Now, eight months and a million conversations/contemplations later, Bricsys’ vice president of communications Don Strimbu is reflecting on what this alliance really means. Coming off his first experience at HxGN LIVE – where all eight Hexagon divisions gather in Las Vegas with 3,000 customers to showcase what is now and to imagine what is next – Strimbu is no longer a wary, newly assimilated Hexagon-ite.
He is a full-fledged devotee who sees what the relationship between the two companies can yield to the future of both.
Before joining Bricsys mid-2017, Strimbu had 30 years’ experience with AutoDesk. He was hired to upgrade the “outbound voice” of the small, Belgium-based software company that was intent on attracting as much of the CAD market as possible.
Problem was, the small company had only so much access to the big companies it wanted to convert. But with the power of Hexagon behind it – and more specifically the client base brought to it via Hexagon PPM – Bricsys is now envisioning an expansion rate it couldn’t even dream of a year ago.
While fear of employee loss historically accompanies some acquisitions, Strimbu says the formerly 150-person Bricsys has hired 30 new developers, “and we now have the resources to do the great things we’ve always wanted to do.”
At HxGN LIVE, Strimbu says Bricsys had the opportunity to forge possible new partnerships with a host of new customers, and not just those located within the Hexagon PPM portfolio.
“We see the opportunity to leverage the mass of Hexagon AB,” Strimbu said of the parent company that is traded on the Swedish stock exchange. “When I think about all that this company does and how we can plug into it, I get goosebumps.
“This company truly is making the world a better place.”
Let’s review why the Bricsys/Hexagon relationship makes sense.
The ability to get exposed to customers on the ENR 500 and the Fortune 100 companies is huge! We couldn’t have done that on our own. We are seeing interest to do paid pilot projects from customers who didn’t know who we were six months ago.
We are no longer some really awesome but tiny company in Belgium. We are now in position to displace the industry leader in the CAD market.
Since the acquisition was announced last year, how has Bricsys been impacted … from brand exposure to an uptick in customers?
Business is up amazingly. Q2 2019 has proven to be our biggest quarter ever by a large factor. The only thing I can attribute it to is being exposed to companies who would have never seen us before. There’s no other explanation. And we still have so much more to do and so many more people to visit.
Every customer with a license to Hexagon PPM’s CADWorx now gets BricsCAD Platinum, which means this can replace a seat of AutoCAD in their organization. This represents a big savings to these CADWorx customers. It is huge.
Have there been any fortuitous unintended consequences – either for Bricsys or Hexagon PPM – from this collaboration?The biggest one for me was getting introduced to a potential Bricsys customer at HxGN LIVE. It is someone with whom we would have never crossed paths with otherwise. They have their own graphics engine which they do not like at all. They want to replace it and not have to deal with that aspect of their business. The clincher is there are 50,000 active licenses. That came from an exploratory meeting on the show floor.
I am a mechanical engineer by original training, and when I walked onto the show floor at HxGN LIVE, I was amazed. The technology that’s out there and the potential synergy blows me away.
In his keynote address, Hexagon PPM President Mattias Stenberg shared the Bricsys promotional video that shows how “Ted” saved the day at some unnamed company because he brought in BricsCAD. It pitches Bricsys as an approachable company and BricsCAD as a product that can have fast, overarching results. What kind of feedback have you heard?It shows our playful side, our human side. Probably 80 percent of the people in the video were Bricsys employees. It was a cool bonding experience for the team. The production came out so much better than anyone expected. It was really cute, but it was only aimed at brand awareness. Now we’ve got to follow that up with messaging that shows exactly what we do and how we can bring value to customers. And that’s what we’re working on now.
What can we look forward to in the near future from Bricsys and BricsCAD?
We will be releasing V.20 of BricsCAD this fall. We’ll be showcasing it at the Bricsys 2019 conference in Stockholm, Sweden.
Bricsys is an innovative company. We are taking the dwg standard forward. We are showing the world that the dwg file format – which is industry standard – is viable today. There is new life in drawing. It is a known workflow for millions across the globe. Why shouldn’t we bring BIM and mechanical drawing to that platform, and in a way that is cost efficient to our users? We are making this globally visible.
We’ve got a great story and amazing products to share, and Hexagon PPM is helping us do just that.
Don Strimbu is Vice President of Communications at Bricsys. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. He lives in California, USA.