At Connexient, we have a simple mantra: The Map Really Matters.
Sure, it's a little simplistic - and like all good mantras stands for something bigger. The Map is the starting point, and it must be absolutely accurate and up-to-date. Wayfinding and Navigation then require an additional level of contextual meta-data that is specific and relevant to a human being who is actually trying to get some place. And all of this information must be organized and geo-located in ways that make it available at the precise moment it is needed: when a person is deciding what to do next.
Whether it is on a printed map or in an application, kiosk or Web site, once you provide a user with a map - much less directions or a navigation experience - your organization and brand is making a promise of accuracy to that user.
By definition, they are using your digital wayfinding solution when they are either uncertain or lost. When people are uncertain or lost, they are stressed. If you a disappoint a patient or visitor when they are stressed, they are not likely to forget it! You have just added to their stress, not defused it.
Why DIY Mapping Doesn't Work
Many vendors will tell you that you can simply scan a PDF of your floor plans and load them into a mobile app, and you are done. We don't agree.
Based on 17 years of experience, Connexient understands that making and keeping a map accurate is hard. When you add directions and navigation to the picture in the context of digital wayfinding, it gets even harder. If the map and wayfinding data is not accurate, it is useless.
In most organizations, both the capacity and knowledge required for Wayfinding and Navigation-quality Indoor Mapping simply does not exist today. That's why Connexient is dedicated to providing Enterprise-grade Indoor Mapping services and support on an ongoing basis. You need to focus on your technology and services to visitors and staff and be sure that your digital wayfinding system just works.
Indoor LBS: Like the Web in 1996
But the world changes. We look at Indoor Location-based Services (LBS) as being at roughly where that new phenomenon called the "World Wide Web" was in 1996. Companies are starting to take it seriously and realizing that this will ultimately have a very big positive impact on their business. But that does not mean they are ready to take on doing it all themselves.
As the Indoor LBS market grows and matures, we are committed to providing flexible options and tools for those organizations that wish to bring these responsibilities and activities in-house over time. We think there will always be a need for technology-enables services in this model to increase your efficiency and accuracy, but that is decision we intend to let our clients make.
Enterprise Indoor LBS: This is Big
Indoor Digital Wayfinding is undoubtedly one of the "killer applications" for the new digital era - not just in Hospitals but in all types of Enteprises. Our vision is simple: 5 or 10 years from now visitors - and staff - will come to expect robust, accurate and reliable Indoor Mapping and Navigation in every large building or facility in the world. Just as today they expect flawless maps and navigation to get there in the first place.
But Wayfinding and Indoor Navigation are just the beginning. What our clients are doing today in implementing MediNav™ and indoor positioning with Cisco CMX is laying the foundation for Indoor Location-based Services of all kinds - for operations, security, facility management and more. While we spend a lot of time thinking about this, we can only begin to imagine all of the applications and use cases that will spring from this river of possibilities. But we are certain they will have a dramatic positive impact.
Metcalfe's Law Applies
How can we be so certain of this? Thanks to Metcalfe's law - or a variant of it at least.
Metcalfe's law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2)
More generally, Metcalfe's law characterizes many of the network effects of communication technologies and networks such as the Internet, social networking, and the World Wide Web.
Applied to Indoor LBS in the Enterprise environment, we would translate it as follows.
The value of an Indoor Mapping and LBS system will increasing proportionally to the number of integrations to other applications, platforms and Enterprise IT.
Will it be an exponential return? Perhaps not. But no doubt that with each new integration, the return on this initial investment - and the either fixed or decreasing ongoing cost of maintenance - will continue to increase.
That's Where Our API + SDK Come In
That's why Connexient is working so hard - and will work even harder going forward - to make it easy to bring Indoor Maps and LBS into any Enterprise application, platform or system. We don't know - and can't even imagine - all the ways it can be used. But we do know that someone has to really focus on the map, navigation and geo-location data. They are the foundation of everything else.
A great API and SDK, data connectors, custom integrations and all the other tools and services we are developing are what will make that foundation useful. But the foundation itself is the Map.
So our mantra remains: The Map Really Matters.