4 Essential Steps for Getting Started with Location-Based Services

William Sandoval, VP Advanced Platform Applications
Jun 6, 2019 9:30:00 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to reshape nearly every industry, making operations more efficient, increasing productivity, and even saving lives. For many industries, IoT solutions that take advantage of Location-Based Services (LBS) are delivering the most value.

LBS capabilities enable organizations to track the location of assets and people to deliver information that helps make informed business decisions, and the rise of LBS technology is creating new opportunities for value-added resellers and other businesses to build and sell LBS products and services. For many organizations who may lack internal expertise or experience with LBS technologies, there are the four essential steps to successfully seize this opportunity. 

Step 1: Understand the Market for Location-Based Services

The market for LBS solutions is growing rapidly, and is expected to grow at approximately 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2022 when it is forecasted to be worth $60.1 billion. This growth is primarily driven by the need for organizations to improve operational efficiencies, adhere to regulatory policies, and enhance worker safety through location-based solutions. Selling LBS solutions provides service-based, recurring revenue opportunities, flexible avenues for market penetration, and dynamic services for adjacent market penetration.

Step 2: Select a Target Market

Each industry has different needs when it comes to LBS solutions. As a result, VARs and IoT solution providers often experience the most success when focusing on a targeted vertical market. Some of the most significant opportunities exist in the following sectors:

  • Fleet Management and Telematics: Location-based solutions enable real-time information regarding both vehicles and drivers for optimized scheduling and utilization, routing and navigation, fuel consumption, vehicle repairs, as well as reporting for federally mandated HOS requirements.
  • Logistics Management: LBS solutions help transportation companies more effectively manage container shipments by providing visibility into real-time container locations, enabling improved on-time delivery, increased container security, and optimal container conditions.
  • Healthcare: LBS-powered Mobile Personal Emergency Response Systems (mPERS) devices enable elderly adults to send emergency alerts when accidents occur, offering peace of mind to loved ones and improving user safety.

 

Once you have a clear understanding of which market segment are most attractive, you can begin to consider what your LBS offering will provide and how to implement the required technologies.

Step 3: Evaluate Your Technology Requirements

Regardless of the target market and LBS product you choose to offer, there are several key technology components needed to deploy an LBS offering:

  • Applications: This is the interface to your LBS solution, where customers will manage its capabilities and derive business value. For a fleet management solution, common application features include routing, geo-fencing, dispatching, and driver behavior monitoring.
  • Tracking Devices: These are the hardware devices that collect data for the application to translate into actionable business information. Each device will look and perform differently as there are a broad range of options that all have varied form features and technical capabilities.
  • Network Connectivity: This is the wireless data communication that facilitates data transfer from devices to your servers and applications. For LBS solutions, cellular connectivity is the most commonly used technology due to its nearly ubiquitous availability and ability to connect geographically dispersed assets.

 

Step 4: Partner for Success

Locate an LBS solution partner that can help determine the functionality needed to serve your target market, assist in building a comprehensive strategy, and provide the technology components you will need.

Use the following questions to help guide your due diligence in selecting an LBS partner:

  • Does the partner provide all the technology components needed for your LBS solution? Can they deliver them in a “bundled,” pre-integrated manner or are they single-point offerings?
  • Have they implemented rock-solid security practices on the device, application, and connectivity layers?
  • Are API’s available for ease of integration into existing applications and back-office systems?
  • What level of professional services are available? Can they assist with device integration? Do they have the ability to create new, custom features to meet your business requirements?

 

Next Steps

With the right strategy in place, you will be well positioned to fully capitalize on the emerging opportunity to sell LBS solutions. For more information on how to add LBS solutions to your portfolio and get to market quickly, download our eBook: Getting Started with Location-Based Services.