Conference Recap: Lifecycle Solutions
Event: Trimble Dimensions 2007
Host: Trimble, www.trimble.com
Location: The Mirage, Las Vegas
Dates: Nov. 5-7, 2007
Number of Attendees: 2,500+
Future Dates and Location: February 2009, Las Vegas
For the third consecutive year, the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas set the stage for Trimble’s annual conference, Trimble Dimensions. More than 2,500 people representing more than 50 countries gathered from Nov. 5-7, 2007 to obtain hands-on product training, attend educational sessions and share best practices. The theme of this year’s conference, “Transform Your Business with the Connected Site,” was aimed at showing attendees how the latest positioning technologies of Trimble and its affiliates can streamline today’s business processes and improve profitability.
Trimble President and CEO Steve Berglund opened the three-day conference by highlighting Trimble’s Connect-ed Site concept. “The [Connected Site] theme remains the same as the last two years, but this year’s content has been expanded and deepened,” Berglund said during his keynote address. “This year, we have a greater awareness and understanding that helps us get in the market, and a deeper intimacy to help companies grow.” Berglund continued to discuss how integrating processes and leveraging a connected site allows industry professionals to identify new growth opportunities, find ways to save money and gain a competitive edge to transform their business operations.
A Full LineupTo meet these goals, Trimble provided 15 educational tracks with more than 300 educational sessions addressing the full lifecycle of surveying and construction projects. Five of the educational tracks targeted surveying and mapping professionals with topics such as the expanding role of the surveyor, advancing business, the growing needs of the public surveying professional, and solutions for utilities and natural resources.
One session, titled “Solutions for the Private Surveyor,” discussed the issues of private surveyors and the solutions designed for them and the services they provide. The session presenter, Darin Muncy, portfolio manager with Trimble Integrated Surveying (IS), illustrated how the private surveyor can use Trimble solutions to stay on the edge of innovation and increase productivity. Muncy noted that because private surveying companies cover a wide spectrum of activities, Trimble aims to look at the whole lifecycle of a project and employ cutting-edge solutions. Such solutions include durable field equipment, RTK tools, field calibration and a Trimble IS rover that seamlessly integrates GNSS receivers and optical total stations. “We’re working to provide field software solutions that provide more capability in the field,” he said. “We want to make it easier [for surveyors] by providing solutions that address the full lifecycle of a project.”
Thomas Mackie, PS, associate with Woolpert Inc. in Dayton, Ohio, discussed the significance of keeping up with the technology race in a session titled “Staying on the Crest of the Technology Wave.” “Modern technology is critical for the long-term survival of your business,” he told attendees. “It’s important for surveyors to stay up-to-date with technology because it lengthens the list of client and project types. It also reduces the risk of equipment failure and expands portfolio deliverables.”
Keeping with the theme of utilizing technology to accelerate growth, Trimble invited the author of the international best-selling book Technotrends, Daniel Burrus, to speak as a keynote presenter for a second year. In his forward-thinking presentation, Burrus urged attendees to take advantage of the opportunities that come from rapid advances in technology. He also stressed the importance of integrating with other professionals and utilizing the tools that come with new technology to maintain a competitive edge. “Knowledge increases in value when it’s shared,” Burrus said. “Look at the visible future within your professions to maximize profit.”
A Showcase of SolutionsOutside the classroom sessions and keynote presentations, attendees explored the exhibit hall and the Partner Pavilion, an indoor and outdoor area packed with the latest positioning solutions from Trimble and its member companies, including Applanix, INPHO, Meridian Systems, Pacific Crest, Quantm, Tripod Data Systems (TDS) and XYZ Solutions. Trimble team members filled the pavilion floor and were on hand throughout the three-day conference to answer questions and discuss Trimble’s latest products and service offerings. The Trimble team encouraged attendees to provide feedback on surveying business needs and industry challenges related to the Connected Site.
Attendees interested in an overview of Trimble’s surveying and construction solutions participated in a personal guided tour of the pavilion where the benefits of Trimble’s technology solutions were highlighted in each phase of the surveying and construction process. “People like to get their hands on the equipment,” Muncy said. “We’ve found that it’s beneficial to offer stations so [attendees] can learn hands-on. This also gives users an opportunity to give us their feedback and ask questions.”
From Concept to CompletionA key message that resonated among attendees and Trimble personnel throughout the conference was the need to transform business operations by utilizing the latest solutions and collaborating with industry professionals. Together, Trimble users, non-Trimble users and Trimble staff discussed how to put Trimble’s Connected Site solutions to practical use in the real world. “You see a lot of enthusiasm from conference attendees,” said Eric Harris, MarCom manager for Trimble’s Survey Division in Westminster, Colo. “This [conference] turns customers on to new ideas. People want to solve problems and they’re achieving that here.”
Trimble team members also echoed Berglund’s words throughout the conference, stressing that the Connected Site aims to offer a seamless integration of information in each step of a surveying, engineering or construction project. “We have a goal to be more than just commodity suppliers,” said Brent Swearingen with Trimble’s Construction Division in Dayton, Ohio. “Our goal is to wrap everything together from the concept of a project to the end and have a solution for it.”
The next Trimble Dimensions will return to Las Vegas in February 2009; check back to www.pobonline.com for details.
Special reporting by Regan Grant.