Bentley Systems’ busy buying spree

Since buying Seequent in March, Bentley Systems has added several more software businesses to its portfolio, including an India-based mobile project controls business, Nadhi, and two IoT specialists.

Bentley logo 2017Bentley Systems has continued to expand its portfolio in recent months. Since investing around $900m in New Zealand-based geoscience modelling software provider, Seequent (post) in March 2021, it has acquired five smaller businesses. The deals concern:

  • a Canada-based specialist in transportation planning
  • an India-based mobile project controls business
  • two Internet of Things (IoT) tech specialists – one from the US, the other from Iceland – and
  • a US specialist in utility pole management

Bentley buys INRO Software

On 14 April 2021, Bentley announced its acquisition [no terms disclosed] of INRO Software, a specialist in multimodal transportation planning, traffic simulation, and mobility visualisation software, based in Montreal, Canada.

INRO's Emme softwareINRO has over 40 years experience in mobility simulation and modeling for metropolitan, regional, and national transport and transit operators and planning agencies. Its customers include Transport for London, Transport for New South Wales, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Sweden’s Transport Administration Trafikverket, and the public transport system of São Paulo SPTrans.

INRO’s products include Emme, a multimodal transportation planning system for urban, regional, and national transportation forecasting; Dynameq, a vehicle-based traffic simulation platform for city-wide traffic planning; and CityPhi, a mobility visualization solution providing data visualization and visual analytics of large-scale mobility and geospatial datasets.

Bentley buys India-based Nadhi

On 28 April 2021, the group’s internal investment incubator Bentley Acceleration Initiatives announced the acquisition [no terms disclosed] of Chennai, India-based Nadhi Information Technologies, a 30-strong specialist in cloud-based project controls, analytics, and decision support for construction supply chains. Bentley said “Nadhi brings … a critical mass of field-experienced professionals in construction automation, attuned to their region’s specific challenges and project dynamics,”

Nadhi nPulseWhile China and the US will remain the two highest-value construction markets globally, India is set to become the third highest-value market by 2029. However, Asian project teams are often held back by conventional construction methodologies, poorly coordinated schedules and lack of visibility into project status. Project managers want to interconnect their data silos—spanning documents, schedules, budgets, issues and risks, resources, and materials—all in one environment. Some are using Nadhi’s services to solve these challenges and improve their project delivery using digital workflows. Since offering lean construction consulting services in 2008, Nadhi has pioneered cloud-based and mobile-enabled project controls.

Its offering is explicitly configured for the needs of project teams in Asia. Integrated project controls in Nadhi’s nPulse software combines data-driven decision support and predictive analytics to give engineering and construction projects early warning of schedule risks and potential delays in milestone completion, advancing project planning and execution from reactive to proactive. Referring to Bentley’s acquisition of SYNCHRO in June 2018 (post), Bentley Systems’ Ashit Gandhi says:

Combining Nadhi’s proven project controls and analytics capabilities with Bentley’s SYNCHRO 4D construction modeling and field-based construction delivery will enable more integrated and efficient digital workflows, tailored specifically to Asian needs.

Bentley builds IoT ‘digital twin’ capability

Also in April 2021, Bentley Systems announced its acquisitions of California’s sensemetrics and Iceland’s Vista Data Vision, both providers of software for Internet of Things (IoT) applications in infrastructure. The deals, together adding 40 employees, will expand the scope of the Bentley iTwin platform to support infrastructure digital twins by incorporating real-time sensor data. Bentley says they are both “particularly complementary” to its recently completed Seequent acquisition.

Sensemetricssensemetrics

Founded in 2014 in San Diego, California, sensemetrics provides a platform used extensively for real-time safety and risk monitoring in infrastructure, mining, and construction activities. It enables measurement and visualisation of civil structural movement, for condition assessment, and to help detect and prevent damage.

Its modular design provides a flexible platform for developers to build their own applications to meet specific infrastructure IoT needs. The Sensor Integration Builder uniquely enables asset owners, engineers, and risk managers to choose their own sensors – with assurance that they can be seamlessly integrated into digital twin solutions in minutes. And sensemetrics’ Thread and Strand connectivity devices can optionally accelerate “plug and play” deployments for wireless sensor devices, even for “off-grid” infrastructure locations.

Vista Data VisionVista Data Vision

Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, Vista Data Vision, spun out of Vista Engineering, provides remote, real-time monitoring of power, traffic, and sanitation systems. Its solutions have been used in more than 2,000 projects in more than 70 countries, collecting millions of data points daily from hundreds of thousands of sensors.

… and Bentley adds utility capability with SPIDA

Finally (for now), on 14 June 2021, Bentley announced its acquisition [again, no terms disclosed] of Ohio, US-based SPIDA Software, developers of software for the design, analysis, and management of utility pole systems for electricity and communication services providers in the US and Canada. Its customers include Ameren, EPCOR, Nashville Electric Service, and Southern California Edison.

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