May 11 2018

Viewpoint views on Trimble’s acquisition

“Viewpoint has found its final home as part of one of the largest providers of construction software in the world. There is no better home for us, our products and our customer base,” says Viewpoint’s Matt Harris.

Viewpoint logo 2016Viewpoint Construction Software‘s chief product officer Matt Harris talked to me on Tuesday (8 May 2018) about what Trimble’s US$1.2bn acquisition of the business might mean for Viewpoint’s people, applications and customers, and about the relationships to be developed with other parts of Trimble’s technologies portfolio.

Matt HarrisWhat will be the impact of the acquisition on Viewpoint? – “The deal has still to be completed, of course, but in general, when Trimble acquire a business, they usually let them run very autonomously. That said, they have some solutions that are highly complementary to Viewpoint. e-Builder [acquired by Trimble in February 2018] , for example, is widely used by many US capital project owners, particularly in the education and healthcare sectors. So we have an opportunity to integrate data from the Viewpoint systems that are heavily used by US contractors with the e-Builder tools used by owners, with the potential to provide end-to-end project transparency between contractor and owner.

“Viewpoint’s ERP platform is the ‘system of record’ on many projects, capturing data about equipment and resource utilisation and helping accurately control and forecast job costs, so there is potential to integrate with some of Trimble’s telematics solutions in that space too.”

How will be the acquisition affect Viewpoint’s collaboration applications? – “So far as Viewpoint’s collaboration platforms are concerned, we are also excited about Trimble Connect – an information bus that connects things together; documents or data in Viewpoint For Projects (VFP) could potentially be made available in other Trimble products (and we will be making announcements in the UK shortly about our new Viewpoint Team solution).*

“Given the breadth of Trimble’s construction software portfolio, there will surely be other
interesting integration points between estimating products, field mobility products, and
Trimble’s BIM solutions, and we look forward to engaging fully with the Trimble
organisation to explore these game-changing opportunities.”

Will Viewpoint be rebranded? – “As I said, Trimble tends to let its acquisitions continue to work quite autonomously. It generally maintains its software application products under the names that made them successful in the first place, but with the addition of the Trimble name. e-Builder, for instance, is already badged as ‘A Trimble Company’. I expect it will be the same for Viewpoint

Will the acquisition be disruptive to Viewpoint’s staff and its customers and end-users? – “Trimble’s acquisition means that Viewpoint has found its final home – and this has to be a major benefit to our people and our customers. We are now part of an industry-leading company – one of, if not the, the largest providers of construction software in the world. There is no better home for us, our products and our customer base.

“I am super-excited about the opportunities to integrate with other Trimble products like Tekla. I see a significant amount of opportunity in working with the Tekla people in steelwork and precast concrete structures, and we have some strong ideas for integration with their Vertical Building division.

OpenBIM“But this doesn’t mean we are isolated from other major software vendors. Trimble has been a strong supporter of Open BIM, and, as the industry digitises still further, it will be important that we address interoperability with the products of some of the other major providers.”

(* Viewpoint’s UK user conference is at the RIBA in London on 23-24 May 2018. I will be chairing a panel discussion about digitisation of construction on the first day.)

 

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