Bentley Systems 2020 YII: Transformation across industry

Tuesday morning, Bentley Systems kicked off its Year in Infrastructure 2020 Conference, featuring a virtual experience that highlights executive perspectives, moderated and interactive sessions and summits, key learnings, and the company’s annual presentation of its YII Awards.

During Tuesday morning’s opening welcoming address, Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, shared his insights about the advancements in infrastructure engineering software and cloud services and how they are empowering infrastructure professionals to design, build and operate infrastructure that is more economically and environmentally sustainable.

“This year has been about the confluence of infrastructure and resilience,” said Mr. Bentley. “This has been a transition year for Bentley Systems: we began it as a privately held company for 36 years, and are now publicly held (following the company’s IPO on September 23—NASDAQ: BSY). In the year 2020, we’ve seen that infrastructure engineering is mission critical and infrastructure engineering professionals are able to be virtualized thanks to the latest technologies. Advancements in going digital have been institutionalized faster as a result. The notion of a digital twin from reality modeling can help work to be done from any office and can bring in experts from around to world on any infrastructure problem and opportunity.”

Mr. Bentley went on to explain that his 800 colleagues within Bentley Systems became a resilience response force, working on solutions—resilience digital twins—to help with the readiness, response and recovery to perils that may be unknown and that industry may not anticipate. The company turned its attention to helping with the virtualization of its users, utilizing its technologies. Mr. Bentley went on to recognize special recognition awards.

“We realize that infrastructure uniquely sustains both our economy and our environment,” Mr. Bentley continued. “You depend on being empowered by infrastructure engineering software, such as those from Bentley Systems. We recognize our particular responsibilities and opportunities in a year like 2020.”

Executive perspective. Following his opening remarks, Mr. Bentley was pleased to welcome Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, for the “Executive Perspective: Digital Twins for Infrastructure Resilience,” an interactive discussion on the challenges we face in infrastructure and how leading technology vendors will collaborate to meet those challenges through digital innovation.

Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during Tuesday morning’s “Executive Perspective: Digital Twins for Infrastructure Resilience” session.

“It’s fantastic to see the partnership between Bentley and Microsoft flourishing,” said Mr. Nadella. The top level strategic alliance with Microsoft involves a number of initiatives both for technical cooperation and going to market cooperatively. Mr. Nadella contributed his thoughts after congratulating Bentley on its IPO.

“As for this partnership, I’m very excited. There’s been no greater time to bring what we do together, wherever there is computing getting imbedded in the physical world requiring this digital twin capability. The openness of the data ecosystem around it enables us to then create the insights,” said Mr. Nadella. “It’s exciting for us to be partnered so deeply to bring the full modern technology stack from us (Microsoft) so that you can then build on it to the domain depth that Bentley has across all of these areas. We can go to market together and have a massive impact.”

Mr. Bentley asserted that what could be accomplished together is bringing the ET (engineering technology)—what has been dark data, so far—together with IT and OT. Out of necessity in 2020, industry professionals have learned that it is now possible to work effectively, thanks to Bentley and Microsoft technologies (e.g., Azure, ProjectWise) on project anywhere to improve infrastructure. The conversation turned to the challenges and opportunities presented by the global pandemic and its effect on business.

“Maybe 30%–40% of workers can work remotely. With the frontline workers, how do you bridge the expertise gap? Tools like AR are having a huge impact. Video meetings are great, but what happens before and after? We need to think holistically about the workflow. Learning is important and must be built into the workflow itself,” said Mr. Nadella. “We are focused on productivity and the ability, even in a remote setting, to be fully participating and getting things done. This is one of those moments that is transformative across industries. What you do and what we do will become more mission critical for both business continuity and transformation”

Mr. Bentley pointed out that while both organizations, as well as engineering organizations, get better at working digitally, their responsibility is to improve the throughput, quality and, ultimately, the resilience of our physical infrastructure.

Newest executives add new energy. Tuesday morning, Mr. Bentley also introduced three new Bentley executives, who briefly shared perspectives in an interactive discussion on the resilience challenges they face and how to meet those challenges through digital advancement: Chris Bradshaw, Chief Marketing Officer; Nicholas Cumins, Chief Product Officer; and Katriona Lord-Levins, Chief Success Officer.

Full agenda. On Wednesday, October 21, in addition to a full day of valuable presentations, discussions and presentations, Bentley will broadcast its YII 2020 Awards Ceremony at 12:30 pm EDT. After careful deliberation by independent expert juries (including editors from Hydrocarbon Processing), the winners of the YII 2020 Awards will be announced in a live global broadcast. Don’t miss what has been called the “Academy Awards of Infrastructure.”

Utilizing a top-notch virtual platform, the presentations continue on October 27 with the ACCELERATE program of more than 190 sessions covering 32 Bentley brands. ACCELERATE provides an opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in Bentley applications and cloud services. Senior product executives and their leadership teams will review their latest innovations and provide guidance.

Additionally, on November 3–12, the second and third installments of Bentley’s TwinTalks’ series explore the implications of digital twins for design and construction, digital plants, energy utilities, digital cities, rail and transit, and roads and bridges. Listen to interactive panel discussions with leading industry and business leaders and discover the fascinating opportunities that digital twins introduce for each of these critical infrastructure sectors.

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