50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2016

Seamlessly Integrating All Aspects of Client Operations: Esri

“Headquartered in Redlands, California, USA, Esri has 40+ offices around the world with employees from 67 countries.”

Jack and Laura Dangermond began a commercial business, the Environmental Systems Research Institute, in 1969, in their home town, Redlands, California. In the early years, much of company’s work was in land assessment. In the 1990s, the company developed commercial geographic information system (GIS) software called ArcGIS. Today, the Esri ArcGIS platform is well integrated into core technologies across nearly every industry.

With deep investments in R&D, Esri has stayed at the forefront of continuously evolving computer usage patterns, starting with mainframe, desktop, server, enterprise framework, web/cloud, and mobile. Esri is furthering GIS capabilities to manage real-time data.

“We are also adding more security into our systems such as identification management technology,” said Jack. “The overarching concept is to facilitate multiple approaches to an open platform, including open standards, industry formats, product integration, and open software, so that GIS can be integrated into thousands of systems,” he added.

ArcGIS – The Most Powerful Mapping Software
Esri develops the most powerful mapping software in the world, ArcGIS, for private and public industries. ArcGIS connects people in small and large organizations with maps, data, and apps that are accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Apps include story maps that combine text images and videos with maps; Workforce for ArcGIS that allows dispatchers to assign work on mobile devices and field workers to report status; and Navigator for ArcGIS to deliver directions even in disconnected environments.

Serving User Needs with the Highest Quality
Esri has worked to serve its users for close to 50 years. The company puts 28 percent of its annual revenue into R&D to ensure ongoing innovation that meets the ever-changing needs of its users. Everyone at Esri knows that serving user needs with the highest-quality GIS and best customer service is the organization’s mission. Today, Esri’s ArcGIS software seamlessly integrates into all aspects of client operations from streamlining data collection to enhancing business intelligence analysis and making sense of big data for informed and rapid decision making. ArcGIS is unique because it can be used throughout an organization to enhance workflows, communication, collaboration, and efficiency. It’s available anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Diverse Clientele
Esri serves clients in commercial business, government, and nonprofit sectors including natural resource organizations, utility companies, retail, banking, public safety, and beyond. Organizations connect across departments, services, and citizenry on the Esri platform.

More than 350,000 organizations use Esri’s software including 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. Governments around the world and at all levels – state, local, and federal, use the Esri platform as does America’s military. Many corporations, such as Walgreen’s, FedEx, and Cisco Systems, rely on the company every day. Esri is also used by every petroleum company in the world.

Some of Esri’s Happy Clients
Walgreens uses ArcGIS throughout departments for activities that range from identifying the best locations for stores to determining flu trends before the CDC reports on them. “At the core of how people behave is geography, and strategically having a geocentric approach and thinking geographically is huge. If you’re not, you’re missing something.”
– Dave Miller, Senior Director, Market Planning and Research, Walgreens

The City of Los Angeles uses an online GeoHub to connect more than 40 departments, deliver transparency, and give citizens meaningful information in easy-to-use mapping apps. “GeoHub will help us reinvent the way that we deliver services and broaden our ability to engage residents and business to improve the quality of life in their city.” – Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles.

Case Study: ArcGIS Online Runs Security at Boston Marathon
In 2013, the Boston Marathon was marred by a pair of bombs that went off near the finish line, killing three and injuring more than 260 racers and spectators. Two years later, in 2015, city and state officials were focused on making the event as secure as possible. For that to work, they needed to give hundreds of people real-time data and maps that could be accessed on any device. Esri’s ArcGIS Online—a secure, software-as-a-service solution that comes with apps and app builders for the office, the field, and the community—was the clear choice to run security behind the scenes.

A Dashboard that goes the Distance
For the ArcGIS dashboard to work, a considerable amount of data had to be recorded on the ground and shared with all 500 people charged with keeping racers and spectators safe. Each marathon participant was given a bib to wear that contained a race number and a chip. The chip registered each competitor’s time and location at mats placed every five kilometers along the course. That data was pushed into a feature service using ArcGIS GeoEvent Extension for Server, which processed incoming data in real time. This helped keep track of how many runners, wheelchair racers, and hand cyclists crossed each mat and how many of them were in each section of the course, enabling security and medical resources to shift accordingly along the route. Crews on the ground used Collector for ArcGIS on their iPhones to respond to falls and other injuries. With the app (which is also included with ArcGIS Online), they tracked police cars, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles in real time. So when a runner needed medical attention, the app—working online or offline—could locate the nearest ambulance or medical station.

ArcGIS Online thus ended up being central to the security efforts of the 2015 Boston Marathon.

The Future of Esri
The company is focused on the future of smart technology, which means using location to extract insights from smart sensors and big data. Organizations typically have a wealth of location data, from sensors, customer transaction, land records, etc. The challenge is making sense of the data quickly. Decision makers have to wait too often for days or weeks for results of analysis. With Esri’s technology, staff can run analysis in minutes to take data, such as bank transactions across the U.S., and quickly see patterns and trends, such as identifying locations where bank transactions are potentially fraudulent. These kinds of rapid insights make organizations and governments smarter.

Meet the Founder and President – Jack Dangermond
Jack is one of the most influential people in GIS and renowned as a pioneer in innovative solutions that help users work with spatial data and perform spatial analysis. Since launching his company in 1969, Dangermond continues to actively manage Esri and remains closely connected to projects, clients, and the company vision.

“We believe geography can make the world a better place.”