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The State of Kansas has signed an enterprise license agreement (ELA) with Esri. ELAs give state agencies unlimited access to core ArcGIS software that will enhance coordination, service delivery, and decision making between state agencies.
"The ELA is a really good idea and makes good sense for the way that we do business," says Ivan Weichert, GIS director for the State of Kansas. "Saving money is part of the benefit, but working smarter is even more important."
With the ELA, all requests for ArcGIS software will come through the state's Data Access and Support Center, which will provide Weichert and his team with a full picture of GIS implementations and initiatives throughout numerous agencies. The knowledge gained from this centralized coordination will help inform the agencies about activities in other parts of state government that could benefit them. It will also help Weichert eliminate redundant efforts.
"Our goal is to improve coordination of the state's GIS resources and develop infrastructure that improves efficient service and data sharing," Weichert says. "Those processes had been fractured, but now we have a tool that will help us achieve our goals."
GIS is critical to many business processes and workflows in a majority of the state's agencies. The Corporation Commission; Department of Health and Environment, Division of Emergency Management; and Department of Revenue are leaders in using GIS and strongly advocated the ELA. "It supports common government functions and provides a great framework for sharing data, information, and ideas," Weichert adds. "It is important to have strong GIS implementations throughout state agencies because decision makers want to make better decisions based on sound information."
In addition to agencies, legislators are increasingly using GIS to understand issues and make decisions. Ultimately, state chief technology officer Don Heiman would like to geospatially enable every bill, giving legislators and citizens a sense of place—the information that links what is done to where it's done. Once a bill is enacted, its effects could be tracked by geographic reference to measure whether it has the intended impact.
"Legislators have begun to see how important location is to understanding how the next bill they are going to introduce or vote on affects people in their district—with GIS, we can answer those questions for them," Weichert concludes. "We anticipate fast growth and high demand for GIS, especially regarding legislation and citizen engagement, and we want to be ready to deliver smart solutions with efficiency."
For more information on Esri ELAs, visit esri.com/ela.