Products & Technology, Digitalisation, Technology and IT

Bentley and the infrastructure of tomorrow

Bentley Systems is seeking to deliver rail infrastructure via a series of strategic market acquisitions.

GLOBAL pandemic has proved no barrier to growth for infrastructure software specialist Bentley Systems.

Recent acquisitions by the group, as reported by Rail Express, include the proposed acquisition of  Kiwi software business Seequent and Brisbane field-based construction specialist E7 Pty Ltd. In the first half of 2020, it also brought in GroupBC, a global software and digital twin provider.

As a recap, Bentley Systems provides innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure, its solutions being used by professionals, and organisations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit among others.

The acquisition of E7 adds capabilities to Bentley’s comprehensive project delivery solution that helps civil contractors meet the schedule and budget requirements of infrastructure investment programs.

E7 helps organisations achieve greater resource utilisation and field productivity through mobile and web interfaces that transform manual, field-based tasks into digital workflows. E7’s flexible daily cost capture methods will extend Bentley’s SYNCHRO construction modelling, project management and reporting, task management, voice-based field data capture, and automation capabilities to create a comprehensive 4D construction digital twin solution.

“Visibility into field resource utilisation is key to project profitability,” said Dustin Parkman, vice president, project delivery, Bentley Systems.

“The addition of E7 to Bentley’s SYNCHRO digital construction delivery solution complements our industry-leading 4D construction modelling with field-based resource management tools that are essential for heavy civil contractors.

“This new combination makes possible a truly comprehensive digital construction delivery solution for heavy civil contractors everywhere.”

The big picture

Speaking with Rail Express, Brian Middleton, vice president at Bentley Systems ANZ, talked of an improved economic outcome post-COVID.

“Infrastructure drives economic growth and we will see that infrastructure investment occurring post-COVID and much of it already has been announced, certainly in Australia,” he said.

“Our job is to address the challenges of the people who use our software to deliver that infrastructure.”

And why is that important?

“Well simply because you can’t do much without infrastructure,” Middleton said.

“From a construction point of view in Australia, construction employs almost 10 per cent of the working population and is 7.2 per cent of our GDP. So construction is a massive part of our economy and historically we haven’t been particularly efficient in the way that we do that.”

Middleton said there was much going on and many opportunities to improve.

“The construction contracting and the skills’ gap and the capability and that’s where I think the E7 acquisition really comes into play from a Bentley point of view,” he said.

“We’re talking about the lifting of the skills’ base or making it easier for people to use technology to improve outcomes, whether social, environmental or economic.”

Some interesting examples of Bentley projects can be viewed here.