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Bentley International User Meet 2003

In this year’s Bentley International User Conference, participants represented about 54 countries and 500 different organisations. About 535 hours of hands on training sessions and 108 workshops were available during the course of the conference. This was the largest training event for Bentley in its history. It has registered 11% increase in its revenue in comparison to previous year.

The conference began with welcome by Charlie Furucci, Vice President – Corporate Communications and Marketing, who outlined the objectives of the conference as the opportunity to meet new and old challenges. While applauding great response from Bentley users worldwide, he informed that participants represented about 54 countries and 500 different organisations. This year users of Infrasoft (which was recently aquired by Bentley) have joined BIUC. He also put an emphasis on the training aspect of the conference and announced that about 535 hours of hands on training sessions and 108 workshops were available during the course of conference. In fact, this was the largest training event for Bentley in its history.

Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems presented the corporate vision of the company and spoke about financials and its market share vis-a-vis other competitors. He was more open in talking about the financials due to the fact that Bentley withdrew from public offering in view of the the poor capital market. He could not talk about financials at previous year BIUC because federal law did not allow since Bentley had applied for Public offering. He announced that despite the fact that other companies’ revenue is going down, Bentley has registered 11% increase in its revenue in comparison to previous year. While discussing the company’s commitment to provide better technology and support, Greg announced that it had undertaken some acquisitions which would allow it to provide comprehensive applications.

Geospatial Track at BIUC
Greg also announced that Bentley solutions have been grouped in four different verticals including one on Geospatial Solutions. This year special focus was placed on Interoperability of GIS datasets with AEC environment.

While setting the priorities for the company, Greg mentioned about interoperability between AEC and GIS and stated that although, AEC and GIS had different unique user requirements but inteoperability amongst the two is the “critical need of today” and in view of the same, Bentley was working with ESRI to build this.

The Vice President of each vertical application domain took the lead in providing details of developments and offerings, in separate halls. Styli Camateros, Vice President of Bentley Geospatial presented the Keynote and outlined the vision of Bentley Geospatial. He made three major announcements on this occasion:

  • Advisory Board: Bentley Geospatial was forming an Advisory Board of user organisations to advise on long term directions.
  • Bentley Geospatial was to open a Government Centre for Excellence
  • Bentley-ESRI Interoperability Initiative was to grow in GIS and AEC.

Elaborating further about Bentley Geospatial, Styli laid emphasis on five pillars around which Bentley Geospatial was focussing: Production Mapping

  • creating highly accurate maps of any type
  • Topologically accurate coordinate geometry
  • 2D and 3D map creation

Network Design

  • Design and maintain communication and utility networks
  • Geospatial Content Management
  • Spatially uniting AEC, GIS and operations.

Geospatial Publishing

  • Extending access to spatial content to public and other audiences.

Interoperability

  • Extending access of spatial content to other enterprise systems

AEC and GIS Interoperability – Bentley and ESRI Initiative
Just after the keynote presentation of Styli, a very important presentation was made jointly by David Maguire of ESRI and Styli of Bentley Geospatial. This was about much-awaited public announcement of joint initiative of Bentley and ESRI Initiative for AEC and GIS Interoperability. David Maguire began his talk by contrasting the features of ESRI and Bentley:

Bentley ESRI
AEC applications Horizontal applications
AEC Design and Analysis /Mapping Cartography/Spatial Analysis Modeling
Graphic Centric Data Centric
Drawing/Model/Document Paradigm Database Paradigm
AEC Content Topographic / Thematic

After outlining the differences in AEC and GIS, David advocated strongly for interoperability between the two and emphasised the fact that GIS and AEC are complementary to each other, specifically that the AEC drawings need georeferencing and analysis.

Features of collaboration
In view of the above Bentley and ESRI have come together to provide interoperability between GIS and AEC. Following are the main features of the collaboration:

  • Bentley and ESRI will support each other’s API’s and can read each others’ file format
  • Pull and push the data and preserve the richness of each other
  • Microstation can use Arc GIS data to georeference drawings
  • Arc GIS can view drawing, import drawing using rule based model, perform GIS tests and export to drawing
  • Arc Map Integration with Bentley Geospatial Content Management.
  • Interview with Carry Mann, Vice President – Marketing, Bentley Geospatial Division