Intergraph spends $89 million on R&D a year, and works closely with customers to prioritize new functionality that will be rolled into core software applications via technical user forums.
French cites three core mistakes made regarding innovation:
· underestimating the unexpected
· underestimating power of people
· underestimating the rate of change
Many times innovation has come from unexpected places, he pointed out. Who would guess that a couple of bicycle mechanics (the Wright brothers) would invent the airplane?
Or that the U.S. Defense Agency would give rise to the Internet?
In the 1980s, French said IBM gave away DOS to Bill Gates. “He underestimated the OS and underestimated Bill Gates and his team. Would we make the same mistake today? Would you invest in Microsoft today?”
An example of a company underestimating the pace of change was the Great Western Stagecoach Company, one of the largest manufacturers of stagecoaches. When the railroad brought with it the need to change, Great Western knew they had to move to railcars, so they grafted their stagecoach design onto what they envisioned a railcar to be. “Don’t make the mistake of looking to the future while looking backward,” cautioned French. “Great Western is now nothing more than a footnote in history books because of their lack of vision.”
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|Intergraph Icon Award Winners|
French distributed Icon Awards, the highest customer honor for outstanding partnership, to representatives from 8 companies. Descriptions of the winners can be found
Sapphire Circle Awards recognize great employees of Intergraph selected by their own peers.
Guest Speaker: Lance Armstrong – “It’s Not About the Bike – It’s About Delivering Your Best”
Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has made the news with his valiant comeback from cancer, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 25. Listening to Armstrong is pure inspiration: he states that “Cancer may have been best thing that happened to me.”
He recounted his experience from the first discovery of his cancer and the knowledge that it was located in various parts of the body, through to his journey to recovery.
“In 1996, we had no Google to help search for hospitals, treatments, etc. we could only pick up the phone, or go to the bookstore,” said Armstrong. "This taught me how to win Tour de France." At first he was at an all time low. After the tumors began to shrink away during chemotherapy, Armstorng realized that “for the rest of my life it’s only going to get better.”
“That time taught me patience and encouraged me to go back and race my bike again.” Yet there was no one interested. In cycling, you must have a team to participate, and he had no assurance of a team or income.
In a last ditch effort, Armstrong called the U.S. Postal Service who sponsored the U.S. team, which was the worst team, and he raced for them for free in 1998. “We took the whole cancer experience and put that same reckless abandon into cycling, overhauled the postal service team, spent hours in the wind tunnel designing the best bikes, designed clothing, got a new coach, and new tactics. The new coach said he thought I should win the Tour de France. He said nobody thinks you’ll do anything, just go try to win it. I had no pressure or expectations on me. With our new model, new coach and new vision, in 1999, we won it. This happened and we won seven consecutive Tours de France.”
As a 33-year-old cyclist, in 2004 Armstrong formed the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and from it grew the LiveStrong Foundation, a resource center for cancer survivors and loved ones. People have responded phenomenally to the foundation, as nearly everyone in the world has been touched by cancer in one way or another. In conjunction with Nike, the foundation has sold 70 million “livestrong” yellow rubber bracelets at $1 a piece. As Armstrong pointed out, “When any of the politicos know you’ve sold 70 million of anything, they pay attention.”
Dr. Mostafa Madani, chief photogrammetrist product manager, Z/I Imaging; Klaus Neumann, project manager hardware, Earth Imaging Solution Center; and Henry DiPietro, VP sales, U.S. Photogrammetry gave an overview of the photogrammetry industry today, and the success of Z/I’s Digital Mapping Camera (DMC) and the ImageStation suite.
The DMC is not only a camera, said Madani, it’s a system with many peripherals that complete it which includes a sensor management system, a camera mount that can be sold as standalone, and more.
The adoption of the DMC is moving into many emerging markets, with 80 systems in place around the world, and worldwide service centers. Z/I sold 24 new cameras in 2007, and revenue grew 25% in 2007, DiPietro pointed out.
A major software release of the ImageStation suite will be made available this year for maintenance customers. The ImageStation suite allows users to process digital photogrammetry workflows from project creation to orientation and triangulation, 3D feature collection and editing, and orthophoto production with the use of aerial and satellite sensors. The user interface acts as a common photogrammetry project information warehouse from which each application can retrieve input and output parameters and data, and serves as a centralized launch point for each application. ImageStation products include: project management, image orientation, stereo data capture, DTM collection and editing, and orthophoto production.
It is widely used by government, commercial photogrammetry and mapping agencies. The new release will include a complete update of sensor peripherals including an improved Z/I Mount, new copy station and readout station, and Z/I Inflight Management Systems Hardware (FMS) SSD.
As far as trends go, Dr. Mostafa Madani said that there will be no photo lab, no scanning, no reconstruction of interior orientations as large image programs will go entirely digital in the next three years, giving the example of the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). There is a trend to larger ortho projects, as with the USDA and NAIP who are now getting 1 and 2 meter coverage of the U.S.
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Elevation data will be created from the ingestion of LiDAR data and elevation data by image matching.
In the global GIS market, there is a trend toward Geomedia-based stereo compilation and data-centric production workflows such as PixelPipe and TerraShare. More products will be available off the shelf. Madani said that Intergraph will support more satellite sensors.
Klaus Neumann said the market leaders in adoption of the DMC are China and Japan. In Asia-Pacific, many companies go directly to digital as they aren’t invested in legacy film systems as we are in the U.S. There are numerous large mapping projects in China.
In Europe, there are increased requirements for direct digital acquisition for nationwide ortho programs. Customers want entire countries flown every three years and want to provide high precision for engineering scale projects, incorporating multi-spectral capabilities at a low price range.
In helping to keep costs down, smaller aircraft (SSD) are used today to collect data, which helps with fuel costs which helps the customer. Also the use of large format digital data with sensor combinations can save fuel.
The Enterprise Web Portal combines the ability to do data mining and look for trends in your data. All events are recorded and each event has a cause, and data can include the time of day. Built on GeoMedia WebMap, Intergraph’s InService takes x,y coordinates, does all the analysis and then displays it on the Portal. Users can be proactive and look at how they can reduce the number of outages within a certain time frame, for example, or look at vegetation to make sure that vegetation is not impacting electrical lines. The Portal will inform internal utility professionals and concurrently, data will be made available on the Web for public consumption.