Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The iPad kickoff at D7: Let the revolution begin


It’s not everyday that you can say you’ve helped start a revolution of sorts, even if it is for just one business. But that’s exactly how I felt last week when we kicked off our campaign to put Box and 20 iPads in the hands of D7 Consulting, a construction firm based in beautiful Newport Beach, California.

I was joined by Michael Smith, Box’s product manager in charge of mobile applications. We spent a couple of days getting to know the awesome staff at D7, training them on Box and the iPads and checking out a few of their project sites around the Los Angeles area. Here’s a quick recap from what was an action-packed couple of days.

Day 1: iPads, training and apps, oh my!

Of course, you can’t start an iPad campaign without iPads and the unboxing ceremony was one of the highlights of the kickoff. If you own an iPad and remember that sheer joy of taking a look at it for the first time, multiply it by 20 and you’ll get an idea of how fun it was for me to watch the smiles on everyone’s faces.

The unboxing ceremony is a tough act to follow, but Michael and one of our lead support specialists, Ryan Riddle, did a fantastic job introducing the D7 team to Box, our iPad app and going over ways they can access and exchange work plans, project specs, drawings, photos and other documents between their home office and their teams out in the field. We also went over a few iPad apps that feature Box integration, including Quickoffice and DocsToGo, showing D7 field managers how they could edit various documents and instantly share them, right from their iPad.

Day 2: Pardon the dust…

The next day, D7 gave us a tour around a few of their project sites, including a historic hotel in Beverly Hills and one of the largest nonprofit hospitals in the country. We got to wear hard hats! But more importantly, we got a great glimpse of their work environment and how they’d be putting Box and their iPads to the test.

One of the most eye-opening moments for me was seeing just how much information they have to reference and carry around as make their way around cranes, torches and all kinds of other equipment. ¬†Using Box and their iPads, they’re looking forward to pulling up any project document in seconds without carrying binders’ worth of information under their arms.

We’re talking about going from this…

…to more like this:

What’s next?

Without a doubt, D7 is taking a big leap, seeing how they can fundamentally change the way they work. As their CEO Joe Daniels puts it, they want to move from a world of “lead time to real time.” Now, with their entire business on Box and a large fleet of iPads to boot, they’re a few steps closer to making this goal a reality.

How’s it all going to turn out? What challenges might they meet along the way? It’s going to be an interesting and enlightening adventure for all of us, so I invite you to come along. We’ll be sharing videos documenting the experience along the way and thoughts from our friends at TUAW, so be sure to check back on the blog and follow us on our Twitter and Facebook feeds to get the scoop.

Stay tuned!

Post by Sean Lindo, Product Marketing Manager

  • Gary

    As long as they get some sturdy cases, they’ll be good to go. Should be pretty neat if they can eliminate all of those paper documents.

  • Scott

    It will be interesting to see how older employees adapt to the iPad/Box.net model.

  • Scott

    How are they handling Autocad drawings? Are they using DWF format? And if so, can they mark up the drawings or take measurements?

    Giving our PMs the ability to do a punch in the field and take notes directly on the drawing would be fantastic.

  • Olu

    It’s quite interesting using the box.net app on iPad. So far am enjoying the experience with box.net and iPad. Want to see how they would deal with Autocad drawing and MS project files as regards editing these documents.

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  • http://Www.D7consulting.com Joseph Daniels

    Hey all; we have working on many aspects of the Box.net program and using the iPad has been great. I see you all want to know about drawings? We are marking up PDF drawings using a few different methods. We are able to review AutoCad drawings but for our purposes it is easier using the PDF format. We keep experimenting with apps to see which ones are best. What I can tell you is we are having success with identifying which ones work best and then getting all our employees synced. The older employees are doing well the iPad as they are professional and want to learn. The Box guys have been very acessible the last few weeks. We are doing another video shoot this week on our project in Freemont, Ca. Also you can check out Joe’s blog @ http://www.d7consulting.com where I am updating on the program as well. Looks good so far and we are definitely having fun. Talk with soon! Joe D.