A Look Beyond - Part 3

By Directions Staff

In part three of our series, we engaged the two largest GIS companies for their opinions, ESRI and Intergraph.David Maguire, Director of Product Planning at ESRI, and Preetha Pulusani, President of Intergraph's Mapping and GIS Solutions.As in the past editions of this series, we have posed the same questions (Read Part 1, Part 2) :

1. By your own measure, has your company been as successful as it could have been this year? Why or Why not?

David Maguire: I am pleased to report that ESRI has had a very successful year and met all our major targets.

On the technology side, we have pushed forward with our agenda to extend the ArcGIS family of software products.In May, we released ArcGIS 8.1, which included the next generation release of ArcView, and a new addition to the desktop family called ArcEditor.ArcGIS also included major new functionality, such as the Geostatistical Analyst, as well as major improvements in ArcInfo, ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and other extensions.Later in the year we also released ArcGIS 8.1.2, a significant release focused primarily on quality and performance.Unfortunately, space does not permit me to mention several other major software product releases that occurred in 2001.

A particularly pleasing aspect of 2001 was that during the year several of our users successfully rolled out production ArcGIS systems.Some of these were very large and featured hundreds of users and very large multi-user databases, others were more modest desktop or mobile systems.Users also started to experiment with Distributed GIS based on the Geography Network and g.net architecture.

As a company, ESRI continued to grow financially as a result of continued support from our users.Worldwide we grew at about 21% to almost $500m.

Preetha Pulusani: Intergraph Mapping and GIS Solutions was created as a new Intergraph vertical business unit in late 2000.The new business combined the commercial geo-product and government geo-services organizations at Intergraph.This year is our first operating as a global, independent business of the parent company.While this has been a challenge, it also has been a successful year in that we achieved the objectives we set for the business.We had the advantage of being able to build on and exploit several assets of our business.These included a broad and loyal customer base, market leadership and industry experience, a solid technology foundation and global/local domain expertise.One objective we had this year was to bring to market open industry solutions.We succeeded in accomplishing this objective in these key areas: Transportation, Public Works, Cartography, Land Management, and Location-Based Services.We also reached a new level of maturity in our core Mapping and GIS product offerings.Another objective was to regain focus and coverage in Mapping and GIS in major geographic territories.This effort is underway and will be completed by the end of 2002.We are satisfied we have attained the level we targeted this year.We were able to do all of this while achieving profitability during the past three quarters of the year.Given the general economic conditions today, these milestones add up to a successful year for our company.

2. If you had to do this year all over again, how would have prepared your company to provide better services or products to your clients? (please exclude the events of September 11 and be specific about the technology or products in which you would have invested)

David Maguire: Although 2001 was a very successful year for ESRI, we can always support our users better and with hindsight make better and more efficient decisions.Hindsight would certainly have helped us foresee the downturn in the Internet "dotcoms" and telecommunications industries, which could have saved us considerable time and expense.One of the constant challenges for companies on the leading edge of technology developments is keeping staff and users update.In retrospect, we should have spent more resources helping our users manage change.

Preetha Pulusani: I believe we chose the correct objectives for our company this year.However, there is always a wish list for things that could not get done because of the required time or people or energy or....It's easy for me to think of such a wish list for our company based on having more time and resources this year.For me, it is not so much about focusing on different/better products or services.It would be much more about communication.About enhanced information and additional communication to the people and markets we serve.It would be about a deeper penetration and education of the government, academic, private sector and partner communities, and a broader reach of information to the people that need it.And that information would revolve around the importance of geospatial information in so many aspects of business, governing, and society.

Published Friday, January 4th, 2002

Written by Directions Staff

If you liked this article subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter...stay informed on the latest geospatial technology

Sign up

© 2017 Directions Media. All Rights Reserved.