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As an Esri business partner, INCATech combines scientific and technological expertise with a well-informed creative spirit. INCATech’s seasoned professionals are committed to understanding customers’ needs and creating solutions that combine ML/AI with GIS to help blaze new trails in the geospatial tech industry. In an interview with CIOApplications, INCATech’s Bruce Freedman (Vice President of Corporate Development), Jesse Osborne (CTO), and Thomas Moran (GIS Practice Lead) highlight INCATech’s critical role in providing geospatially-driven solutions and how their company are currently supporting Federal customers to maximize the increasing value of location-based data analytics.
What are the capabilities offered by INCATech when it comes to the Esri landscape?
Thomas Moran: As a small business, INCATech fosters a close relationship with Esri as a Silver-tier business partner—teaming with them on Solution and Delivery, Professional Services, and research-oriented engagements. INCATech’s contributions have won Esri’s recognition, receiving the Federal Small Business Specialty (FSBS) New Partner Award in 2018 and the FSBS Delivery Partner Award in 2020.
INCATech earned this recognition through continued delivery of comprehensive product support across the entire Geospatial Ecosystem (Desktop/Web/Mobile). From data management to geospatial modeling, application development, geospatial analytics and web-based visualization, INCATech provides end-to-end capabilities to deliver quality geospatial products and services. When new products are released, it’s likely INCATech has already become familiar with how to best integrate it—and may even have helped shape its out-of-the-box capabilities. INCATech possesses Esri’s “Release-Ready” designation because our team is actively staying updated with the latest software releases from Esri.
What are some of the new trends in the Esri landscape, and how have INCATech adopted the changing trends?
Bruce Freedman: At INCATech, we recruit and cultivate professionals who value growing and keeping pace with changing trends, so our team is not just adopting changes but is at the forefront of those shifts. In recent years, we’ve seen the continued shift of customers moving both their geospatial and IT operations and infrastructure, either partially or in whole, to the cloud. Information that was typically managed and stored in coordination with IT departments is now being managed by SaaS products such as ArcGIS Online(AGOL) or deployed to cloud environments for administration through ArcGIS Enterprise.
INCATech’s solutions are increasingly becoming a crucial resource to help customers stay competitive, perform on mission, and deliver value to their stakeholders
What kind of challenges do your clients encounter, and how does INCATech address the challenges?
Jesse Osborne: One of the prominent challenges we often face is to construct solutions that provide the protection of private information while preserving the appropriate levels of access. Working with Esri technology for many years has allowed us to understand various proven patterns of architecting optimal solutions to meet the Federal IT, security, and different organizational governance policies and standards. This is an ongoing issue to contend with because as customers are finding it easier and easier to use ArcGIS in their workflows, it also makes it easier for those customers to misstep and mismanage privileged information without the right constraints and governance policies built into the system. INCATech’s approach is to become intimately familiar with our customer’s missions, and then we create the right-sized technical solution that robustly manages the full data lifecycle while also mitigating risk and vulnerabilities. As a result, customers lean on INCATech to leverage the expertise from both the analytical and engineering sides of the house for making things easy, focused, and user-centric.
Considering that spatial awareness has become ubiquitous, customers are increasingly expecting the spatial aspects of data to be presented in a human digestible form like ArcGISStoryMaps and interactive dashboards with different visualizations and graphical layers. INCATech creates dynamic products to meet these needs, allowing customers to fuse data from various sources, know what trends are forming and what’s happening right now, and make data-informed decisions. INCATech’s solutions are increasingly becoming a crucial resource to help customers stay competitive, perform on mission, and deliver value to their stakeholders.
Can you please elaborate on a customer success story?
Jesse Osborne: A great use-case would be INCATech’s support of the Department of State (DoS), Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA), who requires developing and maintaining Travel.State.Gov (TSG). TSG receives web traffic of over 800 million unique visitors per year and provides the general public with critical information about the current state of geopolitical relationships with the other Nation States, the safety of the U.S. general public traveling abroad, and online services for managing passports/visas. INCATech found that the existing process for editing data on TSG’s Travel Advisory maps could be enhanced; it required a GIS specialist to perform a workflow of complex operations using specialized desktop software, which took hours at a time. Within just two months, INCATech redesigned the process and rapidly developed a self-service web application for CA personnel. The solution automates the deployment of data edits to the public in a matter of minutes. INCATech also designed this web application to be so user-friendly that any authorized user can utilize it, regardless of skill level.
Taking a closer look at the near future, what plans do you have in terms of expansion or offerings?
Bruce Freedman: To build upon our established experience and expertise with the WebGIS ecosystem, we are pursuing the Cloud Specialty Designation with Esri. This will strengthen our resume with recognition for the skills we are already demonstrating in current projects. Concurrently, we are growing our INCATech Cloud and Platform Services practice by building cross-functional teams, including cloud-native engineers, DevOps experts, and IT professionals that have in-depth geospatial developer and engineering expertise. We are currently participating in Beta Testing groups with Esri, such as the Kubernetes (K8) and TensorFlow Lite for Survey123, and testing development and delivery in support of Federal customers, non-profits, States and Locals, and the commercial market. We’re expanding our User CenteredDesign practice to account for human behaviors, logical information architecture, usability, and clear and compelling visualization. By leveraging design principles in our iterative Agile development processes, we focus on end-users and their needs while optimizing workflows and how they use and experience our geospatial applications.