Deltek has expanded its software offering to architectural and other design firms by acquiring US-based Avitru, a deal which brings with it an ongoing commercial partnership with the US architects body, the AIA.
In yet another consolidation in the architecture, engineering and construction software space, Deltek, the ever-acquisitive Virginia, US-based ERP software vendor, has bought (for an undisclosed amount) another US-based business, Avitru (formerly also known as Arcom).
The deal complements Deltek’s acquisition of UK-based practice management software specialist Union Square in July 2016, which enhanced Deltek’s reach into professional design practices and small contracting firms, particularly in the UK and Australasia – a sector also targeted by firms such as the UK’s Cubic Interactive (with its Rapport3) and CMAP, plus Australia’s Total Synergy, who launched its latest Enterprise solution at Digital Construction Week in London in October 2018 (post).
Avitru, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a developer of building specification systems, including including MasterSpec (a product of The American Institute of Architects), SpecText, SpecBuilder Cloud and e-SPECS. Deltek’s announcement says the acquisition expands its offerings for the AECO industry by bringing in more resources, capabilities and expertise. Avitru CEO Jim Contardi says:
“Avitru’s mission has been to empower architects, engineers, contractors and owners to make better, faster decisions. Now, with Deltek, the incredibly powerful combination of our solutions will give architects even more tools to design, build and operate in a better built environment. Avitru couldn’t have found a better home!”
Interestingly, Avitru has a strategic partnership with the US professional membership association, the AIA – a 93,000-strong body representing architects. The AIA created MasterSpec some 50 years ago to support the development of accurate specification documents for construction projects. Deltek will continue Avitru’s partnership with AIA.
This relationship between a professional association and a technology provider echoes that of the UK’s RIBA and Newcastle-based NBS. The latter was the trading name of RIBA Enterprises, providing specification information resources, and a range of software tools including the National BIM Library, the NBS BIM Toolkit and the NBS Online Viewer. Its latest software development was a cloud-based platform incorporating specification and BIM standards: NBS Chorus, launched in August 2018.
Two months earlier, however, the RIBA announced it was selling a £31.8 million stake in RIBA Enterprises, to LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank (read Architects’ Journal report). LDC and RIBA both hold significant minority stakes, with NBS’s management holding the remainder of the business’s shares.