Bentley Systems, Incorporated, a leading global provider of comprehensive software and digital twins services for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure, today announced the acquisition of GroupBC, a leading UK SaaS software innovator. For over twenty years, GroupBC’s and Bentley’s software solutions have been deployed for complementary purposes to improve project and asset information management. The transaction results from GroupBC’s expansion agenda, and Bentley’s investment appetite, for international growth opportunities stemming from the UK’s national initiatives for major infrastructure investment and towards infrastructure digital twins.
GroupBC’s CDE solutions, BC Projects and BC Enterprise+, have been widely applied in the UK for information management respectively across construction and asset estates. Largely due to the UK’s substantiated ROI experience and its global thought leadership, CDEs have become increasingly availed globally in “going digital” for capital projects and resulting assets. In 2019, the UK’s (BS 1192) construction project information management guidelines were largely adopted within the global standard ISO 19650.
Also in 2019, in its inaugural study of the overall market for Collaborative BIM, ARC Advisory Group ranked Bentley’s ProjectWise system as #1 worldwide. The new opportunity is to build on ISO 19650, and GroupBC’s UK information management experience, to advance collaborative BIM, through “evergreen” digital twins, to span infrastructure lifecycles. In combination, Bentley’s iTwin Services will now be leveraged to uniquely connect GroupBC CDEs and ProjectWise CDEs. Through semantic alignment and change synchronization, the resulting digital twins cloud services will securely federate – fully enabling 4D mixed reality and analytics visibility – previously separate CDEs for construction and engineering.
Keith Bentley, Chief Technology Officer for Bentley Systems, said, “Our iTwin cloud services, taking advantage of iModel-based solutions for interoperability, are ideal for federating CDEs. This enables us to assure that the users of our BC SaaS services will benefit from further extending the value of their project and asset information through digital twins. With the help of our new GroupBC colleagues, we will now be able to better serve engineers, contractors, and owners by bringing together their collective IT (information management), OT (operational technologies including reality modeling), and ET (engineering models). I am confident that the resulting improvements in project and asset performance will be consistent with the UK’s demanding but welcome expectations for new ROI breakthroughs from digital twins.”
Simon Horsley, UK regional executive for Bentley Systems, said, “Our many UK users, projects, and owners in common with GroupBC will gain a lot from our joining forces to advance CDEs through digital twins. I have been tasked by Bentley management to help the UK to continue to lead the world in going digital for infrastructure advancement, and our new offerings and colleagues from GroupBC bring essential momentum as we pool resources to meet our market’s expanded ‘infrastructure revolution’ requirements. I particularly welcome to Bentley Systems GroupBC’s co-founders Sanjeev Shah and Stephen Crompton, and CEO Wes Simmons.”
Sanjeev Shah, co-founder of GroupBC, said, “This is a hugely exciting day for our shared accounts and for both our workforces moving forward. The opportunities which arise from bringing our two companies and their respective product portfolios together are enormous, as is the global reach which Bentley can now add for us. Working together we will be even better able to support, through ‘going digital,’ construction and asset lifecycles.”
Stephen Crompton, CPO and co-founder of GroupBC, added, “Bentley is going to provide a great new home for our products to thrive in. GroupBC have always promoted an integrated, best-of-breed approach, and being able to complement our leading software solutions with existing best-of-breed products from Bentley presents a uniquely exciting opportunity for us and our user organizations, opening the door for unparalleled integration between our solutions and bridging the gaps between design, construction and ongoing asset information management.”
Wes Simmons, CEO of GroupBC, said, “Our founders and I would like to thank our equity partner YFM for their visionary support over the last five years. For our GroupBC team, customers, and partners, joining Bentley Systems ensures a future of continued growth, including beyond construction information management through broadly federated digital twins, and international expansion. Here’s to BC CDE and digital twins advancement!”