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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Announcing Trimble Connect for collaboration across multiple markets

November 19th, 2014 by Susan Smith

In an interview with AECCafe Voice, John Bacus, director of SketchUp product management at Trimble, discussed the new features of Trimble Connect, that offers a new way for designers, builders, owners and operators to collaborate, share and view project information. It is based on GTeam, the collaboration platform developed by Gehry Technologies.


  1. Does Trimble Connect have any affiliation with the new Bentley CONNECT Edition?

Indirectly. Trimble Connect and Bentley’s ProjectWise CONNECT Edition are both able to share data with Business Center HCE, Trimble’s office software for creating 3D constructible models, and site and corridor takeoffs.  Our companies have also stated our intent to enable enhanced information mobility between ProjectWise CONNECT Edition and Trimble Connect.  We see our two companies’ efforts as complementary, since we both share a commitment to improved visibility of construction data and to advancing design-to-construction workflows. That being said, Trimble Connect will remain open and vendor neutral. We think collaboration works best when it doesn’t require everyone to adopt the same tools.

  1.       What characterizes Trimble Connect as opposed to previous platform offerings?

In our view, Trimble Connect is unique in its potential to address the collaboration needs of professionals across multiple markets.  It supports the entire lifecycle of a project, from heavy civil construction to building construction.  Its purpose is the connectedness of the entire process and everyone or everything related to it: all stakeholders, businesses, machines, tools, equipment and more.  We allow the data to be leveraged throughout the process to eliminate the starts and stops of siloed teams and data.  Each stakeholder has a specific role or job and with Trimble Connect, they can access the information required for their job and contribute the additional details they needed back into the aggregated hub of information.

  1.       Recently you entered into an agreement with Bentley. How would you advise users about BIM choices, as you have also Tekla, Vico and SketchUp integrated with Trimble Connect. What would be the considerations for choosing either direction?

Trimble believes firmly in giving our customers the freedom to choose the best tools for the job. That means liberating the data, not locking it up.  Trimble Connect enables the use of many BIM tools in the same project with a high level of interoperability, because customers should be able to choose solutions optimized to do the job they need.  We want to give the market that choice, not build a platform that dictates what they use.  For example, many transportation departments use Bentley technologies for the design and modeling of their civil projects.  We support liberating that data for those users, so they can choose to use Bentley for those projects, just as they can choose to use Tekla Structures for structural design or SketchUp for conceptual design.  While there are some overlaps in our offerings, those are fairly minimal.  At the end of the day, we both believe in working together for the best interests of the market.

  1.       What will a sample workflow look like?

Whether an engineering design was done in Bentley or Tekla or something else, we want that data available for downstream processes.  One such workflow is that a new engineering drawing becomes available in Trimble Connect from one or both of those sources.  Surveyors in the field are notified via the Trimble Tablet that there is a new construction document and have assurance that they’re working from the latest version.  They can then pull that document to do layout in the field.

  1.       Is there a workflow process with Trimble Connect all the way through to operations and maintenance or if not, will there be in future?

When we introduced Trimble Connect a couple of weeks ago, we included the option to extend the workflow all the way to the owner and operational aspects of the building lifecycle.  Our Manhattan Atrium enterprise asset management system from recently acquired Manhattan Software is “Trimble Connected.”

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Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, architecture, Bentley Systems, BIM, building information modeling, buildingSMART, Cloud, collaboration, construction, consumerization, engineering, field, field solutions, file sharing, IES, IFC, infrastructure, mobile, point clouds, project management, site planning, sustainable design, Tekla, terrain, Trimble

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