What could be happening between Bentley and Trimble?

This looks like my predictions on the innocents’ day, but is not the case. A few hours ago has been notified formally a partnership agreement from which we heard something at the backstage, and that leaves us thinking of what might be happening between the two companies Bentley Systems and Trimble Dimensions.

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We are aware that it is an irreversible trend the fusion between the geospatial information management and data capture technologies. We already saw that with the other side, where Intergraph, Erdas and Leica are consolidated in the European giant that represents Hexagon, with special priority in remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems.

Now we see something similar in the American giant, Trimble, who was eating all equipment manufacturers, among the last what remained of Ashtech, Magellan, Spectra and now a strong approach with Bentley that born and grew up making Intergraph overshadowing but which achieved position in the geo-engineering field.

Nothing says they are doing a merger, but no one denies that many things begin as well. By Trimble’s aggressiveness and Bentley’s situation, we could see in a few years an interesting model of field data management, linked to the integration cycle represented by Project Wise and Asset Wise, on a platform that although has not a high proportion in the market as AutoDesk has, it has a strategic business level in the field of Civil engineering and plant. And although companies are independent, proximity benefits us all, approaching construction and its perquisites (topography, maintenance, environment…) with the design and its matters.

Steve Berglund, CEO of Trimble said something quite shallow but clear if we read and suspect what is really behind.

Trimble aims to provide our clients, world-class positioning solutions, integrated, which enable them to collect, manage and analyze complex information faster and easier. Our collaboration with Bentley represents for engineers and contractors, a greater understanding of the construction problems and improved solutions in terms of positioning. It will also reinforce the model application in which field information and Cabinet’s are no longer seen as isolated thing.

Meanwhile, Greg Bentley said:

By working with Trimble, whose breakthrough technologies are used by many of our partner organizations, only leads us to provide greater benefits in construction processes that could not be offered independently. In particular, the geolocation in Bentley applications has become a standard that sooner or later would lead us closer to the real working space: field.

In addition to the series of events that preceded the merger of Intergraph with Erdas and Leica, they are three points which we should not discard, and that marked a starting milestone for Bentley:

  • 1.  The Wise Asset’s portfolio exit which gives the information a fourth dimension respect of time as well as infrastructure work monitoring and dreamed field (BIM) objects in I-model. Despite being interesting, is not easy to sell to ordinary users (as seems to be achieving by Revit) but under a partnership like this in which Bentley is close to field and Trimble has a spatial viewer.
  • 2. Pointools work which led to compatibility technology acquisition with almost any data capture platform (Included Revit), and for now offered by Bentley with Descartes, but that has potential beyond the Engineering field and remote sensors.
  • 3. The possibility that can not be ruled out, to start thinking about who will continue the work of three brothers visionary life, that one day should be retiring … to live from their effort, confident that what cost a lot is left in good hands and survives the stock market crashes.

So, the Be Inspired will surely be littered with innovations that Bentley expects to show this year: Descartes with more applications for handling clouds of points and remote sensing, enhanced applications for iPad and Android now, the I-model strengthened in practical applications and more engineering with focus on smart infrastructure projects. All of this, smoked, as these friends like to.

This fact of businesses that come and go, it’s like an old game of salad fruit and missing chairs. When it comes to money and sustainability, everyone breaks his pride, that’s the reason the news brings us positive expectations, but also leaves us prospects without vanishing points in view:

Who remains lonely?

In the East, SuperGeo, the ESRI of Asia, with the help of ZatocaConnect taking its first version in Spanish, Topcon+Sokkia (with good positioning in America) plus a few Chinese giants that do not sound in this context yet but have invasive nature so as to be aware. Oh, I forgot Mapinfo hidden in the thousands of things that Pitney Bowes makes.

In the West, AutoDesk with a mastery of the CAD market, much closer to the design software (Adobe) and hardware (Hewlett Packard and others). And ESRI, that has an enviable positioning in GIS, in many countries very close to Trimble – GeoEye.

All with strong positioning in their fields, but with consideration to what previous mergers represent, especially when it comes to sustainability in stock markets crisis so vulnerable as evidenced by a hurricane.

What else can be expecting from Trimble – Bentley?

Honestly I’m not sure, but I’ll know in a week with some accuracy.

What we are absolutely certain, is that users of both technologies will leave winners.

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