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Matt Sheehan
Matt Sheehan
Matt holds an MSc in Geography and GIS. He has been working with clients solving problems with GIS for over 17 years. Matt founded WebMapSolutions whose mission is to put innovative, intuitive GIS driven applications into the hands of new and existing users.

3 Strategies for Making Money with the ArcGIS Platform

March 14th, 2014 by Matt Sheehan

This blog post was written mid way through back to back Esri conferences in Palm Springs. The Partner Conference preceded the now buzzing Developer Conference. More cosy than the July User Conference, this is a 5 day deep dive into the Esri world.

For WebMapSolutions, this year has been a little unusual. We were invited to be part of the Partner Plenary. This gave us not only the chance to share our experience with the ArcGIS platform, but to sit together with key folk at Esri.

Based on conversations, presentations and reflections on the focus and tone of this years Esri conferences versus 2013, in this post we give our thoughts on 3 strategies for making money with the ArcGIS platform.

1. Move from Service Provider to Product Provider

This was the theme of our Plenary presentation. As a company we are transforming from a service focus to products. Product development and marketing is a new exciting evolution for us.

ArcGIS Marketplace has proven to be a very effective marketing mechanism for our products. With a pure ArcGIS audience, the marketplace provides information, trial and subscription mechanisms.

Both a lead generator and ArcGIS focused conversation starter, we have found very effective ways to use marketplace within our product marketing mix.

2. Sell Data, give away Applications

ArcGIS Online is part of the ArcGIS Platform and fantastic new technology. Cloud based so access from anywhere at anytime using any device. Easy to work with, and with mechanisms in place to provide both private and public access to published maps and data.

We often need to build unique data-sets. Sometimes pulling together disparate sources, or collecting new data. This data has value. Is there a mechanism in place in the ArcGIS Platform to sell data?

In a word yes.

There are a number of creative ways in ArcGIS Online to sell data services. We have begun the process of planning data sales through Online and Marketplace. This will be an interesting new source of revenue and focus for our company. Part of our approach is to distribute free or low cost applications which provide focused ways to work with this data.

3. Up Sell Complementary Platform Solutions

Focus on the specific, but sell a complete complementary platform solution.

Let’s provide an example here. A San Diego based retail company came to us with a specific mobile ArcGIS need focused on location analytics. As we discussed this need, the question of data was raised. Everything to date had been done on the desktop, using ArcMap. After digging deeper into the clients workflows, it turned out the real core need was beyond a specific mobile ArcGIS implementation. It was to share data, both public and private, with office and field based staff, and to provide applications and tools to work with that data. Both mobile and Web.

So a very specific mobile question became a much larger platform implementation. We are providing a full complementary solution to our client. This was a win win.

In summary, there are new and creative ways to evolve your company and generate new revenue streams, leveraging the ArcGIS platform. Keeping one eye on the technology, and the other on new business opportunities will help your transformation. In our case we are moving from a pure service focused company to solution and product provider.

Exciting times.

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Categories: ArcGIS Online, cloud GIS, Mobile ArcGIS, Web and mobile GIS

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