IBM US$2mn collaboration with Harris-Stowe State University
In an announcement made by IBM, the technology company has entered into a US$2mn collaboration with Harris-Stowe State University. The collaboration will see the two organisations work on developing diverse and high demand skill sets that align with industry needs and trends allowing both students and faculty to learn the skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow.
The two organisations plan to build on the need to advance digital skills in education, and are dedicated to providing a future focused curriculum, alongside educational tools to train the next workforce generation in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data science, cybersecurity, cloud and quantum.
"Harris-Stowe State University is thrilled to collaborate with IBM to provide greater access to skills and training in the tech industry. As the world, more than ever relies on the use of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve grand societal challenges, Harris-Stowe must continue to develop well prepared and ready graduates to join the STEM workforce. This collaboration is yet another example of our commitment to supporting student and faculty development and assisting in preparing students to compete and lead globally,” commented Dr. Corey S. Bradford, Sr., president of Harris-Stowe State University.
This collaboration further IBM’s recent investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development with HBCUs in the United States.
"Equal access to skills and jobs is the key to unlocking economic opportunity and prosperity for diverse populations. "As we announced earlier this fall, IBM is deeply committed to helping HBCU students build their skills to better prepare for the future of work. Through this collaboration, Harris-Stowe State University students will have an opportunity to gain modern skills in emerging technologies across hybrid cloud, quantum and AI so they can be better prepared for the future of work in the digital economy,” added Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, HBCU Program Lead, IBM Global University Programs.
As part of the multi-year program between IBM and Harris-Stowe State University, IBM will provide over US$100mn in assets, faculty training, pre-built and maintained curriculum content, hands on labs, use cases, digital badges and software to participating HBCUs.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.