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  • Configura announces January CET Designer webinars

    Configura, maker of CET Designer software, announces free January webinars with CET Designer instructors:

    Getting Started with CET Designer

    Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. ET
    Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. ET
    Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. ET
    Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. ET
    Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. ET
    Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. ET

    Architecture in CET Designer

    Jan. 6 at 4 p.m. ET
    Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. ET

    The free webinars are for anyone, whether a Beginner or Advanced CET Designer user, anywhere in the world. Please call 877-568-4106 and click on “Join Webinar Now” at www.configura.com/cet/training. To contact Configura with any questions or suggestions, call 877-238-0808.

    Learn more about additional courses and opportunities at www.configura.com/cet/training.

  • Configura’s collaboration with Yulio lowers VR cost for designers

    Livestream collaboration lets designers walk clients through their designs

    Sweden-based Configura announces a collaboration with Toronto-based Yulio to bring a mobile virtual reality experience to thousands of interior designers and customers around the globe for the cost of a $15 VR headset and a simple subscription service.

    Yulio is a DIY virtual reality platform for those in the business of designing spaces. The technology makes an immersive, panoramic design experience as easy as hitting a button to send VR designs directly to clients’ smartphones or other devices for viewing. Livestream conferencing lets designers walk and talk clients through their designs.

    "Democratizing VR and 'baking it into the workflow' is an extremely inexpensive way to improve the client experience," Yulio’s founder and Managing Director Rob Kendal says.

    Configura – known for its CET Designer space-planning software used by such global office furniture giants as Steelcase, Haworth and Herman Miller – partnered with Yulio to democratize the use of virtual reality in interior design.

    Yulio’s "3D to VR software" plugin – available as a CET Designer Extension – takes what was once a pricy proposition and makes it an affordable, easy and agile experience. The collaborative technology recently launched with the release of CET Designer 7.5. The Yulio Extension in CET Designer is free.The Yulio subscription service is as low as $20 per month for a single user account, which can enable virtually unlimited usage for dealerships. Yulio offers a free 30-day trial in which users can sign up online, download the Extension and immediately begin using Yulio.

    "The technology makes it so cost-effective and simple to use that you can’t afford not to use it," says Configura Chief Product Officer Nicklas Dagersten.

    Democratizing design

    Virtual reality is nothing new to the gaming and entertainment world where it first took off commercially. But VR is now spreading into all kinds of industries – including the interior design profession and particularly in the contract furniture market where customers want to experience their workspace before purchasing products.

    Until recently, VR in commercial interior design has been costly, with high-end VR headsets hovering around $600 USD. Meanwhile, Google Cardboard and Homido MINI products can be sourced for around $15 USD per headset.

    Software such as CET Designer in combination with Yulio enable an immersive experience that includes specific products and details – brands, colors, materials, lighting, flooring, accessories – everything.

    "For an architect or designer, viewing an image of a 3D space may be enough to fully visualize the space. Yet this isn’t the case for many of their clients," Kendal says. "Yulio and Configura bridge this communication gap – placing the customer directly into the VR design and creating certainty in what was previously often a guessing game."

    How it works:

    1. An interior designer (or architect, specifier, salesperson, facilities manager, etc.) uses CET Designer to create a space in 3D, dragging and dropping actual office furniture products into place.
    2. When satisfied with the design, the designer renders the drawings using the Yulio Extension. The rendered output takes the form of a “cube map” and is automatically uploaded to the Yulio cloud.
    3. The designer shares the cube map with one click, directly to the client’s preferred viewing device – a smartphone, tablet or computer. The customer can view the space directly on the device as a 360-degree panoramic scene – what Yulio calls “fishbowl VR” – or enhance the experience with virtual reality by downloading the Yulio Viewer app (available for iOS, Android and Samsung Gear VR) to a smartphone, and then using the app in conjunction with a VR headset such as Google Cardboard or Homido MINI.
    4. The designer sees what the customer sees as they’re guided through the VR space. With remote collaboration functionality, designer and client can be anywhere in the world.

    Live collaboration

    Live collaboration happens through live.yulio.com. Kendal explains: "It’s as easy as a designer saying to a customer over the phone, ‘Let me run some ideas by you.’ The designer gives the customer the Yulio URL, and we now have a live collaboration where the host can see what the viewer is looking at. What this allows is a fully moderated experience where the designer can walk customers through different parts of the design."

    The technology works with Revit and other major industry CAD tools, which means entire buildings of designed space can be experienced in VR.

    Yulio’s technology also can be embedded on a user’s own website, where an entire portfolio of VR and fishbowl VR experiences can be shared with clients and potential clients.

    "We’re solving real business problems with a real-world tool that is available now," Dagersten says.

    For designers who want to offer their clients the ability to literally “walk around” in a virtually designed space – down corridors, along hallways and so forth – there’s Configura’s Virtual Viewer VR. The Virtual Viewer VR Extension offers full support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

    Virtual reality for CET Designer was the first immersive, industry-wide VR solution introduced on the market that supports multiple manufacturers’ products and then allows the furniture buyer to virtually walk through their space before they purchase. CET Designer supports more than 100 manufacturers’ product lines through different Extensions.

    Better process, faster decisions

    Firms who are already using VR report that it helps clients make design-related decisions in a fraction of the time that it would usually take them – in fact, shortening the design and collaboration process by up to 50 percent, according to Kendal.

    "Designers and their clients are using VR to predict design errors before a project actually begins construction, making for a much smoother construction phase," he said.

    Some firms have taken their VR services one step further, building entirely new revenue streams based on this technology. For example, using Yulio’s technology, a Toronto-based design firm has begun creating VR designs to help clients of a major national real estate company visualize otherwise empty apartment spaces. Where the real estate company previously would have spent $50-$60 per square foot building actual model apartments, VR is a fast and economical alternative.

    According to Kendal, "Virtually all of the major architectural and design organizations are actively investigating and using VR technology. Of course, the ‘wow’ factor that comes with the medium is giving early adopters a critical advantage at this point – we’ve lost count at the number of ‘wins’ attributed to a pair of goggles."

    Learn more about how virtual reality is changing the architecture and design industry in this blog post by Yulio: https://blog.yulio.com/2016/10/10/2-ways-virtual-reality-is-changing-the-architecture-and-design-industries/ Experience various Yulio demos here: https://www.yulio.com/showcase/.
    View an example of an office space at https://www.yulio.com/OGZQk2X5ke.
    View an example of a kitchen space at: https://www.yulio.com/khxWG4slBo.
    Watch the video: https://youtu.be/bJBt0eYRcQw.
    Configura’s Kelsey DeBruin explains how Yulio works with CET Designer in this short video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7kP4AuUc3-cWGM5ZEljVkhFbGM
    Configura’s Kelsey DeBruin interviews Yulio Chief Product Officer Iain Hall and demos CET Designer and Yulio during a Facebook Live event on Thursday, Jan. 19, 11 a.m. ET at www.facebook.com/cetdesigner.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

    About Yulio

    Yulio is a Virtual Reality (VR) platform for architects and interior designers, as well as real estate management and construction industries. Aimed at making sophisticated VR technology simple to use, Yulio gives anyone with a smartphone and CAD or similar skills the ability to create and publish in VR. With a subscription-based model, users aren’t forced to pay per render or send their content to a third party. Yulio is a completely DIY virtual reality platform, allowing users the freedom to manage and share their own files internally. More at www.yulio.com.

  • CET Designer Extension for Maars Living Walls launches globally

    Netherlands-based company’s Extension officially replaces Maars’ other specification options in January 2017

    Configura, maker of CET Designer software, and Maars announce the launch of Maars' CET Designer Extension.

    The Extension, which officially launches in January 2017, is being rolled out now in order to help Maars dealers across the globe to adopt the solution.

    Dubbed "Maars 4D," the Extension includes six Maars product lines – lalinea, String², Panorama, Horizon, Metaline, Styleline and all possible integrations called Living Options. The Maars 4D Extension will be used in all markets in which Maars sells its products – Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, India and the Middle East.

    The company is the worldwide leading partition-walls manufacturer serving global customers. For more than 70 years, Maars has offered standard and customized solutions for offices, airports, factories, cinemas, shops, hotels, hospitals, public institutions, universities and schools.

    "Our new CET Designer Extension is a huge change affecting our internal and external processes. We’re able to show our high-quality products in 3D and automatically calculate pricing, which is a major benefit for our users,” Maars 4D Consultant Richard Schreuder said. “Because all of these product lines can be specified in CET Designer, the possibilities are endless."

    Schreuder is talking about how CET Designer enables live design of workspaces and other interior environments. If a customer wants to see different options, the designer, specifier or salesperson using CET Designer can design and make changes on the fly – immediately, the software calculates pricing and other changes. The solution enables photorealistic renderings in 2D and 3D, fly-thru movies, integration with Revit, and automatic bills of materials and installation documentation.

    "CET Designer is able to handle the complexity of Maars’ products with ease,” Configura team leader Daniel Andersson said. “That’s a key reason that Maars chose Configura’s solution."

    CET Designer is Configura's "core" Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC)-based software platform; an Extension is an addition to the program with functionality that incorporates all of the rules, parts and pricing of a given manufacturer’s products. Manufacturers partner with Configura, investing in proprietary CET Designer Extensions to make selling products easier and more accurate.

    "With the push of a couple of buttons we can get a customer's order into our ERP system and fulfill the order with ease," Schreuder said. "This totally streamlines the ordering process."

    He added: "It's great to have a tool that keeps our flexible configurations very user-friendly, so our users are making the correct decisions but, at the same time, can ‘go crazy’ with great design. Take a look at the reference projects on our website to see what we can do!"

    Richard Schreuder is referring to a compilation of projects completed using CET Designer and the Maars 4D Extension, found here: https://maarslivingwalls.com/get-inspired.

    "Several years ago, we had begun researching several software programs, ultimately deciding to collaborate with Configura and implement our own CET Designer Extension," Maars CEO Menno de Vries said. “CET Designer will help us by providing a more advanced and efficient way of presenting our products; it will also contribute to a better support of our dealers throughout the world."

    The brand-new Maars 4D website can be viewed at https://maarslivingwalls.com/maars-4d.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It's a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

    About Maars Living Walls

    Maars is the world market leader in the field of partition walls. They combine years of experience by effortlessly merging special innovations, aesthetics and performance. Maars pushes the boundaries, continually making progress in the fields of design, soundproofing, multimedia and fireproofing. The integration of new high-tech systems and intelligent solutions in walls creates a wealth of new opportunities. Maars brings walls to life with the unique concept of Maars Living Walls. Maars offers both standard and customized solutions in, for example, offices, airports, factories, cinemas, shops and hotels. Also in the public sector Maars has taken the lead with applications including hospitals, public institutions, universities and schools. More information at www.maarslivingwalls.com.

  • Configura to exhibit at LogiMat for the first time

    Visitors can experience Virtual Reality for Material Handling in Configura’s booth in Hall 1 Stand 1L24.

    Configura, creators of the award-winning software CET Designer, will exhibit at LogiMat 2017 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Swedish company has worked with companies in the Material Handling industry for many years but has not previously exhibited at industry trade fairs.

    "We visited LogiMat last year and thought it was a great trade fair,” Account Manager Johan Gustafsson said. “We decided to exhibit this year to better show what CET Designer can do for the Material Handling industry."

    CET Designer is a space planning software where salespeople can plan entire warehouses, conveyer solutions, pallet racking, etc. to present a visual image to a client. Specifications, calculations and quotations are simultaneously created in the background during the drawing process, enabling the salesperson to produce immediate and accurate quotations.

    With the Virtual Reality Extension for CET Designer, it’s possible to walk around inside a drawing to get a better feel of the space. Configura will demo Virtual Reality in their booth at LogiMat.

    Besides Material Handling, CET Designer also has a strong presence in the North American Commercial Furniture industry and Nordic Kitchen and Bath industry.

    "CET Designer is a multi-industry solution, and it works especially well for Material Handling since the products are so complex," Johan Gustafsson said. “The technology we use can handle very complex products and large drawings in a simple and intuitive way."

    Find Configura at LogiMat in Hall 1 Stand 1L24. More information at www.configura.com or watch video.

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

  • Configura releases CET Designer 7.5

     

    The newest version of the award-winning space-planning software solution lets users produce 360-degree renderings for export to use with smartphone virtual reality kits and viewing in MyConfigura briefcases (visit the CET Designer Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CETDesigner/ on Nov. 21 for an example 360-degree rendering). Virtual reality capabilities also have been enhanced through a collaboration with Yulio.

    Also with CET Designer 7.5, users will see improvements to CET Designer’s Movie Studio and will enjoy more accessory options.

    Configura regularly polls users for feature requests. This release’s top request is an added dimension tool on the 2D toolbar. Users also requested a spell-check / auto-correct tool and the ability to add sliding doors to a Walls tab, both of which have been added.

    “We’re about optimizing CET Designer for our users so they can create incredible space-planning experiences for their customers,” Configura Chief Product Officer Nicklas Dagersten said.

    RevLink – the CET Designer Extension that integrates with Revit – now has upgraded integration. Also, a new SketchUp export option has been included with the release of CET Designer 7.5.

    The ability to customize the visibility of features, functionality and elements in the CET Designer interface – showing or hiding parts of the program depending on a user’s needs – has been made possible through the Work mode editor in the newest version of CET Designer. Changes can be saved as different presets, which can be switched between as needs change during a project.

    “It’s about making CET Designer seamless for each user,” Configura Vice President of Global Customer Experience Tracy Lanning said.

    Configura Training Specialist Kelsey Debruin recently held a Facebook Live event about CET Designer 7.5 features; the video can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/CETDesigner/videos/10154337934748052/.

    CET Designer users can participate in free upcoming webinars to learn more about what’s new in CET Designer 7.5:

    Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. ET
    Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. ET
    Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. ET
    Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. ET
    Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. ET

    Users can receive 0.1 continuing education units (CEU) per webinar via the Interior Design Continuing Education Council.

    The free webinars are for anyone, whether a Beginner or Advanced CET Designer user, anywhere in the world. For webinars and additional training information, go to www.configura.com/cet/training. To contact Configura with any questions or suggestions, call 877-238-0808.

    Learn more about additional courses, educational opportunities and CEU credits at www.configura.com.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

     

  • It’s a wrap: Configura’s 9th annual CET Designer User Conference in Grand Rapids breaks attendance records

    Configura announces that the 10th annual conference will return to Las Vegas

    GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., USA—Oct. 31, 2016—Configura, maker of CET Designer software, recently wrapped its 9th annual CET Designer User Conference with record-breaking attendance from people all over the world. Nearly 350 global contract furniture manufacturers, dealers, designers and IT leaders attended the conference held Oct. 18 and 19 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    It was Ali Rogers’ first CET Designer User Conference. The designer with Haworth dealer Business Interiors of Idaho in Boise, Idaho, said, "I loved that they offered classes to drive the passion of design. And the way that Configura opened the conference with the nod to the Olympics – that was hilarious."

    She’s referring to how team members from Configura – “Configurans” as they call themselves – were featured in a short film spoof in the style of The Three Stooges that showed them preparing for their own version of the Olympics. The film opened the user conference and, as the lights then came up in the large meeting hall, Configurans from the company’s Sweden, Malaysia and USA locations marched into the room bearing flags from their respective countries.

    "We’re now a global company – but we like to have fun and reflect on how close-knit we really are as a community of partners, developers and users," Configura’s Vice President of Business Development Peter Brandinger said.

    Paul Riches is one of those users – in fact, he’s used CET Designer for nearly a decade, first as a design manager for a Steelcase dealership and now for Workplace Resources, a Herman Miller dealer in Vancouver. He’s attended every user conference.

    "In a very short period of time, Configura and CET Designer have gone from this little-known product that everyone was kind of scared / apprehensive / cynical of instituting to a global brand that has effectively and efficiently captured a corner of the market without losing a sense of who they are and why they are doing this," Riches said.

    This year for the first time, Configura combined its annual CET Designer User Conference with its annual Developer Conference, bringing users and developers together for a number of sessions. Preceding the conference was Configura’s biannual Partner Meeting, with many partners staying on for the combined conferences. Partners who have invested in Configura’s solution include not only Steelcase and Herman Miller but also Haworth, Teknion, KI, Inscape, OFS Brands and others.

    "We need to put the people who invest in, develop and use our software as close together as possible,” Configura CEO Johan Lyreborn said. “That’s what these opportunities to meet are all about."

    At the Partner Meeting, Lyreborn announced sales growth of 30 percent during the first three quarters of 2016. One of Configura’s newer products, CET Developer – which makes it easy for external developers to create CET Designer Extensions – saw 70 percent sales growth since the beginning of the year. External developers now include those within some of Configura’s manufacturer-partners as well as software development companies.

    Lyreborn also discussed Configura’s expansion beyond office/contract furniture in North America and into such industries as material handling/storage and healthcare/laboratory, as well as Configura’s expansion in Asia with the plan to open a China subsidiary.

    "People around the globe are realizing the power of Parametric Graphical Configuration [the technology and philosophy on which Configura’s solution is based]. So the issue for us no longer is one of getting people to understand our vision; now, the issue is talent and how we go about recruiting the best of the best," he said.

    He noted that Configura’s business model means one doesn’t have to literally work as an employee of Configura – or even be in a city or region where Configura, or even its current partners, has a presence.

    "That’s the beauty of it – with our platform, you can be anyone, anywhere in the world, and be a part of Configura and what we’re doing. You don’t need to be in Silicon Valley; you can be in Iowa or China or wherever and be doing great things in software development,” Lyreborn said.

    CET Designer User Conference and Developer Conference

    The 9th annual conference began with an update and sneak peek at CET Designer 7.5 (releasing Nov. 21) presented by Configura Chief Product Officer Nicklas Dagersten.

    With 7.5, users will be able to produce 360-degree renderings that can be viewed on various kinds of devices, including smart phones and Google Cardboard. Users will see more accessory options with 7.5, enhancements to CET Designer’s Movie Studio and virtual reality technologies, and an added dimension tool on the 2D toolbar (a feature requested by users).

    Dagersten said Configura also is looking at ways the program can be customized depending on the user. For example, in 2017, the company will launch a beta version of CET Designer specifically for salespersons.

    "The user interface will be simplified with functionality geared specifically toward the sales end-user,” Dagersten said.

    At the dealership where Tami Shulsen serves as director of design, various users already are adapting CET Designer to meet their specific needs; CET Designer in turn has changed the way the dealership works. At the user conference, Shulsen led a session called “The Changing Role of the Designer” and talked about how her dealership, Midwest Commercial Interiors, has embraced evolving workplace roles.

    "Tami’s session hit me hard because we just rolled out a new procedure in our company with designers taking on more of the (sales) responsibility. Hearing her presentation was very eye-opening," said Rachel Scholtes, design manager at Business Furniture, a Steelcase dealer in Indianapolis.

    Scholtes had been to a previous user conference in Las Vegas and enjoyed her time in Grand Rapids equally as well. "The conference was excellent – a ton of breakout sessions, great info and I definitely feel more connected with the CET Designer user environment," she said.

    In another breakout session, Configura’s "PGC prophet" – Göran Rydqvist – spoke to designers and developers alike on the absolute importance of quality.

    "Quality needs to be driven all the way through – even where you’re never supposed to look – and especially in programming code. We must program for the user," said Rydqvist, who is Configura’s vice president of research and development. He, along with his father Sune Rydqvist and Johan Lyreborn, founded the company in 1990 in Linköping, Sweden.

    Göran Rydqvist developed the original programming language on which Configura’s solution is based. He has mentored many other programmers and has been key to launching Configura’s CET Developer program around the globe.

    Other conference presentations veered into both technical and design discussions. Steelcase dealer Atmosphere Commercial Interiors’ Jason Lund presented on IT best practices and how to integrate Configura’s virtual reality technology with live design. Atmosphere’s Kari Anderson and Configura’s Tracy Lanning expanded on the discussion of live design with hands-on tips and tricks for interior designers to implement.

    Brigham Young University’s Julie McHood and Configura’s MayLee Lai talked about Configura’s RevLink Extension, which connects CET Designer to Revit. McHood is part of BYU’s facilities planning group where she uses CET Designer to plan spaces and specify furniture for campus remodels and new buildings.

    One of the people attending these sessions was Visualization Architect Amy Edington, who joined Herman Miller earlier this year to help launch its CET Designer Extension in North America and across the globe. She started using CET Designer – and training others in CET Designer – as a team member at Configura where she had worked for a number of years.

    "Having worked for Configura, I think they’re amazing, and that’s why I attended (the conference). I’m passionate about CET Designer and what it has to offer to the dealer community, to make dealers more efficient in the sales and ordering process," Edington said. "All of the conference sessions were very helpful not only from a manufacturer’s standpoint but also as a way to help our dealers prepare for the journey they’re about to go on as they transition to CET Designer."

    All told, the user conference featured 41 presentations and sessions over the course of two days. Most of the sessions offered continuing education unit (CEU) credits with the Interior Design Continuing Education Council.

    Most notably were presentations by two internationally known design leaders.

    Laura Guido-Clark – Design for Change

    Renowned designer Laura Guido-Clark keynoted the CET Designer User Conference. Founder of the eponymous design firm based in Berkeley, California, Guido-Clark specializes in the skin of products – their colors, materials and finishes. She’s designed for such clients as Toyota, Hewlett-Packard, FLOR, American Seating and Herman Miller.

    At the conference, she spoke about how design creates change.

    "We use design to create an emotional connection – it’s why we’re here [as designers] – and it’s why design matters so much," she said.

    Much of her presentation focused the visual, particularly on the power of color.

    "Color is a language that precedes words; it’s one of the most powerful languages," she said. "Within 90 seconds of viewing something, people make a decision, and 60 percent of that decision is based on color."

    In 2011, Guido-Clark launched Project Color Corps, a nonprofit organization dedicated to painting urban neighborhoods with color and pattern to convey messages of optimism and hope. She calls the work "optical optimism. … We're taking neighborhoods and schools and places that look bleak and transforming them."

    To date, she and her team of professionals and volunteers have completed eight projects in California and are looking at expanding to locations across the country.

    Cheryl Durst – Design & Culture: A Global Imperative

    Another renowned design leader – Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) – spoke the following day at the CET Designer User Conference.

    "Design is important because chaos is so hard. Without design, we live in a world of chaos," she said.

    And yet, design itself is in tumult: "Why we design used to be about making a living, client satisfaction, building a project. Today, it’s about making a contribution, dream fulfillment, building a better world," she said.

    Other factors are driving modern design, according to Durst: the need to feel connection and a sense of place, the continuing rise of cities (especially smaller cities), increasing polarity in the populace and need for the nostalgia in the midst of complexity.

    She also described how design used to create experiences for consumers – but now, design creates experiences for tribes.

    Configura has already intuited this design shift, said Paul Riches: "They have built something far more powerful than just a community of users; they've built a tribe … a dynamic collective that is so much more than just the superficiality of its parts … corporate allegiances are tossed aside and users truly exemplify the nature of collaboration. It's a gathering of curious minds who are constantly reaching, exploring, questioning and inquiring of themselves and each other: ‘What now?'"

    The question might also be "What’s next?"

    And next big event for Configura, its partners and users, is the 10th annual CET Designer User Conference, which Brandinger revealed would return to Las Vegas (site of the first five user conferences) after three conferences in Grand Rapids and one in Orlando. The 10th annual CET Designer User Conference will be held Nov. 8-9, 2017, at the Venetian/Palazzo in Las Vegas.

    In conjunction with the 9th annual conference, Configura held its Best of CET Designer Awards. To learn the winners and see their work, as well as to view videos, photos and presentations from Configura’s 9th annual CET Designer User Conference, visit www.configura.com/userconference.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

  • Configura announces November CET Designer webinars

    GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., USA—Oct. 28 2016—Configura, maker of CET Designer software, announces free November webinars with CET Designer instructors:

    Getting Started with CET Designer

    Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. ET
    Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. ET

    What’s New in CET Designer 7.5

    Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. ET
    Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. ET
    Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
    Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. ET
    Nov. 26 at 9 p.m. ET
    Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. ET

    The free webinars are for anyone, whether a Beginner or Advanced CET Designer user, anywhere in the world. Please call 877-568-4106 and click on “Join Webinar Now” at www.configura.com/cet/training. To contact Configura with any questions or suggestions, call 877-238-0808.

    Learn more about additional courses and opportunities at www.configura.com.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

  • Configura awarded ”Growth Company of the Year” at Linköpings Näringslivsgala

    Linköping, Sweden – October 3, 2016 – Configura won first prize in the category “Growth Company of the Year” at Linköpings Näringslivsgala this past Friday.

    “We have a unique idea that allows us to help our customers in a very special way. Our customers are happy and we can spread our ideas worldwide which is both great and challenging. We feel that we have a lot more to give so this is a good start,” said Johan Lyreborn, CEO of Configura.

    Linköpings Näringslivsgala was first organized in 2014 to acknowledge local individuals and companies in Linköping. For this year’s growth company, the jury was looking for a company with a healthy economy and the ability to grow with good profits over time.

    Configura won the award with the motivation:

    This year’s Growth Company shows an impressive and sustained growth with good profitability. With 25 years of innovation, dedication, teamwork and world-class software development, their products have reached out to more than 10,000 users worldwide and thus contributed greatly in putting Linköping on the map.

    Configura was founded in Linköping 1990 and has since then also opened offices in Göteborg, Sweden; Grand Rapids Michigan, USA; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company works with and supplies software for manufacturers in mainly Europe and North America such as Kinnarps, Marbodal, Steelcase and Herman Miller to name a few. Configura has in the past years started to work with companies in Malaysia and China.

    See an interview with Johan Lyreborn about the award here (starts around 1:05): http://www.affarsliv.com/nyheter/tv-se-allt-fran-naringslivsgalan-om4318077.aspx

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

     

  • Configura, OFS Brands announce launch of First Office STAKS product series in CET Designer

    GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., USA—Aug. 4, 2016—Configura and OFS Brands have announced the launch of OFS Brands’ First Office STAKS product series in CET Designer.

    The product series – STAKS Crossover Casegoods – is used in work environments of all kinds, from private offices to open-plan workspaces. Because of CET Designer’s rules-based programming, designers now can specify STAKS up to 60 percent faster, ensure specification accuracy, and visualize configurations much more easily with CET Designer’s photorealism rendering and fly-thru video capabilities.

    "Understanding how important time, rapid product adaptation and accuracy are to designers and specifiers, we continue to expand our presence in CET Designer by adding intelligence to products for the most efficient specification. Via the CET platform, our goal is to make the OFS Brands user experience as simple and user-friendly as possible," OFS Brands Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Menke said. "Integrating intelligence with a highly specified product like STAKS epitomizes our pursuit to be extremely easy to do business with and deliver value to our dealer-partners."

    CET Designer helps manufacturers and their dealers and designers to more quickly bring product to market by providing a single software solution for accurately designing, specifying, rendering, ordering and creating installation documents. CET Designer is Configura's "core" Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC)-based software platform; an Extension is an addition to the program with functionality that incorporates all of the rules, parts and pricing of a given manufacturer’s products. Manufacturers invest in proprietary CET Designer Extensions to make selling products easier, faster and more accurate.

    OFS Brands became a Configura partner in June 2015 and launched its CET Designer Extension in November 2015. The company partnered with Configura because the CET Designer platform offers a simple approach to specifying option-rich products. The addition of STAKS in CET Designer opens up new possibilities for designers.

    "CET Designer delivers a straightforward yet highly versatile tool for designers to clearly communicate their intent, further instilling confidence and clarity as they tailor solutions for their customers," OFS Brands Technology Manager Wes Harper said. "One of our biggest goals is to make sure we’re giving our dealers and designers the most productive tools they need to be able to specify our products, and CET Designer is perfect for that."

    Configura had surveyed its CET Designer users around the globe, and many said they wanted OFS Brands included in CET Designer.

    "We’re excited that OFS Brands continues to expand its product offerings in CET Designer," Configura Vice President Peter Brandinger said. "More products in CET Designer give dealers and customers more choices to meet their space-planning needs."

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

    About OFS Brands

    OFS Brands makes furniture and develops logistics solutions for office, healthcare, education, government and home office markets across the world. OFS Brands is comprised of five distinct brands – OFS, First Office, Loewenstein, Carolina and Highmark – that provide furniture to a wide range of contract interior environments. OFS and First Office produce a wide range of furniture and accessories for the office environment, from technology-savvy mixed-use collections to casegoods to modern lounge pieces. Loewenstein primarily caters to lifestyle interiors, while Carolina is best known as a provider in the healthcare market. Highmark is a leading provider of ergonomic seating. Based in Huntingburg, Indiana, USA, OFS Brands is a family owned corporation. More at www.ofsbrands.com.

  • Configura announces free August CET Designer webinars

    GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., USA—Aug. 1, 2016—Configura, maker of CET Designer software, announces free August webinars with CET Designer instructors:

    Getting Started with CET Designer

    Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. ET
    Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. ET

    Edit Graphics in CET Designer

    Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. ET
    Aug. 24 at 4 p.m. ET

    The free webinars are for anyone, whether a Beginner or Advanced CET Designer user, anywhere in the world. Please call 877-568-4106 and click on “Join Webinar Now” at www.configura.com/cet/training. To contact Configura with any questions or suggestions, call 877-238-0808.

    Learn more about additional courses and opportunities at www.configura.com.

    ###

    About Configura

    Configura creates intelligent space-planning software for manufacturers, dealers and designers in the Contract Furniture, Kitchen and Bath, Material Handling, Industrial Machinery, and Laboratory and Healthcare industries. The company’s software products, including CET Designer, are used by more than 10,000 people around the world. Configura Sverige AB, the parent company, is headquartered in Linköping, Sweden, with commercial operations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 120 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million USD. More information at www.configura.com.

    About CET Designer

    Based on technology created by Configura, CET Designer is intelligent, highly visual and intuitive space-planning software that simplifies specifying and selling of products in a variety of industries. It’s a complete solution that quickly and accurately handles every step of the sales and order process. In CET Designer, components that represent manufacturers’ products look and behave like actual products. Users drag and drop components into 2D and 3D virtual environments; behind the scenes, the software tracks components, calculates pricing and prevents user errors. Users can create and generate layouts, quotes, photorealistic renderings, movies, installation drawings, reconfigurations and bills of materials – in other words, everything needed to propose on work and place orders. CET Designer is the future of space planning. More information at www.configura.com/cet.

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