Partner Conference Focuses on ArcGIS 10
Conference Proves Partners Are Helping to Advance GIS
"I've never been so excited and energized; there are so many opportunities to spread geography everywhere and extend the reach of GIS," said Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond during the Plenary Session at the 2010 Esri Worldwide Business Partner Conference (BPC). The BPC took place March 21–23 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in California.
Esri partners represent a global network of organizations that integrate and expand a variety of technologies and solutions for a broad range of industries. They collaborate with Esri to take GIS into new markets, assist customers with Esri technology, and strengthen the GIS user community. In return, partners are able to develop their businesses, grow their presence in the GIS market, and cultivate their relationship with Esri. The BPC is an excellent resource for partners as it serves as a forum to help them stay current on GIS and connected to Esri. "It's partners helping partners," says Dangermond.
"We came away from this conference with new partner-to-partner relationships and new opportunities in the pipeline," says Kevin Daugherty, vice president of sales and marketing for the Sidwell Company based in Illinois.
"The BPC is an incredible venue to catch up with all the Esri distributors from around the world as well as all of the Esri partner staff that we work with throughout the year; the event is just the right size to have engaging conversations with these key people," says Brian Boulmay, director of business partners at OpenSpirit Corp., which took home the Esri Partner of the Year Award for the energy industry this year.
With an agenda focused on extending the reach of GIS, the conference's sessions, user presentations, demonstrations, and discussions centered on how Esri and partners can work together to widen the scope of GIS capabilities and the organizations leveraging the technology.
Talking Shop About ArcGIS 10
During the plenary, Dangermond reflected on last year's partner successes and discussed what the future holds for GIS including the ArcGIS 10 release, the biggest in Esri's history. "There's been new technology, new business models, and new competition," said Dangermond. "Now we have a new platform for what we all do in both the business and government spaces." He shared how ArcGIS 10 better supports the cloud, Web services, new media, and data sharing and makes the entire system richer yet easier.
Esri staff also presented during the opening session, demonstrating some of the biggest ArcGIS 10 advancements, from freeware and imagery to mobility and fewer clicks of the mouse. Damian Spangrud, the ArcGIS product manager, highlighted how some of the changes to ArcGIS Desktop are "going to transform how people use GIS. It's simpler, more productive, resulting in better maps and better workflows." Esri's John Calkins used a Yosemite National Park safety demonstration to show how the data searching, map panning, and geoprocessing of ArcGIS 10 result in fewer mouse movements and clicks that save as much time as a week a year. Bern Szukalski, the ArcGIS Explorer product manager, talked about accessing new maps and data online via ArcGIS Online, Esri's new online GIS. Szukalski also demonstrated the new browser-based version of ArcGIS Explorer, which further simplifies and improves the way GIS information is accessed and shared online.
Building Knowledge and Relationships
User presentations; industry trend sessions; demonstration theater presentations; and networking activities, such as the GIS Solutions EXPO—which featured more than 30 exhibitors—and the Jim Christoffersen Golf Classic, kept partners busy. The summit offered technical sessions and a keynote presentation given by technology expert David Chappell of Chappell & Associates.
Josh Lewis, Esri's new partner program director, hosted two sessions about the recently launched Esri Partner Network. The new approach to partnering rests on simplicity, from programs and contracts to success sharing. "It's one program, two pathways (solutions or services), and three valuable tiers (silver, gold, or platinum)," Lewis says.
Attendees also met with Esri's industry solutions experts to discuss projects and possibilities in their market. They met the development teams as well and explored specific technical topics, such as what is required to move solutions to version 10.
Celebrating Achievement and Commitment
Awards were given out at the BPC to recognize partners for their outstanding achievement over the past year in the areas of solution development, services or sales, and fostering Esri technology into key markets. "I'm very proud that our relationships continue to work year after year," Dangermond says. The 12 organizations that have been partners for more than 20 years were also honored during a special breakfast at the conference. "It takes collaboration to execute and deliver quality products and services to clients," says Jeremy Peck, Esri (UK) Ltd. sales director. "No company these days is an island."
More information about the BPC, including videos, conference proceedings, and the 2010 Esri Business Partner Awards, is available at www.esri.com/bpc. To learn more about the Esri Partner Network, visit www.esri.com/partners.