Q&A From Our GIS Panel Discussion: The Move To The Cloud

We hosted a live panel discussion event at this year’s Esri IMGIS (Infrastructure & Management GIS) Virtual Conference. We invited panelists from 3 key Esri industries: AEC, Transportation and Water to share their organization’s experience pre and post cloud. During the discussion, we had questions that needed answers. Here are the answers to several of the questions raised.

The Move To The Cloud

The video recording is available to watch on demand here.

Your Questions Answered.

Q: We currently maintain infrastructure per environment (dev, QA, prod). How difficult is it to move and maintain all of that into the cloud?

A: Deploying and managing a 3-tier environment in the cloud is standard practice for many of the organizations we serve. Migration, when planned correctly can be a smooth and painless experience.

Q: What kind of Esri technical support is available for infrastructures in the cloud (if needed)?

A: ROK provides 24/7 customer support for both your cloud infrastructure and your Esri software. We take care of every IT and GIS administrative task so you can focus on what you do best, GIS.

Q: Are you using Esri Managed Cloud Services? If not, are you not still maintaining the environment with upgrades and services work/maintenance?

A: ROK provides GIS Managed Cloud Services. That means all your updates and software patches are handled by our team of experts. Want to upgrade to latest version of ArcGIS Server or simply add new services like GeoEvent? The ROK Team handles all of that for you.

Q: Would you be willing to share that cost/benefit analysis?

A: We love to work with organizations on building ROI analysis. Simply reach out to us directly to set up a time to chat, or, take a look at our webinar, “How to build a solid case for GIS Cloud Migration” that reviews the steps you can take to determine your ROI. We even provide a PowerPoint template to help you get started! 

Q: What level of administration capabilities do we get post deployment when we move to cloud? We want to keep the user and content management with us. What about upgrades, is it turn-key upgrade or do we have to involve in the upgrade process?

A: At ROK we take a different approach to Managed Services. Our clients have complete access to all of their Esri Software and data giving them (and you) complete control over content. When it comes time to upgrade, the ROK team can take that entirely off your plate. Simply call our team and request a move to the latest version and we will make it happen!

Q: Are your systems running as software-as-a-service such as AGOL or are they cloud deployments of regular software (e.g. ArcGIS Enterprise on cloud VMs)?

A: Our clients are made up of organizations that use ArcGIS Enterprise and those that use both ArcGIS Online and Enterprise as well as a variety of third-party applications.

Q: What’s the strategy being followed in term of pricing, for example with the AWS cloud?

A: Pricing depends on the software you are using today, the size of your database and imagery, your availability tolerance (95% or 99.99% uptime), third-party applications in use, and general workflows. As part of our Cloud assessment, the ROK Team works with your organization to uncover these metrics and provides transparent budget numbers for both your cloud environment and ongoing managed services.

Q: How many servers do you have in the cloud environment? Did the number of servers change when you went to cloud? Understanding this could be different based on your architecture, but in general what has been the trend?

A: The number of servers our clients have in the cloud varies greatly depending on the Esri Software they have in use, the uptime tolerance (95% or 99.99%) and any third party applications they wish to be part of their environment.

Q: Do you all have fast Internet connections? We are in a rural area with very slow upload speeds, decent download speed. Would we be able to use ArcGIS on the Cloud?

A: You can certainly use ArcGIS in the cloud. If you are concerned about your internet speeds give us a call. We can run tests to determine what your experience will be like after making the move.

Q: Is it possible to integrate a cloud based GIS with existing on-premise solutions such as CMMS, Amanda, ERP, JDE, etc., and is it more effort to accomplish this integration with a cloud based GIS.

A: You can certainly integrate Cloud based GIS with on-premise services. During the cloud assessment process ROK can help you talk through the options available to come up with the solution that will work best for your organization.

Q: I don’t see my question here. How can I get it answered?

A: Great question! If you are looking for an answer to another question, please reach out. We love talking about the cloud! 


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