Many businesses around the globe have discovered that they can improve business operations by giving their customers, partners and employees access to key information via mobile devices. But these devices shouldn't simply be viewed as an extension of the desktop. The size of the device, the input mechanisms and the types of tasks people want to complete require that companies develop a well thought out strategy for going mobile. That strategy should incorporate the roll of location-based services. Mobile devices, by their very nature, are designed to be used from a variety of locations. By taking advantage of the location technologies and services currently available, companies can greatly enhance the value of their mobile applications. Oracle offers a complete set of technology, services and partnerships to help you get the most out of your wireless location-based service applications.
Maximizing productivity, increasing sales and improving service are top priorities for any company. The rapid adoption of the Internet in the 1990's fueled a dramatic increase in productivity, created tremendous sources of new revenue and made it possible for customers and partners to do business with companies 24 hours a day and seven days a week. In the 21st century, companies are taking the next step in the technology revolution by enabling many key business processes to be conducted via mobile devices such as Web-enabled phones, personal digital assistants and pagers.
When companies moved from mainframe computing to client-server computing or from a paper-based office to Web-based paperless office, the changes involved more than technology. They involved a mindset change as well. With the evolution of the personal computer, companies could enable ordinary workers to benefit from technology instead of just specially trained workers using proprietary terminals. With the rise of the Internet, employees had to overcome the concept of constantly printing, copying, routing and faxing documents.
The same mindset change is required to fully realize the opportunities that mobile devices provide. People want to interact much differently with mobile devices than they do with PCs. They do want to access some of the same applications they do on the Web, such as e-mail, expense reports, address books and calendars, but they have no desire to write lengthy documents. Other pieces of information, such as driving directions, real-time traffic and alerts about critical pieces of data, are far more important on a mobile device than on a PC. More importantly, people use mobile devices when they are not at their home or office, and as a result their locations are not fixed. So to provide your audience (whether they are employees, customers or partners) mobile applications with the greatest utility, you need to understand where they are, where they've been and where they are going. Incorporating location-based services with your mobile applications can help you complete these requirements. This paper will introduce you to the concept of location-based services and discuss how Oracle9iAS Wireless can help you deliver powerful location-aware mobile applications.
Location-based services overview
Many people think of location information as the graphics and text that are captured on maps. But look beyond the map and you'll find geocoded information such as street addresses and zip/postal codes; positional data captured from navigation purposes such as GPS; satellite and aerial imagery; route information and directions; time-sensitive events such as accident reports, weather reports and the location of service fleets; directories such as yellow pages; and databases with demographic and pyschographic data.
Organizations have demonstrated that location-based services not only deliver a strategic differentiation to their wireless and Internet services, but also provide a means to integrate customer and corporate information necessary for e-business. Carriers and portals now recognize that they will compete on the basis of how effectively they can integrate their CRM and ERP operations with those of customers and suppliers to create a positive business experience. Incorporating location into existing business operations enhances delivery of wireless services. Likewise, delivering real-time, location-enhanced information helps customers and suppliers accelerate, automate, and optimize their decision making process - an essential requirement for any location-based services system.
What do you do with a wide variety of the location-based information available? How can you improve your businesses with it? Well, location is a unifying theme in business. Spatial relationships, patters and trends reveal invaluable business intelligence and a critical dimension of information utility and understanding to business applications. Location services bring this utility to every facet of business.
Location-based services make use of spatial information and the functions that operate on this information, thus enabling you to incorporate "location awareness" and "location sensitivity" into your front-office apps, back office apps, supply-chains, field operations, Web offerings and more. As a result, this type of information is playing an integral role in the day-to-day operations of most organizations.
- Location-awareness refers to applications or services that make use of location information. Location need not be the primary purpose of the application or service. In fact, location awareness will often be an embedded capability.
- Location-sensitivity refers to location-enabled mobile devices such as mobile phone, personal digital assistant or pager