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GSI User Conference 2016 Highlights

GeoSpatial Innovations’ second annual user conference was hosted by CenterPoint Energy in Houston, TX last week and I think it was a big hit! The user conference gave both customers and GSI an opportunity to put faces to the names of people we interact with regularly.

Tuesday before the user conference, we kicked off with a Distribution Design Studio (DDS) training session conducted by Jarod Tait and Pat O’Connor. As hosts, CenterPoint Energy DDS users attended the session and received one on one training. This gave us an opportunity to speak directly with end users and receive feedback on enhancements that would optimize their workflow.

The user conference kicked off with keynote speaker Kenny Mercado, Senior Vice President of Electric Operations at CenterPoint Energy. He did a great job of describing his personal journey, how technology has impacted/disrupted companies and industries, and the current and future challenges facing CNP.

The first day’s schedule was packed with presentations of milestones by AssetManager products over the past year. We dove into major DDS highlights, DDS to GIS integrations, GSI Forester’s first major utility implementation, as well as discussed how AssetManager products fit with gas utilities’ needs. Matt Shellenberger from American Electric Power presented how GSI Scout was implemented to their production environment – now with over 4,000 active users in the field. We wrapped up Wednesday with dinner by the water at the Kemah Boardwalk.

Thursday morning started off with Mike Hamsa, CTO of GSI, discussing the benefits of hosting AssetManager products on the cloud with Microsoft Azure. The Application Insights tool was demoed and showed how beneficial getting real time performance metrics helped us in supporting our customers much more efficiently. One of the most anticipated presentations was the demo of DDS Admin Tools by Laura Dentone. This tool allows DDS administrators the ability to make changes to their environments without relying solely on GSI for edits. In addition to GSI product presentations were heard from sponsors on new technology. Dan Colbert from Trimble introduced customers to the latest hardware compatible with GSI software products and Wayne Hall from Utility Asset Management presented how they conducted non-destructive pole inspections. We wrapped up the conference with a round table discussion facilitated by Carl Livingood, Mike Hamsa and Darby McKee. This gave attendees an opportunity to discuss what items would be most beneficial in next year’s user conference as well as learn the focus and direction GSI would like to take going forward. And of course we couldn’t make a trip to the Space City without spending a night exploring the NASA Space Center.

We all loved spending time with future and current customers at this year’s conference. Thank you so much to our sponsors – Trimble, Hexagon, and Binkley & Barfield for making this event possible and our gracious host – CenterPoint Energy.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at next year’s GSI User Conference in the Sunshine State hosted by Tampa Electric Cooperative!

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