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Bentley Be Inspired 2012 Conference Report
By Susan Smith
The Bentley Be Inspired 2012 Conference held in Amsterdam at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky this past week assembled some of the best work accomplished by Bentley customers this year to choose the Be Inspired 2012 awards. Customer companies must submit a description and visuals of their projects and from those, finalists are chosen in each category.
The week started with a Press Day on Monday, with most of that information covered in a keynote on Tuesday. This was devoted to Bentley's current vision - a vision that appears to embrace process, that addresses the shifting environment, revealing that there is a great need for people outside the inner circle of design, engineering and structural firms who must access information from BIM models. There is also the need to see these models well into the process, down the road into the operations and maintenance phase of the building lifecycle.
The opening plenary session featured an introduction by COO Malcolm Walters, followed by a keynote by Bentley CEO Greg Bentley.
Greg Bentley’s talk was entitled “Working Smarter, Together, and Accelerating Mobility for Data Acquisition.” He talked about how good infrastructure design sustains our economy and reduces our environmental footprint.
Bentley, unlike some other companies, continues to sell products, which is a refreshing change from "solutions." It isn't a solution until it has solved something, and Bentley focus this conference was more on processes.What you have at the center of many processes are Bentley's ProjectWise and AssetWise, two workhorses that can take care of the management of projects that encompass massive numbers of disciplines, companies and assets. Many of the finalists use those two products to help them keep their workflows organized.
There was not so much conversation about changing users' processes, rather, it seems the company is working toward providing tools that are in keeping with the user's workflows. Of course, there must be some learning curve, but some of the new users are people who want to see just a part of a BIM model or other part of the files associated with a project. They don’t need to learn MicroStation or BIM to be able to do this.
Be Inspired Award Finalist
Innovation in Generative Design
MCA Pune International Cricket Club
Bentley continues their drive to facilitate an easier process for Autodesk users, now by offering the ProjectWise integration for Revit 2013 and ProjectWise integration for Civil 3D 2013. They also offer an easier process for other software users as well. This attention to integration has served Bentley well.
Integration finds another path through the cloud however, and must have developers breathing a sigh of relief. Well, if we can't get it to work this way, just tell them to put it on the cloud.
A big change for Bentley this year was their focus on the mobile market and how that is "consumerizing" the AEC market (Greg Bentley's word). While many have not envisioned MicroStation or BIM as consumer products, perhaps the ability to access a vital part of those offerings - a piece of a model perhaps - will help those consumers appreciate what a great environment it is. Growing awareness is what engages people, the ability to move around in it with some freedom.
“Consumerization,” is the measure of how much invention is coming our way. “The products we’re talking about are industrial,” said Bentley. “We don’t have to invent these technologies – we just have to apply them.”
Consumerization refers to a short cycle for products, economical and accessible everywhere. It is really the first time we have heard Bentley Systems talk about the consumer market, except for the way the mobile market has broadened technology in its aim toward the consumer.
The Bentley Utilization Index shows growth in various industry segments. Asia continues to be a growth area for infrastructure. 2012 has shown reasonable growth widely and unevenly distributed throughout the world, according to Bentley. 47% of application utilization hours are BIM hours.
In a recent report by McGraw Hill, it was determined that there is the expectation in AEC firms that projects will be done in BIM in 2013. Those surveyed believe that ROI in BIM use depends upon the expertise level of those using it.
Bentley introduced the idea of industrial apps from Bentley that will be able to handle huge projects specifically. This takes the form of a ProjectWise or AssetWise passport on any device and gives access to all Bentley apps.
The concept of information mobility (where the information keeps working), vs. information mortality (where information gets stuck where it is and doesn’t get used properly; it is comprised of monolithic data structure, conflicting file formats, opaque information, and enterprise labyrinths) clarifies what can happen to information that has been housed in building information systems and other information systems.
Information mobility was a phrase used throughout the day.
Information Modeling Innovations
Senior vice president of Bentley Software Bhupinder Singh spoke next on Information Modeling innovations. “Since 2009 we have been delivering compatibility updates through the V8i SELECT Series,” he said. “We are most interested in ease of use from the workflow standpoint, how easy is a product to implement in workflow.”
Ways in which this can be accomplished are through ProjectWise, according to Singh, where ProjectWise can contribute to knowledge sharing and view sharing such as spatial view, dependency view and component view.
There are concerns that the right version be used with mobile devices, when we have several different clouds offered, for example. Leaving ProjectWise behind a firewall can exclude someone outside the firewall who needs to access information.
Bentley CONNECT is designed to reach the consumers outside the firewall and enterprises that would like to share their data through a neutral space. An SAAS environment provides Bentley Connections Space that up until now has been serviced with DropBox.
Integrated Project Innovations
Singh talked about “Integrated Project Innovations” such as “Dynamic Review” that translates to Bentley Transmittal Services that are built on ProjectWise transmittals. This also includes ProjectWise integration for Revit 2013, ProjectWise integration for Civil 3D 2013, and the new Project Dashboards to be available next year, enabling users to create their own dashboards. With this dashboard users will be able to use industry standards and i-models.
The Bentley product ConstructSim heavily leverages i-models as it is a model -based work package creation. The visualization engine in ConstructSim is Navigator.
For mobile devices information mobility apps the heavy lifting will take place on a server.
Virtual Word vs. Physical World
Regarding a strategic alliance penned earlier in November between Bentley and Trimble, Bentley talked about how this alliance would further the connection between the physical and virtual environments for infrastructure projects.
Greg Bentley described the “physical world” as that of budgeting systems and scheduling. This is an area that also spans from graphics and engineering data.
The “virtual world” holds things like virtual positioning for ProjectWise, taking advantage of the sensor technology brought into Bentley by companies such as Trimble. In the resulting immersive environment, physical and virtual information can be used to improve and validate on-site construction processes. The seamless exchange of information between the virtual and physical can be achieved by utilizing a selection of Trimble’s field positioning technologies, such as robotic total stations, 3D laser scanners, and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) positioning solutions, and Bentley’s information modeling software – with work sharing and dynamic feedback being securely managed in ProjectWise .
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-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.