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A Framework for Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems: Empirical Findings on Current Applications and Uses James B. Pick, University of Redlands, james_pick@redlands.edu

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Title: A Framework for Enterprise Geospatial Software Systems: Empirical Findings on Current Applications and Uses James B. Pick, University of Redlands, james_pick@redlands.edu


1
A Framework for Enterprise Geospatial Software
Systems Empirical Findings on Current
Applications and UsesJames B. Pick, University
of Redlands, james_pick_at_redlands.edu
  • American Association of Geographers
  • Special Paper Session on Distributed Geospatial
    Processing Semantics and Ontology
  • Friday, April 20, 2007, noon-140pm
  • San Francisco
  • (Comments are appreciated. Please e-mail to the
    author.)

2
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

3
Framework for Enterprise Applications
4
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.

5
Features of an Enterprise-wide Approach to GIS
and Spatial Technologies
  • 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.

6
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 silod 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.

7
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

8
ERP with Basic Features and How it Fits with the
Enterprise Framework
9
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.

10
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 others 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).

11
Five methods of integration of ERP and GIS
(cont.)
  • 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 dont try to customize their
    processes. An example is the SAPs 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.

12
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.

13
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.

14
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.

15
GIS-CRM Joint interactions through Business
Intelligence
  • Business intelligence for CRM. Chicos is able
    to perform analytics to make customer
    relationship processes more efficient and to
    understand customer patterns better.
  • For instance, Chicos was able to determine that
    its best customers on the average shopped in a
    Chicos 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, Chicos 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.

16
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.

17
GIS and IT Factors in CRM
18
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?

19
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
  • ESRIs 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.

20
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.

21
Case Study Results for GIS Linked to Enterprise
Systems large firms
22
Case Study Results for GIS Linked to Enterprise
Systems medium-size firms
23
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.

24
Research Findings (cont.)
  • 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 Chicos, a womens 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.

25
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. LICs 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.

26
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.

27
Case Study of GIS and CRM in a customer-centric
fashion company
  • Chicos is a womens apparel chain that
    emphasizes customer service and appeals to a
    mature (45-years-plus) market.
  • Founded in 1983, by 2006 Chicos 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 (Chicos, 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 Chicos
    revenues.

28
Chicos sales approach
  • Chicos 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.

29
Chicos 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 (Chicos, 2006).
  • For CRM, Chicos 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.

30
Chicos Success with CRM and GIS
  • Chicos 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 Chicos key value of
    developing and sustaining customer loyalty.

31
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.

32
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.

33
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

34
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.
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