German AEC software giant Nemetschek AG, will be acquiring Pasadena, California-based Bluebeam Software Inc., one of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry’s youngest and brightest software stars. Bluebeam Software has won over the US AEC industry with its superb line of PDF-based workflow solutions and has more than 650,000 users worldwide.
Bluebeam is a leader in PDF-based digital processes and collaboration workflow technology that greatly aids the construction industry, its customers include more than 74 percent of the top US companies in the construction industry, according to industry rankings by Engineering News-Record. According to the company’s own calculations, the use of Bluebeam solutions increases productivity by 60 percent reduces the costs of paper and distribution by up to 85 percent, and leads to a reduction of schedules by 40 percent.
Bluebeam Software provides solutions aimed at the desktop, server and mobile platforms addressing the document-intensive nature of the AEC industry. Processes in the PDF-based workflow includes steps for “create” — “comment — “collaborate” — “organize” in a growing workflow automation. Bluebeam’s software while heavily used by the construction side of the AEC industry, is also valuable to the design and engineering professionals serving this industry as well.
The goal is to produce a paperless workflow throughout the design-build-manage cycle for facilities worldwide. Bluebeam’s software in the mobile area on Apple’s iOS platform in particular aims at dramatically reducing the large and inefficient volume of paper-based drawings in the field, where both design-side and build-side professionals can work with up-to-date PDF-based construction drawings, shop drawings and manufacturer information at the point of field execution. Bluebeam’s mobile Apple iPad solutions have won numerous honors within the industry.
Complimenting Nemetschek AG’s BIM Solutions
“Bluebeam is a perfect complement to our BIM solutions. Bluebeam can help us integrate the entire building process and the life-cycle of objects with the addition of drawing-based processes to our model-based BIM workflows,” stated Viktor Varkonyi, CEO of Graphisoft and member of the Executive Board of Nemetschek AG. “Through open standards such as PDF, the benefits of BIM will reach a much wider spectrum of industry stakeholders, potentially moving our industry forward at a much faster pace.”
Nemetschek AG purchased Bluebeam for a purchase price of $100 million.USD, in a 100 percent share acquisition. The acquisition is expected to be completed by late October.
This marks a smart move on the part of the Nemetschek Group in Germany. As primary rivals to both Bentley and Autodesk but particularly the latter who once pushed for a rival file format to PDF named DWF. Both Nemetschek AG’s leading BIM tools for architects strongly foster the use of PDF in the AEC industry. Both ArchiCAD (by Graphisoft) and Vectorworks Architect (by Nemetschek Vectorworks) have automated PDF generation tools and handle the file format on the front side of the design processes quite well. And PDF is also strong within the group’s mobile tools.
Another interesting comment to make about this acquisition is about the Mac OS X platform. The Nemetschek AG’s total architectural market share is very strong in serving pro customers on Apple’s OS X platform. While Bluebeam has stated that a native Mac OS X version of its key desktop software was coming (as commented to Architosh over a year ago) the Pasadena-based company has yet to deliver on that comment. With so many OS X customers within the larger Nemetschek Group, that product may find its way to market a bit quicker.
Bluebeam is an important Apple iOS developer with Bluebeam Revu and Bluebeam Vu on iOS for iPad. Revu on iPad in particular is an important linch pin tool in the total PDF-based field-oriented workflow for AEC customers. With it AEC pros can markup and collaborate on drawings on site or at client locations or anywhere away from the location in which drawings are natively produced. The popularity of Bluebeam’s total solutions within the US construction industry cannot be under-estimated.
This brings another interesting point. Nemetschek AG’s group products are not industry leaders in the US AEC market. While both ArchiCAD and Vectorworks Architect are contending solutions used within the US, much of that usage is driven by the fact that architects in the US who embraced Apple’s Mac computers in the early digital transformation jumped onboard those solutions because they were early leaders within the industry that got their start on the Mac. Bluebeam however is a leader in the US in its respective realm. As such one might expect the group to leverage total “office-to-field” and “roundtrip” workflows between multiple AEC players in ways that drive value around their BIM solutions and the growing group’s total Open BIM based AEC workflows.
You can find more about Bluebeam here.