How is the global coronavirus crisis impacting on the geospatial industry? Do companies have a sound business continuity plan? For this Q&A, 'GIM International' spoke to Kevin Jones, vice president, product and marketing at PCI Geomatics, a world leader in geoimaging products and solutions. He shared his thoughts on the current market situation and how his company is dealing with these challenging times.
What is your business continuity plan to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus?
Like many other technology industry companies, PCI Geomatics has the ability to continue operations despite the COVID-19 situation. Employees have the ability to work remotely and access all required resources to perform their duties. All of our software builds and quality assurance systems have redundancy built-in, and our staff are able to continue their work without interruption. Our workforce has embraced the work from home reality – we’ve adopted improved cross-company communication tools that have been very helpful (Slack).
How is the coronavirus outbreak impacting on your business?
The impact to our business has mainly been on the restrictions with travel. Since we implement systems around the world, and interact with partners and clients through conferences, workshops, and individual meetings, the face to face interaction has seen the biggest impact. Despite this situation and these changes, customers and partners, who are in similar situations in their own countries, have continued to be responsive through other communication channels.
What is your message to the geospatial industry now that the coronavirus has brought the world to a virtual standstill?
These unprecedented events, while disruptive, provide an opportunity to reflect on our global footprint and the impacts to the climate. Incredible images derived from Sentinel-5 showing decreased Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG) emissions (NO2) over China and Italy as a result of reduced industrial activity will have a lasting impact on people’s perceptions and daily life choices. As an industry, we have the opportunity to bring our tools and knowledge to address these important issues. The geospatial community should recognize the role we play by helping and contributing in whatever way makes the most sense to reduce impacts to climate change.
Kevin Jones is a remote sensing applications specialist at heart, with a long and rich history working with SAR, optical and drone imagery for a variety of commercial companies that span the value chain. In his current position, he is responsible for the development of innovative cloud-based products and SaaS offerings that bring leading-edge multi-sensor processing technology to commercial Earth observation satellites.