Software innovations benefit construction planning

Bentley Systems remains bullish with a healthy financial performance and continued investment in research and development, reports Mike Woof. The State Geological Institute of Dionyz Stur in Slovakia won an award in the Bentley Systems Be Inspired event's geotechnical category for an innovative project to log and analyse an area of the country's geology. As a leading player in the construction software sector, Bentley Systems is benefiting from growth in infrastructure investment worldwide. And despite the
Measurement, Survey, Design & Software / February 9, 2012
Geotechnical diagram
The State Geological Institue of Dionyz Stur in Slovakia won an award in the Bentley Systems Be Inspired event's geotechnical category for an innovative project to log and analyse an area of the country's geoogy
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Bentley Systems remains bullish with a healthy financial performance and continued investment in research and development, reports Mike Woof

The State Geological Institute of Dionyz Stur in Slovakia won an award in the 4019 Bentley Systems Be Inspired event's geotechnical category for an innovative project to log and analyse an area of the country's geology

As a leading player in the construction software sector, Bentley Systems is benefiting from growth in infrastructure investment worldwide. And despite the economic troubles that have affected the western world and hit construction in some markets, Bentley Systems remains in a strong position in 2010. The firm recently ran its Be Inspired user conference and software awards programme in Amsterdam this year, achieving a record attendance from industry professionals. Speaking at the event, Greg Bentley CEO of the firm said, "I'm surprised at the resilience of our business in the world." The healthy infrastructure sector is offering a huge potential for the future. Bentley said, "There is more intelligent infrastructure than ever before, and more private investment is coming to infrastructure than ever before. This investment in infrastructure can underline our growth." That said, the company did see its revenue for 2009 fall below that of the previous year and Bentley said, "We were not able to quite sustain our growth in 2009." However he said that the firm's turnover did not fall far from the previous year. The company also continued with its acquisition programme, amongst the most notable of which were the purchase of UK-based EXOR and that of 1609 ENTERPRISE Bridge. Another cornerstone of Bentley's investment is its spending on research and development, still pegged at 20% of turnover. Several new features will further improve its ProjectWise V8i package, as well as its transportation software for example.

While North America and Europe have been hit hard by the business downturn, Bentley has seen growth elsewhere in the world. Bentley said, "In Asia there has not been a setback in the economy." And he added, "In 2010 we have achieved some growth." Compared with its rivals, Bentley believes it has performed well during the economic downturn and has even managed to grow market share. Bentley said, "I am confident we can overtake our competitor's market share in the coming years. We believe V8i has lots of benefits over the competitors." And he added, "We at Bentley are leaders in engineering software." In GIS, the firm has also made important progress and Bentley said, "In the GIS geospatial area we are the worldwide no2. That puts us in an excellent place to apply digital information." The company's strong position amongst leading engineering firms places it in a good position for future growth too. For example, its Bentley navigator product has been adopted by 51 of the 100 largest Top 500 Design Firms and 34 of the Top 100 Design-Build Firms listed by Engineering News Record (ENR). Similarly its ProjectWise V8i product is now used by 71 of the 100 largest ENR Top 500 Design Firms and 34 of the ENR Top 100 Design-Build firms.

A key part of Bentley's software development is in ensuring effective compatibility between its software products and with technology packages from other firms such as 2122 Trimble and 342 Topcon. This allows a ready flow of data between these software systems so that design models from Bentley can be placed directly into Trimble or Topcon packages to run machine control equipment on earthmoving machines for instance.

Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president at Bentley Systems said, "All our packages are built on a single platform and they bring information together in a unified environment. Our team continues to deliver innovation and maintain compatibility." Singh added that the V8i software suite has been particularly successful, "We've had a tremendous take-up of V8i." The latest software improvements add versatility to the Bentley products. Singh said, "We have new tools to allow you to create traffic applications. Point cloud data can now go straight into the system and we focus on large datasets. Rather than struggling with the move from 2D to 3D, users find this more useful." A new model documentation package is currently at the beta testing stage and this will be available next year. Singh added, "Integration of data products is the key." He continued, "Simulation in the context of dynamic modelling leads to better design." And Singh explained that the latest products offer far better capabilities for potential issues such as clash detection and that in dynamic synchronisation, this means these clashes can be avoided from the start. This delivers a major benefit when it comes to the construction phase as potential design contradictions between features of a project can be determined prior to earth being dug or concrete being poured for example, reducing the cost of troubleshooting and amending issues on-site.

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