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How Esri's specialties can help you find the right partner

If you’ve been working with or using Esri technology for any length of time, you’ll likely know a key strength is the community of partners that extend and enrich Esri’s platform, providing content, value-added solutions and services. You may also have encountered the challenge of finding the right partner to help you get your job done. Partner specialties can help you with this. Read this blog post to find out how, and to hear from some of Esri Canada’s partners about the benefits they’ve gotten out of their specialties.

How can specialties help me find the right partner to work with?

Esri’s partner specialties program offers special designations to partners who have expertise in an industry or technological area of interest. With a growing partner ecosystem and continuous innovation resulting in new and expanded capabilities with Esri technology, specialties help partners showcase their capabilities. They can help users to find partners with the skills, experience and focus they need.

How do partners obtain these specialties? What benefits do specialties bring to partners?

Partners obtain specialties through an application process and are thoroughly vetted by Esri. Each specialty has a different review processes and requirements; many specialties require training, a reference check or review by Esri and Esri Canada.

If a partner has a given specialty, you can be confident that their product or service aligns with Esri’s offerings and that they have demonstrated a commitment to specialization. Some specialties also allow Esri partners to gain specific benefits over and above those offered by the Partner Program more generally, such as additional software licenses.

What are the specialty designations? What do they demonstrate?

Of the nine partner specialties currently offered, seven are directly relevant to Canadians. Click the links below to see up-to-date lists of all partners in each specialty.

  • The Release Ready Specialty is the baseline specialty for partners looking to pursue additional specialties. It shows that a partner has both offerings for and experience with ArcGIS.
  • The ArcGIS Hub Specialty shows that a partner’s offerings help build bridges between organizations and communities using ArcGIS Hub technology.
  • The ArcGIS Indoors Specialty shows that a partner has indoor mapping expertise and can help you implement indoor mapping to improve on-site mobility and safety.
  • The ArcGIS Urban Specialty shows that a partner has the knowledge and expertise to help you implement ArcGIS Urban, allowing you to streamline urban planning processes, analyze plan impact and enhance public engagement.
  • The Utility Network Management Specialty shows that a partner has expertise in the utility market and is able to deliver solutions and services for the ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension.
  • The ArcGIS Online Specialty shows that a partner has offerings and expertise to help you maximize your use of the ArcGIS platform.
  • New—The ArcGIS Cloud Services Specialty shows that a partner has the expertise to help you deploy and manage the ArcGIS platform in cloud environments.

Esri also offers several specialties centred on US-specific practices and processes, including the ArcGIS for Local Government Specialty and the Federal Small Business Specialty.

What are partners saying about specialties?

Eos Positioning Systems

Founded in 2014, Eos Positioning Systems manufactures GPS / GNSS receivers for the GIS market. The company offers a variety of solutions, including laser mapping, real-time orthometric heights, underground locate mapping and more.

Eos Positioning Systems technology, live and in the field.

With both the Release Ready Specialty and the ArcGIS Online Specialty, Eos Positioning Systems has differentiated itself within the broader Esri Partner Network: 

Esri partner specialties are an important designation for Eos Positioning Systems because they let our joint ArcGIS users know what distinguishes Eos from other partners within the expansive Esri Partner Network. Currently, Eos has two partner specialties: the Release Ready Specialty and the ArcGIS Online Specialty.

For Eos, being release-ready is an important differentiator that indicates the high priority Eos places on becoming and remaining current and compatible with the latest advancements in the ArcGIS platform. Meanwhile, the ArcGIS Online Specialty holds a special meaning for Eos, because this was our first specialty. It signified at the time, and still signifies to this day, the advancements our technical team makes by bringing high-accuracy GNSS workflows directly into ArcGIS mobile apps for a seamless and pleasant user experience. We believe that having these specialties helps customers understand our company’s dedication to two parts of the ArcGIS platform that we find increasingly critical to user success: taking advantage of the latest modern deployments of new ArcGIS releases, and adopting a cloud-based ArcGIS platform that enables highly accurate geospatial workflows anywhere in the world.


SOLV3D creates innovative software solutions for geospatial data processing, visualization and collaboration. The SOLV3D engine™ processing toolkit assists users in optimizing point cloud data for effective use within their applications and workflows. SOLV3D encompass™ provides the ability to merge together a myriad of geospatial datasets in a single platform. Within a web-based environment, it enables all stakeholders to easily gain situational awareness and work together on projects, AOIs and assets, regardless of geographical location or level of expertise.

The Release Ready Specialty has helped SOLV3D connect better with their clients:

As a small, Calgary-based business, we are proud to have been able to secure Esri’s Release Ready Specialty for SOLV3D encompass™. This showcases our willingness to ensure that the future and ongoing development of our products takes into consideration what is deemed a valuable experience for our clients. Successfully getting through the application and review process required to obtain the specialty also provides clients with a sense of certainty and reliability regarding how the integration of our solutions will augment the investment already made in their Esri technologies.

We are fairly early days in the obtainment of this designation, but we are excited to continue working with Esri and its customers to define additional integration points and feature enhancements that will inherently increase the synergies and further boost the robustness of the virtual project environment that we provide to all stakeholders through our collaborative online platform.

Vertex3 Inc.

Since 2009, Vertex3 Inc. has successfully delivered over 100 GIS-related projects for more than 50 organizations. They help clients implement GIS strategies, design data models and applications, and build solutions using the ArcGIS platform, with the goal of breaking down traditional data silos and supporting expanding information needs.

Vertex3 discussed the advantages of the Local Government Specialty with us:

For clients, Vertex3’s Local Government Specialty indicates a deep understanding of the technology, a strong connection with Esri and a reputation for delivering value to project teams and end users.

Vertex3 has a close relationship with the ArcGIS Solutions team. In fact, Steve Grise, president of Vertex3, helped to start the Local Government Solutions program when he worked at Esri in Redlands, California from 1999–2009. Along with designing the initial set of templates and assembling the team, he also built the first version of the Tax Parcel Viewer and coded the initial version of the Attribute Assistant. Over 10 years later, Vertex3 continues to support the team by managing X-Ray for ArcGIS and developing tools such as the Data Assistant for ArcGIS Pro under contract to Esri.


VertiGIS believes that geography empowers people to make better decisions about the world around us. They help their customers accomplish this with innovative mapping software and services. VertiGIS are the makers of Geocortex technology, which helps more than 1,400 organizations around the world operate more efficiently, communicate more effectively and improve decision making. Geocortex technology is designed specifically for use with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. As an Esri Platinum Partner, VertiGIS is focused on helping clients maximize the return on their investment in core Esri technology. Learn more at

Here's what VertiGIS is saying about their Release Ready and ArcGIS Online Specialties:

The Release Ready Specialty acknowledges the work we do to ensure Geocortex software is perpetually compatible with the ArcGIS platform. It’s a practice we’ve instilled in our development organization. We do it so that we can enable our customers to take advantage of new features and improvements as soon as they are available. Simultaneously our software development team can build capabilities that leverage the latest innovations across the ArcGIS platform. These measures ensure that our customers are getting access to the best possible technology on the market. Being release-ready is also a source of pride for our staff. We measure the number of days it takes for us to provide compatible software across the entire Geocortex portfolio following an ArcGIS release, and we’re proud to state that since ArcGIS 10.0, we have offered compatible products within 10 business days or less.

The ArcGIS Online Specialty certifies both our Geocortex software and our experience and skills in delivering services that leverage all the benefits of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). We see an increasing number of organizations, both small and large, that are looking for experts in migrating GIS infrastructure to the cloud. This specialty helps us stand out in the crowd, as our customers turn to us for guidance and best practices for scalable, reliable and fully capable cloud-based Web GIS applications. Cloud computing is changing rapidly and maintaining this specialty year-over-year builds confidence that we’re ahead of the curve and positioning our software and expertise for what’s next in SaaS application delivery.

To learn more about the Esri Partner Network, click here. For a detailed breakdown of specialties, visit Esri’s website.

About the Author

Paul Salah provides leadership for the Esri Partner Network and strategic alliances for Esri Canada. His focus is on developing the Esri partner ecosystem in Canada, helping commercial partners leverage geography and the ArcGIS platform to enhance their solutions and services with location intelligence. Paul has worked as a GIS professional for over 25 years, helping organizations leverage Esri technology and its global community.

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