Redlands, Calif.-Business professionals from some of the world's most progressive companies attended the ESRI Business GeoInfo Summit held in Dallas, Texas, April 23–25. Executives, managers, and analysts from across the commercial sector explored the many ways that geographic information system (GIS) technology provides them with access to new and vital business knowledge.

"It's exciting to see the growth in new technologies and solutions," said Ryan Ogden, retail market analyst for Associated Food Stores of Salt Lake City, Utah. "I heard how other people are benefiting from doing market studies and saw examples of how to look at populations in a different way and then take a product and market it more effectively to different consumer segments. Many discussions were about how to use the Business Analyst product suite to help make better business decisions."

Keynote speaker Jay R. Lucas, president of STDB Inc., described how his company is making powerful, online geographic analysis and decision making available to commercial real estate professionals through a Web-based application, STDBonline. The application, built using ESRI's Business Analyst Online, is used by almost 20,000 Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM) members and will facilitate transactions worth billions of dollars this year. Lucas described the system as a "solution that allows commercial real estate professionals to convert data into meaningful information and knowledge. This increases successful transactions without having to know how to run GIS software." ESRI technical experts demonstrated how new server-based and Web-enabled software empowers non-GIS users, corporate executives, and business professionals. Demonstrations integrated information from real-time data feeds, reports, charts, and business software into the day-to-day workflow, then shared it among a wider audience. The sessions highlighted how ESRI business solutions, such as Business Analyst Online and the upcoming ArcGIS Business Analyst Server, make it easier to see correlations and make better decisions.

Keynote speakers Lisa Derenthal, real estate consultant, and Correy Dietz, GIS analyst from the St. Joe Company, described how GIS is crossing departmental boundaries in many commercial organizations. "GIS gives our company better security and control over our assets and provides the GIS team with more time to support our critical business needs instead of chasing data. We saw time savings of more than 75 percent for getting information together to support the due diligence processes," said Dietz.

The conference's technical workshops and paper sessions demonstrated GIS best practices, system implementation, and measurable benefits. A special educator's track stimulated discussion about the benefits of developing GIS programs in business schools.

Exhibitors in the GIS Solutions EXPO demonstrated an impressive variety of applications for getting started with business-focused GIS as well as data, document management, real-time weather, business intelligence, and workflow solutions.

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visitwww.esri.coma>.