Nemetschek AG of Germany (XETRA: NEM) has announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) to expand deployment of BIM (building information modeling) across the entire Design-Build-Operate (DBO) lifecycle of buildings.
The heart of the partnership centers on expanding and advocating for “openness” within the AECO software industry. The alliance will emphasize collaborative approaches to design modeling and 5D construction management through data integration between a variety of the companies’ products.
The announcement was made today at the Lake Constance 5D-Conference 2015, held this week in Constance, Germany.
Both companies will share their extensive global market and technology expertise and collaborate actively on initiatives to drive a paradigm shift in the development and adoption of technologies for the AECO (architecture, engineering, construction, operations) industry. The companies intend to:
- Transparently share data formats to support “new” solutions and promote workflow interoperability between selected products across the DBO lifecycle
- Tighten the connection of the Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) solutions to real data from the field and real objects in the physical world
- Support interoperability and the longevity of project data from the entire project lifecycle
- Maintain their respective deep commitments to open standards and workflows for the benefit of the entire industry—rather than for any individual vendor
A critical part of these intensions as outlined above is the willingness to share data file formats, transparently, in order to create new solutions.
Trimble Connect: Open, Connected and Interoperable
Trimble and Nemetschek plan to leverage the Trimble® Connect collaboration platform to integrate workflows and create close interoperability between selected Trimble solutions—including SketchUp, Tekla Structures, Vico Office, Trimble Prolog®, Trimble Field Link and MEPdesigner for SketchUp—and solutions in the Nemetschek portfolio, such as Allplan, ArchiCAD, DDS, Scia Engineer, Vectorworks and Nevaris.
Both companies are highly committed to open standards and workflows—a rapidly emerging approach to the collaborative nature of design, construction and the operation of buildings.
A key element in the heart of this agreement is for Nemetschek AG to support the Trimble Connect platform—a cloud-based collaborative environment that features an open environment for BIM-based AECO workflows. Trimble and Nemetschek Group are coordinating their efforts to offer best-of-breed solutions to customers.
“Across the DBO spectrum, customers want the freedom to choose the best tools for the job and the security of knowing those tools will work together. But too often they find that the data they need is not interoperable across their different software workflows,” said Bryn Fosburgh, vice president responsible for Trimble’s Construction Technology Divisions. “Our companies’ shared vision is to give users a choice, rather than dictate what they use. We’re pleased to partner with Nemetschek on these important initiatives.”
“Our customers already enjoy the benefits of workflow integration between most of our products. This collaboration allows us to provide an overarching strategic layer on top of everything we do,” said Patrik Heider, spokesman and Chief Financial & Operations Officer (CFOO) of the Nemetschek Group. “This will better enable us to provide our customers with end-to-end workflow solutions that cover the entire AEC life cycle in a fully transparent and ‘open’ way.”
Trimble and Nemetschek will provide updates on specific collaborative initiatives as the relationship progresses. To read more go here.
In 2013 Architosh awarded Gehry Technologies’ GTeam (now Trimble Connect) its AIA National BEST of SHOW honors in the BIM category, noting: “This is an extremely robust offering with proprietary model optimization technologies, excellent communication and dashboard features, and powerful features like live sectioning and snapshots for 3D BIM model investigation, discussion and markup.” We were not surprised to see Trimble acquire GTeam and its technology last year.
Already a vocal supporter of open BIM standards, Trimbles’ decision to partner with Nemetschek AG was likely a no-brainer. What is particularly interesting, and likely really healthy, is to see Nemetschek AG embrace Trimble Connect, rather than attempt to provide its many customers across a range of products something functionally similar but wholly homespun. Doing so saves valuable resources at Nemetshek AG in order to make further strategy acquisitions and focus on their core products’ strengths.
From the specifics, it looks like Nemetsche AG company brands/products will interoperate directly with Trimble Connect from BIM tools such as ArchiCAD, ALLPLAN, DDS, Scia Engineer, Vectorworks and Nevaris. Trimble Connect already natively supports the following BIM and 3D formats: SketchUp (SKP), IFC, AutoCAD (DWG), Microstation (DNG), Rhino (3DM), and all the open-standard 3D and CAD formats such as OBJ, FBX, STEP, IGES, IGS, STL and many others.