Apologies, it has been a while since our last update in the GBI blog - the marketing department keeps reminding that October was a long time ago. Seems we (probably I) have been too busy with our "SpotOn Vantage World Tour 2009-10". Rock On! (enterprise software style).
Highlights from the past 6 months:
"Seriously, I'm at a conference... I told you these GIS guys are different!"
We've had whirlwind trips to Europe, and more trips to Redlands, CA than you can shake a stick at. We have new people in the virtual shop, a newly minted partner tearing up the UK, and our good friend Freddy is about to light up another corner of Europe (stay tuned).
Most importantly, we've delivered - and are delivering, at an accelerated pace - on the promise of achieving a complete information perspective with our customers. Bridging the geographic and the business dimensions to deliver the complete picture.
And boy, have we learned a bunch along the way! Looking forward to sharing.
Quick note to let you know that SpotOn will be conducting a public GBI webinar this Thursday at 2 PM Eastern. We will be discussing and demonstrating how the geographic perspective can augment and enhance your core business intelligence.
We hope you can join us!
What to say when the audience knows more than you...
Over the last couple of months, I've had the pleasure of being asked to speak several times to GIS experts on the topic of "why" and "how" they should care about business intelligence. Once again last week, I had the opportunity to stand on my soap box and talk about GBI - Geographic Business Intelligence. This time it was at the ESRI Canada Regional User Conference in Toronto.
As forewarned, the audience had very little exposure and experience with business intelligence. What's a BI guy like me doing in a place like this - and what the heck can I give of value to these GIS brainiacs? "Hello rock, I'm standing here beside the hard place..."
Here what the good folks got; the top reasons why the GIS department should care about BI:
- The CIO's top technology priory is BI. This has been the case again this year, and it has been for the better part of a decade. So says Gartner. GIS can gain CIO mind share by just being a part of the reporting and analytics infrastructure.
- BI has broad based access to the critical business data; data that may not readily be available to the GIS analysts. Much of the BI data modeling may already be in place, after years of benefiting from being a CIO priority.
- BI handles complex data manipulation. There are business problems that are clearly best handled by the BI query(ies). BI was designed to do complex calculations, support report parameters, and deliver rich end-user prompting. BI can crunch the numbers - spatial analysis makes the numbers stunning.
- BI data is secured. When BI report data is used in map layer development, the BI security model is persisted through use in the map.
- Enterprise BI is built to disseminate information - to whomever, wherever, in the organization. Web-based enterprise mapping can benefit from this delivery infrastructure immensely. Rather than the "build it and they will come" mentality; maps can hop on the BI "bus", it's going where they need to be!
The audience seemed receptive, and in some cases downright eager. Or they were just too damn polite. Canadians...
Let me know what you think. What did I miss?
Hi all - we're now two weeks removed from what might be referred to as the last "old school" Cognos Forum in Orlando, FL. We won't lie, there was much trepidation going in. Having decided to invest as a Gold Sponsor in the Performance World for the second year in a row, there was much hand-wringing over the ability to recoup this year's investment going into the event. News was that registration was hovering at less than a 1/3 of the last year's numbers going in. A molasses-like economy and swine flu rage - which I believe was a news epidemic more than anything else, but what do I know - had folks anticipating disaster going in.
Guess what, it was a fantastic event! I'm confident that this will end up being SpotOn's most profitable Forum in the four we've attended as partners. When they started throwing IBM Cognos staff out of the fancy hotel, it was a positive sign that there was a rush on last minute registrations. And when you think about it, when times are tough and dollars are tight, if companies send people to a conference you know that they are looking for tangible information and likely have budget and a buying agenda. This was reflected in the nature of the conversations we had with Cognos customers.
I've also become a firm believer that you can only "be" one thing at a conference like this - unless you are a household name. Yes, SpotOn can do many things (some would say "anything" with our SDK prowess) but at this event we were the people that put ESRI map into Cognos reports. How do you know? Because it is on the 42 inch monitor at our booth, in your face when you walked through the door.
We also had tremendous access to senior Cognos and IBM personal this year. I met, and had tremendous conversations, with executives from Services, Worldwide Cognos Sales, Cognos Partners and Alliances, and leaders of the IBM Software Group. Already these meetings are proving very fruitful with several ongoing dialogs.
Also it didn't hurt to have some major "hardware" sitting on our booth. And I'm not talking about servers and storage here, my friends. But we'll save that story for next week.
Great to see old friends - and make some new ones. I'm interested to see how the Cognos Forum we know and love gets folded into the Information On Demand event in October 2010. I just hope we don't lose that Forum Magic.