I attended, as well as presented at Trimble Dimensions this year. More than 4,200 professionals from 83 countries took in the seventh edition of this conference. A good increase over the 3,500 from the event’s last gathering two years ago.
Dimensions has several roles in our world. I personally utilize my time at the show to pay attention to trends, training opportunities and transitions.
There was no shortage of cutting edge products at the show. The Partner Pavilion remains a condensed place to to see what Trimble and their partners are currently doing. Combine that with cryptic statements in the presentations and a glimpse into the future begins to take shape. Here are some of the trends that are of interest to our readers.
We use the cloud for two things, storage and access. During a job, we want files to be put in one place and available for download or transfer to connected machines. Trimble knows this and is on the leading edge of the process with Connected Site™ We have all been excited but wary of the evolution of machines, rovers and the office all being connected. I sat on a panel for machine control users and the results are in; Bite the bullet, equip all the machines and rovers and the stuff works, just like advertised. The only issue is in areas of spotty cell reception, planning is critical.
Cloud access also brings up two more issues, space and security. Can you have the space required for files and will it be safe? For Geospatial clients, Trimble InSphere® can fill the need. When a contractor gets involved in a large project, they can access and store relevant data; another trend worth watching.
Machine control had bright spots with upgrades and new releases to product lines. An article in the show daily caught my attention; John Deere is plumbing their GP motor graders from the factory to accept Trimble Machine Control. With more mixed fleets, this is a wise move on Trimble’s part. The biggest issue is training and data. Operators need to know the MC system well, that is the responsibility of the GPS manager. Data transfer needs to be top down from the office; I encourage you to look at site connection options. There is a bit of initial pain as with any new move, but the hurt goes away quickly when you don’t need to drive to the job site twice a day.
Author: Marco Cecalla