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Why Location Services Are the New Business Commodity

By Andrea Susman

Business intelligence is the collective process of acquiring data pertaining to your business, customers and operations through modern technologies, applications, and practices. Similar to business intelligence, location intelligence is comprised of many channels and platforms, as well as many different types of data albeit from regional, global and local positioning systems that harness the power of location.

 

Inbound and outbound location data can be a competitive differentiator for enterprise customer experience journeys. Knowing a customer’s onsite behavior and their surroundings should lead to increased positive interactions.

 

Location Data and Business

Location data — and by proxy location intelligence — is necessary because of how the current landscape has evolved to prioritize mobile and on-the-go experiences. Smartphones are everywhere. Location services are inherently built into all smartphones and can be activated at the app level per device, per user. 

 

This has generated a new form of commodity in bridging digital with physical spaces, especially pertaining to current location, user habits and movements, and even advanced engagements based on current location. That’s exactly where we are right now in the current landscape, with many businesses and organizations trying to better understand and utilize location data, particularly the content flowing in from their employees or customers while on-site.

 

The current landscape uses one of two options: network-based infrastructure for indoor positioning or configurable, moveable devices - both of which communicate directly with smartphones and mobile apps. 

 

Misconceptions Vs Truths

 

Even with its current implementation and popularity, there are several misconceptions as to how location services are used, its general impact, and what that means for the average business or team. We’re going to take a closer look at some of those myths, as well as the real truths that you need to know.

 

MISCONCEPTIONS

 

There are two major issues that need to be squashed here. The first is that location services are costly. The second is that the functionality is too difficult or challenging to implement and work with. At one time these claims may have been true, but that is no longer the case.

 

About five to six years ago, when event apps and similar mobile technologies were just starting to gain steam, solutions had to be custom built for each business or partner. So many people wanted to get involved, especially with location services but the deployment was just too complex for inexperienced teams to handle. The technologies also weren’t around to facilitate such a platform, as Wi-Fi was the most common wireless protocol and it required triangulation through up to three different access points. This made it a horrible experience at major events, because event providers often did not own the wireless network nor did they have control over its operation. It also made things incredibly expensive, not to mention the experience was frustrating for end users.

 

As a result, the cost of implementation was often in the ballpark of $100,000 and it required the use of existing infrastructure, which meant installing your own if there was none. These networks aren’t scalable either, and when you have large crowds and many devices accessing them become cumbersome if not broken entirely.

 

TRUTHS

 

Over the last few years, the related technologies have evolved and adapted to meet the needs of innovative installations — real-time location services being one of them. 

 

Today’s location services are incredibly functional and there are many different ways to setup or deploy a supporting network. Naturally, this lowers the overall costs, resulting in affordability. 

 

The deployment pattern has also changed. Beacons, for example, allow companies and teams to establish an intermittent network that works swimmingly with large audiences and user bases. They also integrate nicely with mobile app platforms — thanks to modern SDKs. Not to mention you have complete control over the beacon devices, so you can turn them on or off at the drop of a hat. This helps conserve operational costs, especially in regards to power consumption.

 

You don’t have to provide end users or audiences with a compatible device either, because everyone already has one - their smartphones. These devices collect, transmit and power the location data at the heart of such networks delivering exactly what you need to know, when and where.

 

Get Ahead of the Curve

Today, people demand a contextual, location-oriented experience. And especially in the workplace and densely populated buildings, the use cases for location-aware technology and how it can push and pull information to keep people safer and more aware begin to grow exponentially.

 

Bluetooth beacons are expected to reach a 133 percent compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2021 in personal tracking, retail and advertising.

 

In the world of business, customers, personnel, and visitors need to know and understand where they are going and what experiences they should be having. As consumers and clients demand more personalized, more contextual experiences; the kind of immersive features that location services offer will become commonplace if not a requirement.

 

Her'e a brief look at daily use cases:

 

  • Live Mapping: Affords the ability to pinpoint a conference, room or space within the physical area. Employees can instantly load a map to guide users to the chosen location with turn-by-turn directions. 
  • Contact Tracing: Allows HR and other important departments to identify office locations and employees that may have been contaminated. Companies can deploy automated contact tracing with peer-to-peer technology built into The CXApp Smart Campus app.
  • Active Campaigns: Allows workplace managers to program automated responses or triggered notifications on a user’s device when the individual user walks into — or out of — a boundary. With this, communications become more contextual via promotional offers, exclusive content and real-time alerts. 
  • Asset and Hardware IoT Tagging: Facilities teams and operations can track equipment for increased device awareness. This helps keep virtual ‘tabs’ on an item or items on a map across the entire organization or campus. Additionally, you can establish geo-boundaries that will engage a security system that can ensure the safety of all your corporate assets.

Grab our Connected Workplace Playbook for more information and use cases like this!

 

 

Mobile Matters

To ignite a smart customer journey, you have to have the right tools in place… and it all starts (or ends) with smartphones and/or mobile apps. You can have all this technology built out to create a great ingress/egress model for your space, but unless it’s plugging into the right source and communicating the best data, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

 

The sooner you implement location services and make use of location data, the more competitive and innovative you can be as a business and the better work environment you can provide to your workforce. 

 

Want to learn more? Get more insights in this free whitepaper on a Smart Campus

Tags: Blog, Integrated Tech, Mobility, Trends, Campus, Location Services, Workplace

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