Recently, two members of our team attended the Esri Business Partner (EPC) and Developer Summit conferences in Palm Springs. David, one of our developers and Tony, one of the directors, were the attendees. While Tony attended the EPC, David was participating in a 2-day iOS workshop. David found the workshop to be very educational and he learnt quite a bit around the fundamentals of programming in Objective C. Watch this space, GBS will be developing iOS applications in the near future.
The EPC is always a good event with lots of high-level material being presented by Esri inc, and always in a professional manner. Meeting the international business partner manager was a pleasure and we had some good discussions about future developments there, which we will be following up in NZ. We also met with some forestry specialists from around the world which of course is pertinent to us here at GBS because of what we are doing around steep terrain harvest planning (see CHPs). By the 2nd day, the EPC rolls into the Dev Summit and both David and Tony, along with a reasonable contingent of other Kiwis, attended a lot of the technical sessions and enlightening talks. And of course, there was the usual “networking” opportunities in the evening!
Both the EPC and Dev Summit provided some clear messages from Esri on their future directions, or at least where Esri is dedicating their efforts and energies. The Cloud offerings from ArcGIS Online and the work going on there will be of no surprise to most. We know organisations here in NZ are now looking at this and GBS is fully cognisant of what this means for us as an organisation, but also to our clients. In addition, location analytics and business intelligence (BI), leveraging of Cloud based services, is also a major area of development by Esri. BI is getting a major push with Esri’s maps for Office, IBM Cognos and Microstrategy with SAP to be in Beta mid-year. Add in integrations with CRM Dynamics and SharePoint, and it isn’t difficult to see that Esri are now pretty serious on the BI side of things.
Last but certainly not least, mobile is still at the forefront of Esri’s geostack. Some of the figures being thrown about are very interesting. For instance, current mobile application revenue is around $25 billion (not just for GBS unfortunately). The estimates for revenue in 5 years is $92 billion! With ArcGIS 10.2, most of the run-time (if not all) SDK’s are being updated. The choices for organisations in terms of mobile remains varied and we all have to ensure that clients get the best fit for purpose options.
Overall it was a very good experience. GBS tries to get up to these two events (which we treat as one), every year. It helps us keep up to speed with the Esri developments and directions, ensures we are in line with Esri best practice, and of course network with people and create more opportunities and knowledge. If you have some concerns or questions about where to head next in terms of your enterprise GIS, or you have some ideas about what you want to do but are not sure how best to realise those ideas, come and talk to us. We are only too happy to help.