Its push-to-talk (PTT) location app with Sprint was just announced this week, and Pacific DataVision already is hearing from some unexpected prospects.
A landscape company and an elevator maintenance worker were among those the company didn’t necessarily expect to hear from, according to Chairman Brian McAuley. But when you think about it, it makes sense. “Customers love ROIs,” he says.
The NextMail Locator, available with Nextel Direct Connect, gives mobile workers the ability to add location-based information, including GPS coordinates, location timestamp, physical street address and an interactive map, to their messages. So, for example, if a waste management company doesn’t pick up someone’s garbage because a parked Cadillac is blocking access and the customer complains they didn’t get the garbage picked up and refuses to pay a return pick-up fee, the waste management company can produce a location timestamp on a picture. The same goes for a landscaper or elevator maintenance worker – they can prove that they were at a location at a given time for the assigned work.
The solution pings a location server to find out the location; it doesn’t require any downloads on the customer’s part. “Our goal has been the simplicity,” McAuley said. The only time a location is picked up is when the user makes a call to report in; it is not designed to track people, he said.
The solution is another indication that Sprint is making good on its word to keep the iDEN network up and running after years of speculation about iDEN’s future. Sprint also is running a new ad campaign, including TV, radio, print and online, to highlight its PTT services and support the ongoing “reinvigoration” of Nextel Direct Connect.
“We’re working very closely with Sprint to bring more value to the (PTT) button,” McAuley said. “We see this as a growth market.” McAuley knows something about PTT; he co-founded Nextel Communications and was its president from 1987 to 1995.
NextMail Locator is the Sprint Nextel-exclusive service and it works on iDEN or the QChat/CDMA network. Pacific DataVision also offers Skymail, which is commercially available for any system. SkyMail is an application that enables mobile workers to wirelessly dictate, document and share time-sensitive information from a mobile phone via e-mail, with their dispatch, central office or another mobile worker by using voice.
Filed Under: Industry regulations