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2019, a year of consolidation in the GEOBIM technology ecosystem

From a year of mergers and acquisitions to a year of consolidation in the GEOBIM technology ecosystem – a strategic move by geospatial and BIM technology providers!  

If 2018 was the year for mergers and acquisitions, 2019 was a year of consolidation in the GEOBIM technology ecosystem! Majority of the large companies with their technology portfolios in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, notably, Trimble, Topcon Positioning, FARO, Oracle, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, etc., in 2019 concentrated on enhancing their GEOBIM technology ecosystem specifically software solutions by integrating geospatial information systems and 3D modelling software, while simultaneously empowering their teams to efficiently and effectively manage the different phases of the construction lifecycle.


Following the trend from 2018, 2019 too witnessed the large geospatial technology providers such as Topcon Positioning, Leica Geosystems, etc., continue their strategic partnership with the engineering solution providers such as Autodesk and Bentley Systems hinting at the strong move of the GEOBIM Technology Ecosystem towards providing integrated geospatial and BIM solutions. The partnership between Autodesk and Topcon Positioning, for instance, allows project owners and construction companies to form a tighter, and seamless connection between the office and the field to increase on-site worker productivity and overall quality and field safety. Autodesk also strengthened its collaboration with Leica Geosystems to bring new efficiencies to building construction. This continued collaboration helps to implement more connected and streamlined workflows of the highest quality across applications.

Read More: Year of consolidation for the geospatial industry

Bentley Systems acquisition of Orbit GT, City Labs and Keynetix is also indicative of the confluence of geospatial and engineering solutions. The newly acquired technologies, in conjunction with Bentley’s existing design integration and digital cities offerings, enable engineering-based mobility digital twins. Peter Bonne, CEO of Orbit GT, said, “This acquisition offers our team, partners, and customers a unique opportunity to take a big leap forward in addressing today’s need for increasingly accurate, versatile, manageable, and embedded use of digital twins. In effect, we are now advancing 3D mapping to underlie 4D digital twins!

Hexagon strengthened its industrial facility operations portfolio and 3D visualization capabilities by acquiring j5 International and Melown Technologies. “The operations applications from j5 International significantly enhance the value of our HxGN SDx® portfolio which is used to create and manage the ever-evolving Digital Twin, where both engineering data and documentation are created, maintained and viewed throughout the facility lifecycle,” said Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. “By combining our software portfolios, customers now have the ability to incorporate real-time situational awareness of facility operations into their digital twin, a business imperative for continuously improving the operations and maintenance of complex facilities.”


GEOBIM Technology Ecosystem
Source: GEOBIM Market in AEC Industry report | Geospatial Media Analysis

Geospatial Media’s analysis highlights that while the number of mergers and acquisitions from 2018 fell, most of the geospatial companies entered into strategic partnerships with firms who provide state-of-the-art new technologies. Notably, Autodesk, Bentley, Aspen Technology, Trimble, are few of the companies who entered into a strategic partnership with the likes of Unity, Microsoft, etc., to augment Cloud, AI, IoT, AR/VR/MR capabilities in their product portfolios.

Autodesk partnered with Capgemini for a new cloud-enabled and secure digital twin platform. Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of AEC Strategy and Marketing, Autodesk said, “Our partnership with Capgemini offers an exciting opportunity for operators to capture and derive more value from digital data created during design, construction, and operations to more efficiently manage their portfolios.”

Autodesk, also expanded its partnership with Unity to bring integration and real-time collaboration to Autodesk Revit. The tool allows Revit users to take advantage of the power of BIM for design, pairing it with Unity’s broad compatibility that includes mobile, tablet, and AR/VR platforms. “This is beyond interoperability,” says Tim McDonough, the General Manager of Industrial for Unity. “we’re hoping to unlock the power of BIM,” he added.

Additionally, Bentley Systems introduced a Mixed Reality app for construction using Microsoft Hololens 2 for immersive visualization of 4D construction digital twins. Noah Eckhouse, Senior Vice President, Project Delivery for Bentley Systems, said, “SYNCHRO XR app for HoloLens 2 provides a new way to interact with digital twins for infrastructure projects. Users benefit from a new perspective on the design and a deeper, more immediate understanding of the work and project schedule.

Similarly, Aspen Technologies, a global leader in asset-optimization software, acquired Mnubo Inc., a provider of purpose-built AI and analytics infrastructure for IoT, and Sabisu Ltd., provider of a flexible enterprise visualization and workflow solution to deliver real-time decision support. “By bringing the deep domain expertise of AspenTech together with Mnubo AI-driven IoT expertise and Sabisu visualization, we can deliver innovation that helps our customers drive greater value from their existing data at scale,” emphasizes Antonio Pietri, President and CEO, Aspen Technology.

The construction technology market is now in a phase of consolidation, allowing the early adopters to reap short-and long-term benefits. The AEC industry requires sufficient time to keep up with the technology advancements in the technology segment and adopt them in the construction workflows. As geospatial and engineering solution tech giants such as Topcon Positioning, Hexagon, Autodesk and Bentley Systems foray into the digital engineering domain via strategic M&As and partnerships — investing their time and resources in augmenting the already existing product lines — the AEC industry is set to transform, driven largely by GEOBIM.

Also read: What’s trending in AEC+Geospatial in 2020?


GEOBIM Technology Ecosystem

If you are a geospatial and BIM technology provider offering GEOBIM solutions, you may find the recently released, ‘GEOBIM Market in AEC Industry’ report useful to leverage the market information, technology trends and information on mergers and acquisitions to develop your market expansion strategies. The report also includes GEOBIM Maturity Model and GEOBIM Readiness Index-2020 which can be used for product development and sales strategies. Further, the report includes a market map which will be quite useful in understanding industry profile and develop collaborative partner network as well as understand the competitive scenario. If you wish to know more about the report – read the report description. To purchase the report, click HERE.