Innovation in a year when everything changed
Review of 2020 – Claire Milverton, CEO, 1Spatial
When I look back over past year, I can’t quite believe how much or how quickly we all adapted to new ways of working in 2020.
History tells us that companies that continue to innovate during a crisis do better than those that don’t. With innovation at the heart of 1Spatial, we’ve been able to embrace new challenges and opportunities, whilst also providing our usual high standards of customer support.
Indeed what a year it has been! From winning contracts and extending key projects with clients globally to launching 1Data Gateway, the first 1Spatial cloud-based offering and driving forward our recruitment plans. We have also launched a new global website and a virtual events programme and transferred our training calendar online. Our whole community has demonstrated real resilience in these most testing of times – and all whilst moving our teams to home working.
The North, South, East and West of 1Spatial in 2020
In March we were delighted to announce the release of 1Data Gateway: an intuitive self-service web-portal for handling data validation, data processing and data enhancement. This formed part of our Location Master Data Management (LMDM) suite of products which ensure spatial data quality and consistency across the enterprise.
1Integrate has also seen significant feature enrichment this year. Watch this space as in 2021 we’ll be releasing a 3D equivalent in the form of 1Integrate3D, which will provide the same authoritative data audit and fix ups for 3D vector data such as for city models or BIM projects.
Even before Covid-19, the importance of location data was already increasing with around 80% of all data now having a location element.
In government it is seen as a unifying identifier across multiple departments, from taxation and agriculture to property valuation and housing. As a result, during the past 12 months, our core Data Management speciality has risen up government agendas, both in the UK and globally.
It is also playing a growing role in the private sector. For example, to support accidental underground asset strike avoidance in the UK, we are a critical supplier in the London Underground Assets Register project, the precursor to a national roll-out National Underground Assets Register (NUAR), as well as in a National Energy Map being led by UK Power Networks.
Our partnership in the UK with Black & Veatch delivering the Datastore Rules and Validation (DRV) Proof of Concept uses GeoCOBie data in 1Integrate to help build digital replicas of complex infrastructure assets. With the rapid development of digital twins, our key win with the Environment Agency in their DRV project means we are well-placed to contribute to a virtual world where digital assets are valued as much as the physical.
Customers are showing great ingenuity in embracing different ways of working and refusing to let the global pandemic stop delivery. For example, Northumbrian Water continued to innovate and progress its ground-breaking safety project measuring and modelling the depth of its underground network of water pipes. We were delighted to work in partnership with them through virtual workshops and group discussions via mobile apps and laptops to ensure the project did not get delayed.
In the USA, our 5-year US$2.6m spatial data infrastructure contract with the State of Michigan will see 1Data Gateway in use across hundreds of organisations. We’ve also received kudos from CalTrans for our successful Asset Management Validation project in partnership with Gartner. This year we have also expanded our relationship and contract with Google.
In Europe, following the acquisition of Geomap-Imagis in 2019, we have now completed the legal merger of our French companies. As a result, 1Spatial France employs 90 people in five offices across the country who work as a single team to offer the best locally based services and geospatial business solutions to our customers. Our Belgian company is also integrated in the new business, together with our subsidiary in Tunisia, which is dedicated to geospatial data digitisation and management. During 2020, we moved our office in Tunisia to offer a better place to work for the team. We also continue to support many existing customers and are pleased to be working with many new customers in France and Belgium.
We are continuing to bring the latest innovation in our business spatial solutions such as arcOpole Pro, 1Water and RealWorld4D to bring the best business capabilities to local governments, transportation, utilities and facility management.
Our partnership with Esri across all our regions continues to bring exciting joint opportunities. Amongst other projects, we have commenced several migration projects with joint customers in France this year.
In the APAC region, sales continue to grow and, due to expansion, we relocated our offices in Sydney to more modern shared accommodation, similar to what we have in Melbourne. In Australia, our consultancy services work across a range of diverse sectors delivering exciting and challenging projects. These include working to transition to GDA2020- Australia’s new Geodetic Datum, delivering innovative solutions for customers such as Yarra Valley Water for the Development Industry Translator (DIT), which automatically validates data supplied by property developers, and working to modernise and replace legacy systems at organisations with FME Server based platforms that underpin highly accessed websites.
We were the first to sell Local Government, Utility and Enterprise FME subscription types in the Australian market, as well as the new Dynamic Engines offering from Safe, who have credited 1Spatial Australia as directly contributing to their largest yearly increase in FME sales in the APAC region.
Connecting people – wherever they may be
Whilst we’ve all missed face-to-face networking, our virtual experiences proved to be the next best thing and connected people from all over the world through a comprehensive webinar programme. Last month our Smarter Data Smarter World conference brought together more than 600 participants from around the globe keen to learn more about the benefits of Location Master Data Management, and in May, our FME World Tour attracted a similar audience of more than 800 delegates globally.
To further support customers, partners and people across the industry to overcome their data challenges, we’ve turned our website into an interactive tool packed with tailored content such as on-demand webinars, videos, product support links and a ‘Call for Innovation’ enabling users to submit ideas directly to us.
The team has continued to work with customers, partners and industry colleagues to deliver solutions that help unlock the value of location data. I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their committment and professonalism.
Covid-19 has shown us just how hard it is to predict the future, and the successes of the past 12 months have been achieved against a backdrop of uncertainty. We have all learnt a lot and we’ll be using that knowledge to adapt to future challenges.
We look forward to working on many more exciting projects in the new year. Here’s to 2021 and whatever it may bring!