Bentley Systems interview: The new normal

Dustin Parkman, VP, Project Delivery, Bentley on why the tech giant decided to waive subscription fees for ProjectWise 365 from April to September 2020

In April 2020, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Bentley Systems, the global provider of comprehensive software and digital twins services, announced that it was opening up its ProjectWise 365 cloud service, including waiving subscription fees through to September 30, 2020, as part of its efforts to virtually connect infrastructure project participants forced to work from home.

Leveraging Microsoft365 technology and office productivity tools, ProjectWise 365 extends the reach and accessibility of BIM and infrastructure engineering data to facilitate collaboration and design review across the ecosystem of project stakeholders.

As an “instant-on” cloud service accessed through a web browser to simplify design review, transmittals, RFIs, information sharing, and issues resolution, ProjectWise 365 is perfectly suited for quick adoption while working from home, eliminating the need for error-prone combinations of generic technologies such as “drop boxes” and PDF, Bentley Systems says.

Therefore, Big Project ME and spoke to Dustin Parkman, VP, Project Delivery for Bentley, to understand why the tech giant decided to take this step and discuss the benefits he hopes this step will bring, not just to the tech giant, but to the global construction industry as well.

How successful has the opening up of the ProjectWise365 service been?

Very successful. To date over 1,000 companies have expressed interest in using ProjectWise 365 on their projects. With our quick-start program and instant-on cloud access, organizations and project teams can immediately use and benefit from the service. ProjectWise 365 gives project teams an easy way to store, access, and share project information as well as to mark-up PDFs for collaborative design reviews complete with comprehensive issues tracking.

Further, these same users can eliminate email-based workflows and manage contractual exchanges including transmittals, RFIs, and general correspondence. With comprehensive reporting, project teams will gain insights into these deliverables and ensure timely responses. ProjectWise 365 helps the entire project team increase efficiency, reduce errors, and save time creating and responding to contractual deliverables.

What feedback have you been getting from customers utilising the service? How has it helped them?

The feedback has been positive. ProjectWise 365 is extremely easy to learn and use. Project teams can maintain productivity with quick access to the latest project documentation and continue their on-going collaboration with the entire project team regardless of location.

With ProjectWise 365, these organisations and their teams quickly made the adjustment in this new work-from-home environment, which can potentially save hours that can be lost when using other solutions that require more complicated IT configuration and setup. These customers and their project teams not only see the value of instant-on cloud solutions in times like these but have the confidence to use ProjectWise 365 on future projects.

How has technology helped construction companies ride out the COVID-19 storm?

Many industries, including engineering and construction, were forced to find new technologies to help them adjust to this new way of working. ProjectWise 365 is helping engineering and construction companies, and their supply chains easily transition their projects to the cloud for immediate access to their models, documents, and data from their entire project teams while working from home.

Important features in ProjectWise 365, like issue tracking, and RFIs allow engineering and construction teams to not only immediately share their documents, but post and communicate important information to the entire team so that work can continue without interruption.

How will the utilisation of construction technology during this crisis impact the way construction companies operate in the future?

Engineering and construction companies can only benefit from what they learned during this crisis. Construction projects tend to have a large expanded supply chain, which can make it difficult to ensure that all team members have immediate access to the latest and most accurate information. With technology like ProjectWise 365 and our SYNCHRO Control solution designed specifically for construction, the project team can now easily share important project information from a cloud repository.

ProjectWise 365, focused on design, and SYNCHRO Control, focused on construction, will allow for a smooth transition of construction documents and data from design to construction and back. We believe the value that they realize as part of this trying time will put much more focus on how they more efficiently collaborate in the future.

Will we see more remote working and digitisation as a result?

Without a question, remote working will likely continue resulting in a new norm, with a mix of office and remote environments. With technology like ProjectWise 365, the industry recognises the benefit not only during a crisis, but long-term as well, including the ability to share their work more efficiently, perform collaborative reviews, address project issues, track project metrics, and create deliverables on future projects with ease independent of their location.

This recent experience will provide more companies with the confidence that they can not only be successful, but can increase the overall performance of their projects by breaking down some of the barriers in the past to include a more expanded and diverse project team.


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