Bentley Systems wants to be the premier ride for infrastructure engineers. The company's computer-aided design (CAD) software is used to design and build large-scale infrastructure projects such as airports, transit and utilities systems, manufacturing plants, and buildings. Available on both a subscription basis (nearly three quarters of revenue) and as a perpetual license, Bentley's software lets architects, engineers, builders, and property owners collaborate over the Web to develop and maintain projects. The company also offers content management applications, as well as consulting, integration, and training. It largely serves the architecture, construction, engineering, and utilities industries.
Bentley offers its products under three basic platforms: MicroStation, (CAD development), ProjectWise (engineering project team collaboration), and, formed in 2010, AssetWise (infrastructure asset information management). Its architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) software is compatible with rival Autodesk. Subscriptions account for nearly three-quarters of revenue, and the company earns more than half of its revenue outside the United States. Customers from companies that are owner-operated (rather than contractors) have increased to account for more than half of revenue.
Bentley relies partly on acquisitions to expand its product lines and its customer base, including the 2012 purchase of Pittsburgh-based InspectTech Systems, which provides inspection and asset management software and services for the transportation industry. InspectTech serves customers such as federal agencies, state departments of transportation, cities, counties, and commercial clients. The acquisition will allow Bentley to integrate information modeling with inspection processes. Also that year it bought Ivara Corporation, a provider of asset performance management software for industries such as mining, utilities, oil and gas, and petrochemicals. The purchase also helps Bentley serve engineering, procurement, and construction firms.
In 2011 Bentley bought Engineering Dynamics, Inc.'s structural analysis computer system (SACS) product suite. The deal gave the company a boost in the area of structural analysis and design software, which is used in the energy industry for example to design, fabricate, install, and maintain such structures as oil platforms and wind farms. The new SACS tools complement Bentley Systems' existing STAAD, RAM, ProSteel, and Structural Modeler applications.
The previous year Bentley bought Enterprise Informatics, a developer of enterprise information management software, and Exor, a provider of information modeling software for managing infrastructure, such as highways and railways. The acquired tools spearheaded the launch of Bentley's AssetWise platform for operating intelligent infrastructure assets. That year it also took a minority interest in BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc., a provider of land development software.
Bentley Systems was founded in 1984 by the Bentley brothers - Scott, who went on to found underwater camera manufacturer VideoRay, current CTO Keith, EVP Barry, and Software Engineering EVP Raymond. A fifth brother, Greg, joined his siblings at the company in 1991 and became CEO in 2000. The Bentley family owns 85% of Bentley Systems' equity.