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Choosing the Right Solution for Location Intelligence

Joe Francica 

Senior Director of Geospatial Strategy

10 September 2020

Choosing the Right Solution for Location Intelligence

How do you choose the right information technology solution that helps your company become more location intelligent? Would you know what geospatial data and software to choose?

Today, geospatial data is captured by mobile applications, IoT sensors, and remotely-sensed Earth observation satellites. Accenture estimates that of the 29 billion connected devices projected to be in use by 2022, 18 billion are predicted to be IoT-related, with almost all of them broadcasting their location. The challenge, then, is to find the right solution provider that can recognize the challenge, advise companies on the most effective solution, and develop, what could be, a competitive differentiator. But, where do you turn to for such insight?

The Forrester Wave™ for Location Intelligence

Just this year, Forrester Research released The Forrester Wave™ for Location Intelligence Platforms. The report provides a rigorous methodology to ascertain the leaders, contenders and challengers in location intelligence. The intent is to offer a starting point for organizations that are unfamiliar with location technology and present the best solution providers.

Forrester selected nine solution providers in their assessment of location intelligence platforms, including CARTO, Esri, Google, Hexagon Geospatial, MapLarge, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and Syncsort (now Precisely). Each was evaluated based on its product portfolio and vision, strength of its partner networks, average sale size, ability to serve large organizations and other criteria.

However, the Wave did not include many other leading companies that also provide very capable solutions, such as HERE Technologies, which are considered in many other location and mapping market research reports. The broader location intelligence marketplace extends to a larger ecosystem than what Forrester reported.

Forrester’s results present an interesting challenge for companies looking to take advantage of geospatial data, especially when there is a range of solution providers from small SaaS applications to large enterprise vendors. As such, companies searching for a complete “answer” to address different types of business challenges and use cases might be left with an incomplete perspective and miss vital elements of the full technology stack solution.

We, at Korem, see these challenges clearly. We look beyond any single software solution to the business use case. We take an agnostic, independent approach because we’ve assembled a team with broad knowledge of the major geospatial technology solutions, and an extensive understanding of the data required to meet today’s dynamic changes in enterprise IT.

Emerging Geospatial Trends

According to the Forrester Wave report, “The golden age of location intelligence has arrived for CI (customer insight) professionals. The opportunity to collect customer location information is exploding, and modern data, analytics, and business optimization practices are increasingly leveraging this location-based information to win, serve, and retain customers.” This observation should make every corporation consider whether they are properly leveraging the power of location. If not, they may find that they are now behind their competitors and playing catch-up.

Forrester’s research focuses on the importance of understanding the functional capabilities of each software provider and how they are providing solutions for emerging technology requirements. Solutions are becoming “geo-enabled” which means that the geoprocessing capabilities are essential, embedded components within enterprise IT systems. Users will find that even most business intelligence solutions, such as Tableau and Alteryx, offer mapping and location analytics as part of their functional design.

Companies without the institutional knowledge of geospatial information will likely turn to systems integrators. While large and generic system integrators may offer geospatial services, they typically struggle in mixed ecosystems and only have knowledge of one technology vendor. Korem on the other hand has developed a unique ability to compare various vendors, their software solutions and data, in order to recommend and implement best-of-breed solutions based on the customer requirements.

Consequently, simply relying on the messages provided by vendors or market research reports such as The Forrester Wave are simply insufficient.

Searching for Expertise

Projects fail because businesses think they can dissociate expertise from technology. Not all companies who have captured geospatial data have invested in developing a team with the capabilities to comprehend the nuances of location technology. Geospatial primitive data, such as digital points, lines and areas, must be analyzed with software capable of processing the unique nature of physical geography such as Earth coordinate systems and cartographic projections. Because, as Forrester rightly points out, “location information is exploding” many users lack the understanding of the myriad choices of software and data that solves business problems and gets them to the “answer” quicker.

Businesses today are coming to the realization that some of their most difficult challenges start with “where” questions. Where do I place my next retail store, or close one; where are my insurance policy holders exposed to the greatest risk; or where do I deploy my 5G ultra-wideband microcells? Some answers are provided by creating a map! In other cases, businesses just want the answer. These are unique challenges, requiring a unique skill set from a company that is an expert in developing best practices and location intelligent solutions.

We are that company and provide the one-stop shop with the expertise to sift through the choices of software vendors, the plethora of data choices and the talent that puts it all together. We are Korem. Contact us today.

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