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Wednesday23 July 2014

Me & my IT: Matt Yeoman, Director, Buckley Gray Yeoman

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How the iPad is revolutionary and sticking with Vectorworks has paid off

Our practice has always been Mac-based. In 1997 when you told people you were on Macs there was a big groan because there was no interface with things like AutoCAD or PCs. But we stuck with it.

The main drawing software is Vectorworks. We work on projects which are massively diverse in size — the smallest now is an £80,000 fit-out for Fred Perry and the biggest is a £400 million masterplan. Vectorworks gives us the ability to work on those and everything in between without having to be too rigorous with the protocols some packages demand. It’s quite intuitive, as well. You don’t have to spend weeks learning how to use it.

We didn’t use any Microsoft products. In terms of document management we try to replicate as closely as possible our paper systems with our computer systems. We don’t have any great super-technology system to file everything. But with 40 people, we find we can manage.

Last year we put quite a bit of investment into our back-up systems and email servers. But interestingly we made a larger investment in presentation-type software than cad software: InDesign, SketchUp, the rendering packages. We’re finding that the capacity to do 3D visualisation and use programmes like InDesign is becoming pan-office. So there was more demand for those.

One of our associates has responsibility of training and we’re now updating everybody on Vectorworks.

We have a pool of laptops for working from home or travelling. I use the iPad hugely — it’s revolutionised my work. I use it a lot for presentations — you end up having meetings in a coffee bar and there isn’t the infrastructure to give a standard presentation, so it’s been very useful.

And you don’t have to wait for it to start up the way you do with a laptop. It might be something we look to have more of for the office, as opposed to the laptops.

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