The slogan of the 14th Budapest Architecture Film Festival is ‘ACT GLOBAL’. How can you relate to the approach of global action at Graphisoft?
Right now at Graphisoft an internal structural change is taking place based on a global approach. The goal of our company’s modernization process is to appear in more than 100 countries of the global market with a unified product and service support. Part of this is our new web store, which made our product available from anywhere at any time. In addition, we are renewing and updating our collaborations with universities and local professional organizations in our markets with the same content. Graphisoft is 40 years old this year, and we not only want to offer our customers a market-leading approach and competitiveness in our developments, but we also make sure that we ourselves remain a company capable of responding to global challenges.
As one of the world’s most popular manufacturers of BIM (Building Information Modeling) software, what is your perception of global trends in the development of BIM programs?
The pandemic has shown what users expect globally from a software developer. It is clear that collaboration and teamwork have become essential. Architects, constructors and operators even have to work together across continents – all this from home. We, the service providers, help the actors of the construction industry not to decrease, but rather to increase their efficiency, even in such a sharp and unexpected situation as a pandemic.
We have already created the technology for this, and many in the market have now experienced that a full change of attitude is needed to take advantage of it: a switch from local fragmentation to comprehensive digital systems.
What are the challenges of global transformation and extensive international work?
I can give an internal “personal” example of this, new colleagues also came from abroad to our headquarters in Óbuda: Egyptian static engineer, Brazilian architect, English BIM managers, so the official corporate language has changed from Hungarian to English. This can be seen as a consequence of our corporate organic growth in the international competitive environment over the past decades. It is also part of our global, integrated corporate culture that we centrally collect the local good practices that have been developed so far in our various markets and make the best ones universally applicable.
What are the values at the forefront of the company’s operations?
Our global aptitude is that we focus not only on large customers, but we are also embedded in our individual clients, so we have to meet significantly different expectations. The needs of large customers today are increasingly served by common standards and platforms based on our BIM software, while the self-employed have other demands, but we need to ensure that they also can connect to the teamwork environment at any time. In addition, in Hungary, which is still our test market, engineers also access the products of our owner, the Nemetschek’s portfolio.
Graphisoft BIM Server enabled virtual teamwork long before the coronavirus epidemic. Has the demand for online teamwork solutions increased in the last two years?
Indeed, smaller clients created a virtual connection and shared files through a cloud with co-designers only as a result of the epidemic. For larger customers, technical progress has been required by the economic competition in the past, but the sharp shift is now proven and we hope it will accelerate the integration of new technologies into everyday practice.
What innovation can Archicad users expect worldwide as a result of the home office experiences and global organizational transformation?
We believe in OPEN BIM’s philosophy, which means we don’t force players to use a single family of products, we build excellent relationships between software. This is the more difficult path in terms of development, a very complicated task and challenge, but we are constantly working on to provide the most tangible solutions for the architects.