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A Framework For Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems Empirical Findings On Current Applications And Uses

A Framework For Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems Empirical Findings On Current Applications And Uses






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    A Framework For Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems Empirical Findings On Current Applications And Uses A Framework For Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems Empirical Findings On Current Applications And Uses Presentation Transcript

    • A Framework for Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems: Empirical Findings on Current Applications and Uses James B. Pick, University of Redlands, [email_address] American Association of Geographers Special Paper Session on Distributed Geospatial Processing: Semantics and Ontology Friday, April 20, 2007, noon-1:40pm San Francisco (Comments are appreciated. Please e-mail to the author.)
    • Outline of Talk
      • A framework for spatial enterprise applications
      • How GIS and spatial technologies support enterprise applications
        • ERP
        • CRM
        • Supply Chain
        • Data Warehouses
      • Research objectives and research question
      • Findings
      • Conclusion
    • Framework for Enterprise Applications
    • Features of an Enterprise-wide Approach to GIS and Spatial Technologies
      • Scalability .
      • The enterprise approach makes it easier to scale up GIS and spatial technologies from relatively few to hundreds of thousands of users. This is essential in an environment of organizational growth.
      • Supported and accessible everywhere.
      • In a global economy, the approach implies that a spatial application can be made widely available geographically or organizationally.
      • Connection to external systems .
      • Companies’ systems are becoming more collaborative. They are interacting with systems of other businesses, the government, and nonprofit organizations.
      • For instance, a firm intermediate in the supply chain needs to interconnect with organizations up and down the chain.
      • Ability internally to collaborate and cross-share information .
      • Major functional systems are interrelated in their business processes. An example is that marketing projects depend on budgetary accounting, as well as manufacturing specifications to produce products being marketed.
      • Security .
      • Enterprise systems tend to run on a common technology base, instead of having dispersed islands of technology around the organization. Hence that the firm can focus on security and protection of the common base.
      • Better management.
      • Consolidating systems into major functional modules makes the enterprise system more understandable and manageable in the long term.
      • Maintenance .
      • Having fewer and larger enterprise applications that are well-known simplifies the maintenance burden over the long run.
      Features of an Enterprise-wide Approach to GIS and Spatial Technologies
    • ERP Software
      • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software appeared in the 1990s in response to need to solve Y2K problems, cost reduction, and lack of compatibility of functional “silo’d” packages.
      • ERP packages today cost many millions of dollars, are time-consuming to implement, with extensive training.
      • ERP II is internet-based, using SOA, XML and other web protocols.
        • ERP II interacts flexibly with GIS and web map services.
    • Relationship of GIS to Commercial ERP Systems
      • ERP is an enterprise-wide, complex software application having multiple major business applications sharing a common database and/or data warehouse. Information flows automatically throughout the ERP structure (Gray, 2006).
      • A basic ERP is limited to key functional systems of marketing and sales, finance and accounting, human resource management (HRM), and manufacturing (see figure on next slide).
      • For this ERP design, other applications such as business intelligence and GIS, are implemented as separate software applications outside the ERP, that coordinate with it. In a comprehensive ERP, more modules are purchased from the ERP vendor and included inside the ERP
    • ERP with Basic Features and How it Fits with the Enterprise Framework
    • Integration of ERP and GIS Software
      • ERP and GIS software can be connected together, which takes advantage of key strengths of each type, and yields a stronger integrated result for the user.
      • The ERP software is enriched by map displays and spatial analysis, while the GIS benefits by access to deeper and broader attribute data.
    • Five methods of integration of ERP and GIS
      • Inclusion of GIS functionality in ERP commercial products. Possibility. Not yet available commercially or announced.
      • Remote Function Calls (RFCs). The ERP software and GIS software invoke each other’s remotely callable functions. Calling software is usually developed by third-party vendors.
      • Third-party connectors . Connectors are built by third party vendors that directly connect packaged front-end and back-end systems. An example is iWay Control Builder from Information Builders Expensive, but usually has good performance and scalability (ESRI, 2006).
      • Passive middleware . ERP and GIS are connected at the level of passive middleware, that runs on top of the operating system (ESRI, 2006). This solution works as long as users stick to generic ERP and GIS, and don’t try to customize their processes. An example is the SAP’s GIS Business Connector.
      • Customized Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). An environment of standards, platforms, and connector software that together supports enterprise integration between ERP and GIS. An example is SAP Exchange Infrastructure, which performs this comprehensive integration between SAP and ArcGIS software.
      Five methods of integration of ERP and GIS (cont.)
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
      • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a business strategy or application intended to improve customer satisfaction and in turn to grow revenues and profits (Oracle, 2006).
      • CRM also encompasses software packages to achieve this and the transformation of an organization through new thinking about customers (Oracle, 2006; Gray 2006).
      • Advantage of CRM . Customers who sometimes feel neglected benefit by the personal attention and customized services provided by CRM. Direct, personal interactions between the company and customer, termed “touch points,” build and reinforce the customer relationship (Oracle, 2006; Gray, 2006).
        • CRM helps in this process by streamlining targeted information and providing it to the customer and customer-service employees.
    • GIS and CRM and their Joint Applications
      • GIS and CRM can be connected together in ways similar to GIS-ERP connectors.
        • Special connector software allows CRM data to be spatially displayed
      • Once GIS and CRM are connected,
        • the Joint Applications include:
      • Data collection and enhancement . GIS can be helpful in error-cleaning customer data. Geocoding and mapping reveal errors that can be corrected including on-the-ground.
        • Spatial analysis can be used to impute missing values . For instance, customer data for a missing location can be imputed from customers at adjacent locations.
    • GIS-CRM Joint interactions (cont.)
      • Business intelligence . BI is useful in CRM for data mining, modeling, and forecasting. Many BI techniques can be spatially-enhanced. For instance, one of these techniques, data mining, is searching through a large data-base, for meaningful relationships of variables. Data mining is strengthened by including the spatial location of the variables.
      • Site evaluation models . Spatial analysis can assist customers as part of CRM by modeling optimal siting of business facilities, properties, and transport corridors. In the real estate industry, customers are interested in visualizing the siting aspects of their properties. In banking. In real estate, site evaluation services and analytics can be provided for high-value customers.
      • Distribution of resources . The workforce and investments being applied to enhance customer relationships can be modeled spatially. For instance, sales force automation seeks to allocate a sales force in the best way to identify customers and develop relationships. Map layers of the locations of the sales force and its customers can be overlaid and compared.
      • Business intelligence for CRM . Chico’s is able to perform analytics to make customer relationship processes more efficient and to understand customer patterns better.
      • For instance, Chico’s was able to determine that its best customers on the average shopped in a Chico’s store every four to five weeks.
      • Through CRM and GIS, it was able to find out where customers shopped and what they bought at particular locations. In Florida, Chico’s many stores have a seasonal customer flow. A woman Passport member vacationing from Chicago may purchase two tops in Florida, that can be compared with her purchase profile in her home city.
      • Forecasting . The CRM enables the firm to predict, based on historical records, how the customers residing in an area would respond to a sales promotion. GIS is used to map the results.
      GIS-CRM Joint interactions – through Business Intelligence
    • The Process of CRM: How GIS Helps
      • The process of CRM consists of identifying the customer, differentiating how a particular customer can be helped, interacting with the customer, and customizing the actual services provided.
      • The next table (modified from Gray, 2006) shows the Process of CRM (columns) and CRM, IT, and GIS features (rows).
      • The role of GIS varies by stages in the process of CRM.
    • GIS and IT Factors in CRM
    • Research Objective and Questions
      • The research objective is to analyze the prevalence and characteristics of enterprise systems that are spatially-enabled for a sample of twenty firms that utilize GIS.
      • The research questions are as follows:
      • 1. For the sample, what is the prevalence of enterprise geospatial systems?
      • 2. For firms with enterprise geospatial systems, what type of functions are supported and how is GIS associated with the enterprise systems?
    • Research Study of the Prevalence, Structure, and Applications of GIS Connected to Enterprise Systems
      • A interview research study was conducted over the past year of 20 case firms, to determine prevalence, structure, and applications of GIS connected to enterprise systems
        • ESRI’s help and support is acknowledged.
      • The firms vary by industry, size and GIS maturity. Three of them requested anonymity.
      • The person responsible for GIS at the firm was interviewed for 1.5 to 2 hours. A standard protocol of questions was followed. The interviews were taken down by hand notes and transcribed from tape.
      • The sections of the interview concerned applications, users, enterprise GIS, spatial decision support, costs and benefits, and strategic GIS.
      • There are many findings some already published and others in process. This report is limited to the findings on enterprise systems and GIS.
    • Methodology
      • The methodology for this research is case study (Yin 1994).
      • The sample was selected as a convenience one, rather than random or stratified. The reason for a convenience sample is that many firms are proprietary and confidential about their GIS and spatial technologies
      • For each firm, the protocol is to interview the manager or executive responsible for spatial technologies. The interviews utilized a standard interview protocol and set of general questions. They were transcribed in writing and tape recorded if permission was granted.
      • This was supplemented with business materials from the firms and secondary sources.
    • Case Study Results for GIS Linked to Enterprise Systems – large firms
    • Case Study Results for GIS Linked to Enterprise Systems – medium-size firms
    • Research Findings
      • 60 percent of the case study firms do not have enterprise-wide spatial applications.
        • In fact, only one case Rand McNally had widely integrated GIS and enterprise spatial applications (see Table 4).
      • The least prevalent spatially-enabled enterprise applications was GIS and ERP, represented by only one firm, Rand McNally.
        • This may be due to the current high cost and technical difficulties in linking them up.
      • Five out of 20 firms have integrated GIS and supply chain management.
      • Spatially-enabled supply chain is present for only one of the sample firms, Rand McNally. GIS is used to visualized and better understand parts of the supply-chain flows, and for the related inventory management and forecasting.
      • CRM and GIS are connected together in applications for three firms in the sample. The strongest example is Chico’s, a women’s clothing company. The CRM package is used for direct mailings and customer information. It is discussed at more length as a case in the paper.
      Research Findings (cont.)
      • Data warehouses are linked with GIS for three of the case firms.
        • For the Large Commercial Bank, data on the value of customers is extracted from the data warehouse and then geo-referenced.
        • The Large Insurance Company (LIC) has data marts, which are small versions of data warehouses. LIC’s GIS team has access to the data marts. It can extract the data it needs and then apply GIS, mostly for trade area and branch banking studies.
        • Rand McNally utilizes data from its large data warehouses for spatial applications. It extracts data through data mining. Those data are then input into GIS software.
      Research Findings (cont.)
    • Sample Results on Prevalence of Enterprise Systems
      • However, 63 percent of the 20 case study firms do not have enterprise-wide spatial applications.
      • In fact, only one case Rand McNally had widely integrated GIS and enterprise spatial applications
      • Five out of 19 firms had integrated GIS and supply chain management. The least prevalent coupling (only Rand McNally out of 19 firms) was between GIS and ERP.
      • This may be due to the current high cost and technical difficulties in linking them up.
      • In the sample, three quarters of the integration of GIS and enterprise software was for large firms.
        • This is not surprising, since large companies tend to have the resources to afford the high cost and skills necessary to implement, manage, and maintain enterprise software.
    • Case Study of GIS and CRM in a customer-centric fashion company
      • Chico’s is a women’s apparel chain that emphasizes customer service and appeals to a “mature” (45-years-plus) market.
      • Founded in 1983, by 2006 Chico’s had store, catalog, and web sales that totaled $1.4 billion, and employed 11,000 persons.
      • It has had rapid growth and planned to add 150 new stores in 2007 (Chico’s, 2006).
      • It has always emphasized customer loyalty and direct marketing (Roussel-Dupré, 2002). This is highlighted by its Passport Club which requires $500 in cumulative purchases for membership.
        • There are 1.7 million permanent members of the Passport Club and 334,000 members for its slightly less expensive White House/Black Market chain of stores (for 35-year-plus age group).
        • Club members provide 80 percent of Chico’s revenues.
    • Chico’s sales approach
      • Chico’s sales approach is characterized by sales personnel who offer an attentive and personalized approach to customer care.
      • Typical customers demand new apparel frequently so there are rapid inventory turns.
      • The philosophy is that employees act as if they work for a small local store, e-mailing customers, being friendly to, and even calling customers by first names.
    • Chico’s Enterprise Systems
      • There is not yet ERP but it is planned for rollout in 2008. Instead there are a group of specialized application packages, many leading ones for the retail industry (Chico’s, 2006).
      • For CRM, Chico’s uses the Connected Retailer from NSB, which supports CRM as well as store merchandising, planning, allocation-replenishment, and sourcing.
      • GIS software is run alongside the Connected Retailer and utilizes the same database of customer information.
    • Chico’s Success with CRM and GIS
      • Chico’s has capitalized on its loyal customer base by implementing a successful CRM supported by GIS.
      • GIS has reinforced CRM, by taking into account where customers shop, what they buy where, and what is the geography of customer relationships.
      • The strategic success of CRM coupled with GIS is tied to its synchrony to Chico’s key value of developing and sustaining customer loyalty.
    • Features of CRM with Spatial Components
      • Direct Mailing . An estimated 5 million items are sent monthly to customers, including event promotions, coupons, and catalogs (Roussel-Dupré, 2002). The CRM refines this mailing through spatial analysis that gives the optimal customer audience for a particular mailing.
      • Unified customer database . Prior to the CRM, each sales channel had its own customer information system. The CRM gathered them into a uniform customer database that supports the cross-organizational flows of information for CRM (Roussel-Dupré, 2002). This allow richer GIS, since the mapping can be done of broader, integrated attribute data.
    • Conclusions
      • Business enterprise applications are mainstays that control the “back office” of firms, and monitor and supervise the operational business processes.
      • They include ERP, CRM, Supply Chain Management, and Data Warehouses.
      • A framework is presented that includes GIS as another enterprise application that connects with the business enterprise applications.
      • The contributions of spatial technologies to enterprise applications is to refine the accuracy of performance of the applications by recognizing location of customers, facilities, assets, transport vehicles, and other business phenomena.
      • GIS also provides visualization and exploration benefits to understand enterprise information and make better decisions.
    • Conclusions (cont.)
      • The research analyzes 20 case companies to seek answers about the prevalence of spatially-enabled enterprise systems, types of spatial functions, and how GIS connects to the other enterprise applications.
      • The specific research questions and answers are as follows.
      • 1. For the sample, what is the prevalence of enterprise geospatial systems?
      • About a quarter of the case firms had substantial enterprise-GIS applications. They are mostly large firms, with several medium ones included. Only one large firm had GIS-enterprise connections across multiple enterprise systems
    • Conclusions (research question 2)
      • 2. For firms with enterprise geospatial systems, what type of functions are supported and how is GIS associated with the enterprise systems?
      • The most prevalent enterprise systems connected to GIS are CRM and data warehousing. For ERP and supply chain, there was only one solid example for each. In the sample, GIS is not integrated into the enterprise solutions, but rather stands as a separate enterprise system that associates with functional applications through connectors of different types.
      • For business practitioners, the challenge is to design spatially-enabled enterprise architectures that provide added value to corporate users and customers, and are flexible enough to change with the rapid technology advances in this field.