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Bentley Systems has waived the fees of their instant-on cloud-based solution ProjectWise 365 through September 30, 2020 to help companies of all sizes meet the work-from-home challenges.

To address the situation of disorientation created in the AECO sector by COVID-19, Zigurat’s portal BIMCommunity reached out to Bentley Systems and their vice president of project delivery, Dustin Parkman. The result was a video interview on how the way of working is changing, the role that Common Data Environment (CDE) will play and Bentley’s campaign to offer free access to ProjectWise 365. The video session was moderated by Ignasi Pérez Arnal, co-director of the Máster Internacional BIM Management en Ingeniería Civil. Infraestructuras y GIS and Máster Internacional en Construction Project Management. BIM, LEAN, LEED, IPD.

Common Data Environment (CDE) is the backbone of the workflow

Bentley Systems considers CDE central to working an infrastructure project as it adapts perfectly to the federated nature of the work and takes into account that contractors have subcontractors who have their own subcontractors. It allows all the stakeholders to work together, share information, share the right information with the right people at the right time.

If, until now, CDE has been like Dustin Parkman puts it, “the top of the pyramid of complexity of projects”, ProjectWise 365 makes it possible for small- and medium-sized design firms to deploy many of the same capabilities that were traditionally oriented to joint ventures or more complex projects. As a response to the lockdown and many engineering project practitioners and stakeholders working from home, Bentley Systems waived the fees of the solution until September 30. The offer also includes access to training paths from basic to advanced so that the organizations could really make the most of it.

Imagining a digital future

The construction sector has always been rather slow to adopt process and technology innovations. But that is changing and project owners and contractors are ready to adopt a new mindset. Dustin believes that a 2016 McKinsey study that placed construction among the least digitized industries only ahead of agriculture was a wake-up call for the industry. As Dustin tells, now, we have many companies that describe themselves as technology companies that do design and construction. 

In the months to come, Bentley plans to leverage even more their collaboration with Microsoft and their Azure Cloud Platform. They are integrating their engineering productivity tools with office collaboration tools within Microsoft Teams environment. They are also levering all the Office 365 tools to integrate them into the ProjectWise 365. Within the digital cities space, there are also many initiatives in work related to IoT and Digital Twins.  

All in all, Dustin Parkman is certain that the current situation has its silver lining and will cause favorable changes to the construction industry, taking it towards a more digital reality.

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