portfolio of services that Glider provides to asset-owning clients and contractors/lead appointed parties, highlighting an increasing focus on structured asset data definition and delivery.
Stuart stated, “We like to talk to clients practically about what you can achieve with very good structured data, your carbon net zero and sustainability drivers or your space optimisation drivers for the estate. Starting with the end in mind is essential to creating the information requirements to achieve these aims.”
Upcoming Glider developments
Following the information management services theme, Henry Saunders, Head of Operations at Glider, took to the stage to discuss Glider’s focus on quality management and IM practitioner training for the team, along with the pending appointment of a new as Head of Information Management Services to further strengthen Glider’s delivery capability
Industry experts take the floor
GIIG: the significance of the Client Information Management Platform
Glider was delighted to be joined by a new and emerging voice in Information Management. Nicola Pearson, Engagement Lead at the Government and Industry Interoperability Group (GIIG) introduced the work of the GIIG and the positioning of a Client Information Management Platform. GIIG is working to address interoperability issues on behalf of both the UK Government and Industry, turning the telescope around to look from an asset owner perspective at how they can take secure ownership and drive insights from their buildings and wider estate. Glider is now engaged with the GIIG and its Technology Group, looking at how to develop aspects of the Information Management Platform.
Nicola Pearson commented on gliderbim® as a client information management platform: “The glider information management approach enables organisations to manage their data, to drive value and better societal outcomes.”
DIO: the challenges of implementing a Common Data Environment (CDE)
Jon Hallam, Senior Asset Information Manager at Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), joined the stage to discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing a new Asset Information Management Common Data Environment (AIM CDE) and how the DIO is embracing the opportunities of closer supply chain engagement, and overcoming the cultural challenges of adopting new standards and processes. When your estate is global and has in excess of 150,000 buildings to manage, it was no surprise to learn about the phased and workstream approach the DIO are taking, and the number of collaborating parties supporting the change programme.
Kier: dealing with complex BIM requirements
James Franklin, Head of BIM Projects at Kier, delivered a talk titled ‘Delivering Against Complex BIM Requirements’, where Glider worked in conjunction with Kier to deliver handover information on HMP Five Wells. As a result of this collaboration, HMP Five Wells project data was handed over on time and within budget, demonstrating the positive effects of a Managed Service inclusive of gliderbim® COBie validation and IFC management.. As a side note, HMP Five Wells is a project which has now generated two awards wins this year from CABE and Construction Computing.
Commenting on HMP Five Wells, James Franklin said: “Glider has worked with use on HMP Five Wells, we have delivered what we think is the most complex BIM project to date and we have 100% compliance which is fantastic. In terms of software vendors you have got the good people and they go on a journey with you; they help you when you’re struggling and Gliders are in that camp firmly.”
Arcadis: the importance of the Golden Thread
The penultimate speaker, Ed Gibbs, Head of Digital at Arcadis, discussed the importance of the Golden Thread, pertaining to the Building Safety Act (2022), and how having the relevant software and workflows in place is essential in facilitating this. He announced the Arcadis partnership with Glider and use of gliderbim® to power and underpin their new Building Safety Digital Service.
Smart Buildings and Net Zero Panel Discussion
Finally, a panel that included James Franklin from Kier, Ivo Krastins from Hoare Lea, and Matthew Bott from ScanTech, joined John Adams on stage to partake in a Smart Buildings and Net Zero Panel to discuss the part IM will play in the UK’s journey to net zero and the development of Smart Buildings.
Nick’s Final Thoughts
Nick Hutchinson, Managing Director of Glider wrapped up the conference, concluding, “I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend today. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the backing of each and every one of you, so thank you for your continued support.”
Nick added, “We take user feedback seriously, so it’s important for us not only to educate on the platform and to share our news but to hear your experience of Glider. We look forward to executing ambitious plans in the next 24 months to make the Glider user experience even better for all our users!”
Stuart Bell added, “We are absolutely thrilled with the attendance today and most of all, the participation to help drive positive change in the industry. This event just shows how much we can achieve in a single day and it was fantastic coming together physically and engaging with our clients and friends of Glider.”
You can watch the highlights of the day here.