Technology

New transatlantic software alliance aims to open up ‘openBIM’

California-based Trimble and Germany’s Nemetschek have formed a strategic alliance to expand the deployment of BIM by facilitating data integration between the companies’ products.

The companies intend to support interoperability between their core products: Trimble owns SketchUp, Tekla Structures and Vico Office; while Nemetschek’s portfolio includes Vectorworks, Allplan and ArchiCAD.

The move is being seen as the two companies making a play to convert users to “openBIM” – still a distant prospect for users aligned to the market-leading Autodesk and Bentley software families.

According to the announcement, Trimble and Nemetschek also plan to leverage the Trimble Connect platform, a cloud-based collaboration tool that features an open environment for BIM-based AEC workflows.

Trimble Connect is based on GTeam, which was developed by Gehry Technologies, Frank Gehry’s software and conulting business that was acquired by Trimble in September 2014. According to its website, Trimble Connect has been embraced by the avant garde of the architectural design world, including Zaha Hadid Architects, UN Studio and Coop Himmelb(l)au.

Other possible future initiatives include linking Nemetschek’s architectural 3D design software with Trimble’s project management technologies, such as GPS, construction lasers, total stations, scanners, unmanned aerial vehicles, and wireless communications.

Patrik Heider, spokesman and chief financial and operations officer of the Nemetschek Group, said: “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. 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.”

Bryn Fosburgh, vice president responsible for Trimble’s Construction Technology Divisions, said: “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. 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.– Patrik Heider, Nemetschek Group

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