Australia's Department of Defence has signed a three year $16.5 million agreement with geospatial giant Esri Australia that will provide more than 65,000 military and civilian personnel with access to state-of-the-art Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
The landmark partnership will see the use of Esri GIS technology extended across the entire Defence enterprise, at fixed and deployed locations globally.
Esri Australia Managing Director Brett Bundock said the agreement put the Department of Defence at the forefront of GIS deployment globally.
Esri Australia has been a strategic partner of the Department of Defence for more than a decade “ and this new agreement reaffirms Defence's commitment to continue innovating with this software, Mr Bundock said.
Under this new approach, GIS technology will serve as a key enabler of Defence warfighter, intelligence and corporate capabilities over the next three years.
The partnership will deliver advanced geospatial and mapping capabilities across the entire Defence organisation “ facilitating greater collaboration, quicker analysis, more robust planning and, ultimately, superior decision-making.
The agreement will see Esri Australia provide the Department of Defence with broad access to software, services, support and training “ utilising local and international technical expertise.
Esri Australia's National Security Lead Simon Hill said in addition to facilitating the creation of a true enterprise-wide GIS, the arrangement would also enable Defence to better leverage its significant investment in other technology platforms.
One of the strengths of GIS technology is its ability to integrate with other core business platforms “ including SAP, IBM and Microsoft, said Mr Hill.
This may assist Defence to achieve its goal of rationalising software types and versions across the organisation; and reduce the administrative overhead of enterprise software acquisition and its ongoing management.
The partnership is expected to deliver significant tangible benefits to Australian Defence Force operations.
The Army, for example, will draw on the technology to enhance the capabilities of its warfighters on the ground, by enabling them to seamlessly plan and conduct Joint and Coalition Operations, particularly in the littoral zone.
Esri's world-leading GIS technology “ known as the ArcGIS platform “ is used by more than 400,000 organisations world-wide. It is a vital tool for many of the world's leading national security organisations, including the United States Defence and Intelligence communities, as well as NATO.