Location as an enterprise enabler

Smartphone users will be aware that location is increasingly used to support applications and services that they use. But, on its own, the location of a user at any one time doesn’t really mean much. It is only when it is associated with something else that the value becomes apparent. In the consumer world, this might mean using someone’s location to plot their route to the nearest restaurant, but what can it mean for the enterprise?

Well, location can enhance enterprise communications in many ways. For example, if you know where someone is when they make a call, you can use that information to make decisions about how you charge them. Users of Mobile PBX or IP Centrex solutions are used to on-net / off-net charging (that is, calls to other users within the same group may be free or charged at a different rate from calls to individuals outside the group), or time-dependent charging rules (calls outside office hours might be charged to the user) but location adds richness to this.

If you associate location with the Mobile PBX service, then you can create rules to set up special charging zones, for example. So, if a subscriber to the service makes calls within given areas, their calls might also be charged at different rates. Consider the example of a remote worker, whose home also doubles as their office. Calls from within this location could attract a reduced rate and calls from outside this location a small premium.

Similarly, a user who is nomadic between different offices might have several such charging areas, so that their location is always taken into account when charging for calls. Once you have the ability to determine user location, you can be as innovative as you want in terms of how you use that information to complement existing services.

The key is to ensure that you can capture location information for all users, regardless of handset type – of course, such information can only be reliably captured by interfacing directly to the mobile network. We know how. With Gintel, you can easily add “Happy Zone” services to Mobile and IP Centrex applications, creating more value and richness for your customers.

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