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Many Connections Made During Business Partner Conference
Esri business partners and distributors from around the world came together at the 2009 Esri Worldwide Business Partner Conference (BPC), held March 22–24 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, to examine the latest Esri products and services, discuss successful sales and marketing strategies, build their networks, and explore future business directions. "I came away invigorated and full of ideas," says Scott Hutchinson, sales and marketing manager, Symology Ltd.
"The conference allows us to connect with our partners to find ways that we, together, can benefit from advances in the industry and the technology," said Jack Dangermond, president, Esri. "Even more important are the connections our partners make with one another: this interaction is incredibly valuable."
Plenary Shows Great Strides
The conference began with an informative Plenary Session led by Dangermond and Esri staff. Dangermond welcomed attendees with examples of innovative partner solutions in industries ranging from forest management to business and economic development. He also announced the business partner award recipients. A complete list of award winners can be found at www.esri.com/bpc.
Attendees were guided through the latest enhancements in Esri software, primarily Esri's most recent release, ArcGIS 9.3.1. Dangermond and Esri staff shared how this release enables users to deploy fast, modern Web maps; create layer packages; connect to Microsoft Virtual Earth services; and more. Bernie Szukalski, product manager for Esri's ArcGIS Explorer, discussed new innovations in ArcGIS Online. He also demonstrated to an applauding audience the new features and capabilities of ArcGIS Explorer 900.
"I liked the whole [plenary] session, as it was informative and covered a lot of ground," says Mike Hollis, president and CEO, Geospace Inc. "The demos were particularly valuable since I wasn't familiar with ArcGIS 9.3.1."
In addition to software updates, attendees were also introduced to new Esri directors Josh Lewis, director of business partners, and Lawrie Jordan, director of imagery enterprise solutions.
Exploring GIS Continues
The opportunity to enhance business practices and explore cutting-edge technology did not end at the Plenary Session. The Esri Showcase included a collection of product and program islands where attendees could view Esri products in action and get their questions answered. Beyond enabling interaction with Esri staff, the showcase was ideal for networking with other partners and learning more about their offerings.
A broad range of interactive breakout sessions—organized into tracks covering best practices in business, marketing opportunities, and products and technologies—provided real-world insight for attracting new business and keeping existing customers. Attendees could also drop by the GIS Solutions EXPO to view the latest products, solutions, and services from fellow Esri partners.
A key concept Dangermond shared during the Plenary Session, which carried over into the rest of the conference activities, was the important role that Esri partners and their solutions play in creating a better world. "We are living in a very sensitive time," said Dangermond. "It is your footprints of good work that are helping create a better world through GIS. We are so thankful you are here."
Find out more about the 2009 BPC, and watch for updates about next year's event, at www.esri.com/bpc.