Empowering Information Mobility

Atanu Pattanayak,
Vice President & Managing Director, Bentley Systems India Private Limited.

Anne-Marie Walters,
Industry Marketing Director – Process, Bentley Systems, Incorporated,
With its comprehensive range of software and services for the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure across multiple industries, including process manufacturing, water and wastewater, power generation, and oil and gas, Bentley Systems has been able to meet varied requirements of its clients in India, says Atanu Pattanayak, Vice President & Managing Director, Bentley Systems India Private Limited. According to Pattanayak, Bentley has devoted ‘considerable time to educating these organisations on the benefi ts of moving beyond software for design.’ Harshal Y Desai also seeks views of Anne-Marie Walters, Industry Marketing Director – Process, Bentley Systems, Incorporated, on how Bentley’s ‘commitment and approach’ differ from its competitors.

How well established is Bentley in India in the sphere of Process Manufacturing, Water and Waste Water, Power Generation and Oil & Gas? Will you please briefly update our readers on the number of jobs you are/will be undertaking in near future in India?
Atanu Pattanayak: Our users in India have been successfully employing our software and delivering desired results not only for projects in India, but also for a number of international projects. Bentley users in India submitted 74 project nominations for the 2015 Be Inspired Awards programme, 50 project nominations for the 2014 Be Inspired Awards programme, and close to 90 project nominations for the 2013 Be Inspired Awards.

Pall India, based out of Pune, won the Be Inspired award in 2013 in the Innovation in Process & Manufacturing category. Bentley globally is a leader in software for sustaining water and wastewater infrastructure around the world, including in India. A number of the major AEC firms, like CDM, MWH, Black & Veatch, CH2M HILL, use our software tools, with some of our most notable users in the oil and gas industry being Reliance, Essar, BPCL, and IOCL.

How is the demand for advanced software reflected in the Indian market? Will you please cast some light on the latest trends that are driving the market for companies like Bentley in India?
Pattanayak: Indian infrastructure organisations have been adopting advanced design and analysis tools for quite some time. In the last four to five years, Bentley has devoted considerable time to educating these organisations on the benefits of moving beyond software for design and analysis to also include solutions for construction, operations, and maintenance. For this to happen, information has flow from the design stage through construction and, ultimately, into operations. This requires software that empowers information mobility (among disciplines as well as across the infrastructure lifecycle), which is a hallmark of Bentley offerings. Other trends that have a lot of potential in India and elsewhere include asset performance management and risk-based inspection for enhanced asset performance. Bentley is a leader in these areas.

Integrated refinery and petrochemical operation is one of the prevailing trends in the country. Can OpenPlant and AssetWise suites be of great use for the same? Please elaborate.
Anne-Marie Walters: Both OpenPlant and AssetWise products are able to provide significant benefits to integrated refineries and petrochemical operations.

OpenPlant is used by engineers for the engineering design and construction phases of plant projects of all types, including large and complex integrated refineries and petrochemical projects – which generally involve multiple EPC firms. Leveraging ISO 15926 as its native data model, OpenPlant is uniquely able to bring together data from multiple engineering systems to normalise the information as it moves across them and resolve any engineering differences. The software is able to produce the required deliverables for procurement, fabrication, and construction from a single managed source, reducing risks and streamlining information sharing and workflows across multiple project participants. OpenPlant is also able to provide high-quality, open information for handover to operations.

Our AssetWise platform is focused on improving asset performance during operations. Its applications help operations and maintenance personnel reduce costs, improve safety, and increase efficiency. AssetWise APM (asset performance management) supports a reliability and risk-based approach to maintenance, while AssetWise Amulet enables operational decision support input from performance and maintenance history and conditions sensors, applying predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve safety and throughput. Our AssetWise ECM (engineering content management) offering manages asset data across the lifecycle, from projects through operations to decommissioning. AssetWise ECM ensures engineering information is always accurate, up to date, and reliable for improved decision making and regulatory purposes.

At ARC Advisory Conference, Mr Greg Bentley had spoken about ‘extending its offerings beyond design modelling and project collaboration services to address the challenge of sustaining infrastructure across its entire lifecycle.’ Will you please throw some light on this statement?
Walters: Bentley’s 30 years of cumulative BIM advancements began with its growing portfolio of information modelling applications spanning all infrastructure disciplines in design modelling. In response to demand for virtualisation of talent, streamlined and secure collaboration, and comprehensive engineering content management to accommodate the needs of distributed project teams, Bentley introduced ProjectWise in 1998. Advancing from visualisation into visibility, Bentley began to add analytical modelling for simulation of behaviours, to ‘optioneer’ infrastructure improvements.

Next it made it possible for design work to be sustained and referenced within overlaid construction modelling workflows, including workface planning and advanced work packaging. Our reality modelling breakthrough (led by our new Acute3D acquisition) can now perfect the alignment of the ‘virtual’ with the physical context, continuously throughout the project and asset lifecycle.

Bentley launched its AssetWise initiative focused on improving asset performance during operations with its acquisition of Exor and Enterprise Informatics (eB) in 2010. The acquisition of Ivara (now AssetWise APM) integrated OPEX and CAPEX. Our very recent addition of Amulet software for operational analytics (through our acquisition of C3global) extended asset performance management to asset performance modelling, enabling operational decision support with input from performance and maintenance history and condition sensors, applying predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve safety and throughput.

How do you evaluate the rate of subscription of Bentley’s software in India? Which are the industries using your application the most in the country?
Pattanayak: On a global basis, Bentley’s subscription revenue (as a per cent of total) grew to 76 per cent in 2014. And subscription revenue retention exceeded 97 per cent.

Regarding the AECO market segments that are using our software the most in India, plant, road, rail, water networks and structural consultants would be the predominant ones, though we serve most of India’s infrastructure community.

There are several companies offering plant information management solutions to streamline collaboration between design firms and systems, enhance the front-end loading, and connect data to help empower project teams and other activities while executing EPCM. How is Bentley’s approach different in assisting its clients? What distinguishes Bentley from others?
Walters: One of the primary areas in which Bentley differs is its commitment and approach to information mobility across disciplines and the infrastructure lifecycle. It’s an approach that enables solutions that bring together and manage information from across plant information management applications, even those of other software vendors.

The CONNECT Edition, our next generation of infrastructure engineering software, further enhances information mobility through its provision of a purposefully connected environment to improve the performance of infrastructure projects and assets from design through construction and operations. The CONNECT Edition provides the first common environment for comprehensive project delivery – comprising a common modelling environment, common performance environment, and common data environment. Leveraging the reach and computing power of the Microsoft Azure cloud, and supporting a hybrid environment that includes on-premise servers, desktop applications, and mobile apps, the CONNECT Edition completes the reach of information mobility for advancing infrastructure.

Could you mention top five things from plant owners’ point of view that should be considered while choosing right solutions for the plant?
Walters: Of utmost importance to plant owners is the ability to generate trusted and reliable information that their operations and maintenance personnel can use with confidence. Even one small error could cause them to doubt the data and this would lead to inefficiency at best and unsafe situations in a worst-case scenario. So an application with strong change management capabilities is vital. Bentley’s AssetWise ECM has been tried and tested in the nuclear power industry, which is rigorously regulated and therefore requires highly accurate data and maximum data integrity.

Second, plant owners need a reliable and trusted supplier that can provide both applications and support for those applications on a mission critical basis. Bentley offers global coverage through a team of professional engineers in support that is second to none. We are especially strong in India, with a large development office as well as a significant operations presence.

Third, plant owners must consider a supplier’s track record and ability to provide user references. The top oil and gas companies rely on Bentley software for asset information management, as do numerous utility and government organisations.

Fourth is the longevity and the future stability, both in terms of the information generated and managed and the supplier. As I mentioned earlier, Bentley has a unique, open approach to data and believes in using open, industrybased standards. This protects users’ data into the future. Bentley has just celebrated its 30th year in business and has experienced steady growth over the years.

Finally, plant owners should look at a supplier’s list of partners, as well as the strategic relationships it initiates and maintains. Bentley has a partnership with Microsoft that now includes the provision of secure, managed cloud services via Microsoft Azure. Bentley also has a partnership with Siemens that is enabling the process industry to truly collaborate across all engineering and construction disciplines. Such strong partnerships demonstrate credibility in being able to deliver tried and tested solutions that will last the life of the asset – which, for a refinery and petrochemical plant, is going to be in excess of 50 years.