The AEC world continues to expand and contract at the same time, as the big providers branch out into new areas by acquiring smaller companies. Trimble is a perfect example, making more than 100 acquisitions since 2000 (spending over $3.2 billion in the process). These additions took Trimble from being “the GPS company” to BIM, construction site management, farming and public safety. Today, Trimble announced another acquisition, of The Omega Group, taking Trimble deeper into the world of intelligent GIS (Geographic/Geospatial Information Systems).
The Omega Group provides of cloud-based and on-premise tools to integrate mapping, analytics and mobile technologies for public safety agencies. Think of your local police or fire department, and how they have to respond to emergencies and prepare for both critical events (big highway accidents) and more routine, non-threatening activities (parades). Omega’s solutions let agencies design action plans, allocate resources, and monitor execution on desktops, dashboards and mobile devices.
Trimble’s end-goal for this acquisition appears larger than public safety. Omega’s solutions of GIS, big data analytics and mobile seem to have cross-application uses, and once can see them cropping up in other solution sets over time. Of course, this deal also puts even more of Trimble head-to-head against even more of Intergraph, so expect more contract award news, faster releases and a bigger presence from both companies.
(Trimble took earlier aim at Intergraph with its mining acquisition last month.)
Financial terms were not disclosed, which isn’t surprising. Something like 85% of Trimble’s acquisitions are small, with revenue under $25 million. We should learn more when Trimble reports results in a few weeks.