Highlights from the 2019 edition of the Esri Partner Conference

Dave Laurier

Hi there, I’m writing my article at the airport this year as it happens to be the first moment this week to sit down and reflect on my participation in the Esri Partner Conference. Truth is this might actually be the single best place to reflect upon the past week since airplanes - more particular Boeing’s 787 model - have a strong connection to this years conference. In fact since I feel so strong about the business partnership part of this years edition I have decided to create two articles, this first one is all about the positive business side of things and the next one will cover the technology side of things.

Started reading and actually more interested in a technology update? Stay tuned so that soon you can fast forward to my second article which contains my technology report covering the latest advances on the ArcGIS platform.

The Power of Business Partnerships

To me business partnership are all about being successful together and making an impact in the market or even better, the world. You think about your clients and consider how the partnership would benefit them. For instance anything you need help with to better address the demands of the client. That’s what makes partnership mutually beneficial thus worthwhile. That’s also why this years commitment by Esri Inc. regarding the business partnership is spot on and a great recognition of all the work done by business partners.

"The Science of Where is no- where without business partners" - Dave

Allow me to exaggerate since it helps to get our thinking into the right direction. The Science of Where is nowhere ;-) if those requested to answer the challenging questions the world is asking are not aware of the it's capabilities for their industry or if they simply are not equipped for the current geospatial customer journey. And where The Science of Wherewas in the spotlights during last years event, this year’s edition had a different approach.


The Customer Journey improves Technology Adoption

Let us consider the analogy of the development of the Boeing 787 that was brought up during the plenary session. Changing market economics, advances in new technology, reaching new markets and improved customer experience are all at the foundation of the development and go-to-market of this new airplane.

"The Geospatial industry should be thinking much more about the customer journey to achieve better technology adoption and it should address new markets by cross-industry innovation" - Dave

The same is true in the Geospatial industry in the sense that new technology is released ever faster than before, the way people use software and pay for has evolved, there are new markets in need of spatial technology and customer experience is key for success to help clients handle the most challenging questions of the world (the whole new array of users is demanding a lighter and easier user experience). As a consequence the Geospatial industry should be thinking much more about the customer journey in order to get to the point of technology adoption in new markets, so to support cross-industry innovation.

Thumbs up for Robert Laudati (Director, Global Partners & Alliances at Esri) for being two weeks on the job and connecting so well with the audience of this event. He explained how Esri has adopted a guiding principle called imaginative transformation. This is a purposeful approach for how they will evolve their technology and their programs to better enable partners to build compelling market applications in a timely and cost effective way. It basically means that Esri will build and deliver all of the components and partners will be able to build their own Dreamliner. But most importantly, it means going to go to market together.

I started my first sentence of this article writing about my ‘participation’ in this years event instead of my ‘attendance’ at the event and I did it on purpose. To me this edition of the 2019 edition of the Esri Partner Conference stood out! Big time! From the very first minute in the plenary until the very last moment in the parallel session and the expo I felt a great vibe about the way we - partners - are leveraged in the go-to-market strategy! The individual industry sessions had a strong focusing on customer benefits, market information and business opportunities and how partners can leverage all of this valuable information.


How to walk the walk?

Talking about improving collaboration with business partners is one but how to walk the walk? Well I already noticed several improvements in the way Esri approaches the market and how they facilitate partners going forward. Other improvements are to be implemented on short notice and will enable partners to make an impact in the fast pace that is required by the market. As much as I would love to talk about some of these topics it seems these are under NDA but you can expect to see first results within 30 days.

Two hints:

1.      Tensing recently launched Tensing Labs – our online innovation lab where we work shoulder-to-shoulder with clients on creating smart geospatial solutions for specific markets, preferably new markets. With the announced advancements we are enabled to turn our great ideas into powerful commercial services. Think along the lines of easier to deploy commercial models. 

2.      Tobler’s First Law (“Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things”) and my personal invitation to Esri Inc. there is to also increase your presence in Europe – maybe more R&D centers like Zurich - to become near and more related to us ;-) 

Well that’s it for now. The next article will be a Technology Report in which I share with you the information on the advances on the ArcGIS platform that were communicated during the Partner Conference.


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