A Comparative Review of Esri and GIS Systems

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“Investing in a complete GIS system with full functionality produces an overall reduction in operating and maintenance costs and can become the foundation of a lower cost asset management system,” according to the nonprofit Water Finance Research Foundation (WFRF). 

The foundation completed a comprehensive review of the Esri-GIS features of major computerized maintenance management and infrastructure asset management systems that U.S. and Canadian municipalities use. The review helps water managers make better software selections, based on their specific needs. 

The foundation evaluated the software systems from 14 different suppliers (in alphabetic order): Accela, Agile Assets, Azteca System’s Cityworks, Cartegraph, Cityview, EnerGov, IBM’s Maximo, Infor/Hansen, Lucity/GBA, Maintenance Connection, Novotx’s Elements, Oracle, Pubworks and Vueworks. Then, the foundation ranked the systems from 1 to 5 — the highest score — on mapping, Esri integration, 311 systems, mobile devices, and Esri-GIS return on investment. 

Cityworks ranked the highest among the companies valuated, with 23 out of 25 points. Next were Accela, Infor, and Oracle with 22 points. Energov and Maximo rounded out the top-ranked group with 21 points. 

Cityworks offers a GIS-centric asset management approach that improves maintenance and daily operations, allowing agencies to organize, manage, and maintain asset information within an intuitive map interface. Users can visualize scheduled work, and ongoing activities as well as maintenance issues and historical information. The GIS is based on open technology and supports a wide variety of applications, including inventory and SCADA. Cityworks is a Platinum level partner with Esri. www.cityworks.com 

Accela lists the ability to start tasks directly from the map, as well as deploying spatial data anywhere in the Accela application as key benefits. Also, Accela GIS supports both the ArcGIS Server and Microsoft Bing maps. The system enables the user to automate complex and repetitive tasks, access multiple map layers, create custom query layers and visualize results on the map, among other features. Accela is a gold level Esri partner. www.accela.com 

The Infor GIS integrates map and other spatial information into a local agency’s core business processes to enhance the efficiency of all internal processes. The major components are the interactive Infor Hansen Map Drawer’ Infor Hansen GIS Data Miner which performs real-time spatial queries against multiple GIS layers, checking for problems; and Infor Hansen GeoAdministrator, a powerful spatial centric data management tool. Infor is a member partner with Esri. www.infor.com 

Oracle’s spatial database management platform includes support for all geospatial data types and models, including vector and raster data, and topology and network models. The open, native spatial support eliminates the cost of separate, proprietary systems, and is supported by all leading geospatial vendors. www.oracle.com 

The EnerGov 9 Enterprise framework was specifically designed with an advanced architecture that allows for seamless integration with a full range of hardware and software resources such as GIS and SCADA systems. This integration allows for invaluable resources to be integrated into the workflow in a simple and cost effective manner. Enterprise GIS integration introduces a new dimension of visualization and analysis capabilities to the end users, executive stakeholders and GIS professionals alike. Energov is a Gold level partner with Esri. www.energov.com 

IBM Maximo Spatial Asset Management provides users with the visibility to see complex GIS information, including a dynamic geospatial context of work, assets and relevant land-based features, which improves reliability, longevity and efficient work execution. The program improves work planning and analysis while eliminating the need for data duplication. It also allows organizations to take advantage of data not maintained in their GIS systems. www.ibm.com/software 

In the next article, the last in this series, we’ll look at the rankings for company support services.

Check out Reviews of Municipal Work Order Systems and Reviews of Municipal Maintenance and Asset Management Systems


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