Software // Information Management
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6/27/2007
08:52 AM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
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Are You Ready for (Google) Location Intelligence?

Google is offering its mapping capabilities as a potential source of enterprise-class business intelligence in the area of location intelligence. Google has made its Google Maps for the Enterprise available at a low cost while providing telephone and e-mail support. The challenge for you is to decide whether this offering can meet your enterprise needs.

Google is offering its mapping capabilities as a potential source of enterprise-class business intelligence in the area of location intelligence. Google has made its Google Maps for the Enterprise available at a low cost while providing telephone and e-mail support. The challenge for you is to decide whether this offering can meet your enterprise needs.Being a dominant player in the consumer world does not mean a tool instantaneously has value on the business side. As we've all learned, supporting your business needs is not easy. The business use of a map is not just for presentation, it's a way to help you understand the activities in your business. You have to think through the display of what potentially could be hundreds of data points (customers, prospects, suppliers, warehouses, or whatever), ensuring that the resulting map is useful to sales, call center or customer operations staff. Working with information in map form can be a tedious process if it hasn't been well designed and integrated with the real-time and historical data in your enterprise.

Deploying and integrating enterprise-level information technology is not a plug-and-play undertaking, no matter how good the API. We have seen this many times before - with SQL, for example, and with XML. And providing not only the integration but the services and support required to derive real value from geospatial information is not so simple. Using location and geography as critical operational metrics and integrating them with related context from internal BI and CRM systems and data repositories requires a deeper level of capabilities than what's needed to map your house or route a trip.

The value of location intelligence is not just being able to see a custom map or a selected location, it's the incorporation of relevant locational business information from within and outside of the enterprise into business processes. If you are considering a location-ready technology or application, I'd recommend that you determine what will be needed for it to drive better performance in your business processes. Google Maps may look easy, but it's not as easy as it looks. And supporting your enterprise requires not just technology but an organization and a set of technologies that are ready to meet your business needs.

Let me know your thoughts.

Mark Smith is CEO And Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research. Write to him at mark.smith@ventanaresearch.com.Google is offering its mapping capabilities as a potential source of enterprise-class business intelligence in the area of location intelligence. Google has made its Google Maps for the Enterprise available at a low cost while providing telephone and e-mail support. The challenge for you is to decide whether this offering can meet your enterprise needs.

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