When compiling this group of predictions, I looked back on what I had tagged for 2011 as predictions going forward. Some of those are still on the list, others are new.
Posts Tagged ‘Bentley’
Just released – V8i (SELECTseries 1) versions of Bentley Map, Bentley Descartes, Bentley Geospatial Server, and Bentley Geo Web Publisher further extend this portfolio to include new 3D City GIS capabilities.
This functionality is said to enable governments to perform urban planning, noise simulation, shadow analysis, natural disaster mitigation, public relationship management, and 3D analysis and design.
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.
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 percent 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.
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
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.
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) Dutch municipalities – over 50% use Bentley technology for urban planning, road design, GIS and mapping workflows.
In my recent GISWeekly report on Bentley’s Be Inspired Awards and Symposium product announcements, I neglected to mention the product PowerMap, which will enhnace the MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 1 technology but is a standalone product.
Company product description is as follows: “Bentley PowerMap is a full-featured standalone GIS designed to address the unique and challenging needs of organizations that map, plan, design, build, and operate the world’s infrastructure. It enhances underlying MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 1) technology to power precision geospatial data creation, maintenance, and analysis. Users can easily integrate data from a wide variety of sources into engineering and mapping workflows. Multiple data types with varying coordinate systems are transformed “on-the-fly” as they are added to a session. Powerful analytical and presentation tools allow for detailed analysis, studies and decision support.”
Bentley is holding a new event, the Bentley Be Inspired Infrastructure Symposium, in Charlotte, North Carolina this coming week. The event will showcase the Bentley BE Awards which are usually announced at the annual BE Conference, which was not held this year. This year, the awards ceremony is by invitation only and will also give attendees the opportunity to speak with finalists in executive roundtable settings.
I’ll be in Charlotte Monday through Wednesday of next week and will be reporting from there.
Trade user conference attendance has been light this year, to say the least. As a result, trade conference organizers for individual vendors have taken different routes to get their product message out to their users. Some vendors have posted videos of their keynotes and some technical sessions. Bentley Systems opted to cancel their live BE User Conference in favor of what they call “Bentley Connected,” an online offering of content featuring best practices presentations by users and other industry leaders.
In conversation with Chris Barron, vice president for corporate marketing, Barron noted that in a live conference, they had all this “terrific content” but the conference was over within the week and they didn’t have a program to promote the content even after they posted it online.
“When we were planning our conference for this year, we lined up more great speakers but we were also hearing from a lot of people in the industry among our users, that their travel budgets were being cut this year,” Barron explained. “We started to think about what we could do to extend the reach of this good content that was being developed and make it available to a much wider audience rather than the 2,000 people who might be able to attend a physical conference.”
What came of it was the BE Connected conference, in operation since the third week in June. “We have about 150 seminars lined up and about two-thirds of those are Best Practices, the other one-third are presented by Bentley colleagues, generally about specific products.” Barron assured that the presentations were all “educational” not just sales pitches. BE Connected is an attempt to users keep up with trends in the industry and best practices and find out what’s happening with technology without the expense of traveling to a conference.
Every week 6-9 new seminars are added to the website. Live Q&A has been made available on demand, after the initial streaming of the presentation. This way an audience in different parts of the world can access the presentations when it’s convenient for them.
“We are tracking what seminars people have attended, and keeping a transcript that’s available to them so they can track their own professional development through the process,” added Barron.
The content is arranged around different tracks: bridges, roads, power generation, building structures and building energy performance, BIM.
Will the BE Conference return in the future? “This is a response to the economy this year, but we are planning to have a face-to-face conference in the future,” Barron replied. “But I also think we will continue to have this element of outreach and education as an ongoing fixture in terms of our web community.”
Barron said Bentley is seeking ways to leverage new technology in different ways. In the future, presentations may become case studies, or become discussion topics on their community site, or generate ideas for future seminars. “It’s all about reusing content and making it available as widely as possible.”
They are also working on language presentations for geographic regions that are underserved such as China and Brazil.
My take on the user conference situation:
The new element of outreach is definitely a value add for Bentley and their users. The content on the site is rich and will serve attendees well. However, it would seem there is no replacement for face-to-face contact, nor the commitment of being at a conference and trying to make the most of your time there.
What I have found at the user conferences I’ve attended this year is that users really feel the user conference experience is valuable – valuable enough that for some bigger conferences, some attendees are willing to pay their own way to attend when their companies don’t have the budget for it.
The act of making a plane and hotel reservation, organizing the time away from the office, places an attendee in a particular position of focus for the event. Visiting a website, although valuable, is not going to have the same takeaway value.
Perhaps one way of bridging this gap would be to have periodic announcements of what is being featured on venues such as BE Connected, so that attendees would not need to remember to see if there was something upcoming that they were interested in.
Check it out: http://connected.bentley.com/