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Information Mobility Takes Center Stage at Bentley Be Inspired 2012 Press Day

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Yesterday’s keynote at the Be Inspired Conference held at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam featured an introduction by COO Malcolm Walters, followed by a keynote by Bentley CEO Greg Bentley.

In attendance were 84 journalists from around the world, whom Walters said reached 3 ½ million readers.

Greg Bentley’s talk was entitled “Working Smarter, Together, and Accelerating Mobility for Data Acquisition.” He talked about how good infrastructure design sustains our economy and reduces our environmental footprint.

Consumerization

A new word was introduced:  “Consumerization,” or, the measure of how much invention is coming our way.  “The products we’re talking about are industrial,” said Bentley. “We don’t have to invent these technologies – we just have to apply them.”

Consumerization refers to a short cycle for products, economical and accessible everywhere.  It is really the first time we have heard Bentley Systems talk about the consumer market, except for the way the mobile market has broadened technology in its aim toward the consumer.

The Bentley Utilization Index shows growth in various industry segments. Asia continues to be a growth area for infrastructure. 2012 has shown reasonable growth widely and unevenly distributed throughout the world, according to Bentley.  47% of application utilization hours are BIM hours.

In a recent report by McGraw Hill, it was determined that there is the expectation in AEC firms that projects will be done in BIM in 2013. Those surveyed believe that ROI in BIM use depends upon the expertise level of those using it.

Bentley introduced the idea of industrial apps from Bentley that will be able to handle huge projects specifically. This takes the form of a ProjectWise or AssetWise passport on any device and gives access to all Bentley apps.

The concept of information mobility (where the information keeps working), vs. information mortality (where information gets stuck where it is and doesn’t get used properly; it is comprised of monolithic data structure, conflicting file formats, opaque information, and enterprise labyrinths) clarifies what can happen to  information that has been housed in building information systems and other information systems.

Information mobility was a phrase used throughout the day.

Information Modeling Innovations

Senior vice president of Bentley Software Bhupinder Singh spoke next on Information Modeling innovations. “Since 2009 we have been delivering compatibility updates through the V8i SELECT Series,” he said. “We are most interested in ease of use from the workflow standpoint, how easy is a product to implement in workflow.”

Ways in which this can be accomplished are through ProjectWise, according to Singh, where ProjectWise can contribute to knowledge sharing and view sharing such as spatial view, dependency view and component view.

There are concerns that the right version be used with mobile devices, when we have several different clouds offered, for example. Leaving ProjectWise behind a firewall can exclude someone outside the firewall who needs to access information.

Bentley CONNECT is designed to reach the consumers outside the firewall and enterprises that would like to share their data through a neutral space. An SAAS environment provides Bentley Connections Space that up until now has been serviced with DropBox.

Integrated Project Innovations

Singh talked about “Integrated Project Innovations” such as “Dynamic Review”  that translates to Bentley Transmittal Services that are built on ProjectWise transmittals. This also includes ProjectWise integration for Revit 2013, ProjectWise integration for Civil 3D 2013, and the new Project Dashboards to be available next year, enabling users to create their own dashboards. With this dashboard users will be able to use industry standards and i-models.

The Bentley product ConstructSim heavily leverages i-models as it is a model -based work package creation. The visualization engine in ConstructSim is Navigator.

For mobile devices Information mobility apps the heavy lifting will take place on a server.

Virtual Word vs. Physical World

Greg Bentley described the “physical world” as that of budgeting systems and scheduling. This is an area that also spans from graphics and engineering data.

The “virtual world” holds things like virtual positioning for ProjectWise, taking advantage of the sensor technology brought into Bentley by companies such as Ivara and Trimble, a picture that will fill out more as this conferences progresses.

Intergraph settles 8-year lawsuit with Bentley Systems for $200M

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The following article in this week’s Huntsville Times settled a matter that many thought had been settled long ago:

Intergraph Settles $200M suit with Bentley Systems

HUNTSVILLE, AL — An eight-year lawsuit between the former Intergraph Corp. and Pennsylvania-based software maker Bentley Systems has been settled for nearly $200 million, according to court documents.

The settlement is among the largest in Madison County history, court watchers said.

As part of a settlement agreed upon last month, Cobalt BSI Holding, which bought Intergraph in 2006, will sell back to Bentley its 15.6 million shares of Bentley stock, at a purchase price of just over $12 per share, totaling about $198 million, according to court documents. In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt for $2.1 billion.

The settlement total includes $9.9 million in fees and expenses awarded to Cobalt’s attorneys, including Bartley Loftin III of Huntsville and his firm, Maynard Cooper & Gale.

Intergraph sold its civil engineering products to Bentley in 2000 and the deal included proceeds from maintenance contracts.

In 2002 the companies began their long courtroom skirmish, with Intergraph challenging how much Bentley owed it from a promissory note and Bentley countersuing in connection with Intergraph’s handling of the maintenance contracts.

As part of the settlement, both sides agreed not to issue press releases about the agreement or otherwise publicly discuss the case, except to note the agreement was “consensually resolved.”

A settlement hearing before Circuit Judge Tom King, from Jefferson County, who gave preliminary approval to the deal in December, will be Feb. 10 at the Madison County Courthouse.

-Huntsville Times

In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt BSI Holding for $2.1 billion.

One question that arose among those of us who have followed Intergraph since the days when Bentley Systems was owned by Intergraph, is: does Intergraph still own 30 percenet of Bentley Systems, and if so, how is Bentley affected by the recent news of this acquisition?

In an AECCafe Today blog, on July 13, 2010, Chris Barron, vice president of corporate marketing for Bentley, responded:  ”As a privately held company, Bentley does not routinely report on the identity of its minority stockholders or the stockholders or the size of their holdings. However, in response to your question, we can advise you that the Bentley shares previously held by Intergraph were transferred to an affiliate of its private equity owners following its going private transaction in 2006 and we have no indications that those shares are part of the sale to Hexagon.” 

Clearly much of what has gone on with Intergraph and Bentley has occurred under wraps and the two companies have agreed not to issue press releases or publicly discuss the case.

Free downloads

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

A preview standalone version of Bentley’s Generative Components design software no longer requires MicroStation for installation. You can download it at no charge. 

Bentley’s Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM) tools -ISM Structural Synchronizer v8i (shared repository of common structural model data) and ISM Structural Dashboard v8i (manages workflows for common project types) are available for free download.

 

There is also an ISM Revit plug-in v8i for integrating Revit Structure and Architectural models with Structural Synchronizer v8i.

Bentley press conference, Wednesday, October 20

Monday, October 25th, 2010

CEO Greg Bentley held a press briefing on October 20 at the Be Inspired event in Amsterdam, where he made several announcements: one being the launch of the Bentley Infrastructure 500 – modeled after Fortune 500 – which would identify Bentley customers who are especially successful. Bentley said their business represents $13 trillion in revenue.

 

This determination is made based on reported net tangible fixed assets – the balance sheet view of the infrastructure. “ 

 

These are some of the facts about the companies:

 

- 92 of top 100 are Bentley Subscribers

- 61 of the top 100 have adopted ProjectWise

- 40 of the top 100 have adopted Navigator

 

Most top candidates are private companies, coming from geographically diverse locations – all over the world. 

 

The economy is a player in this situation – during a year like this one, the exchange rate is volatile. Many public entities are valued based on cost and others may be valued for what they could sell for. Because of the economy, many infrastructure companies have been working off backlog and have been resourceful in this way. Bentley said this may coincide with employment statistics.

 

He went on to say that “flat” pretty much describes Bentley’s financial growth right now.

 

Revenues went down almost 10% in 2009. In 2010 to date, revenues have been reported to be “within sight of 2008 revenues. By the end of the year  Bentley predicts their run rate will be back to what it was before 2009. “Maybe our organic growth is the new growth,” he said.

 

New Bentley products coming up:  

 

- The V8i portfolio extends through various disciplines and operations.

 

- OpenPlant Modeler extends breadth of applications offerings.

 

- Navigator v8i addresses information modeling in construction – constructors want to resolve conflicts with “dynamic collaboration”. New functionality in upcoming release will deliver bidirectional schedule synchronization with Microsoft Project or Primavera and introduces new markup templates.

 

- Interest in 3D cities requires the ability to relate information together in a BIM model.

 

- Civil Engineer for Geotechnical Analysis passport subscription – geotechnical professionals will get to pick from a variety of modules from a dashboard – cantilever wall, spread footing, slope stability, etc.

 

- ProjectWise v8i SelectSeries 3 introduces a Navigator web part to view i-models in a browser or SharePoint 2010 web parts.

 

- ProjectWise Dynamic Plot v8i SelectSeries 2 enables dynamic plots to be published from PDFs as well as from DGNS and DWGs.

 

-ConstructSIM will be integrated with ProjectWise Navigator in the next release.

 

- Bentley Substation v8i is a standalone application with deeper integration with ProjectWise to increase enterprise support for i-models. It also includes embedded point cloud capability.

-           

- Bentley Pipe Renewal Planner

Be Inspired Tuesday morning

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

This morning in Amsterdam, the weather alternated between sun, clouds and rain. At the Hotel Okura, COO Malcom Walter welcomed attendees to Bentley’s Be Inspired Conference, an event that recognizes outstanding infrastructure projects around the world. Attendees came from all over the world to see presentations by competition finalists. 

 

Walter showed a video of the first miner in the Chilean mine disaster as he was brought to the surface to emphasize the human side to infrastructure.

 

The Netherlands is known for its infrastructure – the very existence of the country has depended on windmills and dykes that keep land and sea separate. Walter said that without infrastructure to pump water and keep it in bay, everything would be under water.

 

This year there will be video recordings of the finalists’ presentations available on the Bentley website.

 

CEO Greg Bentley talked about resilience and helping the world be more resilient. “We define infrastructure as the way we improve our planet,” he said. 

 

He showed some slides that highlighted the use of Bentley products through out the recession. Bentley pointed out that after the recession hit, there have been more people in front of MicroStation, and although that might be good in some ways, it also means that people are working more hours now.

 

Other facts:

1)New countries are now reporting usage that weren’t before this year.

 

2) Bentley has seen growth in Europe’s MicroStation utilization hours. 

 

3) Asia has never had a recession.

 

4) Infrastructure and plant have had a hard time sustaining growth, geospatial and civil has had some growth. 

 

5) Bentley has achieved some growth in 2010.

 

6) Projectwise passport adoption has grown greatly in 2010 and is used by the majority of top Design 100 firms.

 

7) Bentley is ranked #2 in the geospatial market according to Daratech.

 

8) Bentley is ranked #1 in plant & process market according to Daratech.

 

8) Dutch municipalities – over 50% use Bentley technology for urban planning, road design, GIS and mapping workflows.

 

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