Do you remember the game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” It was a self-described “edutainment” computer game in the 80’s and 90’s in which criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego traveled the world in an attempt to evade the fictional ACME detective agency. The game likely serves as a fond memory for many millenials.
But what if those agents tailing her were equipped with technology so powerful that they always knew where she was? Back in the day, such a solution hadn’t even been conceived yet. But today, geo-location sharing could have put the entire game’s plot to rest with just the click of a button.
From the very first features of unified communications to modern day instant messaging to next-generation solutions like WebRTC and CEBP—collaboration technology has come a very long way. Geo-location tech is being touted as one of a handful of next-generation collaboration technologies, as it has just begun garnering hype but has yet to reach its peak in the industry.
So what exactly is geo-location technology? In a nutshell, geo-location technology enables team members to identify where their colleagues and partners are based on a multitude of criteria (i.e. a user’s IP address or wireless network connection).
You’ve probably already caught wind of consumer-based geo-location services such as Foursquare and Facebook’s “Check In” service. Both of these applications have managed to quickly gain steam over the years, with Foursquare acquiring over 45 million users since launching back in March 2009.
It’s quite an exciting time for geo-location technology, especially given its various purposes. Many business owners may look at geo-location technology as a one-way street. In actuality, though, there are plenty of avenues to take with this kind of service to not only make the user experience easier, but to generate greater profits along the way. For example:
Marketing departments can leverage geo-location for ramping up customer service and generating more revenue than ever before. For example, world-renowned women’s luxury retailer Jimmy Choo recently combined geo-location technology with its Twitter account to feature upscale stores where its sneakers were available. Using geo-location technology to promote its new line of sneakers, the company increased its sneaker sales by over 33 percent and saw a 40 percent increase in positive tweets and mentions.
Geomarketing—the integration of geographical intelligence into various aspects of marketing—has also been a hit for many businesses looking to take customer engagement up a notch. For instance, Nike’s “Nike+” campaign leverages geo-location technology to share successful runs to its community across Facebook and Twitter, allowing followers to track their athletic performance and share their achievements with friends.
Upper Level Management
Similar to Carmen Sandigeo, with geo-location technology, your C-level suite can ask the question “Where in the world is my staff?” While this is a more standard feature of geo-location technology, its success and benefits have not gone unnoticed by those who have implemented it. For upper level management, geo-location is a secure and reliable means to locating team members when necessary. Geo-location is a service reserved with privacy in mind and is used only when necessary. For example, a manager can keep track of where a remote contractor is working, as well as see when the individual is available for communication.
Last year, demand for this position was so high that gross revenue for remote contracting networking sites doubled—some companies even saw 100 percent year-over-year growth in the number of businesses that posted a job to their sites.
Where in the world will your company be in 2014? It’s a big question to ask, and one that geo-location technology can play a huge role in answering.
This cost-saving case study from Touchbase Global has some great ideas for your organization improve unified communications ROI in 2014.
Photo credit: Carmen Sandiego on Wiki