LAS VEGAS, NV - I had the privilege to attending Trimble Dimensions 2014 in Las Vegas this year, this was my first year attending the conference and I was amazed at the size and scope of the conference. I was even more amazed of the number of products Trimble has in its portfolio. I knew Trimble as GPS and surveying equipment company, but they are much more than that. They have products for civil engineering and survey, construction, transportation, agriculture, as well as architecture and building.
CEO Steve Berglund Kicks Off
The Keynote started with Steve Berglund, CEO and President welcoming over 4,000 Trimbleites to the conference and giving a brief state of the union address. He talked about the growth of the company and where the company is headed. It seems that Trimble as been doing great things for quite some time in fact he stated that “The Internet of things and big data, both of which they invented but forgot to name.” He also talked about how Trimble is concentrating on three core technologies: measurement, connectivity and information. Together these three technologies makeup the “Connected Site.” “Connecting” seemed to be the theme of the conference. I learned in a later session that connecting and collaboration was a topic brought up by several clients at the last conference, that just goes to show that Trimble pays attention.
Down on the Farm
Next up was Joe Denniston, Vice President Agriculture. He talked about how Trimble was helping farmers maximize their production by utilizing land, water, seed, fertilizers, equipment and labor to their full potential. Using Trimble’s “Connected Farm” a farmer can manage their farm from office to field, they can keep track of water usage and with targeted water and put this precious resource where it’s needed. Using all these tools Trimble helps today’s farmers deliver the food supply the world depends on.
Trimble in Transportation
Transportation was next and Vice President, Ron Konezny took the stage to talk about how Trimble technology is used in transportation to help trucks not only get to their destinations on time, but keep track of their maintenance costs. Trimble “Connected Fleet” technologies are used by the largest trucking companies to not only keep track of their trucks but also monitor the engine and driver performance, using these tools they were able to not only save fuel but save lives in the process.
Erik Arvesen, VP of Geospatial followed up talking about all the advancements that Trimble has made in the Geospatial realm. With 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created everyday, Trimble’s technology is helping businesses and governments make the best use of that data. He talked about how one engineering firm in Europe stated that a single job that they recently completed created more data than the previous 20 jobs combined. He stated that the three biggest questions are:
- Is it accurate?
- How are we going to use it?
- Where is it going?
Trimble is helping you answer these questions. For example the new V10 rover allows you to capture images and geo locations data. Those photos and data can then be delivered directly in to Business Center, and more impressively in to SketchUp Pro 2015 to merge photos from the site with the 3D model.
Civil Engineering and Construction
Roz Ruick, VP Heavy Civil Construction then talked about how “construction is chaos.” 80% of projects are late or over budget. She also talked about how existing technologies are disconnected and that Trimble is concentrating on the "Constructible Model.” Its not enough to have a model, you need to have a model you take to the field, but more importantly take the data from the field back to the model. With “Connected Site” Trimble hopes to transform how the world constructs by bringing order to the chaos.
Buildings Late and Over Budget
Rob Painter General Manager of Building, finished by stating that the building is a 3.5 trillion dollar business. Most projects are over budget and late, there are too many problems that are discovered too late, and with Trimble technology you can discover these issues earlier when something can be done to fix it. He talked about Trimble Connect and Field Link and how these two products can help. Trimble Connect is a online collaboration and sharing service that is product agnostic. Using technology acquired by Gehry Technologies, Trimble Connect allows the project stakeholders view, share and collaborate with data from different sources from different vendors. Field Link is a suite of hardware and software that allows the contractor to accurately layout critical points in the construction project. Then after the parts are in place you can easily recapture those critical points and bring them back in to the model for verification.
Blue Angels Inspire
The keynote finished up with a inspirational talk by the Blue Angel's Greg Wooldridge. Greg talked about what it took to be the best of the best and the kind of talent it takes to fly and lead the Blue Angels. It takes an incredible amount of focus and precision to lead and they risk their lives every time they execute a maneuver. Greg did a great job bridging the concepts he has learned leading the Blue Angles to what we all do every day, and that we need to strive to the be in the top .01% in everything we do.
Overall, I was impressed and glad I attended the conference. The take always I learned were: • Trimble is more than just a GPS company, they create a suite of hardware and software products, combined to create a total solution.
- Networking with your peers is invaluable as you can get information that isn’t shared in the sessions, like it blows up if you do this or if you do this its really cool.
- Trimble is becoming a real player in the industry, with over 20 products in the building segment alone.
- Trimble Connect is going to change the way we all communicate on the project. Even as a version 1 for Trimble, it has a set of powerful features but has a simple to use interface.
- Trimble Dimensions 2014, Day 1 - video by Trimble
About the Author
Bill Debevc is an expert in Autodesk software and IT, currently specializing in private BIM cloud technologies. He has over 24 years of experience using, supporting, and customizing Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit software. As a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), he uses his extensive IT experience to implement industry leading IT solutions for the AEC industry. Recently, as the Technical Manager for USCAD, Bill now shares his knowledge about private BIM Clouds to help the AEC industry reduce costs, increase productivity, and allow production teams work productively from anywhere on any device. You can find Bill at Bim9.com.