Category: <span>2017</span>

The 19 Biggest Venture Deals of 2017 (and early 2018)

Dovetailing off of Built World’s Top 27 Venture Players report, they have put together the 19 largest AEC and real estate venture rounds of the past year. There were plenty of surprises.

Perhaps first and foremost is that the list kicks off with a $4.4 billion solo investment, which is fairly indicative of the sheer scale of funding entering the built industry. Over the past couple of years, Built Worlds has seen an increasing number of venture funds turning their focus to AEC and real estate tech. And they expect this momentum to continue, at least while construction industry spending is reaching all-time records ($1.26 trillion in November 2017 as reported by U.S. Census Bureau).

Allow this report to act as a weather vane. Which tech companies have serious wind in their sails and are ready to deliver big in 2018? From WeWork to Blokable, these are the young companies making the biggest waves.

Want additional insight on these deals? You can download the full PDF report with additional analysis at the bottom of the article.

Note: This article first appeared on BuiltWorld’s website and can be viewed here.

When to Use Personal Drones versus Ordering a Professional Roofing Measurement

Personal drones are increasing in popularity among roofing contractors so it’s important to know when it makes sense to use one and when it doesn’t.

By AccuLynx.

The ultimate toy-turned-tool for any roofer, drones have become popular for contractors in the roofing industry, for several reasons. As an effective tool that allows sales or project managers to visualize a project before making an estimate or starting work on a home, drones provide a real-time safer alternative to climbing up on a roof to take measurements or pictures of damage.

Drones for commercial business use are becoming more and more popular – but when does a toy become a tool, and when does it make more sense to acknowledge other technology to get the job done?

Do Your Research: Whether you’re looking to purchase a drone, or already own one, you’ll need to do your research on what model will be the most effective investment for your company. You’ll need to consider drone maneuverability, connection features (to your phone or CRM platform), cost, warranties and repair options.

DronesGlobe is a great source when you’re considering all of these options.

Get Certified: Did you know that to legally operate a drone for your business, pilots must have a “remote pilot airman certificate” issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)? Flying under the radar can have consequences for your business if not properly and legally vetted first.

Luckily, it’s easy to get certified. You can read all the FAQs here, and learn what steps you need to take to ensure you are legally operating your drone.

When To Use Your Drone: Once you’ve done your due diligence, you can start using your drone to help grow your business. Using your drone for the purpose of measuring a roof for replacement or remodel is certainly an option; however, as a non-reporting company using a drone, FieldPulse says, “Granted, most of the [drone] technology is designed for preliminary work such as design, roof replacement, or repair.”

Drones are most effective and provide the best time-savings when they are applied to design or remodel work.


  • Photos of Window Placement or Siding
  • Damage Reports – places on the roof that may have been impacted by a storm or are tagged as the source of a leak inside a home.

Having a drone in these cases allows you to see current issues, make notes, and even allow the homeowner to see real-time shots of their property.

“…drones can’t be depended on to perform thorough inspections into the roof, [but] they can give a roofing company a good idea of what they’re dealing with before getting on the roof. Drones also allow roofers to view an entire area hit by a storm. They will have enough information to provide the right type of transportation and equipment needed to perform a proper inspection. (FieldPulse)

Additionally, if there is damage found on a roof by a drone, these photos can be shared with your foreman and crews so they know what safety gear to bring, and where the damage is on a home without the guesswork.

When Ordering a Roofing Report Is More Effective: Even an experienced roofer/drone operator will need to study any photos or footage of a property carefully in order to make a detailed estimate or contract. Drones may be effective tools, but they are essentially just eyes in the sky – you might still run the risk of the operator miscalculating or misjudging critical data that can impact your orders, scheduling, and bottom line.

Ordering a Roofing Report from a trusted third party vendor, such as EagleView or SkyMeasure (both of which are fully integrated with the AccuLynx platform and mobile app) will validate your estimate numbers, come quickly, and will already have accurate measurements mapped out, which will save your sales rep time in the field.

Know Your Teams’ Skillsets and Tools: Using drones for your roofing or contracting business can be a huge asset when it comes to documentation and archives. However, it’s important that you don’t come to rely on the skillset and license of one or two people.

Make sure your drone operators are professional – you are trusting them with an expensive piece of company property. While accidents can always happen, you should make sure that the person operating the drone always has their certified FAA license on hand, and can report back immediately if something does happen to the drone.

Know when a drone is an asset, and when it’s more cost and time effective to order a report. This may be up to your rep’s discretion, or you may have a protocol in place. Either way, it’s important to remember that while the drone is a fantastic piece of technology, that doesn’t always mean it’s the ONLY technology at their disposal.

This blog first appeared on AccuLynx’s blog and can be viewed here.

AccuLynx is designed to help contractors see their business more clearly and communicate better — there’s nothing to download or install — you just log in and get to work. Learn more at 

5 Benefits of Paying for Roofing Measurement Reports

As roofing contractors, one of the most important and laborious aspects of the job comes from accurate measurements on all aspects of a roof before a project begins.

By AccuLynx.

Knowing the area of a roof is just the beginning. Sales Reps or inspectors oftentimes need to provide detailed reports on everything from the pitched and flat areas, ridge, hip, valley lengths and make notes on chimneys or other structures before they can even produce an estimate for a potential customer.

Creating an accurate diagram and takeoff takes both time and skill. Hiring the right people, or taking the time to train rookies to perform these tasks can make all the difference when it comes to your estimates, orders and bottom line numbers.

Technology today has provided roofers with several options when it comes to alternate roofing measurement techniques, including drones and roofing measurement software. As a smaller business, you might not see the value in paying additional fees every month for these measurements, when you already pay qualified sales reps to do the job for you. However, you should consider all of the benefits that measurement companies can provide before you write off the cost as too expensive or unnecessary.

One: Increase Efficiency & Estimate Turnaround
When a storm blows through your neighborhood, it’s important to get your best guys into the field as quickly as possible to start providing estimates. A simple roof can take 15-20 minutes to measure, but you always run the risk of inaccurate numbers, handwritten notes, and unprofessional looking documentation when that rep goes to present an estimate to a potential customer.

Ordering a report can take up to 24 hours (though often far less), but what you lose in time between handing over the estimate you can gain in your field sales time between properties, and report presentation appearance. Once a report is finished, they can present a clear, better formatted and consistent proposal that both customers and office staff can read easily.

Additionally, reports can be ordered in advance, so a sales rep can be prepared when he visits a property and talks to a homeowner.

Two: More Accurate Numbers
Roof measurement reports take the guesswork out of complicated measurements. It’s not necessary to eyeball and potentially miscalculate or misjudge – you can walk into a meeting or a home visit with concrete numbers that can then be applied to material orders, and crew schedules, without the need to remeasure.

Reports that come from an independent, verified third-party source eliminates the need to question the motivation of the estimator. Insurance companies know that your employees aren’t trying to inflate the project, and customers can see that you’re not trying to pull one over when you present professional documentation.

Additionally, having that report as part of your official documentation saves time, and can be archived and referenced later, should that customer need more work done in the future.

Three: More Accurate Material Ordering and Crew Scheduling
When you have accurate numbers from the start, you can cut significant waste when it comes to ordering your materials. This creates a money-saving trickle-down effect when you apply accurate supplier ordering to material drop times, crew scheduling and downtime.

Four: Safety
Measurement reports dramatically increase the safety of your estimator or sales reps, eliminating the need for them to climb up on a roof to provide measurements and photos themselves. According to Restoration & Remediation Magazine, “In a situation where a building has been damaged, there are extreme risks involved in climbing a potentially unsafe structure…From a risk management standpoint, the reports help [contractors] be more cognizant of the dangers involved.”

Additionally, “Having the measurements, pitch, and images ahead of time helps us determine the appropriate safety gear to bring to the job.”

Five: CRM Integration
Some reporting software will automatically integrate with your company’s business management platform. Reports that automatically populate estimate fields, and save documentation with specific Job Files saves your sales reps and office staff time when it comes to producing proposals, making payments or even the necessity of having several accounts/logins for all necessary functions.

These reports also provide estimate uniformity so that your paperwork is filed correctly, professionally and that nothing can be lost in the back of a truck or left at the office.

This blog first appeared on AccuLynx’s blog and can be viewed here.

AccuLynx is designed to help contractors see their business more clearly and communicate better — there’s nothing to download or install — you just log in and get to work. Learn more at 

Four Key Technologies that Your Roofing Business Should Be Using Every Day 

Roofing is an industry that is slow to adapt to change and technologies, and Antis Roofing strives to be a leader in incorporating new technologies that can advance the industry.

By Charles Antis, Antis Roofing.  

In the modern age where efficiency and precision take precedence, technological advances are paramount to keep not just businesses relevant, but the industries that they serve. Technology is not just software or innovative apps that bring the world to the fingertips of the consumer. It is also using services and software solutions to increase the productivity of a company and its employees. To its detriment, roofing is a very traditional industry and as such, many roofing companies are slow to adopt new technology.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) is at the forefront of researching, developing and engaging those in the roofing community to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry. The organization encourages contractors to embrace technology to scale their business. In the spirit of RT3, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing aims to use current and future technologies to stay on the forefront of these improvements, incorporating new technologies into best practices and attracting and retaining the next generation of roofing professionals.

  • Aerial Imaging – Aerial imaging advancements are the new movers and shakers in the roofing tech business. With aerial imaging capture, property measurement reports are created to assist roofers in their build by providing 3D detailed diagrams of a project. By using property measurement reports and aerial imaging to their advantage, residential and commercial roofing contractors can increase sales closing rates, improve production planning, increase profitability through time savings, obtain more precise material ordering, and have a better understanding of the risks involved with each roof layout. As this technology progresses, it is likely that the imaging quality will only improve, allowing roofers more visibility into the task at hand. It is also likely that larger aerial imaging firms will not be the only ones able to produce such high-resolution images, as drone technology will bring the power of sight to roofing companies both small and large./li>
  • CRM Technology – In any service industry, customers are key; however, when businesses begin to scale, keeping track of those customers is another matter. Enter Customer Relationship Managers (CRM), a software system designed specifically to track and manage customers. Breaking down the entire process from initial calls to completion, CRM is a way to log each customer interaction. Using CRM, roofing companies can see how many jobs they have, monitor job progress, the costs associated with each job, and the number of customers being serviced. Essentially, CRM streamlines the business in such a way that it saves time for roofing companies while also reducing the margin of error, as there are fewer forgotten follow-ups, fewer jobs not completed on time, fewer payments left uncollected and a stronger ability to track the functionality of each job.
  • Mobile Technology – In today’s world, people are constantly attached to their mobile devices, using it as a source of entertainment, learning, and business. The mobile space for roofing companies is not immune to this phenomenon. Mobile technology allows contractors to connect instantly with roofers in the field, ensuring the best and most time-sensitive decisions can be made by the foreman, thus reducing the margin of error which can cost a business significantly. The use of this on-the-go technology can also help attract and retain new customers, which makes it a vital new technology in the roofing business. Many clients want to see what a finished project will look like, as well as the different options they have for materials, design, and cost along the way. By using mobile tablets on the job site, customers can make fast decisions by showing them all their options on the spot. While Antis primarily uses work order information and documentation, including photos, to plan builds with our commercial clients, mobile tablets are worth a mention as they permeate the residential roofing market in its current state.
  • Building Information Modeling – Building Information Modeling (BIM) uses computer programming to create a digital representation of a physical building, before a roofer begins to work on the project. The digital programming allows the owner or building manager to make reliable decisions during the construction process by providing cost and timing information, ensuring projects stay on target for completion. Once the structure is completed, these BIM programs can provide timely notices and schedules for maintenance and repair, as well as budget projections for costs to maintain the facility. This tool is essential for roofers as they partner with other contractors in the erection of a new structure.

As the above technologies continue to advance, improving effectiveness and efficiency in the roofing industry, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing will stay on the forefront of these improvements, incorporating new technologies into best practices. Moreover, by hiring the best minds, retaining quality employees and forging relationships with vanguards like RT3, Antis hopes to inspire the future of roofing technology. As history has shown, those closest to the field are apt to make the most change!

Charles Antis is founder and CEO of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing and a Influencer. This blog first appeared on RoofersCoffeShop’s blog and can be viewed here.

Drones: Not Everyone Likes These Eyes in the Skies

Drone preparing to fly over the city

Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about “Unmanned Aerial Systems,” more popularly known as drones. From hobbyists to cinematographers to hunters to roofers such as National Roofing Partners, the technology, which allows small, unmanned and remotely controlled flying machines to get a bird’s eye view of everything below, is fascinating to users but vexing to privacy and air-safety advocates.

For every drone advocate, there is someone below it who resents the intrusion of these pesky machines. To make matters worse, federal, state and local authorities are confused about their respective roles in managing this new technology because there are no regulations in place at the present time. According to a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal, at least 17 states have “passed laws to restrict how law enforcement and private citizens use the devices – preemptive policies that many drone users say are heavy-handed.”

The federal authority – the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – says it alone has the right to regulate U.S. skies. However, this has not stopped cities such as Austin, Texas from banning the devices during the annual South by Southwest technology and music event.  Since the 1930’s, planes have been prohibited from flying below 500 feet and this space was relatively free of traffic, save for a kite or model airplane. Now, there are thousands of drones in this airspace; some being used to spy on the neighbors next door and some being used for commercial purposes such as investigating the source of a leak on the roof of a building.

Drones: A New Tool for the Roofing Industry

“Even though the use of drones in the roofing industry is not yet legal and requires specific permission from the FAA, we have heard that there are contractors actively employing this tool,” noted Heidi Ellsworth of EagleView Technologies, a company which specializes in visual analysis of roofs for the insurance and roofing industries. “Once these legal issues are clarified, we see drones as being an excellent tool for gathering video and incorporating imagery into current workflows.

The roofing industry trade organization, The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), recently submitted comments to the FAA regarding its proposed regulation that would allow for the commercial use of drones. NRCA generally supports the proposed regulation, which is designed to incorporate the commercial use of small drones (those weighing 55 pounds or less) into the national airspace in a safe manner under a consistent set of rules for all commercial users.

Among other things, the proposed FAA rules would require operators of small drones to be certified, and their flight would be limited to a maximum height of 500 feet. NRCA’s comments contained several suggestions for changes in the proposed rule to maximize the use of small drones for roof inspections. It is expected the FAA will issue a final regulation sometime during the next two years.

Aerial Imagery Provides Much Needed Data on Roofs

Safety and privacy issues aside, the best commercial use of drones for the roofing industry will involve the efficient capture of the aerial imagery. This requires the cameras and processes that enable the high-resolution and geo-coded accuracy, according to Heidi Ellsworth.

“EagleView Technologies, utilizing our patented Pictometry® image technology, continues to focus on image capture and the subsequent data extraction from that imagery,” she noted. “The use of drones holds potential for capturing higher resolution imagery than ever before.”

The company uses its fleet of 85 planes to capture this roof-top imagery across the United States and works with National Roofing Partners. It has also created an industry group to help determine the best practices for the use of drones in the roofing industry.

EagleView has led the formation of the Property Drone Consortium (PDC)This group represents a collaboration among insurance carriers, construction industry leaders and supporting enterprises that have agreed to work together to promote research, development and the establishment of regulations for the use of drone technology across the insurance and construction industries.

As an independent, third-party technology provider and industry innovator in the capture of aerial imagery, EagleView has agreed to provide its research and development expertise to the consortium. “With over twenty years of developing aerial solutions that capture property information, EagleView believes it can utilize patented Pictometry image technologies to further the safe, efficient and scalable use of drone technology for property data collection,” stated Chris Barrow, president, and CEO of EagleView.

There is no doubt drones will eventually be used in the roofing industry. The only questions concern the rules and regulations associated with their use. When this happens, National Roofing Partners will add this technology to its arsenal and customers will reap the benefits of this eye in the sky.

This blog first appeared on National Roofing Partners’ blog and can be viewed here.

5 Ways AccuLynx Can Help Streamline Your Insurance Restoration Process

While the insurance restoration process can be confusing and tedious for the homeowner, it can be equally as challenging to navigate as a professional roofer.

A home’s roof is one of the most important parts of a house or building to ensure, as anyone who has suffered damage from a storm or other “act of God” can attest. While the process can be confusing and tedious for the homeowner, it can be equally as challenging to navigate as a professional roofer.

Working as a sort of go-between for the customer and insurance agency, along with all of the necessary paperwork, scheduling and invoicing can be a headache for your office manager or bookkeeper, especially during high-volume times.

AccuLynx has several tools that your office manager can utilize to help streamline this paperwork process that is all part of the platform, minimizing time spent dealing directly with insurance companies on a day to day basis.

Keeping Your Insurance Information Organized, and Available:
When a customer files an insurance claim to cover and help pay for their damages, a lot of paperwork tends to be involved. By filing information such as the Claim Number, Adjuster Name, Contact Info and more into the Job File, everyone has the information readily available, at any time.

But, not all paperwork starts its journey in the office. The AccuLynx Field App supports uploading scanned documents, so your sales team can upload the masses of paperwork that an insurance job entails right from the site, or their truck, without having to go back to the office to scan everything into the system.

Keeping your files organized is only the first step – AccuLynx has specific modules built into the platform that are dedicated to the insurance claim process, including a Supplement Tracker and Mortgage Check Tracker.

Using the AccuLynx Supplement Tracker, your company can create custom statuses that can be used to track the supplement progress. Office Managers can make entries within the Job, and make notes specifically regarding the progress of that supplement. This allows anyone in the company to see what the status is and track the overall progress of all outstanding supplements.

The Mortgage Check Tracker is similar, but it’s designed to let assigned people know the status of checks that are awaiting the mortgage holder to co-sign so that the funds can be released.  This allows Sales or Project Managers to keep track of the check status without having to contact the Office.

Building Estimates: Include What Insurance Companies Want
By creating and using the AccuLynx Estimate templates specifically when dealing with an insurance claim, you can ensure that all of your paperwork meets the basic requirements of insurance companies, and your sales teams won’t forget to fill out important fields.

State Farm Insurance suggests that professional roofers estimates include:

  • Quantity of materials needed
  • Labor charges
  • Work specifications
  • Approximate starting and completion dates
  • Payment procedures
  • Building permits secured (if applicable)
  • Warranty details – review conditions that would void it.

You can expedite this paperwork by building these templates as SmartDocs in AccuLynx, which allows you to cut back on time filling out forms by automatically populating known fields from your Job Files. Estimates can be included in document packets that can include warranties and permits, all sent to the customer in one electronic bundle, ready for signature. Once the packet is completed, it is returned to your Job File, and your office staff are notified. If there are any changes from the insurance agency, you can add a Change Order directly to the packet and send it back to the customer for approval.

This process expedites the handling of paperwork, keeps your files organized, and keeps the customer in the loop on the progress of their claim.

Include Photo Annotations for Documentation with the Photo App:
Another component of the AccuLynx platform that allows you to provide transparent validation of your Estimates is the Photo Annotation Feature on the AccuLynx Field App.

Using the App, your Adjustor or Field Sales Rep can take photographs of the damage, make annotations to those photos and store them directly in the Job File. Providing specific photos of the damages as part of your Packet can help insurance companies visualize the estimate and correlate that damage with the materials and labor times you quote.

Invoicing Directly from Estimates, Saving Time:
Roofing companies that utilize the Estimate Feature on AccuLynx for insurance claims have an easy and simplified method for invoicing.

Place material orders directly through AccuLynx to trusted suppliers like ABC and Allied Building Products, and set delivery drop schedules. These records are also stored in your Job File, should insurance companies require proof of order and payment on your end, as well as invoices sent to the Customer.

Convert your Estimates to Invoices with all final changes and notes categorized and cataloged already within the Job File with the click of a button. Final Invoices and copies can be emailed directly from AccuLynx without the hassle of printing or scanning, and no double data entry is required by your office staff.

QuickBooks Integration: Give Your Bookkeepers a Break:

AccuLynx has a Quickbooks integration feature that allows your bookkeeping and office staff to input financial data once, and share applicable Job information across the platforms. While your staff can continue to track and manage all company financial data in Quickbooks, Job Cost tracking can be shared with AccuLynx so that Project Managers can see when invoices are scheduled and paid.

This blog first appeared on AccuLynx’s blog and can be viewed here.

AccuLynx is designed to help contractors see their business more clearly and communicate better — there’s nothing to download or install — you just log in and get to work. Learn more at 

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) and BuiltWorlds Partner

Thought-leaders working together to promote technology in the construction and roofing space

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), an emerging group of roofing industry thought leaders and BuiltWorlds, a community and network for forward-thinking leaders in the built environment (architecture, engineering, construction, real estate, and other buildings and infrastructure-related industries) announced their partnership to promote technology throughout the roofing industry.  The partnership will include joint promotion and knowledge sharing of cutting-edge technologies.

RT3 is focused on serving the needs of the roofing industry with ongoing education, research, and dissemination of their findings.  “The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) is a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry, striving to inform roofing contractors by bringing together progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry,” is the mission statement recently created by the group.

Matt Abeles of BuiltWorlds hosted the group for the inaugural meeting at their corporate offices in Chicago.  BuiltWorlds has taken technology leadership within the general contracting and architectural communities to a new level.  They believe in innovation through collaboration, to push the built industry forward.  Abeles shared, “The construction or built world is powered by our oldest industry — one that is slow to move and slow to change.  We are committed to working with all areas of the construction industry and RT3 provides the perfect platform to reach the roofing industry with innovative technology and ideas.”

“We are thrilled to be working with BuiltWorlds,” stated Dale Tyler of National Roofing Partners.  “They were a key inspiration for us as we developed the idea of RT3.  We can provide feedback on the roofing space through BuiltWorlds to the larger AGC community while sharing their knowledge with our industry.  RT3 is about thought leadership and bringing technology into the industry that can help with labor and the overall professionalism roofing.”


About Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3)
Visualized by Dale Tyler of National Roofing Partners and Heidi Ellsworth of and HJE Consulting, the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) is a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry.  The think tank strives to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry.  RT3 provides insights from progressive thought leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry along with practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully. The organization will encourage and enable contractors to embrace technology as they seek to grow their businesses.  With a commitment to disseminate technology and advancement of information, RT3 will help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry.

About BuiltWorlds

Since its inception in 2014, BuiltWorlds’ mission — to be the catalyst for progress and innovation in the built environment — has never wavered. Today, it is a community and network for stakeholders in the many built sectors to come together and move the needle forward. Through its events, ecosystem, and supporting video and written content, BuiltWorlds is providing the tools, knowledge, inspiration, and connections to grow careers, companies, and the greater industry.


Shared from National Roofing Partners Blog.

Cyber Threats

By Dale Tyler, National Roofing Partners

It is important to understand the threat of cyber-attack and how important it is to protect digital assets and access.  With a strong focus on technology solutions, NRP works with close to twenty different portals including the NRP Customer Portal to exchange information with national corporate accounts.  Security is of paramount importance when providing uninterrupted access and data that results in scalable and sustainable long-term roofing service, maintenance and replacement.

Per a recent report from Experian, a global information services group, businesses can expect to see an increase in the number and severity of cyber-attacks in 2017 and 2018. The report also predicted that many politically-motivated cyber-attacks near the end of 2016 would escalate into larger cyber-attack conflicts and that businesses in the financial, security and healthcare industries would be the most frequently targeted.


What is Cyber Risk?

Cyber risk is the risk of financial loss, disruption, or damage to reputation because of breaches of data security, including unauthorized disclosure of data and comprise or failures of IT systems.

Specific examples include:

  • Security breaches where sensitive information is stolen or disclosed
  • Theft or loss of digital assets
  • Business interruption due to a virus shutting down a network
  • Costs associated with damage to data records caused by a hacker


Major Predictions

As a part of the report, Experian made five major predictions for cyber-attacks in 2017:

  • Password breaches will contribute to the abandonment of the password as a security measure. Although the theft of login IDs and passwords constitutes a short-term threat, the report states that cybercriminals continue to sell passwords long after they are stolen. And, as businesses and consumers are lured into a false sense of security after their password is unknowingly stolen, passwords alone will begin to fall out of favor. Instead, the report emphasizes that two-factor identification-where two separate pieces of authentication evidence are required-should be used by businesses to defend against cyber-attacks.
  • New, sophisticated attacks will continue to target the healthcare industry. Because medical identities and information remain relatively easy to access and profitable for hackers, the healthcare industry will continue to be a target in 2017. The report also states that large establishments, such as hospital networks, will continue to face threats like ransomware, a type of attack where an organization is “locked out” until a financial ransom is paid.
  • Politically-motivated and state-sponsored attacks will become more common. The large number of high-profile cyber-attacks at the end of 2016, along with the accusation that many of the attacks were state-sponsored, may lead to businesses being affected by the collateral damage of these attacks. Additionally, the report predicts that such attacks will only grow as politically-motivated hackers seek retaliation against others.
  • Hackers will focus on payment-based attacks, despite new credit card security measures. Although the switch to EMV chip cards and the PIN liability shift were expected to protect against payment breaches, uneven adoption could lead to additional cyber exposures in 2017. Additionally, criminals are beginning to use sophisticated skimming machines to steal card data at physical retail and ATM locations.

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Important Considerations When Selecting Software

By Heidi J. Ellsworth

Contractors who are focused on technology and building progressive roofing companies are taking a lead in the market.  Here are five areas to add to your considerations when choosing software for your roofing company.

  1. Reliability and Customizable Production Features

Solid ordering and scheduling that adapts to your business are critical to a successful business.  Scheduling and ordering is arguably the most important aspect of any roofing business.  Look for software that provides the most customizable and reliable scheduling and ordering features available.  In fact, it is good to look for software that will expand ordering and scheduling to grow the business instead of outgrowing the software.

  1. Customization & Automation

Many contractors find themselves with programs that are stagnant in the development of their systems. They feel they are limited to what their current or former program can do.  Be sure to ask for contractor-driven development.  It makes you a part of the process and not only helps your company but the industry overall.

  1. Own and Protect Your Data

Today’s data is gold and needs to be protected.  Be sure that whatever software company you work with makes your data accessible 24/7 with easy downloads and storage.  Also, it must be secure.  With viruses like WannaCry on the rampage, be sure that data is protected and has an elevated level of redundancy when backing-up.  Be sure that with a push of a button you can download all your leads, workflows, customer info and more.

  1. Process Is King

Look for a strong manageable flow.  Rather than having a few status “buckets” to move your jobs along, look for the ability to create custom workflows based on your processes. Regardless if your job cycle has five steps or fifty, you should be able to design processes and notifications with ease to keep your jobs moving along in a seamless manner.

  1. Evolving, Not Versioning

It can be very frustrating when your favorite app or program gets updated? It probably does everything it did before (and then some), but suddenly, you’re forced to re-learn everything.  Things that were on the left are now on the right, things that were visible are now hidden.  Some software does not release new versions, they simply evolve. In some cases, they can let you decide when you want to move and update interfaces. Ask if this is available and that way, you can learn how to use a new feature when you aren’t as busy.

For additional technical blogs be sure to visit the Technology Newsroom at