HP, Compaq carve out new organization to address GIS market

By Joe Francica

Directions Magazine queried the new HP-Compaq corporation about their plans for GIS.Both had emphasized the spatial information systems marketplace in recent years, although Compaq as been more visible.And, unless you've been hiding under a rock recently, or don't get to many trade shows, the Compaq iPAQ is almost universely demonstrated when showing "maps on a PDA".We asked Don Brady of the new HPQ organization to respond to our questions:

1.Will you continue to partner with ESRI, Intergraph or other GIS companies to offer a total solution? Who would normally take the lead in identifying customers?
The new Hewlett-Packard Company intends to continue to partner with leading GIS companies, and we will expand our current portfolio as it makes sense for us to do. In fact, we plan to leverage those partnerships to extend our reach into new regions and new markets. As we identify key areas of growth for GIS solutions, we will put teams in place in the geographies to build local partnerships with our ISVs, so that we can get even closer to our customers.

2.Compaq has introduced many competitively priced servers.Do you see them delivering value to GIS customers with large spatial databases?
Absolutely. AlphaServer™ systems have a significant presence in large, mission-critical GIS solutions, including some of the world's largest spatial database implementations. We announced during the launch of the new HP that the RISC- and Intel-based product roadmaps of both pre-merger companies will not change. So now, the breadth of our product and services portfolio from the combined company will enable us to put together the most cost-effective spatial solutions, on a choice of platforms, for our customers.

3.The iPAQ is everywhere! What plans do you have to further reach buyers, both corporate and individual, with wireless location solutions?
Wireless applications have been a major growth area for GIS during the past few years. This is one component of what we refer to as "Anytime, Anywhere GIS", and indeed the iPAQ™ is by far the leading device for mobile location solutions. The iPAQ has replaced Jornada as HP's line of handheld products, so iPAQ will continue to be everywhere -- the industry's standard Pocket PC.

4.Microsoft is pushing the .NET (MapPoint .NET specifically) strategy heavily.Will we see HPQ engaging with them for GIS solutions?
We are still working out some of the details of our strategy as the new company is just weeks old.

5.Your international effort is aggressive.Are those markets (Asia/Pac, Latin America) growing faster for GIS solutions than in the U.S.?
Certainly some international markets are growing very fast, and the size of the combined company will give us an even greater presence in some parts of the world. I see significant potential in China and Latin America for large GIS projects in specific industries and government initiatives. There are many good opportunities in North America as well.

In recent years we focused our efforts on partnering with key GIS companies at the corporate level. Our aggressive push into international regions is aimed largely at establishing local teams and partnerships with regional system integrators and local ISV distributors. As we move that out into the geographies, and consequently get that much closer to the customer and the end-user, we will be much better able to demonstrate the advantages of working with the new HP.

When a customer sees a local team dedicated to working with them to help solve their spatial technology problems, the real value of these partnerships manifests itself in a way that cannot be fully realized at the corporate level.

6.What will the organizational structure of the new GIS group within HPQ look like? As separate companies, I believe both had an emphasis on GIS but Compaq seemed more visible.Comments?
I would agree that prior to the merger, Compaq was the more visible company within the GIS space, particularly during the past two years or so. Details of the GIS organization in the new HP are still being worked out, but a few things are certain:

  • GIS will be an important focus in the new company;
  • We will continue - and in many cases expand -- the kinds of initiatives we have undertaken in the past with our partners.
Let's revisit this in another month or so when we'll be able to provide more details on the GIS organization, our strategy, and some of the GIS initiatives we'll be undertaking.

...watch for more on this from Directions Magazine...

Compaq, AlphaServer and iPAQ are trademarks of Compaq Information Technologies Group, L.P.in the United States and other countries.

Published Sunday, June 23rd, 2002

Written by Joe Francica

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