Over 100 top AEC firms run Synthesis. Here's why.
Planning, Engineering Design, and Commissioning
"Affiliated Engineers was searching for a knowledge management platform that would allow for a more seamless technical exchange of information across our 16 offices. We wanted to culturally and professionally better unite our 650+ employees.
We have found that we can improve the quality of our design processes and design results by sharing our ideas for engineering approaches and project solutions across an audience much broader than that in any given local office. Synthesis has allowed for better transparency of our challenges and our successes with projects, with clients, and with the overall professional growth of our firm.
The interface between Synthesis and Deltek Vision allows us to connect people and projects in a readily accessible format with relatively little active management of the process. Our activity stream and wiki pages are also alive with constant input from our firmwide team. And, personally, my favorite is the mobile app, which allows me to access direct contact info to each and every colleague while I am on the go.
Many AEC firms could benefit from the convergence of knowledge exchange that occurs with technical, marketing, and firm culture content."
— Krista Murphy, Principal
"As part of our strategic planning process we realized that in order to achieve our strategic goals we would need to create a better internal communications network where information could flow easily to everyone and from everyone. We also wanted to do a better job of managing AKF’s knowledge capital. Synthesis offered us the opportunity to address both needs and more.
Synthesis has allowed us to accelerate achievement of our strategic goals and has helped us build a more robust community across our different offices. We have also found that our staff has quickly embraced the platform and have connected with each other on many topics, from serious to personal. It has helped our various offices feel more connected with each other.
Synthesis has had a profound impact on our firm. The support provided by Knowledge Architecture has been exceptional and we appreciate how they involve us in the continued evolution of the Synthesis platform."
— Rob Diemer, Partner
"First and foremost, the most valuable feature of Synthesis is the ability to link the members of the firm across offices, departments, and disciplines. Second, Synthesis provides a platform for knowledge sharing and management that we just didn’t have before. We expect our intranet to improve our work product and efficiency over time and provide real and measurable dividends. The fact that anyone can contribute content is also very important. On our previous intranet only a few people had access to add content and the process could take a while. With Synthesis everyone can contribute. Our focus has shifted from managing often out of date content to curating current content. We have more information available to everyone and a place where people can ask questions if content isn’t available and get a response.
It can seem daunting at first to take on a whole new intranet, however the implementation process with Knowledge Architecture was great, and as we got into it, it was liberating to be able to start something fresh and dump all the old legacy content that we didn’t need. We were unsure how the staff would take to the whole new version, but in the past 6 months they have exceeded our expectations for adapting to the platform. They quickly took to sharing information via posts and have made our intranet the starting place for information — not the last resort."
— Shannon Kaplan, Operations
Architecture + Planning
"We have recommended Knowledge Architecture and Synthesis many times. Synthesis has been a catalyst for change in our firm. We consider the team at KA to be our strategic partners and trusted advisors."
— Luanne Greene, President
"WARNING: Knowledge Architecture is posing as a software company but really carries the torch to brighten the path to unlock the power of sharing practices and building internal communities.
KA’s support and implementation team is outstanding. They are not just selling software. Through regional conferences, workshops, and individual sessions they helped us understand the "why" and worked with us on the "how" to improve not only our Intranet, but bring us closer to being a learning organization."
— Bill Spaulding, Manager of Education and Training
Architecture + Interiors
"One of the “features” if you can call it that of working with Knowledge Architecture and subscribing to Synthesis is you get support. A real person who understands your business, takes the time to learn about your specific practice and works with you to ensure you are getting value out of the product. This resource and our relationship with Knowledge Architecture has been more than just helping us utilize a piece of software, but has helped us build a culture of learning, knowledge sharing, thought leadership, and research in practice."
— Pete Smith, President & CEO
"One of the largest impacts for us is the networking and knowledge sharing within the Knowledge Architecture community. Through connections we have made at KA Connect, KA Advance, and the online communities – we have learned, and continue to learn, from others in the broader AEC community
I struggled for years to find my “tribe” of others interested in or already doing Knowledge Management (KM). Knowledge Architecture made the connections easy and offers numerous opportunities to stay connected in this growing community. Being a mid-sized firm, we see Knowledge Architecture as a key member of our KM team. They help to accelerate our initiatives, encourage improvement projects (and even give us the playbook for projects!), and serve as our accountability team (who couldn’t benefit from that!)."
— Stefnee Trzpuc, Design Research and Knowledge Management Specialist
"I think when we look back 20 years from now, implementing Synthesis will be one of the defining moments for Civiltech. What we're doing here, how we're changing the way that we work — we will be able to work it all back to our partnership with Knowledge Architecture.
Knowledge Architecture is selling more than a product. It's more than Synthesis. They're educating us. They're keeping us up-to-date on the latest and the greatest in knowledge management — what works in our industry, and what doesn't. We have an opportunity to see what their other clients are doing, and how what they've implemented is working out for them. I also love coming to KA Connect. I get to hear from knowledge management theorists and get a global perspective, and I also get to see speakers drill down specifically into how knowledge management is working in the AEC industry.
Civiltech is in its 30th year of business, and in the 20 years that I've been here, this partnership has left the largest impact on our organization in terms of affecting how we work."
— Kyle Mishler, Director of Operations
"The big feature for us is that everyone can contribute, everyone has a voice. Back in the days of the static intranet, before Synthesis, you had to email somebody that had posting access to push it out. If collaboration was happening, it was happening in groups, not across the company. We weren't capturing knowledge and saving it. We were not able to reuse our knowledge at a future date.
Synthesis has revolutionized the way that we work now. We have a great concept of working out loud, which is something that was not happening with our previous solution. Output has significantly increased because we now have the ability to share, to work out loud, and to collaborate.
And it's accessible anywhere — via phone, at home, and in the office. Our static intranet wasn't a tool, it was just something that existed. Synthesis is a true tool for us."
— Meredith Wuellner, Marketing Manager
Architecture + Engineering
"We bought Synthesis after a year-long search for a solution to a big strategic directive — 'create a rich knowledge sharing platform.' This big idea was part of a VISIONing session we did as a firm and became one of five strategic priorities we created for the firm.
We were a growing firm — demographically, financially, geographically, institutionally, and intellectually. We needed a tool that could mine, organize, and communicate data of all kinds to share with our entire workforce. I needed a way to create a transparent communication tool that all of our staff would utilize and benefit from.
Today our Synthesis platform is the centerpiece of our digital sharing culture in so many ways. This tool has helped to create a strong and consistent brand, has enabled hundreds to participate and share on a daily basis, and is our digital portal for most everything in our business.
Synthesis has changed the way we use and share information. It changed the frequency and consistency of our knowledge sharing. It spawned the addition of a core value of our firm — SHARING! It changed our culture!"
— Griff Davenport, Chief Executive Officer
"We were trying to forge a unified identity as one firm — a single DLR Group brand. There was this vast source of unexploited knowledge and experience trapped in offices and design teams that was not easily accessible by our staff. We all knew the information was out there, but people did not know who or where to go for information. We believed the solution was a robust intranet that could link offices, studios, disciplines, and people across the firm. Knowledge Architecture had developed a platform that met our needs.
Synthesis stitches the operational needs and strategic vision of the enterprise together with the nuance native to local offices and project teams and the result is a more connected design culture. It's where 1,200 people become one design firm."
— Andy Ernsting, Brand Communications Leader
Architecture + Engineering
"Synthesis has been transformational in how it has helped connect us — making ideas and experience visible and accessible in order to leverage our collective strength. The ease of access and use allows staff to benefit immediately and encourages learning. In short, better ideas faster. Knowledge Architecture is helping us do better work more efficiently — elevating the quality and management of our business.
KA has been an extremely valuable partner in helping navigate change in the AE industry. They have been proactive in researching the challenges facing both clients and the profession and then sharing what they learn to the benefit of all."
— Tim Carl, Chief Executive Officer
"I most definitely would recommend Knowledge Architecture to anybody willing to listen to me, not just because the product is good, but because the KA team becomes partners in making your intranet the best it can be — not just the technology, but with people, and with the process. KA has knowledge in so many different areas that the customer service is just impeccable. I've never worked with a vendor that was as much a partner as KA."
— Julie Weston, Research Librarian
Architecture + Engineering
"We really had a problem connecting all of our offices before we implemented Synthesis. At the time we had around 350 employees in 25 or so offices and a SharePoint intranet that badly needed an upgrade. Our current intranet was hard to keep fresh and current, had no collaboration and no ownership. There was also a perception that it was a one-way communication tool for our corporate office and others didn’t have a voice.
Synthesis was a catalyst for transforming internal communications and connecting everyone at Mead & Hunt. We've almost doubled in size in the last five years while at the same time getting better ratings from employees on the effectiveness of our internal communications. I honestly don't think that we could have done that with the tools that we had in place five years ago. Synthesis is a big part of our successful growth."
— Andy Knauf, Chief Information Officer
"For the AEC industry, an intranet that integrates industry-standard software, provides a collaborative space, and makes data easily accessible, without the need to know complex database searching — guided by a company that is committed to developing your company’s organizational learning — is more than worth the price of admission. Our company has benefited in ways well beyond an awesome intranet. We're more connected, continue to build accessible knowledge bases, have easy access to project and employee information, and people are building their personal brand and enhancing their careers by being visible and engaged in sharing stories, lessons, and innovations.
Knowledge Architecture is not about selling software; they’re about developing a premium product and providing the resources to improve your organizational development. Plus, Chris (Knowledge Architecture's CEO and Founder) remembers the name of my boat. You don't get that from Bill Gates!"
— Pat Peyton, Knowledge Manager
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Preservation
"In 20 years, Synthesis is the best investment we have made to impact culture and communication in our firm."
— Tony Steinhardt, Principal
"The fact that Synthesis is a social platform is most valuable to our organization. Being able to connect our most valuable assets — our employees — has allowed us to move the firm forward. The search functionality has become essential as time has passed, and we’ve continued populating the platform, saving our employees time by making this critical content accessible to everyone. Finally, the mobile app and multiple photo upload has been a game changer for us in terms of sharing information easily in such a visual industry."
— Matt Zetzl, Communications Specialist
"We named our Synthesis intranet Finch. Many of our colleagues wonder how we existed before Finch, which is now a verb. 'Why don't you Finch that?' 'Share that on Finch!' 'Ask Finch!' It is almost as if the persona has become our version of 'you should Google that'!
Since we began, Knowledge Architecture has given us a shared platform to feel like we are truly one firm. Synthesis helps us learn from each other and share the great things happening in our projects and with our clients. People know each other even though they are thousands of miles apart and celebrate in each other's work, play, learning, and sharing."
— Carole Wedge, President
"#AskFinch is a mechanism for employees to ask questions and get answers from the rest of the firm using Finch (our Synthesis intranet). Any time anyone asks me, 'Can you validate the value of Finch?', I simply point to the 1200 questions and answers that we've banked in Finch via our #AskFinch process. These questions and answers are now available for all of our employees going forward amplifying the value of the effort of asking and answering them.
In my experience, Knowledge Architecture is unique among enterprise software providers in the AE space. Between the robust client community they've cultivated, all-inclusive on-boarding support, evolving best practices, and usage analytics, the tools they provide to help us drive adoption of Synthesis in our business are outstanding. If more of our partners in software development adopted this model, we would be so much better off."
— Jim Martin, Chief Information Officer
Architecture + Engineering
"I cannot overstate this point — the SMMA/KA connection has been transformative for our firm. They are the partner that wants SMMA to succeed as much as I do. With KA, I like to say, 'You come for the software, but you stay for the community.'
We have had Synthesis for approximately 6 years now. When we launched, we wrote a welcome statement on the home page that is still there today. I believe that statement is a testament to the platform and encompasses why we value the tool. It reads, 'Welcome to the Hub — a resource portal and digital forum to help facilitate sharing of best practices, cultivation of ideas, propagation of strategy, and celebration of our people and practice.'
KA and the community they nurture have helped us improve in so many ways. We are extremely lucky to work with such good people."
— Ryan Farias, Director of Marketing
Selected Client List
Architecture & Engineering
CTA Architects Engineers
Delta Airport Consultants, Inc.
GMB Architecture & Engineering
Mead & Hunt
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
MSA Professional Services
Pond & Company
Architecture & Design
Ayers Saint Gross
Carrier Johnson + CULTURE
Diamond Schmitt Architects
Eppstein Uhen Architects
IA Interior Architects
McMillan Pazdan Smith
Olson Kundig Architects
Quinn Evans Architects
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Steffian Bradley Architects
Want to learn more about Synthesis?
Send us an email | 415.523.0410