“BricsCAD® Unplugged” – LIVE from LONDON : The Reasons Behind the Acquisition

“BricsCAD® Unplugged” – LIVE from LONDON : The Reasons Behind the Acquisition

“BricsCAD® Unplugged” – LIVE from LONDON : The Reasons Behind the Acquisition

Bengaluru, India


 Watch the video here

 Anchoring the show is User Success Manager Heidi Hewett and Training Resources Manager Matt Olding

In this special edition of  “BricsCAD® Unplugged” – which happened LIVE from London at the 2018 conference, we got to hear Bricsys CEO Erik de Keyser and Hexagon EVP Rick Allen share their thoughts on how the Hexagon acquisition of Bricsys happened.

Starting off, Erik de Keyser said this was an exciting moment for them and they have been exploring options to scale up and grow for some time now. Finding Hexagon to acquire Bricsys did not happen overnight by chance – it was the culmination of a three year long technical association which saw Bricsys and Hexagon PPM programmers work together intensely to port the CADWorkx software to BricsCAD. To those of you new, CADWorkx is a leading CAD software for oil & gas industry and would only work on the AutoCAD platform earlier. After Hexagon found the strength of BricsCAD APIs, it decided to port the application on BricsCAD. This was an easy enough effort despite the fact that the entire code-base of CADWorkx is larger than the codebase of core BricsCAD itself. This was announced last year.

Now, as we will learn from this interview, porting CADWorkx was just a benchmark undertaken by Hexagon PPM to know BricsCAD APIs and the Bricsys DNA intimately. While porting CADWorkx was indeed a great success story for them, the real reason why they acquired Bricsys is because of BIM and the core BricsCAD product. In other words, Hexagon has its sights on the large pie of the AEC market where Autodesk rules the roost, and Hexagon wants to leverage their strength here. Admittedly, Bricsys does not have the sales and marketing muscle to push their product in big numbers across large corporations. This is an exercise that reqiures a large number of brand building activities, promotions and big badge events. This was the lacuna in the Bricsys DNA that needed to be addressed, sooner than later.

Enter Hexagon, and both the CEOs find a match that is bigger than just CADWorkx. “Why don’t we join hands together?” is what the two companies asked each other.

In the 2017 conference in Paris, Erik de Keyser had hinted that we are growing at around 40% each year and if we continue to do so at the same pace, it is no good for us. This was a giveway that something significant was brewing on the back-burner. I was told on the side-lines of the conference that three serious attempts and discussions at different times but the final signing on the dotted line happened on the Friday evening before the conference.

“We had the best technology and the product, but what we were missing was the scale to grow bigger”, said Erik de Keyser. “The acquisition gives us both the best of both worlds”.

I have been talking to a lot of people: sales partners and Bricsys employees on the ground from the 2017 conference onwards and the underlying feeling was the unseen presence of Hexagon in all things Bricsys. In fact, rumors started to float from the Paris conference itself that the Hexagon shadow was probably already cast on Bricsys and it was only time for the big announcement. We came to the 2018 conference completely prepared to hear this and it was not a surprise.

Hexagon EVP Rick Allen tells us that the primary reason they chose BricsCAD for CADWorkx is to give users a choice (other than AutoCAD) and when you extrapolate this forward, it makes sense to just go the whole way and acquire the complete platform, one that run the BIM engine as well as the 3D modeling and Sheet Metal. “The more we worked together, we realized that there is a much bigger opportunity than just CADWorkx”, said Rick Allen.

“We operate in multiple industries, mechanical, AEC, surveying, mapping & geo-spatial, and we realized that the BricsCAD platform was more than just a .dwg CAD platform”, said Rick Allen. “We figured out this is a bets fit to glue in all our existing technologies and offer the best overall solution”.

“And, to top it all, there is Bricsys 24/7, which brings project collaboration to the table and we find this a very attractive idea to invest in. Hexagon brings sales and marketing to the table, and we find the cost proposition of BricsCAD very attractive to take this forward” – Rick Allen.

On being asked for his thoughts on whether he made the right choice, Rick Allen joked that he woke up on Saturday morning (the deal was signed Friday evening) and wondered whether he made the right choice in signing up with Bricsys. “Now, after this conference, I am completely convinced“, he signs off.

The best thing about the Hexagon acquisition of Bricsys is that both the companies are super-excited about the deal – for its technical strengths and the opportunities ahead. Rick Allen joked that he dreamed about the twisted tower (the signature demo model used during this conference’s AEC workflow) last night and was imagining how the structure could be analyzed using CADWorkx and structurally checked using  GTStrudl, which he called as the Gold Standard of Structural Analysis. Further, he also would envision how the same could be analyzed using Caesar II, a leading Pipe Stress Analysis software, also from Hexagon.

In conclusion, Rick Allen says this journey started in 2015 and is not over yet. Erik de Keyser could not agree more and says this is just a milestone, and there are miles to go and many new exciting things ahead to be discovered.


Want to know more about DesignSense, BricsCAD?

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About Rakesh Rao

Director, DesignSense Software Technologies Private Limited, Bangalore Proprietor: Four Dimension Technologies CAD Developer, Product development, reseller management,
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