Geoffrey is VP of Sales for SpatialTEQ Inc. He joined the geospatial industry in 1998 working first for DeLorme Publishing Inc. and then SpatialTEQ Inc. focusing on developing and selling geospatial tools that support business work flows like www.mapbusinessonline.com. Geoffrey graduated from Colby … More »
December 8th, 2014 by geoffives
Wrapping up 2014, our busiest year yet, Map Business Online looks forward to assisting many more business mapping software customers in 2015. Setting aside for a moment the demise of Microsoft MapPoint, we’ve noticed a major uptick in sales to business managers who use Map Business Online as a way to communicate business strategies and drive sales accountability through shared, interactive digital maps.
We think 2015 is going to be the year of the shared map. Business managers need to efficiently communicate company objectives – especially sales objectives – with their team members. And what better way to communicate than by sharing a web map? Shared maps communicate quickly and effectively because they combine facts with places in a way that helps to clarify business objectives. Shared maps say, “Your responsibility starts and ends here,” or “Your customers live and behave in this area in this way,” or “Your patient expects your assistance with this problem right here, at 6:00PM.” By relating customer targets with locations, maps help tie objectives to results.
Dare to Map Share – Securely
Most businesses have warmed to the idea of uploading a spreadsheet of customer locations onto a cloud-based digital map. There’s some understandable wariness about importing business data into a cloud service, but those security concerns aren’t stopping people from doing it. The best cloud services providers encrypt imported datasets and effectively secure all map access through SSL protocols. You have to actually give bad guys your password for them to access your business data or view maps without your permission. With security in place, and advanced mapping features more broadly available, businesses are ready to move beyond MapPoint’s ten year-old feature set and get creative with their business planning.
Critical Data That Wants to Be Shared
As cloud services become the new software distribution model, affordable business mapping software applications have become standard tools for customer mapping, retail competitor analysis, demographic analysis, and sales planning. By sharing these popular visual perspectives on the business landscape, companies are achieving more efficient planning and improving work-flows. There’s no sense in preserving the company sales territory map on the wall of the headquarters’ boardroom. These data visualizations need to be more universally shared to derive maximum value from your entire planning process. And sharing sales territory assignments across the corporate network just makes so much sense. Sharing territory maps drives accountability – more product sales, more renewals, better conversions.
Today, with a little more investment and some planning, your team can share map editing privileges as well. This takes map sharing to a whole new level – beyond map viewing to shared editing. Got a rep complaining about slow or inaccurate data updates? Enable team shared map editing. Empower them to make changes on the map. Cloud services rule when it comes to shared editing. Legacy desktop software, like MapPoint, struggled with shared editing.
Contemporary mapping tools way outstrip MapPoint capabilities in the category of sales territory management. They are easier, more flexible, and visually more appealing than Microsoft’s last iteration – developed some eight years back. Prepare to be sales territory mapping amazed, MapPoint users. Your MapPoint replacement has arrived.
Seek Your Map Geeks
Maps Inform Strategic Plans
Business mapping tools as applied to strategic planning are the modern-day equivalent of radar during the Battle of Britain. The Germans didn’t understand how the British were using radar, so they left those strange-looking stations largely untouched. Bad move Adolph. Upon a Luftwaffe sortie launch, the British knew exactly how many bombers and fighters were on their way and exactly where they were headed, twenty minutes before they reached the British shoreline. This gave them time to assign RAF fighters to an appropriate rendezvous point for a successful counter attack. Picture those uniformed British women raking toy planes across a massive map while the big-wigs looked on – today that’s your business map! Likewise, your competitors could be unaware of your mapping advantage or they may be outwitting you at this very moment with their own mapping tools. Didn’t you get the memo?
Business mapping software in 2015 is a core planning tool complementary to other business systems like CRM, business intelligence, or order processing. Twitter may be history in five years – business mapping software will be more advanced and even more ubiquitous.
A MapPoint Alternative to Valhalla
Wishing everyone a spatial holiday season and a very mappy new year!
Geoffrey Ives can be reached at (207) 939-6866 or firstname.lastname@example.org
September 12th, 2014 by geoffives
Last week the Cloud as a digital online storage service, got a black eye. I’m not here to defend or accuse anyone of anything with regard to the release of private celebrity photos. That’s not for me to say. But I am here to remind people of the fact that, despite some problems, Cloud services have been an amazing benefit for all of us who use technology at work and at home.
July 8th, 2014 by geoffives
Companies like Esri and Google reach a large audience of customers and potential customers with their compelling Geographic Information System (GIS) and Location Intelligence (LI) marketing messages. But not every business in the USA is ready to hear these messages. For reasons that include out-of-reach investment requirements, technology intimidation, and competing software priorities, many companies press on, year after year, without the benefit of location analysis tools. And still more companies remain simply unaware that location intelligence or business mapping software even exist.
I speak with many businesses new to business mapping software whose requirements can suddenly veer from basic business mapping into the realm of full GIS. Often these companies have no idea what GIS or location intelligence means. If I bring up GIS/LI it can become a distraction to the sales process. A customer new to mapping software is often very busy just getting through their day. To start exploring a whole new technology can be overwhelming – even a non-starter. So I try to take it slow. “Baby steps,” to quote Bob (see movie What About Bob.) After all, Rome’s municipal GIS infrastructure wasn’t built in a day.
May 6th, 2014 by geoffives
The answer is it can when GPS stands for Geographic Population Structure tool. Scientists at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences and the University of Southern California have developed a DNA analysis system that can trace your origins geographically, back one thousand years. Apparently, the test results are accurate to the nearest town or village, as the case may be. See article in Nature Communications.