Bentley Systems Inc. (www. bentley.com) provides software for the lifecycle of the world’s infrastructure. The company’s comprehensive portfolio for the building, plant, civil, and geospatial vertical markets spans architecture, engineering, construction and operations. With 2004 revenues exceeding USD 300 million, Bentley is one of the leading providers of high-end engineering software. Bentley’s Geospatial solutions are being used by a large number of mapping organizations, national governments, local and regional governments, public works organizations, water and sewer utilities, civil engineering firms, communications service providers, power companies and
In an exclusive interview with egov, Malcolm Walter, COO, Bentley Systems communicates his views and perspectives on transforming traditional governments through innovative solutions like that of Bentley’s 3E-Government.
Bentley’s solution suites for the government and the public sector emphasizes the concept of 3E-Government. What exactly is 3E-Government and what is the concept behind it?
Bentley’s 3E-Government is based on the idea of transforming ordinary information into an intelligent resource to facilitate modern governments to provide superior public services. It concentrates on what governments do, not whose tools they use, and provides technology solutions that result in improved government operations, better information flow, and more effective response to constituent needs.
The three Es stand for Engineer, Enable, Empower– which, in a nutshell, traces our key deliverables for reforming government processes. In the last few years, information needs of governments and citizens alike have increased greatly. Modern communication technologies and automation tools have raised public expectations with respect to delivery of government services. For governments to keep up, they must leverage and maintain their spatial information – from simple engineering drawings to complex project plans to sophisticated Web-based information portals. Put simply, they need precise and on-time information to facilitate administrative processes. And this is where Bentley’s 3E-Government solutions come in, providing a cohesive solution for efficient decision-making and Web-based publishing.
3E-Government assists in the development of sustainable future plans through detailed mapping of public utilities and by integrating existing databases of facilities and resources. It meets the information needs of public works and government engineering departments such as roadways and highways, water and sanitation, land administration and housing; enables them with sophisticated information management tools; and empowers the government and the public alike with information availability and transparency.
Could you cite a few examples/case studies where Bentley’s applications have been implemented and put to use?
Bentley’s applications and solution suites are being used all over the world. On the one hand, Honduras has developed the entire land management system of the country, virtually from scratch, using Bentley applications. In the Czech Republic, Bentley solutions have streamlined cadastre and land administration practices that had developed over centuries but were terribly inefficient. Government departments running Bentley applications have reaped great benefits in terms of developing intelligent decision making systems and enjoying the convenience of effortless analysis of complex developmental issues.
“For governments to keep up, they must leverage and maintain their spatial information – from simple engineering drawings to complex project plans to sophisticated Web-based information portals.”
What are your views about the potential of Asian countries in adopting technology tools and intelligent solutions such as 3E-Government for improving public infrastructure and services?
There is great potential for Asian countries to benefit from modern technology-based planning of public infrastructure and services. To sustain the impressive economic growth of this region, governments need to rapidly develop basic infrastructure and improvement of the general quality-of-life, making the delivery of services more efficient. Asian countries like China,Singapore, Japan, and a host of Middle- East nations have pulled ahead of others in terms of developing world-class infrastructure and bringing a high level of professionalism and expertise in government operations and services. Much of this has been achieved through large-scale technology deployment, IT integration, process automation, and the application of efficient management tools.
Growing economies like India, Philippines, Malaysia, and other Asian nations need to act promptly to improve their existing facilities and services. Solutions like 3E-Government would put a lot of decision-making power in the hands of local authorities, going a long way to assist the overall developmental plan of this region.
According to you what are the crucial advantages of Bentley mapping solutions for infrastructure and development planning? How do you perceive Bentley’s role in transforming conventional planning process by public departments?
The fundamental approach of Bentley in transforming the conventional planning process is to move from 2D to 3D mapping solutions. In fact, one of the biggest strengths of Bentley solutions lies in 3D integration, simulation, and visualization. Until recently, the entire infrastructure development and geospatial industry around the world was solely dependent on 2D solutions. However, the advent of the latest 3D spatial solution suites, such as those of Bentley, have revolutionized the entire planning process. 3D solutions give governments much more decisionmaking and analysis power. Realistic depiction and near-perfect replication of the physical world works amazingly well in removing the traditional information gaps in planning. It also provides exceedingly good results in the field of emergency planning and disaster response.
How do you perceive the growth in use and propagation of 3D geo-spatial data in government and public domain of Asian countries?
There is a great demand for 3D data from different sectors and departments of government and public organizations. With the emergence of high-speed Internet access, advanced Web browsers, and high-end visualization and analysis tools, the use and dissemination of 3D data is getting easier all the time.
“Asian countries like China, Singapore, Japan, and a host of Middle-East nations have pulled ahead of others in terms of developing world-class infrastructure and bringing a high level of professionalism and expertise in government operations and services.”
However, some governments are apprehensive about publishing 3D data in the public domain. Some conservative countries are already raising their voice against putting such information in public hands and are vying for information secrecy. Hopefully, the worldwide trend of information liberty and universal accessibility will dissuade such efforts and advance progress towards a true information society.
How do you foresee the future of the mapping industry and its potential for contributing towards leveraging government capacities?
Mapping has always been critical for increasing the developmental and planning capacities of governments. With liberalization and recent policy reforms on mapping work in progressive countries like India, the potential is virtually unlimited. More professional enterprises in the mapping industry will surely lift up the standards of available data and applications. Precise data with engineering-level accuracy is of the utmost importance today, and the professional geospatial and mapping industry has a clear-cut edge in providing it. The entire industry is poised for huge growth in the coming years. Governments around the world will soon be able to enhance their planning capacities by tapping that expertise.