New lamps for old 6

A couple of weeks ago PBBI announced their new cloud strategy at their Insights conference. There was much mention of cloud, SaaS and DaaS along with the launch of some new (newish) products and services and collaboration with WeoGeo and Microsoft. You can find more detail in the coverage by Joe Francica of Directions who was at the conference.

PBBI are doing some sensible but not necessarily revolutionary things to adapt to a changing marketplace. Inevitably the launches are dressed up with some popular geobuzzwords that can help to align the company’s strategy with apparent trends in our industry – “cloud” and any letter you like followed by “aaS” plus mention of “infrastructure”.

What particularly interested me were the comments that this article prompted. Of course lots of other players in the geo world are already doing something like this and in some cases have gone quite a long way further down the road to new service and transaction/usage models for geo capabilities and content (I hope will prove to be one of those). A couple of my friends in the UK community have pointed out that none of this is particularly new.

What they may have missed is that when a big guy like PBBI starts making a noise about this stuff more people will listen and that could create even bigger opportunities for the people who are really pushing the envelope.

6 thoughts on “New lamps for old

  • Rob Pipe

    Glad to help create some discussion!
    No one is more excited than me to see how some of our recent announcements have sparked the imagination of our customers, especially as we talk about the possibility of making the right information available at the right time within the tools they use everyday.

    I think as a vendor in this space this is an exciting time, customers are demanding to consume our technology in new ways and the “cloud” certainly helps make that possible.

  • steven


    I think PBBI do quite a good job of adding value with some of their own data sets in the insurance, retail and telco markets. Not so sure about reselling or even repurposing other cos’ data but maybe that wont be a big part of their model going forward.

    The iTunes analogy is quite a good one for a datamart but not for data as a service which might be more like Spotify. This seems to be getting a bit stretched as an analogy, time to park it.

    Incidentally I was never CEO of MapInfo UK, just plain old fashioned MD.

  • Thierry_G

    Steven, you are right to point out that a datamart is not exactly a DaaS service that lets you consume data in any way and any app you like, in a seamless manner. But this difference will be lost on most end users (except the most sophisticated), and not even iTunes is like that. Most GI experts, even to this day, still apply a tool-centric mindset to data. That is why most GIS vendors have failed to crack the data market. The second reason is that data on its own is useless without context and value-add. It will be interesting to see how PBBI fares.

  • James C

    You didn’t really think we’d missed that did you Steven!? PBBI’s entry into the space is generating new and greater levels of interest in what we established ‘DaaS’ providers do which is great. As ever, and I think you’d share this sentiment, it seems the bulk of the focus so far has been inward looking to the GI space rather than outward at the app and user space which kind of defeats the object.

    • steven


      I think PBBI are somewhat cashing in on the DaaS buzz, I don’t see a datamart as data as a service. I want to be able to consume data in either my own applications or applications hosted in the cloud by others and I want a pricing model that reflects the value of that data to me as a user.

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