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From April 29 to May 3, more than 2,000 attendees gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center under the premise that it was “time for learning,” the theme of Bentley Systems’ fourth annual BE Conference. The Exton, Pa.-based manufacturer hosted the show, which represented 600 organizations, including several departments of transportation (DOTs), local government entities and public works agencies, and numerous site engineering and design-build firms.
The conference offered more than 600 sessions on the latest applications of technology from experts in the industry, including international projects from the BE Awards of Excellence, an annual event that pays tribute to the work of Bentley users improving the world’s infrastructure. The exhibit hall, featuring the latest products and services to support infrastructure projects, provided a forum for atten-dees to meet with industry experts and discuss the latest in Bentley solutions. In addition to offerings by Bentley were those from its 38 industry partners, including HP, Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Leica Geosystems, Trimble and Matrox.
Conference Kick-OffKeeping with the theme of the conference were keynote presentations from several Bentley executives on future technology and business trends. Chief Executive Officer Greg Bentley provided an update on Bentley’s corporate performance and outlined the latest initiatives for Bentley users to gain a competitive advantage. He addressed a need for increased productivity and asserted that Bentley software solutions can aid users in working more effectively.
Chief Technology Officer and Director Keith Bentley, Applied Research Senior Vice President Buddy Cleveland, and Bentley Software Senior Vice President Bhupinder Singh presented updates and perspectives on the latest technology, including MicroStation, ProjectWise and the remaining products of the V8 generation.
Each of the leaders from Bentley’s vertical markets shared the company’s latest technological innovations in the building, civil, geospatial and plant markets. On Monday, April 30, Bentley Civil Senior Vice President Gabe Norona began the Civil Keynote outlining Bentley’s civil vision, which includes company acquisitions in the civil market to provide Bentley with more solutions. According to Norona, acquisitions play an important role in providing better portfolios and solutions to its users. “Our portfolio of products keeps growing,” he says. “We’re working toward an integrated platform of applications for our users.” Bentley’s portfolio of acquisitions includes GEOPAK, RAM International, Research Engineers International (REI) business of netGURU Inc., C.W. Beilfuss & Associates Inc. (CWB) and KIWI Software, among others.
Styli Camateros, vice president of civil and geospatial products, led the two-part Geospatial Technology Keynote on Tuesday, May 1 by addressing the need for “Advancing GIS for Infrastructure.” Camateros listed milestones Bentley has accomplished since the 2006 BE Conference in Charlotte, N.C., and echoing Norona, said that recent acquisitions are placing Bentley at the forefront of technology. According to Camateros, in the last year, Bentley acquired CADscript (from Corporate Montage Pty. Ltd.), which allows users to present their work through “visually creative and often stunning electronic or printed representations.” In July 2006, Bentley was named No. 2 worldwide in GIS/geospatial software revenue by IT and technology market research firm Daratech, Camateros says. He went on to discuss geospatial technology and solutions for the government, utilities and communications sectors, providing examples of customers who are utilizing Bentley products, such as Bentley ProjectWise, to maximize workflow.
Technological AdvancesAmid numerous conference sessions and a hands-on exhibit hall, attendees were updated on the latest Bentley technologies and solutions. Users of Bentley civil solutions learned how Bentley products support each phase of the asset lifecycle from planning, design and engineering to construction, maintenance and operation.
Users of Bentley geospatial solutions learned how to create a spatially enabled, managed environment with Bentley’s geospatial solutions, including Bentley Map and XML feature modeling, cadastral applications through Bentley Cadastre, and innovations with MicroStation, including PDF for CAD standards configuration and management.
Honoring ExcellenceFor a fourth year, the BE Awards of Excellence honored the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world’s infrastructure. More than 280 international projects in the civil, building and geospatial categories were featured and a total of 31 in the professional portion of the program were recognized for their outstanding work. In the academic segment, awards went to Educator of the Year Dr. Howard Turner from California State Polytechnic University, and to the top four student designs from various schools across the globe. The winners were announced during a dinner and ceremony hosted by National Public Radio’s Peter Sagal and co-sponsored by McGraw-Hill Construction.
For a detailed look into the 2007 BE Award Winners and the BE Conference sessions, visit www.be.org.