Trimble, one of the big four AEC software industry titans, has announced that it will acquire Portland-based Viewpoint for 1.2.USD billion in an all-cash deal. The Oregonian publication called it the “biggest deal ever for a Portland tech company.” Portland is home to numerous tech giants, including HP and Intel.
The Race to the Dominant AEC Industry CDE
Trimble’s acquisition target is largely regarded as one of the top three leaders in the emerging critical space of the common data environment (CDE) for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector. The software centralizes project and document management, estimation, and planning specifically for the construction industry.
Founded in 1976, Viewpoint employs 700 people and had over 8,000 customers worldwide. Bain Capital paid 230.USD million to acquire a majority of Viewpoint in 2014. The company, which originally was known as Coaxis, acquired Seattle-based Dexter + Chaney for 180.USD million last year. Trimble’s offer includes that Seattle office.
To learn more about Viewpoint go here.
Architosh Analysis and Commentary
Trimble is famous for its GPS technology and has entered the AEC software space in the past ten years through a series of key acquisitions. These have included taking the popular SketchUp 3D modeling application off the hands of Google, Tekla for structural engineering, and importantly Trimble Connect which was formerly a cloud-based project and document management tool for AEC from Gehry Technologies.
The Viewpoint acquisition is an interesting twist because Trimble Connect plays in the CDE space alongside Viewpoint, but it not as successful. Unlike Viewpoint, Trimble Connect was aimed at and originally created by architects (Gehry Technologies). Viewpoint is UK-based and has five products just for contractors, including estimation. In our Ultimate List of CDE’s published earlier in the year, we emphasized the importance of compliance with the UK standard known as BS 1192. Viewpoint competes head-to-head with Aconex from Australia and GroupBC from the UK. In the US it will compete with Procore, Bentley ProjectWise, Bluebeam Studio, and Autodesk BIM 360, among others.
The CDE space is crowded and competitive. As the emerging battlefield for the AEC industry, these cloud + mobile based solutions drive efficiencies by centralizing the transactional workflows between all participants and stakeholders in the building industry.