..the factor that most commonly inhibits growth and success is poor communication

..the factor that most commonly inhibits growth and success is poor communication

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MapInfo was formed in 1986 by four students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The company was formed as a desktop mapping company, but has evolved into a company that provides business intelligence solutions to the enterprise.Jonathan Wright,Director Sales, South East Asia, MapInfo Corp.
Jonathan Wright
Director Sales, South East Asia, MapInfo Corp

  • The readers of GISdevelopment.net would like to know about how MapInfo started and what is it’s mission.
    MapInfo was formed in 1986 by four students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The company was formed as a desktop mapping company, but has evolved into a company that provides business intelligence solutions to the enterprise.

    Our mission today is….”transforming Location into Business Advantage so that organisations can enhance their Customer Relationship Management”

  • What are the strengths of MapInfo in the Desk Top GIS market?
    For many years, MapInfo was perceived as the desktop mapping company that changed the world of business mapping forever. This meant bringing the benefits of mapping to broad business users at an affordable cost and in an easy-to-use format. Non-technical users could visualise their management information spatially, and this brought many organisations a new dimension to their decision making process.

    MapInfo has since evolved way beyond this market position, but in the traditional, desktop GIS market sector, these factors remain MapInfo’s strength.

  • MapInfo 6.0 is released. What is new with regard to MapInfo?
    The latest upgrade of MapInfo Professional, version 6.0, includes over 25 new & improved features, including;
    Hotlink objects & labels directly to the www
    • Publish maps to the Internet and intranets
    • New 3D viewing, draping, rotating and printing
    • Output & processing enhancements
    • Geocoding & legend enhancements
    • Symbol & label rotation
    • And lot more!
  • What implications do you foresee by convergence of mapping sciences and Internet?
    MapInfo anticipates more and more reliance on the Internet to deploy new business intelligence applications across an organisation. With SpatialWare as MapInfo’s anchor in the data warehouse, and MapInfo leading the industry in developing a 100% pure Java Internet mapping solution, we know MapInfo will be part of the explosion that will leverage the ubiquity and scalability of the Internet to improve access to corporate information, resulting in improved business processes and customer interaction.
  • MapInfo has slowly been changing its image from a desktop mapping company to Enterprise GIS company and now a Internet GIS company. Please comment.
    When we recently analysed our worldwide revenues, we found that 75% of our business was all about enabling our customers to get closer to their customers. Customers are buying our products because our technology helps them gain greater insight into their customers, thereby improving their customer relations.

    Our products are being used for CRM. MapInfo’s location-based solutions are being used to enable organisations to find new customers based on their location; serve existing customers through improved customer service and siting resources; and predict and grow true customer potential.

    During the last couple of years we have been deploying our location-based solutions more broadly than ever before. Our products and solutions are being deployed across the enterprise and across many departments. We are delivering solutions that are at the heart of our customers’ business processes. Our customers are using MapInfo technology as an integral part of their e-business. But more importantly, MapInfo is helping our customers understand their customers and their potential more effectively.

    In this context, MapInfo has been responding to the market need, to where the greatest opportunities for growth of the business are perceived to lie.

  • There is an impression that MapInfo is investing more on MapXtreme than improving MapInfo Professional vis-à-vis ArcView. Please elaborate.
    MapInfo Professional has been, and remains, MapInfo’s largest selling product. It has been the lifeblood of the company and it is inconceivable that the product would not be the subject of a continuing and intensive development programme within our business. Version 6.0 is the latest manifestation of that development programme, and already work on the next generation of this product is underway.

    As the company has evolved, however, and responds to changing needs and opportunities in the marketplace, our development programmes have responded accordingly. We have today, a very wide range of products and solutions, many of which are directed at exploiting the opportunities presented by the Internet and intranets.

    As a consequence, products like MapXtreme have been developed and continue to be further developed, but it is incorrect to surmise that this development effort is at the expense of MapInfo Professional.

  • What benefit can GIS community derive from the agreement between MapInfo and Oracle?
    For some time, the trend has been for the market to demand “off-the-shelf” applications, rather than build applications “in-house”. The key, in responding to this demand, is to be able to provide tools and applications that are transparent, and are so tightly integrated that the end user doesn’t really have to deal with all of the “plumbing” underneath. We’ve been working very closely with three major players in the database industry to make that happen.

    We have long-term agreements with IBM and Informix for MapInfo products that are integrated and work well together, and more recently, signed a similar agreement with Oracle. In the past few years, we have focused our internal efforts on making it easy for the customer to use our products and to integrate with the major databases in the world, such as Oracle 8i.

  • What do you feel about the future trends in GIS industry, technology-wise as well as market-wise?
    This industry is extremely fast moving, both technologically, and in terms of marketplace adoption of new technology. I don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. To date, MapInfo has demonstrated an ability to keep pace with the world in technology development and in adapting to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace. Our customers can be reassured that we have no intention of resting on our laurels…..to do so would be to “fall behind and lose the race”.
  • What are the market opportunities and challenges for GIS in Asia Pacific region?
    Many of the markets within our region are less developed that those of North America and Europe. This represents a great opportunity in that we are able to foresee how these markets are likely to develop, and be ready to respond as the need develops. This preparedness will be very important, because the rate of development is likely to be faster than experienced in North America and Europe. A good example is the Australian market, which 20 years ago was commonly regarded as being “5 years behind the USA”, but today is probably only 3 months behind.

    In our field, one of the big challenges will be to develop adequate data sources to use with our software. In countries like the Chinas, for example, availability of data is likely to be the factor that dictates the speed of market development.

  • What role do you think GISdevelopment.net can play for the GIS community in Asia Pacific region.
    Often in business, the factor that most commonly inhibits growth and success is poor communication. GISdevelopment.net can make a great contribution to the industry in the region by keeping industry players informed on latest trends and developments in our industry.