IF Autodesk delivered a Facility Management Suite (which they do not), here is what should be in it.
Facility Management Suite - Standard
For the Premium Suite, add Showcase and Constructware
For the Ultimate Suite, throw in Green Building Studio
Yes, I know what a couple of you are thinking. You're wondering why I did not include Navisworks (or Adobe Acrobat Viewer) on my list.
Navisworks Freedom is not a Facilities Management (CAFM) tool, and Navisworks Manage has some great features, but, they are extreme overkill for day to day operational needs.
If some have found uses for Navisworks post-construction, in the built environment, that is great! But, in the opinion of someone who has been working in the Facilities Engineering department of a six million square foot medical center (where any given space is renovated once every thirteen years, but, maintained every day) for well over a decade, I declare that it is not a viable approach long-term.
See this conversation on the AUGI forums for thoughts and ideas from both sides of the fence:
We take in data from various construction projects. We archive the project, then work the MEPFP components into a patchwork quilt which we work off of. If we make one-off changes in-house, those will be drawn up and changed on our documents (using AutoCAD MEP or Revit MEP). We then distribute bits and pieces of this information to architects, engineers and general contractors who work on the 50-75 construction projects we have going on around our campus at any given time.
Since we are over 100 years old now, we do have a vast library of scanned blueprints spanning a century of new construction and renovations. Raster Design would be a fabulous addition to our toolset, filling in gaps in our more current electronic records.
With so much information in our archives (that might need to be accessed at any random time), and with such a geographically scattered work team, a good data management solution is in order.
In their spare time, our staff engineers attempt to find ways to modernize our buildings and reduce our energy consumption. Once they identify projects, they must sell them to our executives in order to compete for the scant funding available.
Well, now that I have shared what should be in an Autodesk Product Suite geared toward the Facilities customer, I will be serious for a moment and let you know that I will soon have the opportunity to post a review of the AutoCAD Design Suite, if you'd like the chance to read about something that actually is for sale.