This was the third year that Esri has focused in on the ‘Location (Web GIS) Platform’ concept in their Partner Conference, and there was a real clarity around the messaging this year. These are my top 5 takeaways.
1. It’s not about the technology
There was a clear shift away from a focus on technology, to demonstrating how to use spatial information to address key business drivers and add value. In the future, you’ll buy the platform, not point products. The goal is that technology should not be a barrier to adoption – you get access to everything you need to make it work.
2. Provide a location destination
There was no mention of the recent deal with Google. However, Google was namechecked several times as the de facto destination for consumer-based spatial data access. Esri wants to be the same for organisations: provide a single location destination for consistent, authoritative location-based content, accessible in 3 clicks or less.
These basic requirements are driven by the consumerisation of IT, with an expectation that office systems will work in the same way as systems used outside of work. Indeed, the point was made several times that the two are merging: work is no longer a place, it’s everywhere, and we need to support that.
3. Who are you?
The concept of identity is at the core of this model, with access to the platform via a named user for everyone in an organisation. This carries around information on access privileges, capability, data ownership, activity tracking etc. There is no concept of shared anonymous access in an organisation (‘you wouldn’t share your email account’). Licensing models are also moving this way, to supporting named user subscriptions to the entire platform (think Office 365).
4. It’s for everyone
The goal is to have no limitations to access location information. The Seneca platform deployment example was used numerous times, to illustrate an exemplar implementation of the platform. Seneca scaled from a small GIS desktop deployment, to a full platform implementation for 300 plus users, with strong senior management buy-in, and in a very short timeframe. This resulted in tangible business benefits.
5. Deliver value fast!
As partners, we are being encouraged to aim for an agile approach, delivering initial business value in 21 days or less, then phasing in the more advanced capability and customising only if necessary. Platform deployments now typically start with a 3-5 day ‘jumpstart’ service to get you up & running with user accounts, apps, basic content and provide access to your first maps – value delivered in a week or less.
It’s clear that the Location Platform model has moved from concept to reality over the last three years or so.
The old ‘point product’ deployment of GIS to a largely geo-centric audience approach has gone away. The vision is now on giving every user in an organisation access to location information, any time, any place and on any device. Everything Esri does supports this.
Contact Exprodat to find out how we can help you implement the platform for E&P.
Posted by Gareth Smith, Managing Director, Exprodat.