Chief Executive Officer
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL
Last month, Geodan announced the launch of Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL, its innovative international spin-out company, as the next step in offering its smart decision support solutions internationally. Gerrit Schipper, CEO of Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL tells us more.
Geospatial industry has been evolving since the past decade. Many companies are moving towards solution and system integration rather than standalone products. What are the USP’s that Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL brings to the market?
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL, a spin-out of Geodan in the Netherlands, co-founded with the Concord Carlisle Management Group, is the NEXT step in Geospatial Intelligence Solutions. The company has, through its affiliation with Geodan, access to over 30 years of experience in geospatial intelligence. Combined with the comprehensive Geo-SMACT philosophy, its access to a range of international partners, and a robust suite of solutions for government and businesses such as smart city development, retail and sales force location optimizing, incident and event planning and management, Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL brings the results of geo-research to global markets and puts that power to smart use.
What will be the geographic coverage of Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL?
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL will focus on the Geospatial Intelligence Solutions business outside the Netherlands. Particularly in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Europe (except for Spain, Portugal and Italy) and the Middle East will be covered from our headquarters in Amsterdam. Our subsidiary Geodan NEXT IBÉRICA will cover Spain, Portugal, Italy and Latin America from our office in Madrid. USA and Canada will be covered from our soon-to-be-opened offices in Philadelphia and Los Angeles through our subsidiary Geodan NEXT NORTH AMERICA. Additionally we serve several geographic locations through distribution agreements in various countries.
Which industries will be your main focus?
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL will serve the public sector, business and research organizations with a focus on municipalities, insurance, retail, mining and energy.
Geospatial technology is now being integrated with mainstream technologies such as ICT, engineering, design, etc. Where is the next opportunity?
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL is considered to be the inventor of the Geo-SMACT philosophy. (Geo-SMACT: Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Internet of Things combined with Geospatial Intelligence). The basic idea behind Geo-SMACT is that we should focus on the joined forces of its components and not so much on the isolated terms separately. Everyone and everything we know is earmarked by at least time and location. Geo-SMACT is an innovative perspective on the ‘Anyone, Anything, Anytime, Anywhere’ theme. It enables the smartening of the economy, business, governance and our personal lives by interacting with a platform that uses Geospatial Intelligence as its canvas.
SMEs are considered as the interface between technology MNCs and end users. How does Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL fit into this role?
Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL is a hybrid organization in the center of the public sector, business and research organizations. We are big enough to manage large projects with multiple technologies and small enough to offer true and individualized customer engagement. We can offer the flexibility and in depth business process knowledge that many MNCs are lacking and we are able to integrate their technology in our solutions in a cost effective way, enhancing their footprint by partnering with us.
Economic downturn has been affecting businesses globally. What is the strategy of Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL to stay on top of this?
Key to staying on top of this is constant innovation. With 30 years of innovation, Geodan, our co-founder, has proven itself many times over. With this co-founder as back up and a passion to support (business) communities in becoming ‘smart’ (business) communities using state-of-the-art geospatial intelligence, Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL is convinced that we can tackle the many challenges ahead.
Do you think the government policies have been encouraging towards the use of geospatial technology?
It is difficult to provide a concise answer to this question. Everything is time bound and what is right today may not be right tomorrow. Policies were not always made with the use of geospatial technologies in mind. In hindsight we can say that location data should have been embedded in every government system. However we should focus on which policies are available rather than on those policies that are missing. In the Netherlands for instance, we are making huge progress with open data. And today I believe that our policymakers are more and more aware of the possibilities of geospatial technology than ever before. Maybe not at all levels but the awareness is growing rapidly.
What is your 5 years plan for Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL?
I can only quote Professor Henk Scholten, our chairman, who said when asked about our plans for the future: “The power of geospatial analytics has an impact far beyond the traditional usage of geo-data. It has the ability to help creating a sustainable future by supporting more efficient energy usage, by guiding smarter infrastructure development, initiating healthcare breakthroughs, improving business opportunities and much more. Spatial sensing technology, smart geospatial analytics, top of the range visualization, and discussion tools and cloud-based safe havens for personal geospatial data will unlock the potential of a more sustainable and agile future for communities around the world. We want to bring the results of geo-research to the world market and put that power to smart use. For that we founded Geodan NEXT INTERNATIONAL”.