6 on a Wednesday: Bentley buys more rail asset management, Hexagon completes Infor EAM deal, Velo3D trading as VLD, Dassault Systèmes partners with Synopsys, more on Emerson+AspenTech and SAP pre-announces

Oct 13, 2021 | Hot Topics

A quick roundup of just a bit of the recent PLMish news:

Bentley continues to acquire, this time for rail asset management. A long time ago, I spent a few hours with a software developer that specialized in linear asset management, keeping track of the state of mile/kilometer 123 of rail line ABC, with signals zxc. And then similar information for sections 124 and 125 and … Back then managing those assets relied on documents and images. Today, sensors send in data so quickly and at such volumes that the problem is far bigger. But so are the benefits: this data can be used to predict when repair or maintenance will be needed, preventing downtime and reducing operational costs. OXplus, this recent acquisition, will operate in The Cohesive Companies. No terms were announced.

Hexagon completed its acquisition of Infor’s EAM business. This is Hexagon’s biggest acquisition Hexagon to date, at $2.82 billion in cash and stock. Infor now owns 4.9% of the equity and 3.6% of the votes in Hexagon AB. Hexagon said that Infor’s EAM business is expected to generate 2021 revenues of $184 million — but the real value is strategic too, as Hexagon expects EAM revenue to grow at a 35% compound annual growth rate over the last 3 years.

Velo3D finally completed its merger with JAWS Spitfire, an SPAC, and is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the “VLD” ticker symbol. Per the announcement in March 2021, Velo3D now has $274 million in capital to invest in growth. Benny Buller, Velo3D CEO, said in a press release that “this is merely a means to help us with what our team aims to accomplish. Velo3D’s end-to-end additive manufacturing solution is redefining what’s possible for the production of mission-critical metal parts. We will continue to push the limits of additive manufacturing technology so our customers can innovate without compromise.”

Since everyone is buddying up, Dassault Systèmes and Synopsys thought they’d give it a go. They’ve announced that Synopsys’ optical design solutions will be integrated into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to “facilitate the development of safer, smarter vehicles. By integrating complete optical systems design tools with world-leading virtual twin experience and product lifecycle management software, designers gain access to the industry’s first holistic design portfolio for automotive lighting.” A couple of things: DS’ SOLIDWORKS brand is partnered with Altium for the design of printed circuit boards — and I have to wonder what happened to that relationship given the buying/not buying of Altrium by archnemesis Autodesk — which would/could call into question how much more of the Synopsys portfolio could be added to the agreement over time. And, EDA is huge right now — might DS ultimately just buy Synopsys? Dunno.

And a bit more on the Emerson+AspenTech deal announced on Monday. I had forgotten: AspenTech and Emerson signed a go-to-market partnership in 2018 that enabled Emerson to sell AspenTech’s advanced process control and asset performance management solutions, which means that the companies are already aware of the cross-selling opportunities open to them. What I hadn’t realized before the investor call was that Emerson’s OSI Inc. takes the new AspenTech into electric utilities transmission and distribution, where AspenTech doesn’t really play today. Emerson acquired OSI in 2020 for $1.6 billion in what was considered an important strategic move for Emerson; that now becomes part of the New AspenTech. Also in the mix, Geological Simulation Software (GSS), for subsurface modeling and simulation. GSS competes with Seequent, which Bentley acquired earlier this year. All of this means that the new AspenTech will lessen its exposure to its largest end-industry (oil & gas), and enter the market with solutions for electric utilities and subsurface modeling. A niche player just got a lot less niche-y.

And this just in: SAP just preannounced results for the September quarter and lifted its targets for the rest of the year. Why? Cloud and subs. Said the press release: “Businesses around the world are re-evaluating their business models with increased urgency given the dramatic changes due to the pandemic and their ongoing focus on digital transformation … SAP is seeing continued strong demand and adoption of its ‘RISE with SAP’ offering … As more customers adopt this holistic subscription offering, [perpetual] software licenses revenue decreased as anticipated.” Lots more detail when the final results are out in a few weeks, but cloud revenue was up 20% leading to total revenue up 5%.