Siemens is accelerating the transition to becoming a software company and is making further acquisitions: the Zug-based Smart Infrastructure division (intelligent infrastructure) is taking over an American software provider for around $1.6 billion.

“Brightly specializes in energy and maintenance management software.

The software is easy to install and use and can therefore be used across the board.

Our software and services in this area are aimed more at large companies and campus operators.

So the solutions complement each other well,” said Matthias Rebellius, CEO of the Smart Infrastructure division, in an interview with the FAZ

Ilka Kopplin

Business correspondent in Munich.

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Based in Cary, North Carolina, Brightly Software employs approximately 800 software professionals.

“The company started out in schools, and the software is now being used thousands of times,” says Rebellius.

The cloud-based solution from the Americans now complements its own portfolio for key sectors such as public infrastructure, education and healthcare, and manufacturing.

Brightly, which has been owned by financial investor Clearlake Capital since 2019, expects sales of $180 million this year.

The company generates most of it with recurring sales.

Siemens is also pursuing precisely this strategy of selling software solutions as a service with constant sales instead of one-time license fees.

In recent months, Siemens has already acquired several companies to further drive digital expansion, including Sqills, a software provider for rail customers, and Supplyframe, a platform to improve industrial purchasing and value-added processes.

"Today's acquisition supports our growth goals, especially with regard to sales in the digital and software-as-a-service business," said Siemens CEO Roland Busch.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition of Brightly is expected to be completed this calendar year.

The business, which will continue to operate under the current name, is then to be integrated in the coming year.

In the second year after completing the acquisition, the Americans should make a positive contribution to the result.

In any case, Rebellius expects significant synergies in the mid three-digit million range, as he said.

“In the future, we want to bring our offer to Brightly customers and vice versa.

We also want to use Siemens' presence in other countries for Brightly," the manager continued.

So far, the Americans are mainly represented in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Australia.

Big leap forward

"With Brightly, we're taking a huge leap forward and taking building operations to the next level," said Rebellius.

With offerings seamlessly sharing data, customers should expect higher efficiencies, reduced downtime and maintenance costs, shorter lifecycles and better data-driven decisions in the future, he said.

Brightly supports its own vision of "creating completely autonomous buildings that learn from the people who live there and adapt to their needs," said Rebellius.

In the Smart Infrastructure division, Siemens combines all possible products, technologies and solutions to operate buildings and infrastructures more efficiently and sustainably, for example in the area of ​​electromobility or transmission technology.

In the past quarter, incoming orders in the division rose by around a quarter to around 5 billion euros, sales grew by 8 percent to 4 billion euros, and the profit margin was around 11 percent.

In view of ever more stringent climate protection goals and rapidly increasing energy costs, it is not surprising that more and more efficient and sustainable buildings and infrastructure are being invested in.

"We see a trend that supports our portfolio, for example the Green Deal at European level," said Rebellius in an interview.

Many areas of the energy transition are supported, such as reducing consumption, intelligent networks and sustainable electrification.

"However, decision-making processes would have to be faster, investments in infrastructure would have to be mapped more quickly in order to make a difference," the manager continued.