Geonexus
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Empowering Evolution: The Path to Multipoint Integration – Featuring Founder and CEO Skip Heise

Introduction – How Did We Get Here? 

When Geonexus was started over 13 years ago, we changed the game with our flagship off-the-shelf integration solution, GeoWorx Sync. Sync was (and still is) capable of integrating GIS with other enterprise systems with little to no code, allowing easy access to and strengthening the integrity of valuable GIS, CIS, and EAM data. Sync changed the game by allowing utilities to reap all the benefits of integrated systems without undertaking an expensive, years-long effort to build a custom solution from the ground up. 

But, while Sync was a game-changing product for our customers, there was one limitation: synchronizing data from more than two systems at once. For organizations with certain specific use cases – like linking GIS data with EAM data and CIS data from a billing system – Sync couldn’t accomplish everything they needed from an integration solution. Based on our conversations with customers and future customers, we knew the popularity of multipoint integration would continue to grow. So, we got to work on creating what is now known as the Geonexus Integration Platform. This evolution of our popular GeoWorx Sync product is now capable of integrating any number of systems using our library of connectors. 

To investigate the continuous evolution of multipoint integration and find out what’s possible with the integration tools available to utilities today, we talked to Geonexus Founder and CEO, Skip Heise. 

What Does Multipoint Integration Look Like? 

A multipoint integration can involve many systems, different use cases, and will likely look a little different for every organization that implements one. For a simple example that many utilities can relate to, Heise outlined one involving a common billing meter. 

“Let’s say a utility has a billing meter. That billing meter has a home in GIS because we need to know where the location is for the billing meter, and GIS needs to understand where it is on a map and be able to visualize its location geography-wise. The billing meter also is an asset. It has a home in an EAM system like Maximo, for example, and you can create work orders against that meter to instruct it to do a meter read or other operations. 

“In utilities, meters are also stored in customer information systems like Oracle CC&B which create the bills for service. Those systems need to understand [electric, gas, or water] consumption and the meter is what records that information. So now, you have a billing meter that needs to be in three different systems, and that’s where the multipoint integration comes in. With the Geonexus Integration Platform, we can connect the billing system and relate that meter to the EAM system and the GIS system, and now we have three systems synchronizing common data regarding the billing meter.” 

How do Other Solutions Approach Multipoint Integration? 

The Geonexus Integration Platform is uniquely positioned as an off-the-shelf solution with built-in multipoint integration capabilities. There are other approaches to multipoint integration, each with their own approaches, but they come with drawbacks. As Heise puts it, “There’s really nothing out there that’s like us, that you can install as prepackaged connectors and integrate your systems with little to no code.” 

Other integration solutions, which usually utilize Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) or Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) technologies, were designed to move away from point-to-point technologies but still require custom code and depend on API-specific connections between systems. The process for building those connectors has always been long, expensive, and as more data enters ETL and ESB-based integrations, it can be extremely difficult to scale efforts up without causing errors along the way. Because of these issues, it’s often necessary to work closely with a dedicated technical support staff – a very costly endeavor.  

Overall, ETL and ESB-based integrations are no longer suitable as primary methods for integrating multiple enterprise systems. As utilities continue to embrace more systems and a higher reliance on accurate data in their workflows, the importance of multipoint integration has grown exponentially – and so has the need for reliable solutions that are scalable, affordable, and accessible. 

Where is Multipoint Integration Headed? 

The ease of system and data integration has real-world consequences on the workflows and service capabilities of utilities around the world, and by extension, the everyday lives of the people who need reliable access to utility services. We’re optimistic about the future of multipoint system integration – not just for our company, but for utilities who count on these technologies to provide vital services to their customers. 

Speaking about how far multipoint integration has come in recent years, Heise said, “Five or ten years ago, no-code platforms were non-existent. Now, with us, you can create your own application and data integration essentially using a drag-and-drop tool, just like building a website. I see it continuing in that direction as being able to build integrations with little to no code and allowing the business side of the company to be able to connect these systems together in a very easy, configurable way. We’re going to continue to create these connectors and utilities can just configure them however they need to. That’s our vision [for the future].” 

The possibilities with this approach are bright; for example, if utilities can spend less time and money building and maintaining a custom system integration, they can dedicate those resources to improving their services. They can use extra funds to replace aging assets, reinforcing the reliability of electrical grids or water systems, or use extra resources to strengthen the number of mobile response teams available during emergencies. They can do all of this while having access to all the GIS, CIS, or EAM data they could ever need – in one spot.  

This is the future that becomes accessible with easy, affordable, and most importantly, reliable multipoint integration. It’s the future we’re working towards every day, and we’re excited to see what will become possible as we continue to innovate and expand the Geonexus Integration Platform’s multipoint integration capabilities. 

Conclusion 

At Geonexus, our mission is to ensure the integrity and reliability of enterprise data to support effective decision-making. The Geonexus Integration Platform is an enterprise-grade integration platform that’s easy to use, reliable and includes out-of-the-box connectors for Esri® ArcGIS®, IBM® Maximo, SAP®, ABB® Ellipse, Oracle® Utilities, and other leading enterprise systems. Asset-intensive organizations across the globe use the Geonexus Integration Platform in industries including utilities, telecommunications, pipeline, transportation, and government. 

We would love to show you what our Geonexus Integration Platform can do for you and your team. Submit your information, and we’ll be in touch.

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