In this episode of The Broadband Bunch, we are live at the Esri GeoConX Conference 2019 in ETI’s hometown of Atlanta, GA — and it was so amazing that we need two episodes to share it with you! In this second part, we speak with Rafael Fernandes, Esri USA, Anastasiia Savchenko, Esri Gas & Renewables, Tarek Kandakji, Lubbock Power & Light, and Derek Landers, GeoGraph Technologies.
Esri GeoConX is an industry-leading event for the electric, gas, and telecommunications communities. The event supports the growth and development of GIS professionals through case studies, sessions lead by Esri experts, and peer-to-peer engagement. More information is available here.
Rafael Fernandes: We created a partner technical enablement team to help our partners scale through the channel. And to understand what their market looks like, their solutions, and help them with technical architecture. Make sure that their model aligns with our sales model, make sure that the technology is being put in the best way forward. And then helping you sort of prototype and maybe even identify new technology that’s coming down the pipe that you don’t know about so that you guys can have some success.
The other thing that’s exciting for me is seeing the Autodesk and Esri relationship come to life. That design software connects back to that whole utilities workflow and understanding how you can look at these large-scale alliances that Esri is working on and then implementing that technology in certain ways to support other customers or partners.
Brad Hine: Talking about the evolution of design and networks; utility, telecom, broadband, our relationship with CAD tools is evolving through Esri. How is that working into your software?
Rafael Fernandes: 18 months ago, we created a strategic Alliance with Autodesk. For 30 years, we were competitors but now we work together with each other’s stacks to help the end user, designers work together– bridging information across both the platforms.
Brad Hine: Complement each other now, so you’re completely not competing.
Rafael Fernandes: Trying to do that as much as possible and given decades of history we’re working through all that and making headway.
Rafael Fernandes: When I think about some of the exciting new software that’s coming, I think of Experience Builder, which is this new version of web app builder. It’s Java script 4 based and has 2D, 3D embedded in it and provides multiple map views. You can build widgets and expose that data. But it’s also has a powerful backend analytic server that you can use with GIS server, widgets and writing your custom tools and hitting that server and doing that analysis there.
Brad Hine: You are providing the GIS platform and some of the tool sets, but you’re also building some of the real time engines and data stores? So filtering and triggering data in certain workflows?
Rafael Fernandes: That’s exactly right. And we can see partners like ETI Software taking that data store, that real-time engine and configuring it for the market and helping drive organizations to do the best work that they can.
Brad Hine: Explain 3D and how that helps some of your customers and users worldwide.
Rafael Fernandes: My history at Esri has gone a transformation. I started off giving c-level presentations to in the natural resources industry, mostly petroleum upstream. We focused on health and safety, so oil spills. At the time, we were only doing that in two dimensions but then figured out we could model it in three dimensions and build plumes of data. We could see the migration of those plumes because what’s on the surface is not what’s necessarily on the bottom of the ocean. Seeing ocean currents move and that analysis is something that you can do in the platform. We now see more organizations doing that. Autodesk embedded 3D throughout the rack application. When you think of civil 3D, you think of Revvit. You’re also able to take that 3D content and publish it back into our GIS. You design data in a way that it’s three dimension first then bring it into ArcGIS. Or you bring it into art GIS. And then you use that powerful analytic engine.Those geo processing tools to use the site analysis, solar analysis to do things like wind analysis. Again, the oil spill, you know what’s happening on the currents under the ocean surface. Right? So really understand that and then taking all that data and then exposing it to end users so that they can get a better understanding of what they’re doing.
Brad Hine: I was listening to a couple talks about fixed wireless tower site surveys and trying to figure out remote ways to manage that process. And how that’s really a lot of heavy lifting for them to do those site surveys. So 3D can help a lot of these new telecommunications networks too. So, setting up a tower that would service wireless, maybe CPE and residential home or business, a line of sight is required to handle that. Anything that gets in the way of those things, whether it’s trees, whether it’s weather, whether it’s terrain or wind affects it.
Rafael Fernandes: So mapping out those wind corridors and those tunnels and looking at all that context around that one site is incredibly important.
Brad Hine: In some of the Esri sessions, it’s clear that there are a lot of factors that can be put into different layers in mapping. And then brought out through dashboards and deliver information automatically to people to make better decisions. So a line of sight surveys really interesting to me cause that’s something very new to telecommunications. And the advent of 5g. I know that’s a challenge.