Among the roster of BIM applications used globally, Allplan from the publicly traded Nemetschek Group is close to the top of the list. Headquartered in Germany, similar to its parent company, Allplan has had a strong European presence for decades—Nemetschek was founded all the way back in 1963 as an “engineering firm for the construction industry” and Allplan was its main product. Given its long history in the AEC industry, its tools and capabilities have been honed over decades of deployment and development, making it one of the most comprehensive applications for detailed design and construction.
While a comprehensive overview of Allplan was provided in the BIM Study Evaluation Report published in 2010, this review looks at the updates in the 2018 version of the application that has been just been released, including its brand new user interface, modeling and visualization enhancements, and integration with the open cloud-based collaboration platform, Bimplus, that allows it to be part of a large whole.
As an ArchiCAD user, I find it interesting to read about the newest version of Allplan. What I never get to read about, is the Nemetschek Groups plan for all of their acquisitions. There seems to be a big overlap between Allplan and ArchiCAD, much of which is being duplicated in VectorWorks. It can’t be the best use of resources to have three products all developing the same things. It is clear that Autodesk want to provide every tool one could want in the AEC business, usually with a separate tool and cost for each function. Allplan has similarly modules for architecture, structural planning, visualization, etc. ArchiCAD has no fixed partner for structural planning at the moment. How does Nemetschek want to play their cards going forward? With Autodesk or Microstation it seems clear how they are moving forward. Maybe you could do an interview to explore this area.
Thank you, Robert, for the comment. I see Nemetschek as a parent company similar to Alphabet, which owns Google as well as other subsidiaries such as Nest Labs, Waymo, etc. True, Alphabet does not have multiple search engines in its portfolio, unlike Nemetschek, which now owns multiple BIM applications. My understanding is that all these different brands operate independently, and while many of them are dominant in different countries, they also sometimes compete with each other in the same country. It may seem odd, but the strategy of being a holding company of independent products seems to be working well for Nemetschek, which is publicly traded and has the resources to continue making acquisitions, the latest one being the structural engineering application, RISA.