Archive for the ‘Constellation News’ Category

IBS 2013: Save the date!

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
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2013 International Builders’ Show
January 22-24, 2013
Las Vegas Convention Center
Central Hall: nextBUILD
BOOTH C2255

CLICK HERE to request your FREE exhibit hall passes.

Constellation’s team of experts will once again be showcasing our line of end-to-end software solutions for the residential construction industry at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Stop by our booth for a one-on-one demonstration: we’ll be in the nextBUILD area of the Central Hall, booth C2255. Join us in Vegas!

Constellation Awarded Patent for Mobile Scheduling

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
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Eight years ago, Constellation’s team of developers completed the first version of a mobile scheduling application called OnLocation-Schedule, allowing homebuilders to access and control their company-wide schedules and tasks while on the job site. All of a sudden, builders could view and change the build schedule from their Blackberry, from anywhere. We applied for a patent on this mobile scheduling technology, and we have finally been awarded that patent!

We would like to congratulate Sorin Lungu, who led the development team on this project. Sorin’s patent illustrates our dedication to builder efficiency, maximizing your effectiveness whether you sit at your desk or supervise worksites.

Increasing productivity by scheduling on handheld devices has continued to evolve at Constellation, and we are very proud to be leading the homebuilding software industry. Location-based scheduling is just the beginning! Our development team works tirelessly every day to improve the way that you use technology from website to warranty.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the leading provider of software solutions for the residential construction industry in North America.

We build software that helps you build homes.

 

Halloween fun with Constellation

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
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Last week we had a little Halloween costume contest at our head office in Markham, Ontario. Some topical costumes stole the show: the software pirate is every developer’s worst enemy; the Halloween daemon is lurking where you lest suspect her; the Constellation homebuilder fixed a warranty issue, then the world’s worst handyman broke it; and the sheriff of Constellation kept the situation from getting out of control.

Who would you vote for to take home the prize?

Our Customers take Center Stage

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
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Last week, Constellation customers gathered in Baltimore for our final Customer Summit of 2012. Each summit included informative training sessions on NEWSTAR and BuildTopia systems, as well as networking opportunities amongst fellow builders. This year, we decided to host our customers at our regional offices in Toronto and Baltimore to provide some insight into how Constellation works, as well as to keep the event as interactive as possible: as you can see above, there was no room for the photographer!

The day’s sessions included a Product Roadmap for 2013, as well as updates and training regarding NEWSTAR and BuildTopia. Customers were treated to a networking dinner after each day of training, where we relaxed and enjoyed some wonderful meals at the Woodberry Kitchen.

We also awarded some prizes:

Mark Baysden of DSLD Homes was presented with an iPad for submitting the most SSRS Reports in our recent contest (photo below). Jared Rogers of Simmons Homes was the lucky winner of a Microsoft Surface, simply for registering early for the NEWSTAR Summit. And Michelle Jungers of Grand View Builders took home the “early bird” Surface at the BuildTopia Summit.

Here are some comments from our builders who made the trek:

“Talking with other builders and how they do things was very helpful.” – Grand View Builders

“I found the summit very informative and useful. I look forward to us implementing some of the new applications.” – Simmons Homes

“One on one time with Constellation folks is invaluable.”Embassy Homes

A huge Constellation thank you goes out to all the builders who attended our Customer Summit. We strive to ensure that all of our customers are maximizing the value they receive from their investment in our software.

If you missed the summit, or would like to be informed of upcoming summits, please let us know!

Customers' corner: chatting, networking, learning!

Customer service review from our award-winning support team

Mark wins an iPad for submitting SSRS reports for the NEWSTAR Community


The Constellation team pep talk!

Habitat dedication of 96 Ritchie Ave

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
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Last week, we were thrilled to attend the dedication ceremony for the 96 Ritchie Ave. Habitat for Humanity build. Our very own marketing specialist Lauren Hughes hammered in the joists holding up the first floor – in the rain!

Although overshadowed slightly by World Habitat Day also on October 1st, the eyes and the hearts of volunteer builders focused on Ritchie Ave. for a remarkable moment. The Sinato family, with mom Lorena and son Bryan were absolutely thrilled to accept the keys to their new Habitat home. The new home will open many doors, none more important to the Sinatos than the accessibility features that will allow Bryan, who is legally blind and lives with cerebral palsy, to thrive. Lorena gave a heartwarming speech to let the crowd – filled with sponsors and volunteers – know how much the home would mean to Bryan. Bryan, on the other hand, could not stop dancing.

We are very pleased to be a part of an industry that is so committed to giving back to the community. Thanks go of course to @HabitatToronto and to @BILDGTA for making our (seemingly insignificant) build day possible. Further thanks to those who shared in our rainy day experience, @EurodaleDevelopments, @MadhouseAD, @RenoMark and of course all of the amazing full-time Habitat workers and volunteers.

Announcing the Winner of the SSRS Reports

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
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It was a close race, but Mark Baysden of DSLD Homes held the lead and crossed the finish line submitting the most NEWSTAR SSRS reports.

Mark wins a brand new Apple iPad.

NEWSTAR SSRS Report Library
A special thank you to everyone who submitted your SSRS reports and contributed to the Client Care Report Community.

To view these reports, login to our Client Care Center and click on the Report Library link from the menu on the left.

Continue Learning
Join our free drop-in webinar session on Friday, September 28th.  Watch, learn and interact with our team as we build reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services within NEWSTAR Enterprise.

Hosted by Blayne Parrish from Center6, this session will run from 2:00PM to 4:00PM EST and you may join anytime during the session as your schedule permits.

Click here to register.

Get started building your reports
If you didn’t get a chance to build any reports during this contest, you can download the Microsoft tools and user guides to get started.

Getting Started with Report Builder 3.0
Downloading Center
Online Help

We appreciate your participation and ask that you continue to provide additional reports for the NEWSTAR community by emailing them to ssrs@constellationhb.com.

Constellation for Humanity

Monday, August 13th, 2012
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Constellation for Humanity

A home is so much more than a roof over your head. A home provides shelter, security, and a sense of place – a sense of belonging to both family and community. Habitat for Humanity makes this abundantly clear for hundreds of deserving families each year.

On Thursday, August 9 2012, Constellation joined a team from BILD and RenoMark on Ritchie Ave near Dundas and Bloor Streets to help make this happen for one Habitat Toronto family. Our team was comprised of builders, architects, advertisers, and lawyers, all involved in the residential building community, and led by highly competent Habitat crew leaders and site super.

The build may not have been glamorous – the rain on this particular day kept us rather soggy – but our team managed to complete a section of floor and prepare walls for what we could only imagine would be an exciting day of wall raising for another Habitat group. We hope our lack of experience didn’t hold up progress too much!

We got a taste of the task that is presented to our clients every day of the year. Our clients may have to charge their customers for the luxury of a brand new home, but the results are much the same: they use bricks and beams to create homes and a sense of community.

Here are some more photos from Thursday’s Ritchie Ave build.

Big thanks to all those involved: @BILDgta @RenoMark_ca @HabitatToronto @MadhouseAD Eurodale Developments and of course @ConstellationHB and @lthughes

We’re looking forward to more BILD builds!

Constellation for Humanity

Constellation for Humanity

Constellation for Humanity

Three Link Directory

2012 Race for Humanity

Monday, July 23rd, 2012
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On July 19, Constellation entered two teams in BILD’s 4th Annual Race for Humanity in support of Habitat for Humanity. The “Amazing Race”-style event took our teams from The Toronto Star headquarters at the foot of Yonge Street to Centre Island, as well as to CityPlace, Pinnacle, and a number of other recent build sites in between. Challenges along the way included icing a cake, riding the log ride at Centreville, and using a slingshot to remove some angry birds from their perch.

Our two teams of five racers competed valiantly along with 23 other teams from the BILD community. Constellation NEWSTARs Amrita, Lunnette, Angelo, Simon, and Kevin were stacked against a difficult route, finding themselves running as far east as Sherbourne and as far west as Bathurst in pursuit of a single challenge! Constellation High Risers Anna, Elaine, Dimitrios, Chris, and Lauren rode a wave of good timing and knowledge of city landmarks to finish in an unofficial second place! Both teams ran themselves to the limit and all were equally exhausted by the time we arrived at BILD’s 20th Annual Charity BBQ.

Our teams brushed elbows with a number of Constellation’s customers, including Empire (the winners!), Geranium, Monarch, Reid’s Heritage, Ballantry, and Countrywide, although customer courtesy may have – at times – given way to competition!

The Race alone was able to raise over $18,000 for Habitat – all of which went to the charity as The Toronto Star and In2ition Marketing Insights covered the costs. Combined, the Race and BBQ raised over $45,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

Photos from the event can be found on our Twitter feed @ConstellationHB as well as on BILD’s blog and Facebook page. Thanks go to @BILDGTA, @TorontoStar, and @In2itionRealty, and congratulations to @HabitatToronto and @Empire_Living!

Constellation would like to thank all participants – NEWSTARs, High Risers, and otherwise! It was a great day for a great cause.

Share your SSRS reports. Win an iPad.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
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Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) allow you to view and utilize your NEWSTAR information in an endless number of ways – so many that Constellation developers can never dream up enough. You know your NEWSTAR system better than anyone, so we want your help.

Email your SSRS reports to ssrs@constellationhb.com. The NEWSTAR author to send in the most SSRS report templates will win a new iPad!

Constellation hopes to help build a database of templates and a more involved NEWSTAR community. Report authors will be fully credited in the Client Care Center. Please see full contest rules below.

Don’t know what SSRS Reports are?

Join our drop-in webinar sessions, which will run most Fridays for the duration of the contest. Watch, learn and interact with our team as we build reports using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services within NEWSTAR Enterprise.

These interactive online sessions will run from 1:00PM to 4:00PM EST on July 13, 20, 27, and August 10, 17, and 24 and you may join anytime during the session as your schedule permits. Please click here to view available sessions and to register.

You may also wish to use the following links to access Microsoft tools and guides:

Getting Started with Report Builder 3.0
Downloading Center
Online Help

Important Registration Information

All registrants will receive an email confirmation via WebEx confirming your registration with a URL and event password.  If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact myself via email or by phone at (888) 723-2222 ext 2029.  Online registration will close 30 minutes prior to session start time.

Sincerely,

Elaine Massey
Director of Professional Services

 

OFFICIAL RULES:

- Contest opens July 1st, 2012 at 12:01 am
- Contest open to current NEWSTAR clients, excluding the province of Quebec
- The “Prize” is one (1) Apple iPad, approximate retail value CAD519.00
- “Reports” are built using SSRS (with or without Focus tables) and submitted as a .RDL file
- Reports cannot contain custom NEWSTAR database tables
- Email your Report files to ssrs@constellationhb.com
- Email must include a Report title and brief description of the purpose of the Report
- Reports without descriptions will not be included
- Reports will be judged based on creativity and uniqueness, and must run without error on the Constellation standard database
- Reports that do not run on the standard database will not be included
- Each valid Report will count as one Entry for the person who created the Report (“Author”)
- Authors who upload invalid Reports will be contacted and asked to re-submit the Report
- The Prize will be awarded to the employer (for use by the Author) of the Author who submits the most valid Reports
- Constellation HomeBuilder Systems employees and their families are not eligible to win the Prize
- No purchase necessary
- Contest closes August 31st, 2012 at 11:59 pm

NEWSTAR Users Converge for 2012 Customer Summit

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
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NEWSTAR users from Ontario and beyond joined Constellation’s experts for a full day of networking and learning at the Kingbridge Conference Centre in King City on Wednesday, June 13. Constellation was thrilled to host 75 attendees from over 30 organizations, at an event geared towards helping current customers to maximize the software they already have – and to provide sneak peeks at the NEWSTAR enhancements that will be rolling out in the months to come.

Constellation is always listening for customer feedback, providing service, support, and opportunities to learn through a range of channels, culminating in regional summits. A number of speakers provided insights, including NEWSTAR experts and vendors highlighting software that integrates directly and seamlessly with NEWSTAR.

Blayne Parrish of Center6 demoed InformXL; helping to ensure that NEWSTAR users are using the tool to its full potential, generating reports from their NEWSTAR system in real time. John Linney of Tarion discussed MyHome, a digital platform that allows new home buyers to ensure their warranties are being upheld to legal standard. And Chang Su impressed wide-eyed builders with customizable user-controlled 3D walkthroughs of new homes. Center6’s InformXL is currently offered in NEWSTAR, with version 2.0 on the way; Tarion’s MyHome will be a big part of the next release of NEWSTAR; and Constellation is currently testing Your Home 3D with NEWSTAR.

Customers eagerly networked, discovering new ways to utilize their NEWSTAR solution that they may not have considered – furthering the NEWSTAR community through shared information and ideas. Constellation’s development team was all ears, listening for where their attention should be placed next.

Constellation’s next NEWSTAR Regional Customer Summits will be taking place in Baltimore, MD and Dallas, TX this coming fall – details to follow.  Also, customer feedback from the Summit suggested a high level of interest in a North America-wide multi-day customer summit. If you would be interested in a larger-scale summit, please contact Cathy Kotsopoulos.

NEWSTAR is a comprehensive suite of integrated software modules for homebuilders, all designed to help you increase sales, and enable you to earn more on each home with more satisfied customers.

NEWSTAR customers can access slides from the day’s keynote speakers by following this link and logging into the Client Care Center. Constellation is always available to customers through the Client Care Center, and group discussions are welcome through the private NEWSTAR LinkedIn community and the public forum of Twitter.