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Dimensions_2010_logoThe theme for the 2010 Trimble Dimensions event of Converge, Connect, Collaborate was the focus of the welcoming address by Steve Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble. Berglund took to the stage in front of more than 2,400 attendees at this fifth annual event, and recapped the company’s philosophy, as well as their plans for continued growth.

Dimensions_2010_logoThe theme for the 2010 Trimble Dimensions event of Converge, Connect, Collaborate was the focus of the welcoming address by Steve Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble. Berglund took to the stage in front of more than 2,400 attendees at this fifth annual event, and recapped the company’s philosophy, as well as their plans for continued growth.

When addressing connection, he took a look at the progression of the speed of travel and communication, mentioning that we achieved the speed of light as of 150 years ago. Berglund asserted that the capacity of information that we’re able to transmit is at this speed, and that the capacity of information sharing is the truly interesting parameter. Trimble’s strategy to transport large amounts of data with field-centered applications, wouldn’t have been possible five to 10 years ago, because the capacity wasn’t there.

Access to large amounts of information, with ubiquitous connectivity is the focus across all of Trimble’s business areas. Trimble looks at construction as an information flow, and an information problem, working to tie all phases of the lifecycle to one information flow. In agriculture, the same concept applies to the Connected Farm, where tracking, mapping, analyzing and monitoring for greater efficiency are transforming yield and margins. The Connected Forest aims to reduce the capital of a logging operation by 20%, while driving down the environmental impact. A new business area that capitalizes on this concept is the Connected Waste Process, with the idea to improve both financial and environmental outcomes for the waste disposal field.

On the subject of convergence, Berglund defined the concept as reaching the same conclusion at the right time and right place, using the right information. Trimble has done more than 50 acquisitions over the past 10 years, and faces their own convergence issue. They’ve learned that it’s neither automatic or easy, but the strategic nature of the acquisitions to bring in new domain expertise to provide a full solution or to establish a beachhead for a new market opportunity, mean that there’s purpose instead of just a desire to grow. The obstacle to convergence is complexity, but Trimble sees the answer as integrated solutions. The points of handoff of information are often the points of failure, and Trimble is focused on eliminating handoffs and instead creating a platform for data management and sharing.

Ten years ago Trimble was a GPS company, they added other positioning technologies to broaden and become a position company, that evolved into a productivity company with solutions addressing areas of efficiency, and now they are a provider of integrated solutions. The keys to this integrated state is a sufficiency of data, data that can be trusted (integrity), data that is accessible, data that is timely, and data precision that removes any doubt. The real value add that is created by the company is the ability to quickly integrate to meet business process deficiencies.

On the positioning side, Trimble is staying in tune with the proliferation of satellites for higher accuracy and position, with strategic partnerships in Russia to stay in tune with GLONASS and in China to stay in tune with COMPASS. Augmented position is a focus, with strategic acquisitions that enable the continued position accuracy even without a view of the sky in such places as urban canyons and mines. Their recent acquisition of a RFID sensor company allows them to tag and track items such as tools as well as supplies, knowing what is on the construction site when.

On visualization, Trimble’s acquisition of Definiens is important for its ability to interpret and derive information from imagery and ultimately laser scans. With laser scanning, and the positions of millions of points, making sense of this data is the most important challenge. The area of focus is on software to make sense of all the data.

Collaboration was discussed in terms of their global organization, and need to work together effectively. There are 4,000 people, in 70 offices, and in 24 countries. Their challenge is mirrored in the work of the global companies that they serve, balancing the mutual interest and providing flexibility, to meet shared goals. Trimble provides, and is developing new tools, to promote collaboration.

Trimble’s Connected Community is an architecture to allow a large number of people to work on a common project. Construction management, infrastructure planning, agriculture, security, disaster management, and even political campaign management are all areas where these existing and developing tools could be applied. Each has a significant field component, and this is largely where Trimble shines.

Trimble is hard at work in transforming the way that work is being done to eliminate the confusion of the past.

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