e-GEOS CEO: Google Deal Will Widen the Geospatial Enterprise Market
[Satellite News 06-07-10] e-GEOS’ partnership deal with Google, which will see the company develop and distribute geospatial solutions based on Google Earth Enterprise technology in Italy, could lead to an upsurge of revenues, e-GEOS CEO Marcello Maranesi told Satellite News.
The deal, set up by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and Telespazio in May, provides immediate benefits to the geospatial provider, according to Maranesi. “We started this program in the second half of last year and we have already generated revenues in the range of 500,000 euros ($629,000). As a result of the Google deal, we now have a number of leads, with the potential to generate between 2 million and 3 million euros ($2.5 million to $3.8 million) a year.”
Google Earth Enterprise is the professional version of the Google technology that supports the implementation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geolocation systems intended to make geospatial data and images accessible to internal and external users. The Google Earth Enterprise application enables users to view, explore and analyze geo-referenced information on a fully interactive 3-D globe or 2-D map that can be shared with other users, enabling them to take quick decisions based on this information. For e-GEOS, the Google enterprise partnership is about the convergence of two technologies: Cosmos Skynet’s collection of geographic content with the Google Earth technology and interface.
The combination has enabled e-GEOS to enhance its GIS contract with major enterprise customers, such as Italian rail network operator RFI. “We have been working with the company responsible for the management and operation of RFI. This company has 30,000 employees and they were rarely using geographic information available in the database of the railroad company. Now with the interface of Google Earth Enterprise, we have loaded the database on the platform. We have also loaded additional information layers and aerial photos. All of RFI’s employees can access this information very easily and, as a result, RFI has tremendously increased its use of the geospatial database,” Maranesi said.
Sanjay Patel, Google’s enterprise geo applications manager for the EMEA region, told Satellite News that the deal with e-GEOS aims to help Google expand its presence into more international enterprise markets. “Having seen examples of some solutions e-GEOS have developed for Italian customers, we can see the potential of partnering with them to bring the benefits of this technology to more companies,” said Patel. “We are constantly looking at fresh opportunities to work with new partners. The challenge for us is how we can efficiently scale our business and respond to a growing customer demand. We believe that teaming up with local partners who understand local needs and have developed strong local networks is a great way to take our business forward.”
Google is not the only company looking to expand from the enterprise partnership. Maranesi said e-GEOS would form new partnerships in the coming months. “Industries that are interested in this product already have infrastructure on land, such as oil companies, highway companies and public administrations. They all have the objective to expand the number of users to access their server, either internally or externally. Public administrations are looking for both the ability to open its database to the citizens and have it be used more by its own employees.”
The company also is looking to expand its technological offering and providing affordable access to the latest geospatial information. Maranesi said Google and e-GEOS are working on a new model to achieve these goals. “We will probably invest in offering a different model to small operations that do not have the resources to run a server platform. We are developing a service model with Google where we could host the data of the customer on our server and make it accessible to a company’s employees or partners in order to make it available on the Google Earth interface. This service model may be available in the second half of this year.”