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Internet: on the way to Wembley

While the future of Wembley Stadium continues to hit the headlines, internet technology is hard at work behind the scenes making sure that whatever does get built will be managed in the most efficient way possible.

As due diligence consultant on the redevelopment project, WSP Group is championing the use of project collaboration software, which it claims is saving thousands by cutting out needless costs and is completely revamping the way the project team works.

'Many clients are still sceptical of project collaboration, ' explains WSP's IT manager Martin Ridgway.

'There is still not a full understanding of the technology and a lot of confusion. Some call it project collaboration, some call it a project extranet, some call it document management. It is all the same thing, ' he says.

WSP has chosen Business Collaborator from Enviros.

'BC was competitively priced and we are not aware of any other product that matches our needs, ' says Ridgway.

With WSP's system all data is stored on a central server in its London HQ, with all information accessed via the internet but protected by a firewall.

'We like the fact that we are hosting the server, ' Ridgway explains. 'It means it is not sat in a bunker in the docklands.'

The simplicity of the system, with the only hardware the server and the only software needed for individual users a standard internet browser, means it is cheap.

BC charges a standard, oneoff fee of £250 per registered user, and the savings to be made are impressive.

'There are five or six external bodies and four or five WSP offices involved in the project, and there are currently 1,000 documents on the system.

'That means we potentially had to produce and despatch 10,000 documents. The cost of this alone more than pays for the system, ' Ridgway explains.

But there are more than just cost benefits. The system is revolutionising transparency and traceability.

'You can immediately see everyone who has access to the system, and can see everything they have viewed and modified, ' Ridgway explains.

'Put simply, Enviros has a lot of functionality but is easy to navigate, simple to use and its generic feel makes it attractive to non-engineering clients, ' Ridgway says.

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