The Universal Construction Model

Most great works of art do not attempt to recreate reality with all its subtle complexity. Instead, it simplifies structure and form, emphasizing only what the viewer needs to see to appreciate the artist's message. Human society and culture often employ simplified models of reality as it cuts through the clutter of detail to get at the heart of the matter.

The Universal Construction Model or simply UCM™, developed and maintained by hh2 Cloud Services, provides a simplified model of the primary accounting, project management and job cost system of the construction company, or in other words, the Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP). Through the use of hh2 Cloud Services’ Construction Integration Platform, UCM acts as a simplified proxy for the ERP in the cloud, and 3rdParty Software from Independent Software Vendors (ISV) can interact with the UCM as if it were the ERP itself.

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What Are the Benefits to Using the UCM?

The Universal Construction Model benefits everyone. Since all the heavy lifting is done by hh2’s Construction Integration Platform, the UCM simplifies integration by orders of magnitude. And that will bring benefits to the ERP Vendor, ISVs and Construction Companies alike. The UCM may not directly provide all the end user solutions that a Construction Company might need, but we make it possible for everyone to integrate robustly and elegantly together.

ERP Vendors such as Sage Software with its ever-popular Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate and Sage 100 Contractor solutions gain simplified integration with other ISVs in the cloud. In fact, the preeminent Procore project management solution in the cloud integrates nearly a thousand customers with Sage’s Construction Accounting packages using the UCM. The ERP Vendor only needs to ensure hh2’s Construction Integration platform has what it needs to provide a robust and comprehensive integration to the UCM, and all the ISV’s can then integrate in the cloud.

ISVs benefit by only having to integrate once to gain robust integration to all the ERPs that the Universal Construction Model supports. Instead of having to learn the entity model, business logic, and deal with the technological quirks and limitations of each individual ERP, the ISV can simply build their integration to the UCM using the comprehensive framework of APIs that hh2 has provided on their Construction Integration Platform. By integrating with the UCM once, they integrate with all the ERPs the UCM supports simultaneously.

The construction customer benefits by having their ERP integrate seamlessly with all the third-party solutions they need to stitch together to accomplish their purposes.

How Does the Universal Construction Model Work?

The Integration Client provided by hh2 Cloud Services synchronizes a curated list of entities from the ERP, like Employees, Jobs, or GL Accounts to the UCM in the cloud. It uses advanced techniques like data fingerprinting to ensure only data that needs to be synchronized up to the cloud is sent. And of course, it does this through secure SSL channels so that data is always encrypted.

When the construction company makes changes to this data in the cloud, by using hh2 Cloud Services end user solutions or by using other third-party solutions provided by ISVs, the changes are sent down to the Integration Client and pushed into the ERP. In most cases the changes are immediately read back out of the ERP to ensure the change was successful.

Which ERPs Does the Universal Construction Model Support?

The Universal Construction Model currently supports in full, or in part, the following ERPs:

What Makes the Universal Construction Model Different from other Integration Solutions?

The Universal Construction Model is different from any other solution on the market in several ways.

First, the Universal Construction Model is built on hh2 Cloud Services’ Construction Integration Platform. It is not just a collection of connectors that integrate one product to another. It is a true Integration Platform that is delivered as a service or iPaaS. What makes it a true platform you might ask? The platform handles all the ERP integrations, then the ISVs build their own integrations using the comprehensive library of APIs that connect to the UCM. The UCM is literally the foundation that all the third-party solutions build their integration upon. The only thing an ISV needs to build their own integration is to set up the proper security credentials with hh2 Cloud Services, who administers the UCM, and then use the provided documentation to build their own integration using the purpose-built APIs.

Second, the UCM relies on a Build it Once™ mindset. When a Job or Employee record is translated from an ERP into the UCM, it becomes a UCM Job or Employee record, no matter which ERP it originated from. This means the ISV only has to integrate with a UCM entity and they automatically get integration with that entity on all ERPs supported by the UCM. Third, the UCM distinguishes between ERP and ISV integrations. hh2’s Construction Integration Platform handles all the ERP integrations and translates the data into the Universal Construction Model. This is a powerful advantage. The ISV has to know very little about the ERP they are integrating with because of this.

Instead of having to build unique connectors for each unique combination of ISV and ERP, the UCM uses robust, scalable connection to each ERP and lets the ISV build their own integration to suit their unique needs.

Fourth is that the UCM not only has APIs that allow ISVs to build solutions that integrate but there are several purpose-built integration options to choose from. The UCM has APIs to support batch data synchronization, on-the-fly searching and reporting, and a full suite of APIs optimized for adding, deleting, and modifying data either one at a time, in batch, or even using entire object graphs or hierarchal structures. This makes the iPaaS much more powerful and flexible. It also means that ISVs can build apps that use UCM APIs directly, instead of synchronizing data to their cloud building that infrastructure themselves.

And finally, the UCM is fully hosted in the cloud with up-to-date integration with the supported ERPs. It is always on, and always available, even if the ERP it is connected with goes down, or experiences technical trouble. This means that in the event of a power failure at the home office, the UCM continues to operate. All the solutions that are connected continue to function as normal. Any entity changes just queue up and wait for the ERP to come back online, and all reporting and data synchronization between the UCM and the ISV solutions continue to operate normally the entire time. Live connectors between to products offered by other self-proclaimed platforms cannot do that.

I Represent an ISV who wants to integrate with all these construction ERPs but don’t know where to start. How can I get integrated with the UCM?

We welcome all ISVs that integrate or wish to integrate with UCM supported ERPs to reach out to hh2 Cloud Services to receive a demonstration of the UCM’s capabilities. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to integrate. We will provide all the sample code you need to quickly build an integration to the UCM and connect you to all the supported ERPs.

Fill out the form below to get additional information on how you can integrate with the UCM:

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I am a Representative of a Construction Focused ERP and am interested in taking advantage of the UCM. How do I get my ERP connected?

We welcome all ERP Vendors that service the Construction industry to reach out to hh2 Cloud Services to receive a demonstration of the UCM’s capabilities. In most cases, we will have already done the primary integration, and we can discuss how we can increase the quality and scope of the integration moving forward. We can also discuss how we can reduce your cost in supporting third-party ISV integrations.

Fill out the form below to get additional information on how you can integrate with the UCM:

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