De Beers, the diamond supplier, has an eye on an enterprise wide GIS. De Beers’ multifaceted business entails global operations in exploration and mining, including marine mining sales and marketing. The company has assets on six continents and employs 22,000 people. De Beers has employed GIS for over twelve years where it functions primarily in their exploration division. The first installation of GIS was in their exploration group where it now has over 200 users. Group Exploration is in the process of standardizing its operational systems, including prospecting, laboratories and document management system. GIS will be directly linked to the Prospecting Information System and will play an important role in the integration.
To manage the process, De Beers has enlisted the help of a local consulting company, GIMS Limited in South Africa, and has signed a Multi National Enterprise (MNE) agreement. As major contractor on the project, GIMS will have responsibility for the ESRI products of an enterprise wide spatial database that will employ Microsoft SQL Server. One of the main goals of the project will ensure that all ventures in De Beers Group Exploration will have the same spatial database structure, in order to facilitate information sharing and access to spatial data.
The foundation of the spatial database will use ESRI’s ArcSDE to manage spatial data dissemination. The enterprise application being designed for initial implementation is the Prospecting Information Management System, which will be responsible for providing prospecting information trough and generating a Personal Geodatabase for field usage and analysis. This Geodatabase will send and receive data in a secure and automated way. In addition, it will provide some additional functionality such as Spatial Audit Trails and Access Control, according to De Beers.