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Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Huntsville Times reported today that Intergraph Corporation repurchased 5.4 million shares of its stock for $150 million. Since winning numerous patent infringement law suits, Intel being the most highly publicized, and reaping the mulimillion dollar rewards, Intergraph has been on a repurchasing spree. The Times reports that 25 million shares for approximately $635 million has been repurchased since 2001. To me, the company is sending clear signals as to its business strategy. The repurchasing of stock is meant to prop up stockholder value. Is the company positioning itself for growth or for being acquired? It looks to me like CEO Halsey Wise is trying to set the company up for acquisition or to potentially divest the company of certain business units. It is certainly not a growth strategy.  Perhaps that is why some of the business units have been told to operate as if the settlement money never existed.

by Joe Francica on 03/24 at 03:11 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In our 2005 GIS Survey, we asked the question, "What technology do you believe will influence your purchasing decisions within the next 2-4 years? Of the 963 answers received so far, the majority have answered "Web Services." To me, Web Services have become a conglomeration of ideas, test beds, and wishes for the delivery of data and software. Is it all just wishful thinking? Are we drinking the KoolAid on this, or what? I haven’t seen a business model developed on how someone will make money. Sure, technically, there are many good working websites and well developed constructs. Just go to the OGC website. But my concern is delivery. How are we going to buy data and software? Are we going to "rent" software? Will we have a dynamic data license whereby we can "use" the data for just a week, month, whatever? There are specific issues that concern us in the geospatial IT sector.  What would a local government do in establishing a web service for data distribution? I’m asking these questions because I’m haven’t seen anyone raise them before.  Great technology solution, but where’s the business plan? Sounds like LBS all over again. Let me know if you have any answers. We’ll try to address some of these at our conference in May.

by Joe Francica on 03/24 at 02:17 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

When I read the title “Lampposts to provide location-based services?” I first thought about beacons or WiFi being used to locate people or assets. Wrong. The idea, from Last Mile Communications (cute name) is to actually store information on the light posts (and use them to provide WiFi). Yes, that’s right, the idea is to store data about local shops on the actual pole that will be distributed to those who are nearby who use a specific app on their mobile device. The data will be stored on flash memory in the post. The business model, developed with partner QinetiQ, seems to depend on using the network both for this type of frivolous application and for public safety. Says Last Mile, it might be appropriate to store building plans on the posts that could be accessed by first responders.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/24 at 07:17 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Between the Lines is a blog from CNET [corrected 3/26] (don’t confuse it the with Autodesk employee’s one of the same name). This week it covers a panel discussion at PC Forum (from Edventures, Esther Dyson’s outfit) with leading search engine folk. Google gets that geography is context: “Google’s Mayer is looking at providing more personalization capabilities. ‘We don t know how to do [personalization] well, so we are starting with baby steps, such as knowing where you are as a context,’ Mayer said.” It’s interesting seeing the slightly different shades of vision from Google, Amazon, and other search players. (Yahoo and MSN didn’t show.)

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/24 at 07:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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