2006 May 25

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Editor's Introduction

This week I report on Bentley Systems' annual user conference, where the company made several important announcements. The news from press releases section and the promised calendar updates are still in transition this week, as we develop a better way to bring them to you.


Bentley Systems User Conference

Acquisitions and Other Announcements

Bentley Systems, Incorporated continues to acquire companies that can help it in specific markets or to expand its technology portfolio. At its 2006 user conference, in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 21-25, Bentley announced that it has acquired the entire assets of one company, GEF-RIS Ag, and two map finishing products, MAPscript and CADscript, from another company, Corporate Montage. Three of Bentley's seven acquisitions in the past twelve months have been in the geospatial sector.

Also at the conference — called "BE," for "Bentley Empowered" — Bentley released and previewed the commercial version of MicroStation V8 XM edition; launched an enhanced pricing structure, the SELECT subscription program, and a new eLearning subscription program, Bentley LEARN; and announced the winners of its annual Awards of Excellence.

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BE Conference 2006

The conference was sold out, with more than 2,000 attendees — 21 percent of which were from the geospatial sector — from 700 organizations and 41 countries. Bentley executives discussed their vision and strategy for the company, its technologies, and the disciplines and industries it serves.

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Themes & Keynotes

The official theme of the conference was "It's Time For Learning." Tony Flynn, Chief Marketing Officer, focused on this topic in his opening keynote address on Monday morning. He bemoaned the insufficient level of software training of new college graduates, cited a study according to which "25 percent of the curriculum should be dedicated to software," and announced the formation of an advisory council for Bentley's careers program. He also recommended to attendees that they discuss curricula with high-school teachers and college professors and that they hire interns and teach them software tools. Then Flynn announced Bentley Learn, a new desktop, on-demand, e-learning program. It will be priced at 20 percent of Bentley Select and start with more than 800 hours of courses," he said, promising that "that number will triple by year end."

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BE Awards of Excellence

On Monday night, the festivities began with a reception, followed by a banquet, live music, and the presentation of the projects nominated for the 2006 BE Awards of Excellence — "which honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world's infrastructure," according to Bentley marketing materials. Peter Sagal, host of the National Public Radio program "Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!," MC'd the evening and announced the winners of the awards in the professional portion of the program: twenty-nine project teams that "set benchmarks for their industries, and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of the organizations that created them." McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record, co-sponsored the event.

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Comments by Camateros

In a one-on-one meeting and at a press briefing, Styli Camateros made many interesting comments. Here are a few of them.

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Geospatial Acquisitions

I discussed Bentley's recent acquisitions with Carey Mann, V.P. of Business Development for Geospatial.

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Department of Corrections

Last week, in my article about DDTI, I wrote:

To allow its clients to experience immediate returns on their investment in GIS data, the company developed AccuGlobe, a free GIS platform engine, now installed on about 25,000 computers worldwide. "The complete software is 100 percent our own code," says Cramer. "It is all C Sharp.NET; we have our own routing and geo-coding engines."

GeoMicro, Inc. has pointed out to me that "The current version of DDTI's Accuglobe desktop application, as well as their mapping websites, use GeoMicro's Altamap platform."

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Matteo Luccio, Editor
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