Connected Productivity: AEC Software Should Help Increase Billable Hours

Architecture, engineering, and construction firms need to keep the focus on winning new business and keeping customers loyal. Technology helps, but it’s only half the equation. The other half is determining how to apply that technology to the goal of having a Connected Firm. In this blog article, part of our series on the Connected Firm, I address Connected Productivity 

We work with many architectural, engineering, and construction management firms, and one of biggest challenges we see are a large number of inefficient processes. The problem is that many AEC ERP software solutions have no connectivity to the software your staff uses every day and where they spend most of their time…software like Outlook, Excel, and Teams. Connected Productivity puts your staff in an environment where your AEC ERP software is fully integrated with those applications and others. 

AEC ERP Software Without Connected Productivity Comes With a Cost

Any time that’s wasted moving between systems is lost revenue. Worse yet, your staff avoids using a system that’s not easy to access and easy to use—even something that everyone needs to do like a completing a timesheet. The result of not having Connected Productivity? Unhappy staff, low user adoption, late or poorly completed processes and non-billable time.  

Help Employees Efficiently Access Data in the Software They Like to Use

Our aec360 ERP software is designed with Connected Productivity in mind. Outlook is typically the software application that gets opened in the morning, stays open all day, and is widely used by the entire staff. This is a perfect environment for Connected Productivity to drive efficiencies for your employees and collect data essential to managing your firm. Here’s a good example. 

The following screenshot shows an employee reading an email in Outlook. When the email is opened, aec360 immediately knows who the sender is and can provide us with their profile and contact record. aec360 will also tell the user about the sender’s company and if there are any open opportunities or leads with that company. In addition, the system will show all the past and future activities with the sender’s company. Any of these items can be entered or edited directly here. 

Perhaps the most valuable information that Microsoft and aec360 provide is intelligence about your firm’s relationship status with the sender’s company. Based on the number of touch points, aec360 provides a relationship score for the employees in your firm who have had contact with the sender’s company. To top it off, there’s also a direct connection to LinkedIn to get relationship intelligence from an external source. 

How many systems would your employees otherwise have to access to get this information or edit this data? 

Work Directly With Everyone’s Favorite Management Software: Excel

Another example of Connected Productivity is demonstrated through how aec360 is integrated with Excel, one of the most popular business applications on the market today. The following screen shot shows a user who has journal entries to post. With the click of the mouse, the entire data entry process is moved to Excel. Most importantly, all the data entry rules from the ERP software are still in play when the user is in Excel. The user is where they want to be, and there is no lost functionality or security. 

Why is Connected Productivity Important?

Without it, your employees must leave the software they like to use every day in order to fulfill a process in your ERP system. Navigating to entirely different system is wasted billable time. It delays any process, frustrates users, and hinders collaboration. With aec360’s focus on Connected Productivity, your employees will be more efficient, and your processes will be completed faster. Better still, your employees might actually like using your ERP system! 

With aec360, you can have a Connected firm. Let us show you more in our on-demand webinar, How to Achieve a Connected AEC Firm with Dynamics 365 and aec360.

Michael D’Alesio is VP, Customer Care at HSO ProServ | Michael has served in many roles during his tenure in the Microsoft Partner Channel for the past 25-years.  Michael currently is responsible for supporting, enabling and strategically leading the HSO ProServ Team responsible for HSO ProServ D365 installed based customers to accept, adopt the Microsoft platforms to ensure they attain business value and user adoption.

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.