If you were not able to attend GITA 30 it is likely that you now have more questions than answers about this strategic announcement by GE. I was unable to attend GITA so I count myself in that group of under informed Smallworld users/partners. If this year's attendance was any indication, then I imagine that many others in the Smallworld community were also not able to make use of the direct interaction with GE representatives to have their questions/concerns heard. And GITA attendance is largely from the Western Hemisphere. European, Asian and African Smallworld community members would have had even less chance to get their questions answered.
I suspect that this year's Smallworld Users Conferences will be dominated by presentations on this new architecture (and hopefully demonstrations), but it seems like a long time to wait until September/October to have our questions answered.
Maybe GE would consider some of the following communication options:
- press release
- send a more detailed note out to all Smallworld users/partners
- Smallworld Helpdesk has a fairly efficient mechanism in the SupportCentral site to send out blanket e-mails to all users. Use this feature to give a more-detailed-than-the-press-release announcement to the Smallworld community
- Online forum
- I understand that there might be concerns about making information available on an uncontrolled list, so extend the Global Customer Forums (see On-line Smallworld resources (closed and open)) to include a forum where customers/partners are invited to post any questions they have about the new product.
- Commit to having GE management/technical staff answer each post in a timely manner.
- As the questions start coming in to GE as phone calls and e-mails, compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions and post them in the forum.
- online demonstrations
- provide WebEx demonstrations of a more technical nature where we can see how the new tools are supposed to work.
As always, I welcome readers' comments. In particular, I am interested in what kind of communication you would find helpful to address your questions or concerns about this new "non-GIS" spatial product announcement by GE.