Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Esri ArcGIS.com moves from “SELL” up to “HOLD” status with GeoIQ acquisition

To steal a line (but not the scream nor props) from Jim Cramer, “I am moving from a SELL to a HOLD!” on ArcGIS.com.

Like most Esri customers I talk to, I have been skeptical of Esri’s ArcGIS.com from the start.

Their whole “mapping for everyone” slogan just seemed so un-Esri considering they have always let Google and Bing have the mass public side of the geospatial industry.

I just didn’t think Esri was structured in such a way to truly put out a product that was simple enough for “everyone” to use, yet robust enough to be actually useful to their current geo-centric customers.

Add in the fact that they (circa 2007) ran their first attempt at multi-tenant SaaS, ArcWeb Services, into the ground… forcing a complete shutdown of the mess of code they created by the lack of change control while tweaking the environment for customer A and then re-tweaking for customer B, etc, etc, etc.

Esri’s first attempt at SaaS, ArcWeb Services, circled the toilet bowl for years and was finally flushed in 2007; but, Esri has new life with ArcGIS.com and now GeoIQ.

Ok, so maybe it was “lesson-learned” and now (circa 2009) Esri had matured their IT practices enough to give SaaS another try? I get it, they are Esri, they have virtually unlimited funding and they aren’t going to give up easily. Plus, they had to think that another try at SaaS was low risk because even if they just roll out poor-man’s SaaS platform, the slick Esri marketing engine alone could make it “the market leader” in no time.

The problem was that there was already someone doing such a good job running a “Mapping SaaS” product that Esri’s poor-man version of SaaS simply couldn’t gain traction (there were many other reasons too, particularly the feet dragging on the licensing / pricing of ArcGIS.com, which is most likely related to the fear of cannibalization of their prior ArcGIS Server sales… But that’s a whole different topic).

Point being… every time ArcGIS.com would roll out functionality or a new data set, it seemed this other product already had it. Not only that, but this other product’s framework and data tools were so intuitive and robust that it sometimes wasn’t even the company itself that was beating Esri to the punch… Rather it was just one of this product’s users. Salt in the wound.

This product that gave Esri so many market presence headaches was GeoIQ; and, particularly their “power to the people” free mapping version of the product, GeoCommons.

So yesterday, Esri put this pain to bed with their acquisition of GeoIQ (see: http://blog.geoiq.com/2012/07/10/building-from-the-inside/)

My reaction: Incredibly smart move and kudos to Esri!

This “bite the bullet and swallow your pride” move by Esri will, in my opinion, vastly change the landscape of the geospatial industry in as quickly as months, not years … And all other mapping-as-a-service providers should be very scared, including Google.

Why? People.

Great GeoIQ technology aside, the leadership that Esri acquired along with the technology of GeoIQ, particularly Andrew Turner and Sean Gorman, are some of the best thought-leaders in the geospatial industry and more importantly possess proven multi-tenant SaaS and cloud computing experience… Something Esri will surely leverage to harden and proliferate ArcGIS.com to the masses.

My self-deprecating, personal example of the quality and intelligence of GeoIQ’s people:

As my company, Skygone, was just beyond the startup stage and was working on putting geospatial software on the cloud, I visited Andrew in his Arlington, VA offices (circa 2009) to try to convince him to put GeoIQ on Skygone’s Cloud technology so they could more easily deliver it customers. An easy sell I thought.  We were having a lot of success (and still are) helping “boxed product” companies deliver their software via cloud.  The problem was GeoIQ didn’t ever have a box.

So, let’s just say that attempt fell on deaf ears as for the next hour Andrew gave me a humbling education about how all their multi-tenant and single-tenant instances were already on the cloud (Amazon Web Services), and how they already had the ability to auto-scale and perform push-button updates across all their (then, 90+, as I remember) instances.

I’ll never forget the way I felt after that meeting… I called my CTO and told him: “We can’t help those guys… They’re set up to take over the world”… And while getting acquired by Esri a couple years later isn’t quite storming the beach at Normandy, it’s absolutely a milestone to be proud of as long as their journey doesn’t end with the signing of the papers over to Jack.

The combination of Esri’s market presence and their vast sales staff, together with the brains and SaaS / Cloud experience of GeoIQ’s talent fills the weaknesses and gaps of both merging parties…

Esri’s weakness of not moving fast enough into Cloud and SaaS over the last couple years and not having the experienced personnel on staff to properly harden, secure, and scale a multi-tenant SaaS platform is now solved.

GeoIQ’s weakness of being small-ish and simply “not being Esri” when they walk into accounts is now solved by Esri’s huge presence and available contract vehicles.

This all results in a win – win for Esri and GeoIQ… And hopefully the biggest win will be for Mr. Consumer too!?

Congrats to both GeoIQ and Esri for closing this deal.  Looking forward to seeing how the two companies execute together.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ryan Hughes

Ryan Hughes, blogging at www.RyHug.com, is the Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Skygone (www.skygoneinc.com), a Cloud Computing solution provider to SI's, ISV's, Commercial, and Government. Education: MBA in Project Management from Penn State University; BS in GIS from Bowling Green State University Ryan currently has 10 years in Enterprise-level IT Program Management and Operations Management, as well as vast experience in Enterprise System Design and Cloud implementation methodology.

Latest Stories
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, discussed how given the magnitude of today's application ...