Having managed the GIS engineering group here at Autodesk in the past, I am very happy to be back. This is an exciting time in GIS and mapping as the technology and the professionalism has matured to very high-level making things possible now that just a couple of years ago were out of the realm of possibility.
Vice President, GIS Division, Autodesk Inc.
- On behalf of the GIS community, we welcome you in your new role as Vice President – GIS at Autodesk. How do you feel?
Having managed the GIS engineering group here at Autodesk in the past, I am very happy to be back. This is an exciting time in GIS and mapping as the technology and the professionalism has matured to very high-level making things possible now that just a couple of years ago were out of the realm of possibility. Most notably, taking GIS beyond the designer, mapper, and engineer to include the business user, which opens a whole new range of possibilities and ways to maximize the value of spatial data.
- What priorities and focus do you have with regard to Autodesk GIS products and solutions?
Our GIS priorities at Autodesk are to expand the uses of digital design and mapping data beyond their traditional usage so companies can maximize the value of their spatial data through the development of new revenue streams. Key to this is data and system integration with mainstream operational systems, making data portable and accessible by anyone in the organization including the business user, and building out collaboration and design process management capabilities to create end-to-end solutions.
- How do you think that changing the name of AutoCAD Map to Autodesk Map is going to help? Is there any specific strategy behind this?
On one level, it simply gives us uniformity in product naming. On another, more significant level, the name change from AutoCAD Map to Autodesk Map signifies that Map is now more than just an extension of AutoCAD, it’s a part of a solution set from Autodesk that ranges from a stand-alone AutoCAD-based mapping solution, to being a client to the Autodesk GIS Design Server for enterprise customers, as well as Oracle Spatial. So while still based on AutoCAD and its features and benefits, Autodesk Map is part of a larger story with a whole new set of benefits for a whole new set of users.
- It is said the new release will focus towards integrating business processes & collaboration. Comment.
Our customers are facing new challenges. It’s no longer just about accomplishing a single task faster. They need solutions to business challenges that puts that single task, along with many others in the design chain, into an automated process across the life of the project that streamlines how they work and collaborate with partners, colleagues, and customers. To that end, the new Map release, along with other GIS and mapping applications that were announced May 15th, all incorporate new productivity tools as well as managing the digital design process. They feature new capabilities for integrating data, collaborating, and delivering data where ever it’s needed, be that the desktop, over the Internet, or remotely in the field.
- In the process of integrating business processes, which market segment you are looking forward to?
We are working to help all of our mapping, civil engineering, and infrastructure management customers with their business processes. But, the concept of business process means different things to different organizations, depending on needs and size. For instance, a small survey shop may only have four people in the design chain, but they still are working together as part of a broader design process and team, and as such, we have developed, and are continuing to develop, software to help them automate and streamline their particular business process needs. At the same token, a large electric utility that services 500,000 meters, is going to require much more sophisticated and powerful software for their business process needs. There again, we have software and solutions to help them with their particular needs including asset management, plant design, customer service, and much more.
- There is general feeling that Autodesk is giving more attention to its Internet GIS products (Autodesk MapGuide). Comment.
It’s not so much that we are giving more attention to our Internet products, just that they are the new part of the solution that our customers want to hear more about. MapGuide, as well as our mobile application, Autodesk OnSite, are solving some very challenging problems. Most notably, how to share critical spatial information outside of the core group of people and how to free it from the confines of the desktop to where tremendous benefits can be realized – in the field. We are dedicating significant resources to extending our core capabilities – digital design and mapping — and how to more efficiently accomplish those tasks. We believe that our customers want access to their data, on the desktop, in the office and in the field, and we are developing products and services across that continuum.
- Readers of GIS Development would like to know about your views on GIS market in Asia.
Asia/Pacific is a key market for Autodesk where we see a lot of growth and a lot ways in which we can help our customers on their GIS, mapping, and land development projects. Especially in light of the rapid expansion of wireless technologies that are able to take advantage of Autodesk OnSite to deliver spatial data to the point of work. I am always pleased by the warm welcome I receive when I visit Asia and I particularly enjoy seeing first hand the innovative ways customers in this region implement our technologies. We have some exciting product plans that are being driven out of customer demands specifically in this region, which you will see in the near future.