August 21, 2006
From Sketch through to Facility Management
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About this Issue .
Welcome to AECWeekly! In July, Nemetschek AG announced the new product generation of Allplan 2006, which provides an integrated solution for architectural design, visualization, civil engineering, quantity takeoff, cost planning, structural design, energy advice, and building services. Read AECWeekly’s interview with Sven Elbl, Business Management for Nemetschek AG, for more about Allplan 2006.
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Susan Smith, Managing Editor
From Sketch through to Facility Management
by Susan Smith
In July, Nemetschek AG
announced the new product generation of Allplan 2006, which provides an integrated solution for architectural design, visualization, civil engineering, quantity takeoff, cost planning, structural design, energy advice, and building services. Sven Elbl, Business Management for Nemetschek AG, spoke with AECWeekly about the product. Nemetschek AG is based in Munich/Berlin, Germany. The North American arm of Nemetschek is based in Columbia, Md. and the product that serves the U.S. market is VectorWorks,
previously in AECWeekly.
AECWeekly: Can you tell me what the usership of Allplan is comprised of? Is it mostly European, or are many in the U.S. using it too?
Sven Elbl: Our Allplan usership is more than 80% percent European, the other approximate 20% lies outside of Europe and contains a small percent of U.S. users who are supported by our U.S. dealer. Since this is not a market we are actively pursuing, it remains a small percent.
AW: Do you have a U.S. office? If not, where in the world are your offices located?
SE: We have our North American office run by VectorWorks. Our U.S. Allplan interests are covered by a U.S. based sales partner, CAD Consulting. Worldwide, we have around 400 sales partners in approximately 140 countries selling Nemetschek products. But, Allplan is our flagship product internationally and most of those sales partners are Allplan sales partners.
AW: Who are some of your customers and what are their uses for the product?
SE: Some names which might be recognizable for US architects: Daimler-Chrysler - one of our largest customers, Hochtief – worldwide building &construction company, EADS- European Aerodynamic Defense System and Stephan Braunfels Architects.
AW: I notice that Allplan has its own website separate from Nemetschek. Can you tell me what the relationship is between those two companies?
I assume you are referring to Nemetschek North American – VectorWorks. Our strategy when we purchased Vectorworks was to be able to offer the American market an American based solution to meet their needs. Nemetschek North America has their own sales channel for Vectorworks and continues to sell their product to their target market, a different segment of the market from the traditional Allplan user.
AW: It appears that Allplan is a building information modeling system. What about it is different from others in the competing marketplace, i.e., Revit, MicroStation, Archicad, etc.?
SE: The module based Allplan covers the whole building process beginning with first sketch through inputting information to the end phase of building and facility management. What makes us different is that we are able to have detailed quantity take-offs, calculations and cost estimations. The main difference is our BIM is not just an animation or visualization model, our building model is a cost management model in the building process.
AW: What are the financials on Allplan for the past quarter?
SE: Please see our latest
financial report financial report available on the Investor Relations pages of our English website.
AW: What are the most common types of problems your customers are trying to solve with Allplan?
SE: Perhaps it is best to say, we have many different target groups. Each target group has
perhaps different issues. I would say a common ground is that many of our customers were unable to solve their problems with a normal product, and were looking for an information based system as they were ready to go beyond the normal limitations of a stand alone CAD product.
Products for our 9 different target groups:
AW: What file format is Allplan based upon?
SE: The Allplan file format is called NDW, Nemetschek Drawing and is a proprietary system.
AW: Is it compatible with other popular CAD file formats such as DWF, DWG, DXF, etc.?
SE: Allplan provides more than 30 different file formats for import and export. Of course DWF, DWG, DXF and DGN are included.
AW: To what do you attribute the success of your product?
SE: The main advantage for our core product Allplan (and its success) lies in its ability to offer not only a single architectural product, but solutions for various users within the building lifecycle itself. Allplan product line covers 9 different target groups which can work together within the design and build process without data conversion, making them a true building modeling system. This is what sets us apart from our competitors.
AW: What is significant about the most recent release?
SE: We had some significant changes in our release for 2006. General Improvements were made to user comfort, usability and speed. But, we also implemented the new IFC standards, these have great significance for continuing our BIM vision.
[Highlighted features include:
- Facade Modeler offers functionality for designing the façade of a building. Allplan wizards with a selection of facade types allow the facade to be modified and changed at any stage during design.
- TUV-certified – Allplan/Allright 2006 Generation has the capability of allowing any tender program available on the market to be connected to CAD planning.
- Tachometer for quantities and costs feature in Generation 2006 enables users to display the current construction costs at any time during planning.]
AW: What is the upgrade path for users and how do new users get started? Training?
SE: Of course we offer many different options to users looking to move from a competitive product such as Web based training, e-learning, written documentation, and consulting and training on the job through local resellers.
Meridian Systems, a provider of enterprise project management software for optimizing capital projects, programs and facilities is pleased to announce the dates for its next user conference, to be held April 24-26, 2007 in sunny San Diego, California at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Meridian conducts a major customer gathering approximately every 12-18 months to facilitate increased product satisfaction and knowledge sharing across its entire customer base.
At this event, conference attendees are able to meet with Meridian executives and technical staff, participate in variety of project management software sessions, earn advanced product certifications, and attend new technology demonstrations. The 2007 user conference will feature several peer networking opportunities, as well as an exhibit pavilion featuring Meridian technology partners offering a variety of solutions and services.
You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.
To read more news, click here.
-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.
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