Trimble has made another significant move, acquiring (for an undisclosed amount) the software business Gehry Technologies (GT), the software and consulting services business that has been key to cost-effectively delivering US-based architect Frank Gehry’s ground-breaking designs (also, last month, Trimble announced it had acquired London-based FM software developer Manhattan Software).
In April 2012, industry watchers were surprised when Trimble added Google’s Sketchup application to its portfolio of built environment applications, which already included Tekla and the (formerly Meridian-branded) project collaboration tools, Proliance and Prolog (see post). Some six months later it added the 5D BIM solution Vico and established the Trimble Buildings design-build-operate (DBO) division to manage them all (post), and underlined its ‘Open BIM’ approach.
Gehry’s practice has deployed Dassault Systemes’ CATIA platform, but the Digital Project design authoring suite does not appear to be part of the transaction (GT’s website says “GT no longer develops Digital Project, but our colleagues over at DPI would be happy to help you“). The Los Angeles-based GT’s main product, therefore, is a web-based file management and project collaboration platform, GTeam, which is supported by a 10-office GT network offering professional services. It seems, then, that GTeam will add some more BIM-oriented capabilities to complement Trimble’s existing project and programme management offerings.
Trimble will integrate the design tools and professional services of Gehry Technologies into its own forthcoming DBO software solutions platform, according to Trimble CEO Steven W. Berglund:
“Frank [Gehry] has built what amounts to a collaboration platform which enables various project members to share the entire model. It’s a good fit for our emerging DBO platform. … Professional services is not historically a part of Trimble. But the ambition is that [Gehry Technologies] will become a platform for the wider growth of Trimble in engineering and construction realm. We would hope that these offices can become a platform for engaging the international construction industry.”