Opti Inter-Consult was founded in 1990 in Turku, Finland, with offices in the Netherlands and the UK. It was the creator of the product TeamMate, for document management.
Bentley first invested in Opti Inter-Consult in 1995, signing them as a Bentley Strategic Affiliate; an arrangement where Bentley invested in the affiliate to some degree. Press release link here:
Under the agreement Bentley became the exclusive vendor of TeamMate. Opti Inter-Consult later released the product TeamMate 96. Press release link here:
In 1996 Bentley Systems fully acquired Opti Inter-Consult. The group was split and assigned to two companies:
For a short period, the product was named OfficeMate, which was the first full "Windowized” version of TeamMate. The name didn’t last long and it was quickly changed back to TeamMate.
The difference between TeamMate and ModelServer TeamMate was significant: TeamMate was a file based collaboration solution; ModelServer TeamMate was a server based implementation that supported both MicroStation and AutoCAD documents.
WorkPlace Systems Inc., a joint venture between Bentley Systems and Primavera, was announced in November 1996. Press release link here. The venture was fully owned by Bentley and was to focus upon solutions for the Facilities Management market. An employee of Bentley Systems, George Church, headed up the company throughout its lifespan.
The initial products were ActiveAsset Planner and ActiveAsset Inquirer, both for the Facilities Management market. WorkPlace Systems also continued to sell OptiSE, which it had acquired from Opti Inter-Consult.
OptiSE evolved into the product EED (Elementary Electrical Diagrams), which eventually evolved into the two products Bentley Signal Relay (for the creation of railway signal box wiring diagrams) and Bentley SubStation (for the layout of electrical substations) . Both of these products were later discontinued in favor of the promis.e product, which joined the Bentley portfolio with the January 22nd 2008 acquisition of ECTI.
In December 1998 WorkPlace Systems was merged back into Bentley Systems.
Note that WorkPlace Systems Inc.was a different organization to Workplace Wisdom Inc. : the latter was a reseller/Bentley Integrator from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, that was acquired on November 27th 2002. Key staff joining Bentley from Workplace Wisdom included Al Leonard, Phil Planidin and Inga Morozoff
WorkPlace Systems created the products ActiveAsset Manager, ActiveAsset Planner and ActiveAsset Inquirer.ActiveAsset Manager was rebranded so that it could be licensed on a project by project basis. The rebranded product was named ProjectWise
When WorkPlace Systems was merged back into Bentley Systems, the Bentley products TeamMate and ModelServer TeamMate were dropped in favor of ProjectWise, which became a Bentley platform product.
The products ActiveAsset Planner and ActiveAsset Inquirer evolved into the product Bentley Facilities
Original article written by Steve Nunn, after consultation with Tuomo Parjanen and George Church