Posted by jeffhobbs on October 10, 2007
Before going further, I want to be sure to prefix this with the simple statement that I have heard nothing to confirm my thoughts nor has anybody provided any information on the issue.
With that said…I often wonder what Intergraph’s plan is to address the local government sector in North America if not the entire world. Ever since the "great reorg or 2005", what was once a well established GIS division (Intergraph Mapping and Geospatial Solutions) has since been almost entirely ingested by Intergraph Public Safety. And what’s the benefit for Intergraph local government customers??? I can’t say I really know nor understand. If I’m a Public Safety customer I’ve got a great solution which much of Intergraph’s top talent working on products and solutions. Much of the same talent that was once working on IMGS products and solutions. If I’m an Intergraph Public Safety customer, the future is looking bright.
Now, if I’m an Intergraph local government customer, what does my future look like in the United States? I’ve got very few sales people and maybe even less pre-sales people. Furthermore, these pre-sales people are now concentrating on Utilities, Transportation, AND Local Government.
As I said in my first paragraph, although I have not spoken to anybody on the issue, it really seems like Intergraph has given up on local government customers in the United States. To be honest, with ESRI’s current dominance, I can completely understand why they’d leave the market. Not to mention when you compare the typical local government sale where a number above $200,000 is seen as seen as "a fantastic day’s work" while that same number would be "rather disappointing" when selling Intergraph Public Safety software and solutions.
This all brings me to a thought I’ve had over the last month or so. Autodesk is actively looking to expand their GIS presence. In fact I know of four people that have an Intergraph background and are now working for Autodesk. Two of the people are working as product managers for Autodesk’s GIS line of products. Although it’s a huge hypothetical (at least in my eyes), I’d love to see Intergraph sell the GeoMedia suite to Autodesk. Just imagine what could be done for the GeoMedia suite if it was being sold by a local government sales force the size of Autodesk’s! GeoMedia would receive exposure in the United States like it never has had in the past. Additionally Autodesk could leverage its current partnerships with different companies to develop new and exciting software and integrations with GeoMedia. We might begin to see many more non-ESRI "extensions" for 3rd party products and systems.
Now what’s in it for Autodesk? Intergraph has some very well developed products including GeoMedia Public Works Manager, GeoMedia Transaction Manager, GeoMedia Parcel Manager, GeoMedia Transportation Manager, GeoMedia Grid, GeoMedia Terrain, etc. Although I’m not extremely familiar with the Autodesk line of GIS products, so I can’t offer a strong comparison between the two lines; I will venture an educated guess that Intergraph’s GIS products listed above are more mature and offer more functionality than equivalent products on the Autodesk side. (Note: I didn’t mention GeoMedia WebMap in the list above – so please no comparisons to MapGuide Enterprise 🙂 ) Additionally, since Intergraph has really started to roll GeoMedia into its Public Safety line of products, Intergraph would need to enter into a long-term agreement with Autodesk to ensure support for Intergraph Public Safety software into the foreseeable future. This would ensure a strong revenue stream for Autodesk before selling a single copy to local government customers.
In the end, I will restate the fact again – I have had no one else even suggest this idea to me. So, please note that this is just my "random thought of the day".
One final note…although Autodesk to me seems like a logical choice, as I’m sure most of you are aware, Leica is also looking to expand their GIS presence. Although it appears as if they’re looking to expand their presence through their different purchases earlier this year (IONIC, ER Mapper, and Acquis), might they be interested in the GeoMedia suite as well? Doesn’t seem that far-fetched to me.
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