By Garrett Cronin, Senior Account Manager IMGS

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to this year’s Safe Software Partner Summit in Vancouver. The annual Safe Software Partner Summit is the largest meeting of Safe Software staff and partners from around the world. As per previous years, it was hosted in the beautiful Convention Centre in Downtown Vancouver. The venue boasts breath-taking views of the bay and is flanked by highrise buildings.


I arrived a day early to take advantage of the pre-conference training. I did a reduced version of the introduction to FME Desktop & FME Server training courses. I proudly created my first ever (working) FME Workspace. The workspace took multiple source files containing local area information and 311 call data. 311 in Canada is the number you call to request services from your city or to report an issue like illegal dumping. My workspace merged the data, did some cleansing of poor-quality records and then wrote them out to a Google KLM to be viewed in Google Earth. The end user could click on the different polygons and get statistical information on the number of calls for that area etc.


If you are a seasoned FME user you my laugh at how basic that is but for me, I was so proud of what I achieved and slightly disappointed Don & Dale didn’t offer me a job right there on the spot to lead their technical team!! 😊


The following day the dynamic Don & Dale kicked off the conference welcoming over 70 partners from every corner of the globe to the summit. It was a short welcome as they were excited to introduce this year’s keynote speaker Tiffani Bova. Tiffani is the growth & innovation evangelist at Salesforce. Among a whole host of accomplishments, Tiffani is one of the top 100 women in Tech and one of Brand Quarterly Magazine’s Top 50 Marketing Thought Leaders.


Tiffani spoke about the trends in the marketplace and how the digital age is forcing people and organisations to adapt rapidly to stay relevant in their respected fields.


She went on to say that “Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable” if you want to continue to challenge yourself and grow in your professional career.

Don & Dale returned to the stage to speak about their humble beginnings nearly 25 years ago, and their vision of the future.


FME is no longer just a geospatial ETL tool but rather a powerful Data Integration Platform. Looking at its functionality today nearly 25 years on, it supports ETL (Bulk/Batch), Message Oriented Encapsulation, Data Synchronisation, Data Replication, Data Migration, Data Preparation, Data Access & Ingression. All of which are the core functionalities of a powerful data integration platform.


Over the coming months and years Safe Software is going to bolster this message and support customers to use FME for more than its base geospatial functionality.

The week included a variety of talks, training, and workshops focused on different aspects of growing the use of FME in your local markets. For the first time, Safe Software offered multiple tracks with both technical and business talks, so attendees could tailor their schedules to their interests.

The agenda included:

  • Plenaries and future roadmaps from Safe’s founders, Don and Dale.
  • Technical talks and deep dives from FME Experts.
  • Industry updates from Product Marketing.
  • Business tips from our Sales, Marketing, and Events teams.
  • Round-table discussions and panels with expert staff and partners.
  • Hands-on training workshops with FME Experts.

Safe also had the FME Doctor’s Office running each day so attendees could get hands-on help with solving their FME challenges.

The week ended on Friday with a BBQ in Safe Software’s new office. Last year we were taken on a tour, but it was still a bare shell at that stage, what they transformed it into is nothing but amazing!



If you would like to experience a week like I had, or if you have you ever wondered how many other FME enthusiasts there are in the world, and what they are doing with FME –  Come find out at the FME International User Conference (FME UC 2020)!

This conference will gather hundreds of the world’s top data experts to exchange knowledge, transform your skills, and get inspired with FME Desktop & Server.

If you’d like to come along simply contact me directly and we can discuss how we can achieve this together.


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