Enterprise – a sure bet


LBS apps are gaining traction in the enterprise space. And there is a compelling business case for these apps. Brent Iadorola, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, said navigation services are easy to justify because there is a tangible return on investment (ROI). For example, enterprise LBS solutions can help increase job completion rates for workers in the field, can allow businesses to more efficiently route workers, and general can save time and money.

Software location technology firm Polaris Wireless is focused on the carrier, government and enterprise markets. Bhavin Shah, director of marketing and business development for Polaris, said that businesses that need to track their salesforce need to use high-accuracy solutions that complement GPS in order to provide detailed indoor locations. Hybrid location solutions are critical for the enterprise segment since it is a direct impact on efficiency and cost savings, he said.

"As the application set matures, and as awareness matures, location and effectiveness is critical," he said.

Another company looking at this space is Apisphere. The venture-backed firm uses location technology to deliver smart messaging. When a user goes into a specific location, Apisphere can deliver offerings through either a software download or a server-side connection.

Apisphere CEO and principal investor Craig Harper believes that there will be a time when location-triggered events are going to be common events for sales reps, service reps and small businesses. Harper imagines an application that knows a sales rep is going to a meeting and provides them their notes on the company, the company's stock price and contact information for the people within the company. When the sales rep leaves, the application will ask the rep if they want to update their information about the company. The business model, he said, could be based on a variety of components, including proximity-based advertising.

"The next decade is the decade of location," Harper said. "I really think we are going to see a tremendous explosion in LBS as the business model, provided that the big carriers and the other big players can get their head around the fact that the value chain is a little broken."

Social networking holds potential