WhiteStar recently marked twenty years as an Esri Business Partner. We had the opportunity to have breakfast and chat with Jack Dangermond, the billionaire, philanthropist CEO and owner of Esri at the recent Business Partner Conference. Dangermond has strongly supported his business partners - Esri provides the software tools and we provide the domain expertise and customization to make both of us successful.
This anniversary represents a tremendous milestone for WhiteStar and our customers as Esri offers us a common set of tools. As an Esri partner, we have access to all of the latest and greatest innovations and can develop software and data to meet customer needs. Esri notably invests hundreds of millions of dollars every year evolving its flagship ArcGIS line of products - from the desktop to the enterprise to the Internet.
Dangermond often emphasizes the need to be a “node in your network.” I credit much of WhiteStar’s success to that idea, that we are all interconnected and can meet and serve each other’s needs if we only reach out to one another. Having a common software platform helps enormously.
Partnering with Esri enables WhiteStar to develop a rich and full featured set of curated data libraries for use by our customers. We use Esri tools in-house to build data to the highest possible quality standards and with full topology. Esri’s vast installed base then allows us to seamlessly market our data to thousands of customers around the USA and Canada.
The tight integration between our data and their software provides an excellent user experience for our customers who in turn can then add their own data layers, integrations, and applications.
In those early, heady days of GIS, the Esri User Conference was an energetic event held at a central hotel in Palm Springs. The group then numbered several hundred enthusiastic power users. Twenty years of interaction with those GIS leaders has driven an incredible amount of worldwide change, and today that group fills the entire San Diego Convention Center and numbers more than 15,000 attendees. It’s an extraordinary testament to the power and longevity of GIS.