KIBAG LogoThe digitalization of the construction industry is advancing rapidly and poses requirements that can no longer be meaningfully met with an on-premises platform. To meet the requirements of the modern working world, KIBAG introduced the digital construction dossier in spring 2021.

The KIBAG Group, headquartered in Zurich, is one of the largest construction companies in Switzerland and today employs around 1800 people at 63 locations. Today, the KIBAG Group includes 13 gravel and 21 concrete plants as well as 17 construction companies throughout Switzerland.

In addition to road construction, civil engineering and foundation engineering, KIBAG is also active in recycling and waste disposal and maintains a golf course and boat harbors on Lakes Zurich and Zug.

www.kibag.ch

With the digital construction dossier, whose core element is Microsoft Teams, KIBAG has laid a solid foundation for future digitization projects. A state-of-the-art collaboration platform for teamwork and project management with an intelligent, extensible API-first architecture that enables extremely flexible integration with new or existing systems such as ABACUS.

  • Any device, any time, any place: The IT infrastructure should no longer dictate who can work where and with which device. Especially in the context of Corona, this requirement has gained massive weight.
  • Reliability & Platform as a Service: Platform operation should be outsourced to a service provider.
  • Governance: IT and business departments can introduce and enforce standards that enable secure and reliable operation of the platform.
  • Collaboration with external parties: Collaboration with external parties can be initiated without IT involvement, but still provide governance tools that enable IT to ensure its standards.
  • Connectivity & Interoperability: Secure solutions are needed to make information available in a controlled way within the own organization and, if required, to external parties.

Microsoft Teams takes center stage

At the heart of the solution is Microsoft Teams, which has been functionally enhanced with numerous apps and system integrations to cover KIBAG’s requirements.

The core of the solution is Microsoft Teams, which has been functionally enhanced with numerous apps and system integrations

The integration of the surrounding systems was implemented on the Azure platform and deployed in teams within the app framework. This approach allows us to provide users with an equivalent user experience regardless of which device they are working on.

In addition, the Azure platform enables system integrations with other business solutions through Power Automate (Flow), Azure Logic Apps and AgilePoint. These features can be used to integrate data from other surrounding systems, for example in cases where different departments need access to the same data within teams.

Future-proof microservice architecture

The KIBAG solution was implemented with the “big picture” in mind in order to be ready for the future in terms of digitalization. Mobile first, flexible working models (home office) and the associated increased need for security have raised the demands on IT and the connectivity of the application landscape to a new level.

Based on the existing Azure maturity level, we implemented an API-first approach with KIBAG based on a microservice architecture. The focus was on making existing and new services and applications available via an API layer controlled by KIBAG. This architecture is based on Microsoft’s API management platform and opens up new horizons for KIBAG.

API-first approach based on a microservice architecture

The business logic is implemented in individual independent microservices that communicate via messages and events.

ABACUS as leading system

ABACUS is the leading system at KIBAG when it comes to master data (projects, customers, employees, trades, etc.). The integration of ABACUS in Microsoft Teams had corresponding weight and ABACUS produces events for every change to a relevant entity, which end up in the central event storage of KIBAG.

There, the events are processed by corresponding microservices, which transfers the master data to teams so that each document in linked workspaces ultimately inherits this master data.

In addition, the master data is also made available to other systems in a company-wide metadata layer to avoid redundancies and media discontinuities and to support future digitization projects.

The digital construction dossier

To enable users to take advantage of these integration solutions, 1stQuad has enhanced Teams with corresponding apps. These apps allow data from other applications to be easily used in Microsoft Teams.

Provisioning

The process of deployment in the digital construction dossier is simple. The user only has to select a desired template and can then edit it by entering metadata.

Provisioning process in Microsoft Teams

Integration of all employees – Intranet in teams

The KIBAG intranet is directly integrated into Teams and also scales beautifully in the mobile app. This brings great advantages for the employees on the construction sites, who can now be reached directly. The app also ensures that they are only provided with the most up-to-date information.

Automate processes – create template documents with one click

The KIBAG solution helps users automate processes and create submission documents at the click of a button. This works because the solution is context-relevant and can pull information from the ABACUS master data layer to be up-to-date.

Search and find – Enterprise Search

Because Teams does not have a company-wide search function, it is difficult for estimators and project managers to find specific documents across projects. Workspaces are populated with ABACUS master data during provisioning, and this information is inherited by all documents so that they can be found using metadata such as customer or organizational unit.

Solid foundation for future digitization projects

KIBAG offers a state-of-the-art collaboration platform for teamwork and project management that enables highly adaptable integration of new or existing systems such as ABACUS into future applications. With the digital construction dossier, KIBAG has created a solid foundation for future digitization projects and can continue to drive the API-first strategy.

Thanks to the event-driven architecture, ABACUS live updates are transferred to teams in real time. This eliminates waiting times of up to one day for our employees and all changes are immediately available to our employees.

Yves Stucki, Head of IT
KIBAG Dienstleistungen AG