Bentley Acquires UK Leader in Cloud Services for Construction Information Management - 12/03/2020


Bentley Systems has announced the acquisition of GroupBC, a leading UK software as a service (SaaS) innovator. For over 20 years, GroupBC’s and Bentley’s software solutions have been deployed for complementary purposes to improve project and asset information management. The transaction results from GroupBC’s expansion agenda – and Bentley’s investment appetite – for international growth opportunities stemming from the UK’s national initiatives for major infrastructure investment and towards infrastructure digital twins. 

GroupBC’s Common Data Environments (CDE) solutions, BC Projects and BC Enterprise+, have been widely applied in the UK for information management respectively across construction and asset estates. Largely due to the UK’s substantiated ROI experience and its global thought leadership, CDEs have become increasingly availed globally in “going digital” for capital projects and resulting assets. In 2019, the UK’s (BS 1192) construction project information management guidelines were largely adopted within the global standard ISO 19650. 

4D mixed reality and analytics visibility

Also in 2019, in its inaugural study of the overall market for Collaborative BIM, ARC Advisory Group ranked Bentley’s ProjectWise system as #1 worldwide. The new opportunity is to build on ISO 19650, and GroupBC’s UK information management experience, to advance collaborative BIM, through “evergreen” digital twins, to span infrastructure lifecycles. In combination, Bentley’s iTwin Services will now be leveraged to uniquely connect GroupBC CDEs and ProjectWise CDEs. Through semantic alignment and change synchronization, the resulting digital twins cloud services will securely federate – fully enabling 4D mixed reality and analytics visibility – previously separate CDEs for construction and engineering. 

ROI breakthroughs from digital twins

Keith Bentley, chief technology officer for Bentley Systems, said, “Our iTwin cloud services, taking advantage of iModel-based solutions for interoperability, are ideal for federating CDEs. This enables us to assure that the users of our BC SaaS services will benefit from further extending the value of their project and asset information through digital twins. With the help of our new GroupBC colleagues, we will now be able to better serve engineers, contractors, and owners by bringing together their collective IT (information management), OT (operational technologies including reality modeling), and ET (engineering models). I am confident that the resulting improvements in project and asset performance will be consistent with the UK’s demanding but welcome expectations for new ROI breakthroughs from digital twins.”

Simon Horsley, UK regional executive for Bentley Systems, said, “Our many UK users, projects, and owners in common with GroupBC will gain a lot from our joining forces to advance CDEs through digital twins. I have been tasked by Bentley management to help the UK to continue to lead the world in going digital for infrastructure advancement, and our new offerings and colleagues from GroupBC bring essential momentum as we pool resources to meet our market’s expanded ‘infrastructure revolution’ requirements. I particularly welcome to Bentley Systems GroupBC’s co-founders Sanjeev Shah and Stephen Crompton, and CEO Wes Simmons.”

Sanjeev Shah, co-founder of GroupBC, said, “This is a hugely exciting day for our shared accounts and for both our workforces moving forward. The opportunities which arise from bringing our two companies and their respective product portfolios together are enormous, as is the global reach which Bentley can now add for us. Working together we will be even better able to support, through ‘going digital,’ construction and asset lifecycles.”

Last updated: 24/03/2020