Oracle's Aconex for Defense has become the first construction and engineering project management and collaboration software to earn Defense Information Systems Agency Impact Level 4 provisional authorization. The provisional DISA IL4 authorization was effective as of Jan. 31.

DISA IL4 authorization, from the Dept. of Defense authorization, means Oracle software meets the security requirements for processing and storage of controlled unclassified information, enabling DOD agencies and their contractor delivery partners to access, share and collaborate on construction and engineering project information. 

Construction projects such as the new National Geospatial Agency Headquarters in St. Louis, known as Next NGA West, require such authorizations for project tools used by contractors because of the sensitive nature of the facility.

"We're delighted to today be the first and only project management and collaboration solution available for government entities who need to comply with both the FedRAMP needs and requirements, as well as the DISA Impact Level 4 standard for defense agencies," says Mark Webster, senior vice president and general manager of construction and engineering at Oracle. Aconex for Defense secured FedRAMP certification in November 2020.

Next NGA West, whose owner agency is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District, is one such facility and has several Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) areas within it, and requires security standards be met for all of the tools used to build it, as well as the contractors. 

"We also think this really a signal to the market that we are committed to delivering high-compliance solutions for all of our customers on a global level," says Roz Buick, senior vice president for Oracle's construction business.

New Features in Primavera Update

Oracle also announced new capabilities for scheduling, project information sharing and planning in its Primavera Cloud project management cloud platform.

Speaking about the new capabilities for Oracle Primavera Cloud, Webster says the platform will now support for the XER format, both for import and export. He says it it will enable customers to work with other third-party solutions "whether or not they're provided by Oracle or from somebody else." 

These updates unite planning functions in a project's CPM schedule with worksite teams' task schedule, allowing both to minimize rework in both, Webster adds.

"The whole reason I went down this road was because of what this update will do, that I haven't seen anyone else be able to do," says Jeff Milo, senior scheduling manager at Landmark Properties, which beta tested this release. "It links the CPM schedule to the tasks." 

Milo is a longtime proponent of lean construction and its organizational benefits, but also wanted the ability to link those processes with a CPM schedule. One of the big benefits Landmark receives from its use of lean processes with weekly work plans is that when a subcontractor has to get up and put a sticky note on a big board, usually in the trailer, that trade contractor is making a commitment to perform a task, says Milo.

He also says Oracle has made some significant improvements with the task portion of the cloud service. Landmark Properties has started to incorporate the cloud platform on a couple of projects. Instead of using white boards on the walls, "we're using the touchscreen and task management [features] and we're really liking the results," Milo adds.