Matt Langan speaks to Mladen Stojic, president of the newly formed Hexagon Geospatial, in this HxGN News podcast introducing the organisation. Learn more about the reasoning behind the organisation and what it means for the industry. You can hear the podcast, read the transcript of the podcast below or download the podcast from iTunes.
Matt Langan: Thank you for joining us for today’s HxGN News podcast brought to by Hexagon Geospatial. HxGN News is Hexagon’s all-news portal that provides the latest information about Hexagon’s global network of brands. It’s available at hxgnnews.com, and you can sign up for monthly e-mail updates. In today’s podcast, we’re speaking with Mladen Stojic, who is the president of Hexagon Geospatial. Thank you so much for joining us today, Mladen.
Mladen Stojic: Sure, thanks. So, back in December, there was an announcement from Hexagon regarding some structural and organisational changes involving Intergraph SG&I (Security Government & Infrastructure). As you may know, Intergraph SG&I really consists of several portfolios, those being public safety and security, utilities, communication and the geospatial portfolio, which also includes the defence and intelligence solutions and capabilities that we built. Given Hexagon’s focus on geospatial products and solutions, it made sense to carve out the geospatial portion of Intergraph SG&I and make it Hexagon Geospatial. As a business, we not only serve Intergraph, but also some of the other businesses that Hexagon currently has and plans to have. So, the idea here is to really take the Hexagon Geospatial team and continue building and delivering a world-class comprehensive portfolio. These products and solutions can be used directly to solve a specific problem or need, and also can be extended, configured and customised to deliver industry solutions around the world. The importance of geospatial is critical to Hexagon’s success. Establishing this group as a new business unit is a step in solidifying Hexagon’s presence in the geospatial industry.
Matt Langan: That’s great. I think in many ways you answered my second question, but I’ll ask it anyway, you know. Why have they decided to spin off your group from SG&I and is there anything else you want to add to that before we tap into your vision of the future?
Mladen Stojic: As it stands today, the portfolio of products that we have inside of Hexagon Geospatial cover the wide spectrum of capabilities needed to transform content collected from sensors and delivered through web, mobile, applications and so forth. Now, of course, historically these have been used by Intergraph to build solutions, but as we’ve seen Hexagon take a leading role in building solutions, it made sense to make available this technology, not just to Intergraph, but to Hexagon businesses, and also other third-party business partners and global distributors. We have more than 80 distributors and partners around the world that rely on this portfolio of products to deliver capabilities and solutions to their market. Our overarching vision and strategy is to grow our ecosystem and to effectively grow the Hexagon ecosystems while continuing to nurture and maintain the strong relationships we have with Intergraph. We also want to grow the relationships we have with other Hexagon businesses and sign on new business partners that will take our portfolio of products as a platform and build, deliver and deploy market solutions around the world. We’re really extending our ecosystem and growing our footprint so more people have direct access to this portfolio of products.
Matt Langan: That’s great. Thank you so much for this insight. It sounds like a very smart business move overall. Now tell us a little bit more about your vision for the future of Hexagon’s geospatial offerings and, again, I know you and I often have these very fun and exciting discussions about the future of the sector. So, as always, we’d love to hear your vision.
Mladen Stojic: You’ve seen us focus on several philosophies: streamlining customer workflows, improving how users work with our interfaces and how they can get more done is less time, how we can implement automated processes to streamline how long it takes to deliver information products to end users. We’ve now gotten into the mobile world, delivering mobile apps. I think if I look forward, three to five years and really focus on a couple of key things that we’ll really focus on, I’ll start with the word “experience.” I think it’s very important to note that today, unfortunately, there exists a wide gap between what we’re calling the consumer world and the professional geospatial world. I think largely that has a lot to do with experience. Experience from a perspective of some of the more non-traditional users of this technology that aren’t educated with a geospatial background, they’re learning the technology for the first time, and sometimes it’s a big gap to immediately start working with some of these professional products.
On the other hand of the spectrum, some of the entry-level consumer-mapping products aren’t deep enough in their offering of being able to deliver very rich, robust experiences for solving difficult geospatial problems. Our focus will be on experience and improving the experience of both the consumer and for the traditional user of this technology so that they can get more out of the data that they invest and collect in. They can get more out of the products that they use, and they can get more out of configuring, customising and delivering value-added solutions with the platform that we provide.
So one of the key things we want to focus on is experience. And when I use the word experience, I mean a connected experience, I mean how a user works an interface – a GUI, how they can stitch together different commands and models and visualise results, not just in 2D but 3D, and introducing time into the picture and really improving the overall experience needed in order to effectively do their job.
If I go into the second area of focus, it’s really around understanding big data and working with big data. We recognise that the data that comes from the various sensors that our customers work with are very big data sets, and when we’re talking about big data, we’re talking about being able to quickly collect it, process it, manage it, use it with other multi-source data sets and ultimately deliver information products over the web or through the mobile devices and done on the Cloud. So solving the big data challenge for us means a lot of things. It means being able to implement processing algorithms that handle that data set, knowing how to visualise that data, how to fuse multiple data sets together to get a product, how to compress it and deliver it very rapidly over low-bandwidth IT pipes. All of that constitutes solving the big data problem.
Then, I think the last thing that we’re really going to spend a lot of time on is analytics. And when we talk about analytics, we’re not just talking about spatial modelling or spatial analysis – something that traditionally we’ve always sort referred to analytics. We’ve got to look at communication and how we communicate the results of all these processes to people who don’t have that background. This includes farmers, urban planners, foresters, engineers and the war fighter needing information on-demand. They will subscribe to it and they’ll communicate the results of an analytical process that was executed through the fusion of multi-source content in order to deliver what they want. So it’s relevant and it makes sense for the industry and for the solution that they’re working on.
Analytics is the other key area. And then, combining all of that together, it has to be an experience that can operate on a mobile device, in a web browser, on a desktop fixed client. It can be done privately on the Cloud or publicly on a public Cloud that someone subscribes to. So I would say those are the key things we want to focus on from a vision perspective moving forward.
Matt Langan: Great. What a great way to end this podcast. And Mladen, as always, we appreciate your time today and thank you so much for being our guest.
Mladen Stojic: Thanks a lot Matt. It’s always good talking to you.
Matt Langan: Likewise. And for all of our listeners out there, thank you for joining us for today’s HxGN news podcast. Be sure to visit hxgnnews.com to read the latest news from our global network of brands, and be sure to sign up for our monthly e-mail updates.