Design Data Joins the Fold of the Nemetschek Group

October 12, 2016 | Comments

Design Data is a Lincoln, Nebr.–based software development company for the steel industry’s fabrication, detailing and engineering sectors. As a CAD manager in that self-same city, I am very familiar with Design Data’s flagship product SDS/2.
SDS/2 is a steel detailing software that automates tasks such as connection design and identifying materials, bolts, holes and welds as users input steel members such as columns and beams. It takes into consideration such things as framing conditions, erectability and clash prevention into this connection design and is definitely well-known in the industry.

image001Wide-flange steel column and beam connection in SDS/2. (Image courtesy of Design Data.)

As a writer for the CAD and BIM industry, I am also familiar with the Nemetschek Group, a software provider for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. I’ve written in length about the Nemetschek Group’s brand Vectorworks, which is a design software for the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries. It was acquired by the Nemetschek Group in 2000. In addition to Vectorworks, the group has acquired several other brands including Allplan, Bluebeam, GRAPHISOFT, Scia, Solibri and more.

Nemetschek Buys Up Design Data

Naturally, I was excited to hear the news in July 2016 that the Nemetschek Group would also be acquiring Design Data. This would be advantageous for the group because the structural steel solution allows it to have a more complete workflow, starting with up-front analysis and design using Scia, followed by detailing and fabrication with Design Data and then going all the way through review and markup with Bluebeam.

As Damon Scaggs, president of Design Data, explains, “For our company, the acquisition means accelerated growth into international markets. For our customers, it allows them to continue to use the leading software in the structural steel detailing industry, while now benefitting from increased integration with Nemetschek’s software solutions throughout the BIM process. SDS/2 seamlessly plugs into Nemetschek’s architectural and design offerings, while providing its customers access to Design Data’s longstanding manufacturing expertise.”

image002Structural steel assembly in SDS/2. (Image courtesy of Design Data.)

Moving Up in the AEC Market

Nemetschek’s brand additions and growing presence in the US market falls right in line with its expressed plans to go head-to-head with companies such as Autodesk and Trimble, both internationally and domestically.

However, it takes a slightly different approach in its growth; the Nemetschek Group does not absorb companies like many typical large corporation acquisitions. Its business model has been to identify successful and innovative software companies in the AEC market, then operate and grow them as independent companies.

In the terms of the acquisition, Design Data says it will continue to operate as it always has. Its customers will continue to work with the same people in support, sales and administration as they always have. On the flip side, Design Data definitely recognizes the advantages of being part of a larger organization. It will now have greater access to expertise, resources and technology that will improve its clients’ workflows with the integration of other Nemetschek Group brands.

These continued brand acquisitions under the Nemetschek Group’s umbrella provide a great deal of synergy across the brands, but the way it’s accomplished this seems to be the key to its success. Allowing those brands to have the flexibility and independence to continue to operate and grow on their own keeps a certain sense of ownership. That sense, in addition to a strong team environment, will go a long way in setting the stage for success when taking on such industry giants as Autodesk and Trimble.

For more information, check out the Design Data website.

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