Geolocation for the Enterprise
Geolocation for the Enterprise
At our Techno Global labs, we have started using Geolocation since mid 2009. Given our strong background (20 years) in building Enterprise solutions we couldn’t help thinking about the use of Geolocation for large organizations. We understood that there was already a vast amount of information sitting on many database servers. Web front ends, mobile apps and integration interfaces, usually consume this data. Sometimes, even appliances and devices feed from, and to, it. The thing about Geolocation is that location is not just cool but useful.
We combine the power of AWS (Amazon Web Services) with the rich mobility features from iOS and Android devices and deliver Geolocation solutions over a combination of Google Maps and Twitter.
At our Techno Global labs, Geolocation and Crowdsourcing are at the core of our services. Given our strong background (20 years) in building Enterprise solutions, we couldn’t help thinking about the use of Geolocation for large organizations. We understood that there was already a vast amount of information sitting on many database servers. Web front ends, mobile apps and integration interfaces, usually consume this data. Sometimes, even appliances and devices feed from, and to, it. The thing about Geolocation is that location is not just cool but useful. Instead of bringing information in flat forms to users and have them interact with them in a detached fashion (other than imagining this record is about something actually real) we went for merging data with location in a logical manner to provide a richer experience. Thus, departing from a specific location in the map we were able to unveil a large set or related Enterprise information, very valuable to the users. But that was just the beginning. We didn’t stop with geocoding datasets and map rendering details; we wanted to include people’s activities in the mix.
According to Wikipedia, every organization is defined as a group of individuals following the same objectives. To us, at Techno Global, it only made sense to use Geo technology to better assist on the accomplishment of these objectives, adding this time, the human factor. In 2010 we started creating our first mobile applications (iOS and Android) to allow individuals to communicate using Geolocation. We found out that we had to do innovative coding and smarter interfaces to help the user understand how this works. (The concept was relatively new at the time). In order for humans to communicate with we didn’t have to invent anything, by then Microblogging was proven to be a valid communication vehicle, so we decided to create our own and embed it into the engine.
The question that we get asked the most is: “Why would I want to see my data in the Map?” Through evolution, we discovered that the real purpose of our engine wasn’t really about rendering information (showing your data in a map). But it was about creating automated processes (algorithms) to execute smarter automated processes never seen before (at least by us). For example, one of the first industries where our technology was used was the service industry. In this industry is important to know when someone is somewhere to perform the service. A process would notify someone when something was going wrong at that moment because that someone who is supposed to be at a specific address at a certain time is not showing up (don’t forget our engine has control over the smartphone location which happens to be with the person who provides the service), thus an automatic notification process was triggered. This notification process could trigger other nested ones and so on and so forth. Now, in our Lab we have a library of algorithms that could be extremely helpful to large groups in accomplishing an objective much quicker and more effectively. What we did was to arm our engine with applicable algorithms from our library.
Also, we didn’t want to limit users in exchanging just Microblogging content but also actual media files to make it even more efficient. That gave people at the office real time visibility over what’s going on in the field via sharing pictures, videos and documents.
On the infrastructure side, we had to make sure our engine was scalable enough; thus we decided to use AWS. Today, we are very proud of being a AWS Technology Partner. We are using a large group of auto-configured EC2s with ELB and Route 53. We render using Amazon Cloud Front (Robust CDN) for media. We use Cloud Search, SNS, SES, SQS and of course a large use of S3. Because of AWS, our engine resides in multiple geographies across the World and being that is multi-language it is very useful for Global organizations. The first set of products using our engine is being launched early 2013. We are making this engine available for everyone to connect their databases, render their data over a map, microblog within a group and offer everyone a better experience. This release will be available in AWS Marketplace Mid-January as an AMI (Self-contained configurable virtualized server).
It has been a great ride at Techno Global, we have been doing both, creating new solutions and extending existing ones with our Geo-Communication engine.