Trimble Acquires Meridian for their Construction Site Strategy
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Trimble Acquires Meridian for their Construction Site Strategy


Welcome to AECWeekly! In the past two weeks, publicly-held Trimble has entered into two separate agreements to acquire two companies 1) privately held Meridian Project Systems, Inc. of Folsom, Calif. in an all cash transaction. Meridian Systems provides enterprise project management and lifecycle software for optimizing the plan, build and operate lifecycle for real estate, construction and other physical infrastructure projects. 2) privately-held XYZ Solutions, Inc., of Alpharetta, Georgia, in an all-cash transaction. XYZ Solutions provides real-time, interactive 3D intelligence software to manage the spatial aspects of a construction project. Read about the Meridian acquisition in this week’s Industry News.

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Industry News

Trimble Acquires Meridian for their Construction Site Strategy
by Susan Smith

In the past two weeks, publicly-held Trimble has entered into two separate agreements to acquire two companies 1) privately held Meridian Project Systems, Inc. of Folsom, Calif. in an all cash transaction. Meridian Systems provides enterprise project management and lifecycle software for optimizing the plan, build and operate lifecycle for real estate, construction and other physical infrastructure projects. 2) privately-held XYZ Solutions, Inc., of Alpharetta, Georgia, in an all-cash transaction. XYZ Solutions provides real-time, interactive 3D intelligence software to manage the spatial aspects of a construction project.

In this article we will focus on the acquisition of Meridian, but the acquisition of both companies shows Trimble’s commitment to the construction industry in a big way. Is this something new? Jim Veneziano, general manager of the Construction Division at Trimble said it’s not. “We’ve been talking about construction site strategy for over 10 years. Over the last six or seven years you can see a lot of the pieces from our acquisitions supporting that. Some were for technology, or domain experience, but all of them support this connected site strategy we've been working on for awhile.

Trimble’s Dimensions Conference is going on this week, and Veneziano said that the conference is dedicated to the connected site.

Prolog, Meridian’s industry leader for project management for the contractor, fits nicely with what Trimble has been doing in construction. “One thing Meridian has not been able to do is get a strong international reach,” noted Veneziano. “Trimble can give them that. They also have Proliance, an enterprise wide solution that allows owners to manage their infrastructure all the way from the design phase to operate phase, so it acts as a glue to manage the entire lifecycle of a construction phase, whether building or highway projects. Right now they focus primarily on buildings, but when we bring that technology in to the highway, we can apply it to all infrastructure.

There are many synergies between the two organizations. As Trimble is very prominent in the heavy highway market, Meridian will be able to sell into that customer base. Trimble’s product offerings include data, devices and positioning field technology which could integrate with Meridian’s products in the future. Approximately 44 percent of Trimble’s revenues come from outside North America, whereas 95 percent of Meridian’s revenues are generated in North America.

Meridian’s president and co/founder John Bodrozic helped start Meridian in 1993. During the span between 1993 and 2000, they launched Prolog Manager for the AEC market. From 2000-2006 were the investment years, and with that capital, Meridian launched the ASP model ProjectTalk and the enterprise application Proliance. Sales and marketing focus increased beyond AEC to include selling directly to owners.

“Now, we really look at the Trimble acquisition as the next phase of Meridian’s lifecycle, trying to take all the assets we’ve developed and grow it on a much bigger, faster scale,” explained Bodrozic.

Will all the staff remain with Meridian throughout this acquisition? “Pretty much,” said Bodrozic. “Trimble’s acquisition model with Meridian is that Meridian will be a fully owned subsidiary of Trimble and we’ll continue to operate under the Meridian systems brand. We’re going to still keep our corporate offices in Folsom, Calif. where we do our sales and marketing, and primary development in Vancouver, British Columbia. All the employees will make the transition. We get the financial backing of a big, publicly held company that is global in nature, we’re going to be reporting up through their engineering and construction group, and we get to continue to operate under the Meridian brand and move forward with the same vision we had prior to the acquisition."

Sometimes when software companies get acquired, especially if they’re acquired by another software company, there is product overlap between the acquiring company products and the acquired company’s products. “That usually creates some measure of uncertainty for those customers because they’re wondering which product is going to live and what is the acquiring company going to do when they merge these products together? PeopleSoft buys JD Edwards and Oracle buys PeopleSoft, and everyone is wondering what’s going to happen to their investment in products?” Bodrozic said.

Although Meridian and Trimble share some existing customers, there aren’t many. “We don’t have to go through that level of morphing of products,” said Bodrozic. “Under the Trimble umbrella, there is no overlap between Meridian’s products and their products, so the product vision continues for our two key products, Prolog and Proliance, and Trimble wants the vision of both those products to continue as it was prior to the acquisition."

Trimble’s planning and analysis software could ultimately get leveraged with Meridian’s downstream project management software.

Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances

Sage Software and iLumen announced an agreement to make the iLumen Financial Information Network available to Sage Timberline Office and Sage Master Builder clients. The iLumen Network is the nation's largest online financial benchmarking community for privately-held companies.

Deltek, provider of enterprise management software for project-focused organizations, announced that TRC Companies, Inc., an environmental, engineering and consulting firm providing technical, financial, risk management and construction services nationwide to many industries, has licensed Deltek Vision(R), an enterprise software solution designed specifically to accommodate project-based firms of all sizes. The initial multi-year agreement is valued at nearly $2 million in software and services.

Trimble announced that it has acquired privately-held XYZ Solutions, Inc., of Alpharetta, Georgia, in an all-cash transaction. XYZ Solutions provides real-time, interactive 3D intelligence software to manage the spatial aspects of a construction project. The software transforms data from various sources into actionable information that can be used in the decision making process to reduce rework and improve productivity for engineering and construction professionals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cyon Research announced the sale of two of its highly successful publishing outlets to Tangra Solutions, LLC. CADwire.net, a widely read online resource of news and analysis of CAD technologies and business, and the Targeted Advertising Consortium (TAC), will now be operated by Tangra Solutions, a company founded by Rick Stavanja, CADwire.net’s editor-in-chief and former VP and CTO of Cyon Research.

LaborLogix, the Enterprise Project, Portfolio, and Performance Management enablement software company, announced that it has earned certified technology partner status with Primavera Systems, Inc., the leader in project, resource and portfolio management. This certification assures customers that the extended solution provided by LaborLogix will easily integrate with Primavera solutions to improve business process automation and deliver better results.

Announcements

The BE Careers Network launched the 2007 BE Awards of Excellence student competition. Four winners will receive BE Awards and scholarships during BE Conference 2007, taking place April 29-May 3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The competition is broken into two categories: college/university and middle school/high school.

For more information on the 2007 BE Awards of Excellence student competition, go to BE Awards.

Autodesk, Inc. announced design firms such as GMJ Design, Paul Steelman Design and Neoscape are using Autodesk 3ds Max software to create 3D architectural visualizations that help them win competitive bids, generate project stakeholder support and complete large portions of project design in the proposal stages. Autodesk's architectural software portfolio includes AutoCAD, Autodesk Architectural Desktop, Autodesk Revit Building, Autodesk VIZ and the 3ds Max animation, modeling and rendering product.

In early September 2001, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Compaq announced plans to merge. At the time, IDC predicted the two companies would be better off together in a logical response to the forces of hardware commoditization and industry consolidation that were already underway. In the five years since the announcement, the two companies have successfully completed a massive integration effort and moved the combined company forward to new revenue and profit levels.

A new study from IDC looks at how HP and Compaq met the challenges of integration and the progress the company has made since the merger was formalized in May 2002. Meridian Systems announced registration for its 2007 User Conference. Taking place in beautiful San Diego, California, April 24-26, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, the conference is expected to draw more than 350 Meridian customers, business partners, and staff in forums for information exchange and professional networking.
Registration is now open for interested customers here.

People

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that Bentley Building's director of research, Robert Aish, Ph.D., was presented the 2006 Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) Society Award at the association's recent conference. The award recognizes extraordinary contributions and service to the ACADIA community.

Among Dr. Aish's most notable contributions are research and development that resulted in GenerativeComponents. This important innovation gives designers and engineers new ways to efficiently and quickly explore alternative design options without recreating the design model for each scenario.

New Products

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC), a leader in content visualization, secure publishing and collaboration technology, announces the release of Brava!(R) Desktop 1.3, the company's Windows desktop executable for multi-format view, annotation, redaction, secure publishing and printing. Brava Desktop is part of the Brava visualization and annotation/markup product line, which includes Brava Enterprise, Brava Desktop, Brava Reader and Brava SDK (Software Developer's Kit).

Informative Graphics Corporation (IGC) announced the release of its latest Free DWG Viewer, version 5.4. Free DWG Viewer is based on IGC's Brava!(R) Desktop technology, and features open, view and measure support for AutoCAD DWG, DWF, DXF and IGC's secure CSF format.

CADopia, a provider of professional CAD software, has added the ability for engineers to access and download millions of manufacturer specific CAD drawings from ThomasNet.com and directly insert them into their own design using its industry standard software.

CADopia version 6 SP3 Standard Edition with direct insert support now features parts from more than 150 leading manufacturers affiliated with ThomasNet.com, seamlessly providing users with the largest library of CAD drawings available.

Seemage, Inc. announced a competitive trade-up offer for users of ITEDO Software’s IsoDraw®, IsoView® and IsoCompose®. With this special offer, ITEDO users now have more reason than ever to fully leverage 3D CAD data to create rich deliverables more easily than ever before.

Cimmetry Systems Corporation, an Agile Software company, announced the immediate availability of AutoVue v 19.1 Client-Server, Web Edition for Microsoft(TM) SharePoint 2003. The combination of AutoVue and SharePoint provides a quick, low-cost way to implement a web-based project collaboration platform.

COINS Ti 2.1 is the newest release of SHAKER's COINS Ti Construction Industry Software. All COINS Ti clients now have access to completed Payroll module features such as user-definable time card entry screens and Payroll Argon (the embedded Business Intelligence software included within COINS Ti modules). This release features nearly 200 enhancements, including new reports such as the Inventory Turnover and Cost Code Labor Productivity reports, a new utility program to change unposted work orders, a new Unposted Work Order Backup Report that shows pre.billing work order information, a new way to realize the costs of materials as incurred costs, and enhanced tools for managing user-specific controls in COINS Ti.

Around the Web

Wearing Their Hearts on Their Hard Hats, by Robin Pogrebin, November 6, 2006, The New York Times (registration required) - 13 architects in training at Parsons the New School for Design volunteered for six weeks of such rugged work in hurricane-ravaged Mississippi.

The October 30 issue of McGraw-Hill Construction's Engineering News-Record (ENR) features an interview with senior staff from Bechtel Corp. that captures first-hand Bechtel's views about the challenges of infrastructure repair around the country. ENR editors were the first to be debriefed by Bechtel, as the firm ended its self-imposed silence after closing out its operations there and turning over maintenance duties to the Iraqis.

Upcoming Events

After Architecture After
Date: October 13 - November 19, 2006
Place: Antwerp, Belgium
In addition to presenting architects, every year deSingel also exhibits an artist who has a close affinity with architecture. In a large exhibition, this artist sheds light on architecture from new, unexpected angles. After the exhibitions 'Alphavilles? Tropicalisation!' (Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, 2004) and 'Iconocity' (Aglaia Konrad, 2005) it is now the turn of Jo‘lle Tuerlinckx (b. 1958, Brussels) to outline her views on architecture. The title, 'After Architecture After' refers to the second stage of perception, the image retained on our retina. And also to the fragile state of architecture itself. How do we see certain things? When do we see them, if we see them at all? And if we see them, what do they conjure up? Objects that lie around, shadows, noise, reflections of light, markings, etc. In short, a lot of what is visible but is often not seen determines Tuerlinckx' work and her thoughts on architecture. This is far from being her first exhibition. She has previously exhibited at documenta XI in Kassel (2002) and has had solo exhibitions at the Renaissance Society in Chicago (2003), the Badischer Kunstverein (2004) and The Drawing Center in New York (2006). 'After Architecture After' is her first major project in Belgium since 1999 exhibition at the SMAK in Ghent.

SAIE 2006
Date: October 25 - 29, 2006
Place: Bologna Fairground, Piazza Costituzione, Via Aldo Moro e Via Michelino, Bologna, Italy

COMSOL Conference 2006 Las Vegas
Date: October 26 - 27, 2006
Place: Las Vegas, NV USA
Join us to learn about the latest in COMSOL products and applications of COMSOL Multiphysics while networking and getting hands-on training. Take this opportunity to gain the skills you will need to jump-start your modeling projects and save valuable time

Academic Science Buildings 2006
Date: October 26 - 27, 2006
Place: San Diego, CA USA
Here you'll see new breakthrough solutions for getting more college and university science building program (research and teaching) with limited construction dollars. You'll learn how new multi-discipline shared-facilities planning strategies, front-end business and life-cycle cost analysis, user-input processes, and construction contracting formats are yielding high-utilization, high-quality science-building outcomes. Attend Tradeline's 18th academic science buildings conference to assure that you implement the right construction or renovation plan, at the right cost, with the right design details, and with the right overall final performance metrics. Attend to save your institution millions of dollars through new cost-saving options and mistakes avoided for biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biomedical research buildings, nanotechnology facilities, advanced teaching platforms, and more.

MacExpo London 2006
Date: October 26 - 29, 2006
Place: Olympia National Hall, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
The UK’s leading exhibition and conference for the Mac community. With its doors open to both creative professionals and the public the show is the annual celebration of everything Mac and iPod.

DELMIA 2006 Worldwide User Conference: Asia-Pacific
Date: October 30 - November 1, 2006
Place: Yokohama, Japan
Attendees will hear about the latest technology trends to address business challenges faced in today's marketplace and what you need to overcome them with great success. High-level keynote executives from companies that are at the top of their industry will share their views on how digital manufacturing and PLM implementations foster innovation to improve their operations. In addition, experts using DELMIA, the leading digital manufacturing software, present their current projects and successes. Our 2-day conference provides an interactive forum for attendees to have the opportunity to collaborate with DELMIA professionals, ask specific questions in a small group setting and attend Best Practices Workshops to gain important insight into DELMIA solutions. There is also plenty of time to network in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with colleagues from a variety of industries.

HRC Programs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference
Date: October 31 - November 5, 2006
Place: Pittsburgh, PA USA
Every year preservation experts, professionals working in related fields, and community leaders all gather at the National Preservation Conference. Come together to share preservation challenges, successes, new information, and inspiration.

Architecture Exchange East
Date: November 1 - 3, 2006
Place: Richmond, VT USA
The Mid-Atlantic region's largest annual architecture and design conference and expo will be held Nov. 1-3, 2006, in Richmond, featuring keynote speaker Randall Stout, dozens of seminars, and hundreds of product and service exhibitors. For information, call 804-644-3041 or visit www.aiava.org

Nordic COMSOL Conference 2006 Copenhagen
Date: November 1 - 2, 2006
Place: Hotel Scandic Eremitage, Copenhagen, Denmark
Join us to learn about the latest in COMSOL products and applications of COMSOL Multiphysics while networking and getting hands-on training. Take this opportunity to gain the skills you will need to jump-start your modeling projects and save valuable time.

"2006 Fall FLUG Conference"
Date: November 2 - 3, 2006
Place: The Embassy Suites Hotel, Tampa, FL USA
The Florida Local Users Group (FLUG) is hosting its fall meeting at the Embassy Suites

GSDI-9
Date: November 3 - 11, 2006
Place: Diego Portales Convention Center, Santiago, Chile
The theme for the 9th International Conference of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure is Spatial Information: Tool for reducing poverty. GSDI-9 will provide opportunities to participate in and attend plenary sessions, technical sessions, regional discussions groups, workshop, poster sessions and commercial exhibits. Together these activities support a rich environment for knowledge exchange.

Trimble Dimensions 2006
Date: November 6 - 8, 2006
Place: The Mirage, Las Vegas, NV USA
Attendees of Trimble Dimensions 2006 will: Hear from key leaders who will discuss the latest industry issues and market trends Participate in hands-on introductory and advanced product training Attend technical and breakout sessions on applying positioning technology to real world problems to help organization grow their business and maximize return on investment (ROI) Hear from Trimble users focusing on the practical use of technology in surveying, civil engineering, highway and heavy construction, site preparation, and construction vehicle fleet management, as well as other emerging applications Network with worldwide peers to share best practices

Webcast: Making the Move from 2D to 3D
Date: November 7, 2006
Place: Webcast, USA
Log on to these webcasts when our INCAT experts discuss common considerations regarding a move from 2D to 3D design and data management.

2006 CDNLive! Asia Pacific
Date: November 7, 2006
Place: Hsinchu, Taiwan
CDNLive! is a new, global series of technical conferences that brings customers together for face-to-face interactions. At CDNLive! events, you'll have the opportunity to talk with other designers using Cadence technology—and with the Cadence people who develop the technologies to help you face design challenges.

2006 CDNLive! Asia Pacific
Date: November 9, 2006
Place: Beijing, China
CDNLive! is a new, global series of technical conferences that brings customers together for face-to-face interactions. At CDNLive! events, you'll have the opportunity to talk with other designers using Cadence technology—and with the Cadence people who develop the technologies to help you face design challenges.

Animal Research Facilities 2006
Date: November 13 - 14, 2006
Place: San Antonio, TX USA
Getting more animal program capacity from limited capital dollars, improving logistical efficiency (cages, materials, and people), lowering operating costs, and implementing BSL-3 for animal operations are the top animal research facility issues being tackled by research institutions across the country. At Tradeline's 18th annual animal research facilities conference you'll see how these outcomes are being achieved in the latest round of construction and renovation initiatives (private sector, academic, and government) with more efficient space plans, cost-effective equipment investments, and efficient mechanical system designs. You'll also examine new initiatives for work environments, worker safety, and waste handling, plus space and fit-up specifications for specific space types, and strategies for animal facility contracting and commissioning.Register through October 13 2006 SAVE $150 USD

COFES India Summit
Date: November 17 - 18, 2006
Place: Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, India
Sixty-four participants from around the world will converge on New Delhi this November for a once-in-a-lifetime industry event—the COFES India Summit. This free, invitation-only, landmark event will shine a light on how India and other countries will address the software issues facing the world in coming years.

Bentley Community Construction Computing Event 2006
Date: November 22, 2006
Place: London, United Kingdom
Another First For The Bentley Community (UKI). We will be at the Construction Computing Show 2006