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BE Conference 2006 in Charlotte and BE Conference Europe Attract Combined Total of More Than 3000 Attendees; To View Videos of BE Conference Keynotes and BE Awards of Excellence Ceremony, Go to

EXTON, Pa. -- Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced that BE Conference 2006, which took place May 21-25 in Charlotte, N.C., attracted capacity attendance of more than 2000. The inaugural BE Conference Europe, which took place June 11-15 in Prague, attracted more than 1000 attendees. The combined attendance of the two conferences represented more than 1100 organizations and more than 60 countries. Moreover, the conferences maintained the 99 percent attendee satisfaction rating achieved at both the 2004 and 2005 BE Conferences.

The BE Conference is an annual gathering of Bentley software users and their managers who want to sharpen their skills and expand their knowledge. Attendees better themselves, better their organizations, and better the ways they can improve the world's infrastructure.

John Ford, director, Management Education Programs, ZweigWhite, and BE Conference 2006 attendee and presenter in Charlotte, sees a direct correlation between the leadership positions of the organizations in attendance at the conference and their commitment to professional training. "What really impressed me about the BE Conference was the strong commitment of the organizations in attendance to the education and development of their project teams," said Ford. "The fact that they encourage team members to attend a conference that celebrates learning speaks volumes as to why these organizations are leaders in their industries. I hope that more organizations pick up on the significance to their bottom lines of having the best trained and educated workforce in the industry."

Executive keynotes

The Monday sessions of both conferences began the learning process with inspiring and informative keynote presentations by Bentley executives.

Tony Flynn, Bentley chief marketing officer, opened the keynotes by putting the critical work of Bentley users into proper perspective. "In human terms, infrastructure means fresh water, transportation, shelter, communications, and more - in short, systems that support all human activities," said Flynn. "Yes, infrastructure is about people. It improves the living conditions of every citizen, rich and poor - a higher quality of life for us all."

But who will provide the solutions for today's really big problems, the ones that may require decades to complete? "Mostly, it will be the kids," said Flynn. "And it is one of our top responsibilities to prepare them, to stir their interest in this work, to educate them to be their best, and to make them great in their careers."

One good way to do this, he said, is through initiatives such as BE Careers Network. The mission of this rapidly expanding global program is to graduate more students in engineering and architecture that are skilled in professional software and immediately employable and productive.

Flynn next announced a new subscription program for learning from the Bentley Institute called Bentley LEARN. As he explained, "Bentley LEARN is unlimited OnDemand eLearning from Bentley. Available from your desktop, it includes OnDemand lectures and hands-on courses. It starts with over 800 hours of courses, and that number will triple by year's end."

CEO Greg Bentley took the dais next to overview the company's strategies, priorities, and results - summarized in the company's May 2006 annual report, titled "Empowering Distributed Enterprises for the World's Infrastructure" and available at He began by highlighting the impressive capabilities of Bentley colleagues around the world. As Mr. Bentley said, "In keeping with Tony Flynn's point that human resources and continued learning are increasingly the critical factors in our markets and projects, our annual report starts at our foundation of over 2000 Bentley colleagues at your service. I'm very proud of their credentials and commitment - an unprecedented resource pool that makes everything else possible."

He explained that evolving requirements of work on infrastructure projects shape Bentley's strategies. Today, these strategies must address the global dispersion of project sites and technical resources. This distribution of infrastructure enterprises, he said, results in a "tapestry of interrelated activities and responsibilities within infrastructure projects."

Mr. Bentley then detailed new developments in the following five distinguishing Bentley strategies that address the requirements of distributed enterprises:

--Bentley's comprehensive portfolio - which the company continues to improve in capability and extend in scope through research and development as well as acquisitions

--The ProjectWise system of collaboration servers - which provides managed access to architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) and geospatial content, and spans requirements from workflow and security controls through plot services, lifecycle change management, and enterprise-system synchronization

--Software interoperation - which enables organizations to reuse their AEC and geospatial content and translates to higher leverage and compensation for their work, better profitability, and increasing returns on their investment in data and software

--Innovative licensing and learning subscriptions - including Bentley SELECT, Bentley's Enterprise License Subscription, Bentley's Enterprise Training Subscription, and the new Bentley LEARN program

--Global resources - principally the world-class and world-distributed credentials of the more than 2000 Bentley colleagues

Mr. Bentley was followed by Buddy Cleveland, senior vice president, Bentley Software, who elaborated on distributed enterprises and the many functions they must perform to improve the world's infrastructure. "The inherent complexities associated with the performance of these functions," said Cleveland, "are nontrivial, to say the least, with multiple organizations, multiple IT systems, multiple skill levels, and so on. But this complexity is made even more daunting when you consider geography."

He explained that the infrastructure asset, the design office, the owner's offices, the suppliers, and others involved in projects are never located in the same place. This, he said, is further exacerbated by the fact that "virtually every project represents a new supply chain, a temporary enterprise that must be constituted quickly, execute, and then disband."

Bentley's software, he said, is developed based on the realization that:

--Every project, large or small, is a distributed enterprise.

--Successful project delivery in a distributed enterprise depends on using, delivering, and sharing information to execute project functions.

--The greater the return on investment in the project information, the more successful the project.

Next up was Bhupinder Singh, senior vice president, Bentley Software, who announced the commercial availability of MicroStation V8 XM Edition, the most powerful and most accessible MicroStation release ever. He explained that organizations would find the transition to this new edition very easy. An intuitive new interface places powerful features within easy reach of the user, and an unchanged DGN file format and full support for existing V8 standards allow projects to proceed uninterrupted while participants upgrade to MicroStation V8 XM Edition at any time.

Singh demonstrated the new release, pointing out its many innovations, including: reference enhancements, element templates, ProjectWise StartPoint, link sets, a DirectX graphics system, element transparency and display priority, keyboard position assignments, 3D modeling advancements, visualization and animation improvements, and Microsoft "Designed for XP" logo compliance.

Singh explained that MicroStation V8 XM has been tailor-made to help distributed enterprises with six challenges: content management, "finding," applications, formats and standards, workflow, and collaboration. By addressing each of these challenges, he said, MicroStation V8 XM "helps distributed enterprises work as one connected entity."

At BE Conference Europe, Singh announced the commercial availability of ProjectWise V8 XM. The new edition provides powerful new tools specifically for organizations managing a portfolio of projects, including:

--A project framework offering new capabilities to find and reuse content across projects

--Standards management tools that increase the quality and consistency of work on all MicroStation- or AutoCAD-based projects

--Load balancing and clustering for scaling the solution to a portfolio of projects and optimizing performance across a distributed enterprise

The next and final keynote on Monday in Charlotte was given by CTO Keith Bentley, who spoke on software industry trends, hardware requirements, and platform directions.

With respect to file formats, Mr. Bentley referred to Google to illustrate that reuse of information is natural and can be very valuable - but only to the extent that it is stored in an open and accessible format. As he said, "If your information is in a hidden, closed, or indecipherable format, what should be an asset is squandered and can become a liability." He then noted the software industry movement towards more open and extensible formats, such as those based on XML.

Though he made it clear that MicroStation V8 XM would run on virtually any PC currently in use for other versions of MicroStation, he offered hardware recommendations for those purchasing a new PC. He noted that MicroStation V8 XM is optimized for Intel P4 or AMD Athlon CPUs. In addition, he pointed out that MicroStation V8 XM will take advantage of all available memory even when running on a 64-bit computer with more than 4 gigabytes of memory; therefore, that is the optimal workstation for users who work on enormous designs. He also said that both MicroStation V8 XM and Windows Vista will perform much better with a graphics card designed to support DirectX 9.0

Mr. Bentley next provided a look at improvements coming to the V8 XM platform products through upcoming SELECT updates. These, he said, will include Distributed DGNs; improvements to referencing; new geometry creation and editing; new APIs to help users customize MicroStation for their needs; fields, text, and title-block improvements; enhanced geometric relationships between elements; support for Windows Vista; and support for the 2007 DWG format.

He concluded by noting the following general principles of development to which Bentley Software adheres:

--Simpler is better

--Consistency, interoperability, and comprehensiveness trump "cool"

--The better platform wins

--User programmability, extensibility, and flexibility are critical

--Development should be for the long term

At BE Conference Europe, the Monday keynote sessions concluded with a presentation by Ray Hammond, Europe's most experienced and widely published futurologist. For more than 25 years, Hammond has researched, written, spoken, and broadcast about future trends and how they will affect society and business. His keynote in Prague focused on the accelerating pace of change, and the critical role global networks and training will play in the competitive landscape.

On Tuesday, Christian Delvoie, director, Infrastructure Department, The World Bank, presented remarks at a special luncheon held in Prague for Bentley Enterprise License Subscriber organizations. Delvoie spoke on the infrastructure challenges facing East Asia and the Pacific region.

On Wednesday, during his luncheon keynotes in Charlotte and Prague, Bentley COO Malcolm Walter discussed the nine key offerings of the enhanced Bentley SELECT subscription program that support the infrastructure community's people, content, and technology. Among these are three new offerings that make Bentley software an even more valuable investment. They include an annual license exchange opportunity, unlimited access to self-paced OnDemand eLearning for MicroStation, and a ProjectWise Named User license subscription with each MicroStation license covered by SELECT.

The opportunity for SELECT subscribers to exchange their existing Bentley software licenses for any other Bentley software, said Walter, is an industry first. It protects an organization's investment in its engineering software by providing subscribers with the opportunity to annually rebalance their technology portfolio for optimum productivity as their project mix changes.

In the remainder of his talk, Walter showed how organizations are dramatically maximizing the return on their investments in software and data using Bentley's interoperable solutions. For example, he pointed out that the City of Edmonton's Drainage Services department has reported savings of more than $1 million Canadian per year over the last five years from its use of an automated, interoperable geospatial environment based on MicroStation. The bulk of these savings, said Walter, results from the elimination of manual processes and paper outputs.

He also discussed a $1.5 billion expansion of the Alcan Gove alumina refinery in a remote region of Australia. Alcan is using ProjectWise and AutoPLANT in this project to help facilitate an innovative approach to design and construction. Alcan split its project into 600 preassembled modules that were fabricated and fitted-out off site in five far-flung locations. The modules were then shipped by sea to the site, where they were quickly and efficiently installed. With its innovative strategy, Alcan reduced the expected project completion time by half a year, giving it the potential for an extra six months of increased production capacity, yielding roughly 900,000 incremental tons of alumina worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Such examples, said Walter, show the feasibility of saving and sharing the billions of dollars being wasted annually due to the lack of interoperability among capital project systems - as reported in a 2004 National Institute of Standards and Technology study. He concluded, "These organizations have used integration and achieved interoperation in turning what was once wasted into a competitive advantage. And the really great news is, you can do it too."

To view videos of all of the keynotes at BE Conference 2006 and BE Conference Europe, go to

Other BE Conference sessions

Also among the combined total of more than 750 BE Conference information-rich sessions in Charlotte and Prague were:

--Vertical Keynotes - Vertical-specific keynotes were made by Brad Workman, vice president, Bentley Building; Gabe Norona, senior vice president, Bentley Civil; Styli Camateros, vice president, Bentley Geospatial; and Rob Whitesell, vice president, Bentley Plant.

--Best Practices - More than 140 sessions, sponsored by Bentley Professional Services, were presented on the best application of technology from experienced peers and technology experts.

--New Technology - More than 170 sessions direct from Bentley developers and product managers on the newest products were presented by Bentley Software. Included were test drives of MicroStation V8 XM Edition, ProjectWise V8 XM Edition, and the just-announced ProjectWise StartPoint - an entry-level collaboration tool, based on Microsoft Office SharePoint technologies, for MicroStation and AutoCAD users. ProjectWise StartPoint opens the power of ProjectWise to a broad population of new users and teams.

--Professional Training - More than 19,000 learning units of professional training in more than 400 courses were provided by Bentley Institute.

--Networking - Numerous opportunities to network and socialize with peers and friends were available at special events, including the BE Awards of Excellence gala evening and NASCAR event for Bentley Institute five-star learning achievers in Charlotte, and a FIFA World Cup event in Prague.

To review all the sessions offered at the BE Conference in Charlotte and in Prague, go to

2006 BE Awards of Excellence

The annual BE Awards of Excellence, which honor the extraordinary work of Bentley users improving the world's infrastructure, were a high point of BE Conference 2006 in Charlotte. These projects set benchmarks for their industries, and showcase the imagination and technical mastery of the organizations that created them.

This year's BE Awards of Excellence ceremony showcased projects from more than 195 organizations from around the world. More than 225 nominations were recognized and 29 winners were honored in the professional portion of the program, and 38 nominees were recognized and three winners were honored in the academic portion. In addition, a BE Award was presented to the Educator of the Year and, for the first time, for Lifetime Achievement. The winners were selected by an independent panel of BE Awards jurors, which included accomplished Bentley users and distinguished industry experts.

Jeff Thurston, editor of Geoconnexion International Magazine and a 2006 BE Award juror, said, "The BE Awards are where it all comes together. They are about real people, designing, creating, and building the world we live in. A review of the nominees' applications is inspirational; it provides a glimpse into the talents, skills, and spirit of those who wish to solve the many management and geospatially related issues that impact society. I envy the nominees and especially the BE Award winners. They should be proud of their achievement because they were in stiff competition!"

The winners were announced during a dinner and ceremony hosted by Peter Sagal of the National Public Radio program "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!," and co-sponsored by McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record.

For more information on the 2006 BE Awards of Excellence winners and nominations, including project summaries, go to To view a video of the 2006 BE Awards of Excellence ceremony, go to


Attendees at both BE Conferences this year had ample opportunity to peruse the exhibit hall aisles for products and services to support their infrastructure project needs. On display were offerings from Bentley as well as from a broad range of companies that service the infrastructure software community. The exhibit hall in Charlotte also included the Real-Time Asset Lab, featuring demonstrations of innovative real-time technologies applied to infrastructure assets.

Bentley Institute had a strong presence this year in the BE Conference exhibit area. Bentley Institute representatives provided sneak previews of Bentley LEARN OnDemand eLearning in addition to live demonstrations of instructor-led distance learning. The latter received's "CoolTech" award in Charlotte. For the first time at BE Conference, Bentley Institute Press sponsored a bookstore, in which users could browse through books for infrastructure professionals and purchase copies at discounted conference pricing.

BE Conference attendees

Conference attendees came to Charlotte and to Prague from AE firms; architecture firms; design-build firms; engineering consultants; facility owner-operators; departments of transportation (DOTs); rail companies; site engineering firms; communications and utilities firms; federal government and associated contractors; local governments; public works agencies; plant engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors; and plant owner-operators. They included users of Bentley's MicroStation, ProjectWise, AutoPLANT, Haestad Methods, STAAD, and RAM solutions, among others.

BE Conference 2007 dates and locations will be announced later this summer.

About BE

BE, which stands for Bentley Empowered, represents the achievements of Bentley users in improving the world's infrastructure, how Bentley can help them reach their goals, and the common vision and causes that Bentley and users share.

About Bentley

Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With 2005 revenues of $336 million and more than 2000 colleagues around the world, Bentley is the leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and major owner-operators and was named the world's No. 2 provider of GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.

To receive Bentley press releases as they are issued, visit For more information, visit To view a copy of Bentley's May 2006 Annual Report online, go to

Bentley, the "B" logo, BE, BE Awards of Excellence, MicroStation V8 XM Edition, ProjectWise V8 XM Edition, ProjectWise StartPoint, Bentley Institute Star Program, Bentley Institute, Bentley LEARN, Bentley Enterprise License Subscription, Bentley Enterprise Training Subscription, Bentley SELECT, AutoPLANT, STAAD, and Haestad Methods are either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries. Other brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.
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Date:Aug 7, 2006
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