March 12, 2007
GITA 30 Kicks Up Its Heels in San Antonio
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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We need to understand what we’re doing financially, select the best from many alternatives, understand the financial impact of projects, thereby protecting customers and investors.”


Financial analysis quantifies investment value, she continued. “Will benefits outweigh costs, and by how much? We need to know how long it will be before we see ROI. How confident are we in the financial projections? Are there better alternatives for our money?”


Using quantitative measures, you can subtract costs from benefits, and divide benefits by cost. Cumulative benefits equal cumulative costs, said Lerner. “Payback is the time from now until the benefits begin to exceed costs.”


“Everything can be quantified, but you must defend the numbers,” Lerner pointed out. “However, when your confidence is gone in terms of quantification, then you stop.”


At the point at which you can no longer quantify things, strategic analysis comes in and looks at such issues as goodwill, competitive advantage, safety, morale, regulatory compliance, clean environment, and growth. Companies need to ask themselves, can we stay in business without this investment?


The investment analysis process requires that you:

  • define the investment
  • calculate costs
  • calculate tangible benefits
  • schedule cash flows
  • perform financial analysis
  • prepare strategic analysis
  • Defining the investment will require that you create a project identity. “Think about what matters to the decision maker – link your project to that,” advised Lerner. “You need to communicate in a manner that is aligned with the priorities of the decision maker. They will have more confidence in your financial estimates.”



    Lerner suggested putting together a comprehensive project plan. “You must have a feel for what you want to build and identify.”


    When you are doing financial analysis, said Lerner, make an appointment with the budget office to talk about which of your costs it makes sense to capitalize. You’ll want to include operating budget spending in your exercise.


    Lerner cautioned attendees that ROI is not the same as benefit-cost ratio. Benefit cost ratio divides cumulative benefits by cumulative costs, whereas ROI is the ratio of net present value (NPV) to costs. ROI is not a good comparative tool, as the representation of cash flows as a cost or benefit is a subjective decision.


    Inspired by the first half day ROI seminar held in 2003, GITA’s Return on Investment (ROI) Research Project was born, which has resulted in the publication of an ROI workbook entitled, Building a Case for Geospatial Information Technology: A Practitioner’s Guide for Strategic Financial Analysis. Mary Ann Stewart outlined the perks of the 212-page workbook, which contains spreadsheets that accompany real-world case studies, a CD, and customizable financial templates. The book is US $495.00 for GITA members and $695 for non-members.


    Exhibit Floor


    Intergraph announced InService version 8. Core features of this release include support for the Citrix environment, Outlook based calendar scheduling and viewing, a switching simulator, and improvements to schematics generation.


    Intergraph’s oneMobile environment is incorporated into InService mobile environment, and includes integration of query and redlining capabilities and stronger customization tools.


    Also from Intergraph is the new release of G/Technology, a solution that integrates geofacilities management with operational support and service delivery applications. G/

    Technology 9.4 provides .NET customization capabilities, and among the other features are automatic legend generation for plotting, scale independent symbolism, and the ability to save directly into DGN files.


    Spatial Business Systems, Inc. announced a new release of the Smallworld Integration Server for ESRI. Product features include reduced system administration, reduced custom application development, the ability to deploy solutions faster and reduced long term maintenance costs.


    GE Energy introduced a new Oracle based product portfolio for network design and maintenance application based on Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Spatial 10g and Oracle Fusion Middleware. Designed to meet the needs of small to mid-size North American electric distribution market, the portfolio will rely on Oracle to provide the geospatial database and application server mapping software and Smallworld provides the industry application layer.


    Surveylab introduced their ike, a unique rugged device that runs ArcPad, includes a GPS which is capable of data and photo capture (DCA), and includes a laser distance meter. All these features can be used together for seamless GIS integration.


    Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI) announced the release of the TruPulse 200, a pocket size laser with the ability to measure multiple distances, inclination and height. Other features include a serial port for data communication and optional Bluetooth connectivity.


    Bernie Szukalski of
    ESRI demonstrated
    ArcGIS Online, in beta, which provides an ever-ready series of 2D map services and 3D globe services with layers that can be used within your own map services. These ready-to-use services can be accessed with any ArcGIS application—for example, with ArcGIS Explorer, ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcReader. There will be more on this later.


    Top News of the Week


    The
    Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. (TWCI), announced the launch of an interactive weather map utilizing Microsoft Virtual Earth, delivering the first ever multi-function online weather map that gives consumers full control of local weather data down to street level. The new tool, available with one click from all city pages on weather.com, allows the user to easily pan, zoom and animate to get unmatched detail of current radar and satellite imagery and offers the option of viewing road or photographic aerial maps.


    Alliances/Acquisitions/Agreements


    NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital maps for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, completed its previously announced acquisition of Traffic.com, Inc., a provider of personalized traffic information for drivers coast-to-coast.

    In accordance with the terms of the acquisition, as announced on November 6, 2006, NAVTEQ acquired all the outstanding shares of common stock of Traffic.com. The total consideration to be paid in the transaction is approximately $177 million, subject to pending elections by stockholders and certain option holders of Traffic.com.


    Trinity Technologies, a leader in configuring, integrating, customizing and implementing content management systems, and
    MetaCarta®, Inc., provider of geographic intelligence solutions, announced a strategic partnership to create an integrated geographically enabled content management solution for utility companies. This unique technology combines traditional text or keyword search with powerful geographic search so information in a document management (EDM) system can be mapped, categorized, and searched using geographic parameters across EDM repositories. Trinity Technologies specializes in the application and integration of the EMC Software Group Documentum ™ system.


    Fugro Consultants, Inc. recently joined the CartêGraph Business Partner program. Through the partnership, CartêGraph and Fugro have joined together to offer comprehensive solutions to local government organizations. As a team, they will assist organizations in making better decisions and ultimately improving productivity, efficiency and quality within state and local government.


    Intermap Technologies Corp. announced it has acquired the shares and ongoing operations of MultiMedia Computer s.r.o. (MMC), a Czech Republic software development company.


    The acquired business includes a current customer base, a recurring revenue stream, and a unique software development platform that Intermap has previously used to develop customer applications.


    Announcements


    Pictometry International Corp., a leader in digital, aerial oblique imagery and measuring software announced that its expansive technology is providing unique solutions that encompass many aspects of potential change values that counties need to monitor for both properties and land usage. Pictometry has received new orders for its ChangeFindr software solution that will encompass over 1.2 million land parcels at customer installations across the country. Orders for the new ChangeFindr parcels will be fulfilled in the spring of 2007.


    NAVTEQ announced it has filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. The Form 10-K (including audited financial statements) and other documents filed by NAVTEQ can be found free of charge on the Investor Relations section of NAVTEQ's
    website . Alternatively, shareholders may receive a hard copy of the Annual Report on Form 10-K upon written request directed to NAVTEQ Investor Relations, 222 Merchandise Mart, Suite 900, Chicago, Illinois 60654.


    You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.




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