Siemens and Bentley further cement relationship — no acquisition
Siemens’ analyst event hasn’t started yet but we’ve already had 2 important announcements about its relationship with Bentley. One is business/financial and the other is … product. BIG product.
In the financial realm, Siemens and Bentley Systems are expanding the partnership announced in 2016, pumping another €50 million into their joint research and development efforts for a total of €100 million.
You might remember that Siemens held an investor event a few weeks ago, where Bentley was mentioned for no obvious reasons — just snuck into remarks about how well Siemens is doing in expanding its software footprint and software-enabled hardware offerings. Today, Klaus Helmrich, a member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, said in a press release, “I’m very pleased with how strong our alliance started. Now we are investing in the next collaboration level with Bentley, where for instance we will strengthen their engineering and project management tools with Siemens enterprise wide collaboration platform Teamcenter to create a full Digital Twin for the engineering and construction world.”
The companies gave the following example: “In the energy and utility industries … companies need to work more efficiently and cost-effectively when implementing capital improvement projects. Extending Teamcenter through project delivery, [Bentley’s Connected Data Environment, CDE] enables visibility along digital threads of connected 2D and 3D models, dynamically managed to reflect project status. This allows for the continuous assimilation of design and engineering data, to be visually and analytically accessible as appropriate by team members across the wider enterprise and supply chain. Incorporating capital project engineering and construction models in this integrated way enables diverse simulations throughout the project management process to anticipate real-world issues, and more informed decision-making by virtue of real-time understanding of the impact of any design change. The solution will be available to the market beginning in early 2019.”
Exactly what this means and how this integration will be done, are going to be huge topics over the next few days as I sit with Siemens management — and I’ll get Bentley’s take on it, too, when there’s time. There are so many potential points of intersection: Bentley’s expertise in AEC project management, construction workface planning, asset operations and how that feeds into new projects combined/linked/hooked into Teamcenter’s bill of material management, a detailed CAD focus on mechanical systems and knowledge of the manufacturing processes many want to bring to construction … this could be huge. But we shall see what hits the market in early 2019.
The doubling of investment likely means that this project is going well and there’s more on the horizon. For now, Greg Bentley, Bentley Systems CEO, said in the announcement: “In our joint investment activities with Siemens to date, we have progressed worthwhile opportunities together with virtually every Siemens business for ‘going digital’ in infrastructure and industrial advancement. As our new jointly offered products and cloud services now come to market, we are enthusiastically prioritizing further digital co-ventures”.
That brings us to announcement number 2:
Mr. Bentley says that Siemens now owns over 9% of Bentley’s common stock: “We have also welcomed Siemens’ recurring purchases of non-voting Bentley Systems stock on the NASDAQ Private Market, which we facilitate in order to enhance liquidity, primarily for our retiring colleagues.” A bit of context: Bentley said that Siemens owned 9% during its May Corporate Update (link on lower right of this page: https://www.bentley.com/en/about-us/news), so “over 9%” isn’t a huge leap. But it is a decent stake, and the companies are now tied to one another in several different ways, more difficult to unravel than the typical joint venture. I wrote more about Bentley’s Corporate Update, here.
I’ll update as I get more info. Or see a demo. ProjectWise + Teamcenter working together. That would be something to see!