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Chris D

Nemetschek BIM Strategy

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I'm interested in where Vectorworks is going in the medium term and whether we're going to stay with it or whether we will be forced to move to Revit.

I think this all hangs on a complete change of strategy by Nemetschek to consolidate it's BIM software (Allplan, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks) into a single platform big enough to compete with Revit. This would obviously be expensive and difficult in the short term, but necessary to avoid fragmentation of the huge investment needed to keep up with AutoDesk.

This document sort of hints at a strategy like this:

http://www.nemetschek.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Corporate_PDFs/IR_Praesentationen/deutsch/German_Equity_Forum_11.pdf

Nemetschek is market leader in Germany and parts of Europe, ahead of Autodesk, but the Revit juggernaut is certainly looking strong in the UK. Nemetschek has a strong portfolio of software, but it needs to be far more interoperable with common file formats, common platforms, single object types etc.

ubbthreads.php?ubb=download&Number=6916&filename=Nemetschek%20Software.png

I couldn't care less about backwards compatibility to be honest, it's future compatibility that we're looking for, so we're prepared to go through the pain of seeing VW and ArchiCAD merge into Allplan if that's what it takes to have a single international package that can compete with Revit.

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Nice one, cheers. I did notice this on Upfront the other day too:

http://www.upfrontezine.com/2012/upf-728.htm

"Mr Flaherty explained that Nemetschek is a financial holding company specializing in AEC, and so it gives no technical directions; divisions have strategic independence. He noted that the new ceo may, however, change this arrangement."

I'd be happy to go through the pain of such a transition too. Especially if it means we can stop pretending free-form modelling is some sort of design BIM panacea.

They'll have to be quick though. A native Mac version of Revit could tip the scales.

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Strategic independence of a small fish swimming with the sharks isn't a good thing, that's for sure.

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I love VW because, when necessary, you can create whatever you need from scratch with its hybrid symbols, its great 2D capabilities, and its free-form modeling.

I don't love VW because it seems so often necessary to use its hybrid symbols, its great 2D capabilities, and its free-form modeling, because its PIOs are all too often not up to the task.

Take the stair tool, for example. I mean, the two stair tools...

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the key to BIM is powerful PIOs, and powerful PIOs VW doesn't seem to have...

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or even the three stair tools:

Stair

Simple Stair

Custom Stair

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I don't see them merging all their software. Nemetschek's strategy for BIM is IFC. Imho, IFC is not an answer for BIM co-ordination-at least as far as vw is concerned. e.g. Draw 4 walls with a window and a door in vw. Export to IFC. Now import the exact IFC file back into vw. Those objects are no longer walls, window and a door, it's solids with data attached to it. The wall cannot be edited like a wall. Now, if vw can't handle it's own IFC file, how is it going to handle IFC files from other software. Btw, Revit will import the vw IFC file correctly with a wall being a wall etc.

The future of Nemetschek software looks to be very fragmented whereas the Autodesk's software looks to be merging very well, look at the new 2013 product line. (And I'm no fan of Autodesk.)

My 2c. :)

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I don't see them merging all their software.

It doesn't necessarily need to be a full merge, but the bunker culture has to end and Nemetschek need to pool their engineering and IP resources.

It could be a common file format, a common symbol format, common cloud platform, common plug-ins and tools even, but the brand names could remain with distinct UIs and distinct USPs and price points much like now...

Nemetschek's current BIM portfolio is an accident of history and nothing more - it is not a software strategy to compete with Revit.

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Let me tell you what's going to happen in the UK.

The last 18 months has seen an explosion of BIM talks and initiatives and the government is pushing full steam ahead on BIM. They have mandated a pretty modest BIM requirement for 2016 across all public projects, but the significance is that here in Europe the state is the biggest spender, so this matters. In response people are scrambling to adopt BIM to avoid being left behind.

Now my point is this - all the talk from government is about IFC and Open BIM and all that, and the whole thing being open to all vendors, which is true IN THEORY. But in practice it is not true because of the way we procure things in the UK. The Government doesn't commission little firms to do design or engineering or anything like that....they have massive tender processes to major contractors, who then employ all the little design firms end engineering firms like us. And you know what, major contractors use major software platforms, and in fact they all use Revit and mandate that everyone who works for them does the same!

The only way that Nemetschek could get a foot in the door with major contractors was if they had a single big platform* themselves

(* or possibly a common platform with some brand name front ends)

Edited by Chris D

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I've been trying to install the Allplan trial on my machine but it says I need Service Pack 1. Anyone know where to get Service Pack 1 from and how to install it?

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Is this a trial version for OS X using Parallels or are you installing on Boot Camp?

(I can't help...just interested...)

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Don't think it's the trial version particularly supported for Parallels. Just the standard trial version download. Plus I'm using VM Fusion rather than Parallels. Says it'll work, just need Service Pack 1.

Edit: oh I just clicked. It's means Service Pack 1 for Windows.

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Let me guess....if you weren't a Mac office you'd be trialling Revit, right?

Allplan is almost unsupported in the UK....the forums have a couple of English language posts a week....hope your German's good...

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Let me guess....if you weren't a Mac office you'd be trialling Revit, right?

Edited by Vincent C

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I hope all this "supported on Parallels" is being used as a stepping stone to native Mac apps rather than a dead end.

Downloading Revit now.

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To save 8 minutes of your life...

You can drag the thingumajig and fast forward to get the general picture in a couple of seconds you know.....

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Downloading Revit now.

Wish I hadn't done that now.

Because it crashed your machine?

Because it reflects badly on Vectorworks?

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That should be a good thing!?

Try modeling something in 3D......

Edited by Vincent C

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No it's depressing to know that something that good is out there and it's not what we're using.

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Downloading Revit now.

I got as far as accepting the end user licence (after downloading and installing the trial, on first use you need to accept the EULA)

Not going to give my firstborn over to Autodesk for a trial version of Revit!

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