AICON Case Study
AICON bridges the digital gap for Korea’s construction industry
The construction industry continues to lag behind others when it comes to digital transformation. AICON is a Korean-based technology company hoping to change all that with its expertise in both construction and IT. With Sendbird, AICON offers the industry an innovative SaaS-based project management service platform designed uniquely for the construction industry. The platform incorporates AI technology combined with real-time, two-way embedded communication powered by Sendbird to maximize productivity and enable successful construction project execution.
Communication challenges in construction
AICON recognized the persistent challenge of inefficient communication within the construction industry. Miscommunication around construction projects often leads to inefficiencies and unproductivity. That’s because the industry relies on various public communication channels, most of which are traditional. In Korea, construction workers also adopt KakaoTalk as a way to communicate and collaborate. The challenge is that these communication channels are not connected to where the work is getting done. This leads to fragmented communication and a lack of systematic coordination. So AICON was born out of the need to make it more efficient and effective to communicate and collaborate around construction projects both big and small.
CaasWorks app aims to improve communication
AICON launched two apps Haus Planner and CaasWorks centered around improving communication and coordination among all participants—construction workers, managers, and design agency professionals—under one systematic platform tailored for the construction industry. AICON launched CaasWorks as a project management platform for large construction projects. Haus Planner is a part of CaasWorks, but focuses on simplifying communication for single-house projects. In order to bring communication into the apps of its platform, AICON decided to research in-app chat solutions.
How Sendbird streamlined communication and collaboration
After thorough research, AICON chose Sendbird for its proven capabilities, industry reputation and a local team in Korea. The integration of Sendbird into the CaasWorks app addressed the communication challenges head-on. The integration empowered construction works to more effectively address issues at the site in real time. For instance, if a construction site error was captured on video cameras, it could be immediately communicated through chat in the app with the necessary context to the on-site supervisor.
“Any small mistake at the construction site can end up creating a much larger problem down the line, which costs the construction company lots of time and money,” explains AICON COO Sunghwan Jeon. “The costs of even a small mistake can increase exponentially the longer it goes without being corrected.”
Sendbird's integration also streamlined file sharing and collaboration within the CaasWorks app. Various file types, including PDFs, Word documents, CAD files, and 3D files, were now displayed directly within the in-app chat powered by Sendbird, eliminating the need for users to click and open files separately like they did on KakaoTalk.
"Now, with only a few clicks, you're able to send various file types and even edit the files on the spot. So that makes the entire process very convenient," emphasized Jeon.
The Sendbird Advantage
After conducting research of potential in-app communications solutions, AICON selected Sendbird because it was recommended by many colleagues in the industry and employed a local team in Korea. AICON’s in-house developer team liked that they could start building a POC and get direct access to the chat SDK for free with Sendbird’s Developer Plan.
AICON developers liked that Sendbird was already a very mature product with a lot of features. They could just optimize using the UI Kits and then go to market almost immediately. It took AICON about three months to fully launch, with subsequent upgrades taking two or three weeks.
“As a senior business executive, the biggest value Sendbird is providing is the inspiration of how more modern and convenient communication in our app actually helps our business,” says Jeon. “Partnering with Sendbird has sparked greater creativity among our developers. Sendbird’s tech support team provided a lot of inspiration and pointed at a lot of different solutions or ideas that we hadn't thought of.”
In the future, AICON wants to expand its business internationally. Sendbird’s robust translation capabilities will be leveraged to make this an easier solution to pursue. According to Jeon, “Through Sendbird we have come up with ideas that we didn't even know were possible.”