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  • BitCamp shows that software development isn’t just for guys

    Swedish software company Configura hosts BitCampGR for girls in Grand Rapids

    Swedish software company Configura hosted a SoftwareGR BitCamp in Grand Rapids as part of helping to change perceptions and increase IT opportunities for girls.

    BitCamp is a half-day to daylong event for 7th and 8th grade girls to learn what it’s like to be a software developer. It’s an initiative of Grand Rapids-based SoftwareGR, originally conceived by technology company Atomic Object, and made possible through the support of sponsors, hosts, volunteers and partner organizations like Configura.

    “The tech industry has a gender diversity problem, and Configura proud to sponsor and host a BitCampGR event to do something about it,” Configura Business Development Manager Brooke Snow said.

    There is a growing demand for software professionals in the U.S. and an acute shortage of women in the industry. A 2016 survey by Stack Overflow of more than 56,000 coders from 173 countries showed only 5.8 percent of respondents identified as female; meanwhile, 92.8 percent of respondents identified as male.

    To meet this challenge, SoftwareGR implemented BitCampGR as a hands-on introduction to the software development profession — presented in a fun and supportive small-group environment. As part of the activities, the students learn to code a basic website.

    “We believe support and exposure are the best tools for introducing young women into a male-dominated profession,” said Beth VanSlyke, talent acquisition lead at OST who helps to coordinate BitCampGR activities.

    Michigan-based Atomic Object launched BitCamp in Grand Rapids in 2006 as a one-time event; the company then introduced BitCamp to Detroit in 2012. SoftwareGR officially began producing the camps in 2014 and has coordinated about 20 camps in the region since then, impacting more than 400 girls.

    In addition to programming and other hands-on activities, Configura’s BitCampGR event featured a tour of the company’s Grand Rapids office and the opportunity to meet with programmers, including women.

    “I like that we got to learn about coding and learn about how to do different things like create a website,” said Stacy Delgado, a 7th grade student at Godwin Middle School who participated in the BitCamp. About 20 girls attended the daylong camp.

    When Peter Brandinger opened Configura’s Grand Rapids office in 2006, he brought with him a handful of programmers from Sweden – all male. Since then, he’s worked to bring both cultural and gender diversity to the Grand Rapids office. Today, Americans and Swedes, male and female, work side by side in software development and support roles.

    The company as a whole has expanded a diverse global footprint, including opening an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2013 – and actively recruiting females at this office as well as at headquarters in Linköping, Sweden.

    But Configura, just like other tech companies, acknowledges it has a long way to go in terms of hiring more female programmers.

    “We have 84 application consultants worldwide, and eight of those are women – so 10 percent of our developers are female,” said Brandinger, who is a vice president with the company. “We want to hire more female software developers, but there aren’t enough out there yet. As company, we need to do everything we can to educate and promote computer programming in our schools and with the younger generation. Activities like BitCamp help with building that awareness.”

    One of Configura’s Grand Rapids-based software developers is Alina Barnett. She’s been programming for eight years. She started as a fine arts major with an affinity for painting but switched to focusing on programming.

    “In college, I had to take a basic programming class as a core requirement, and I ended up really loving it – so much so that I switched my major to computer engineering. It gives me the same satisfaction that painting does,” Barnett said. “Programming might seem like an ‘unknown’ to people, but once you break into it, it’s really interesting – it opens up this whole new world.”

    ### About BitCampGR Learn about BitCampGR at its website http://bitcamp.softwaregr.org/ and on its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BitCampGR/.

  • Configura announces dates, location of 10th annual CET Designer User Conference

    Conference heads back to Las Vegas where it all began a decade ago

    Configura, maker of CET Designer space-planning software, will hold its 10th annual CET Designer User Conference Nov. 8-9, 2017, at The Venetian-Palazzo resort and conference center in Las Vegas. Pre-conference welcome events will be held the evening of Nov. 7.

    The conference returns to the city where it first started a decade ago.

    "Each year, we ask our attendees, 'Where should we hold next year’s conference?' This year, Las Vegas won the popular and sentimental votes,” Configura Vice President of Global Customer Experience Tracy Lanning said. “We’re excited to be heading back to the vibrancy that’s Las Vegas!"

    The CET Designer User Conference is for contract furniture dealership and A&D interior designers, dealer IT professionals, office-furniture dealer management and facilities managers.

    The annual conference is a blend of educational sessions led by CET Designer “power users” and Configura team members plus events designed for networking, fun and relaxation.

    "It’s so much more than learning about the software: Designers share business best practices and design strategies in a spirit of camaraderie. Our event draws incredibly creative people who support each other," Lanning said.

    Past keynote presenters and speakers have featured such notables as Contract magazine Designers of the Year Joey Shimoda and Primo Orpilla; renowned color expert Laura Guido-Clark who founded Project Color Corps™; Design the Life You Love author and product designer Ayse Birsel; 2016 Interior Design magazine Hall of Fame inductee Cheryl Durst, who is executive vice president and chief executive officer of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA); American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Randy Fiser; and Debbie Millman, host of the radio show and podcast Design Matters.

    Putting people together

    As with the 2016 event, the 2017 conference will include a Developer Conference, bringing CET Designer users together with the developers that create the software. Also preceding the conference will be Configura’s biannual Partner Meeting, with many partners staying on for the combined conferences. Manufacturing partners who have invested in Configura’s solution include Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller, Teknion, KI, Inscape, OFS Brands and a host of others in the Americas and Europe. Configura also has a growing client base in Asia.

    "Our conference puts the people who invest in, develop and use our software closely together," Lanning said. "It's an incredible opportunity to connect."

    The first conference in 2008 started small, and some of the original attendees have been to every single conference – including CET Designer user Paul Riches. He’s used CET Designer for a decade, first as a design manager for a Steelcase dealership and now for Workplace Resources, a Herman Miller dealer in Vancouver.

    "Short of the TED events, I have never attended a convention (software or otherwise) that is so completely and totally focused around the entire user experience. … Configura has built something far more powerful than just a community of users; they've built a tribe," Riches said.

    Today, more than 10,000 people around the globe use Configura’s software. The Sweden-based company expects about 500 people to attend the 2017 user conference.

    "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 Vice President of Business Development Peter Brandinger said.

    Configura began holding user conferences a decade ago to serve a small but growing CET Designer user base in North America. The conference remained in Las Vegas for the first five years, growing each year in number of attendees. In its sixth and seventh years, Configura moved the conference to Grand Rapids, Michigan – home of its North American office as well as the hub for many global office furniture manufacturers. Year eight brought the conference to Orlando, and the ninth conference was again in Grand Rapids. The most recent event attracted more than 350 people.

    Awards program, CEUs and more

    Configura’s annual Best of CET Designer Awards program is held each year in conjunction with the user conference. The program honors the best uses of CET Designer in multiple award categories. The call for entries will be announced this summer.

    As in past years, many of the user conference sessions – led by industry leaders, educators, Configura team members and CET Designer users – will enable attendees to earn continuing education units (CEUs) approved by the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). The CEUs are recognized by such participating associations as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

    Configura will announce its 2017 user conference keynote speaker and full lineup later this year. People can learn more and get a flavor for past user conferences at www.configura.com/userconference.

    All CET Designer users, developers and partners are welcome to attend. Registration details will be announced soon.

  • Configura announces February CET Designer webinars

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

    Getting Started with CET Designer

    Feb. 15
    Feb. 27

    ProjectSymbols in CET Designer

    Feb. 8
    Feb. 28

    Kom igång med CET Designer (Swedish)

    Feb. 16
    Feb. 27

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

  • Configura exhibits virtual reality technologies at Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair

    Company makes space-planning software used by European, global office furniture manufacturers

    Configura, maker of intelligent space-planning software, will exhibit and demo its industry leading space planning software – with virtual reality (VR) capabilities - at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair this Feb. 7-11 in booth AG:29.

    The Linköping-based company is the leading provider of design, specification and ordering software that enables 2D and 3D design, photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos, instant bills of materials and installation documents. The company offers software solutions built with Configura Extension Technology (CET) which enables manufacturers to create their own Extensions to be plugged into the core software CET Designer. The newest addition is the virtual reality experience, which will be demo’ed by Configura at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair.

    Configura’s solutions are used by Kinnarps, Marbodal, Kvik, Bisley, Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth, KI, Inscape and dozens of other office furniture and kitchen manufacturers. More than 10,000 designers and salespeople around the world use Configura’s software solutions.

    High-end VR experiences

    Configura introduced virtual reality technology in 2015 and officially launched the CET Designer Virtual Viewer Extension in June 2016 at the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair in Chicago. Virtual Viewer lets users wearing Oculus Rift goggles to “walk around” in a drawing using gaming controls. (View a video of how Virtual Viewer works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83-xNe9yCWo.)

    Virtual reality for CET Designer was the first immersive, industry-wide VR solution introduced on the market that supports multiple office furniture manufacturers’ products. It allows the furniture buyer to virtually “walk through” their space before they purchase.

    “The feedback so far has been great. The Virtual Viewer gives the customer an immersive VR experience of an environment before they buy anything,” Configura Key Account Manager Johan Gustafsson said. “They can walk down corridors, along hallways and into rooms to really get a sense of a space.”

    Democratized VR experiences

    In their latest release of CET Designer, Configura introduced 360-degree renderings. The technology lowers cost of VR as images can be viewed in a simple cardboard VR on a smartphone. “360 renderings are an inexpensive way for an office furniture dealer to offer the immersive VR experience to customers,” Gustafsson said.

    In December 2016, Configura announced a collaboration with Toronto-based company Yulio. With Yulio’s Extension – an addition to the core program like an app or plug-in - the 360 degree VR experience can be shared directly to a customer’s smartphone or other devices for viewing. Livestream collaboration functionality lets designers walk and talk a customer through their designs.

    “Visitors to our booth at the Stockholm Furniture Fair can get their own free cardboard VR headset,” Gustafsson said. “It’s fun and easy – whole new way to experience our technology and a designed space.”

    Visit Configura at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair in Booth AG:29.

  • Configura announces partnership with Open Systems Technologies

    Collaboration means OST is now an additional software company authorized to develop CET Designer Extensions

    Configura, maker of CET Designer space-planning software, announces a collaboration agreement with Grand Rapids, Michigan-headquartered Open Systems Technologies (OST) that will increase opportunities for more CET Designer Extensions around the globe.

    Through the agreement, OST – a technology firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, with more than 225 employees worldwide – is now a formal Implementation Partner of Configura authorized to develop CET Designer Extensions.

    “With current customers wanting even more from CET Designer, and with many new manufacturers adopting our solution, we need Implementation Partners like OST to help us serve our rapidly expanding base of customers,” Configura Vice President Peter Brandinger said. “Through our collaboration with OST, we can develop and offer more Extensions, products and functionality to our manufacturer customers and end users. Any manufacturer and dealer that makes and sells configurable products can benefit from our solution.”

    The OST Configura Services team based at OST’s headquarters in Grand Rapids already has six employees and two contractors working full-time on CET Designer Extension development.

    “This is a practice around developing and supporting CET Designer Extensions,” OST Marketing and Communications Director Michael Lomonaco said. “OST’s close partnership with Configura, combined with a close proximity to Configura’s U.S. office located in Grand Rapids, uniquely positions us to be a strong, value-added partner to both Configura and the entire ecosystem that the company serves.”

    Used by thousands of people globally, CET Designer helps manufacturers and their dealers by providing a single software solution for space planning and product ordering. The solution is used in a number of industries that manufacture and market configurable products; industries include office furniture, kitchen and bath, material handling, industrial machinery and laboratory/healthcare.

    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.

    The OST partnership will help Configura to expand into new industries. Although Configura’s CET Designer software is widely known in and used by the global office furniture industry, Configura is active in other industries in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, is expanding in Asia, and is increasing its footprint in industries beyond office furniture in North America.

    Manufacturers partner with Configura – and with Configura partners like OST – for CET Designer Extensions in order to make selling their products fast, easy and extremely accurate. The highly visual software enables 2D and 3D design, photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos, instant bills of materials and installation documents, and now, virtual reality experiences.

    OST has offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. The partnership with OST increases Configura’s network of highly skilled developers around the globe who offer new ideas and solutions.

    Herman Miller – one of the world’s largest office furniture manufacturers – signed with Configura for a CET Designer Extension in 2015 and is among the customers now collaborating with OST for further development of its CET Designer Extension, expected to launch in 2017.

    “What started out as an ideation session at Herman Miller quickly evolved into a full service, custom configuration offering from the OST and Configura teams. In today’s digital world, it is partnerships like these that help us succeed; ones in which we not only ideate together, but drive to solutions that are mutually beneficial and create value for all parties,” Herman Miller Chief Information Officer Jeff Kurburski said.

    2016 was Configura’s best year to date for new customers and sales, and the company continues to add more employees in its locations around the globe. Configura was founded in 1990 and today has two locations in Sweden; an office in the United States (Grand Rapids, Michigan); an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and has plans to open an office in China in 2017.

    “Configura is building a community and network where Implementation Partners like OST help drive the innovation and growth in new areas and in new ways, Configura Vice President of Global Customer Experience Tracy Lanning said. “We work closely with our Manufacturing and Implementation (software) Partners and our CET Designer users, who come together for common purpose of advancing the software.”

    ###

    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 130 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 Open Systems Technologies

    Open Systems Technologies (OST) is an award-winning, 225-person, $160m global technology and design firm focused on enterprise data centers and business transformation services such as design strategy, software development, data analytics and IoT. From designers, developers and data-gurus to data center specialists and experts, OST has been providing solutions to global Fortune 1000 companies for 20 years within key verticals such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, insurance and finance. This is all wrapped in a friendly, flexible, people-centered culture. OST has been recognized in Inc. Magazine’s 5,000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies for nine consecutive years, CRN’s Tech Elite 250, and a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. OST offices are located in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. More information at www.ostusa.com.

  • 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.

     

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