Every couple of years there is a burst of M&A (merger and acquisition) activity among construction technology providers. Companies like Autodesk and Trimble have long had an M&A strategy that we have covered in depth here at Constructech. Now, it seems Bentley Systems is also making many big moves, some of which includes acquisitions.
Last week, Cohesive, an independently operated, digital integrator business unit of Bentley Systems, announced the acquisition of MaximoCon, a Brazil-based consultancy specializing in technical services for IBM Maximo, which is IBM’s enterprise asset management solution.
This is a big move for the construction industry. MaximoCon has worked with Cohesive on a variety of global Maximo systems integration projects, offering both technical and functional senior-level expertise to Maximo implementations. MaximoCon will operate as an integral part of Cohesive in the future.
Through the 2020 and 2021 combination of several acquisitions of industry leading advisory and consultancy businesses, Bentley Systems formed the digital integrator business, now newly branded as Cohesive, to advise and support infrastructure owner-operators in their digital transformations.
Cohesive partners with clients to develop their digital strategies spanning the full infrastructure asset lifecycle, upgrade their enterprise environments, leverage digitalization, and drive better ESG (environmental, social, and governance) outcomes around efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.
The new addition of MaximoCon will enable Cohesive to expand its technical and functional delivery of resources, activating more teams and increasing depth in skill for enterprise asset management projects.
Also, last week, Bentley Acceleration Initiatives announced the acquisition of eagle.io, which is a provider of cloud-based environmental IoT (Internet of Things) platform. This will help Bentley augment its infrastructure IoT offerings and expand its footprint in the Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Pacific regions. It will also add to its capabilities of providing evergreen infrastructure digital twins globally.
This is much needed today. We need to find ways to digitize critical infrastructure and environments if we want to create a more resilient and sustainable world. Bentley Systems recognizes this need.
The acquisition of eagle.io complements the IoT technologies Bentley previously acquired, including sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision. The combination of eagle.io’s customizable monitoring platform with sensemetrics’ end-user-focused applications and Vista Data Vision’s self-hosted solutions will help create a more holistic infrastructure IoT offering. The complementary features will accelerate the creation of vertical monitoring apps for targeted asset types, as well as enable systems integrators and consultants to build practices around the IoT.
This acquisition marks one of Bentley’s first step into the environmental monitoring market and positions Bentley to serve in this area. These aren’t the first acquisitions for Bentley this year either. Earlier this year, Bentley Systems additionally completed an acquisition of Power Line Systems, as another example.
Compare this to Trimble, as simply one case. Looking back more than 15 years ago, Trimble was primarily a provider of hardware. In 2006, it acquired Meridian Systems, Trimble’s first venture into construction software. Next came a number of acquisitions including Tekla, SketchUp, Vico Software, e-Builder, and Gehry Technologies, just to name a few.
Today, there seems to be a race for being the technology leader in the construction space. Who will really own the space? Who has the knowledge about what comes next—both in terms of innovation and needs of the construction industry? While the race to the finish line has a way to go, so far, I like what I am seeing with Bentley Systems. But as I said, the race is long, and it’s still anyone’s to win. So let’s see who has the stamina to pull it out in the end. If you think about it there are really no losers, just all winners since there are really three great companies vying for your business. Whoever wins is surely up against some very stiff competition all the way to the finish line with a leader that has a very steady eye focusing on digital twin, ESG, and so much more, which makes it one of the leaders in the space. If you believe your company provides the most innovation technology for the construction industry, consider entering it for this year’s Constructech Top Products. The ballot is now up, with an early bird discount available.
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