Saturday, October 22, 2011

GPS for office navigation and potential for location based services in the workplace

How many times have you got lost in your office looking for an obscurely named conference room? How many times have you gone in a maze trying to locate the work cubicle of a colleague? Wouldn't it be great if the ever-helpful GPS navigation systems were extended to our offices as well? What I am envisaging is a mobile based navigation app that would help employees find their way through in an office. Well, it would also perfectly fit into the 'social/mobile' dimension that HCM applications are moving towards. Expanding on the idea, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have features of common location based services in this app. For example, the employee could indicate that he/she is in a meeting by 'checking in' to a meeting room. Stretching the idea a bit further - would be great if the mobile phone automatically switches to 'meeting mode' when the person checks into a meeting room and switches back to normal mode when the meeting ends (this would possibly require an integration with the mail client so that the meeting details can be extracted by the app).

Gartner identifies App Stores as one of the strategic technologies for 2012

An enterprise App Store for PeopleSoft is a topic I have discussed many times in this blog before. The hidden potential of that idea hit me again when I was reading the list of strategic technologies for 2012 published by Gartner. You can read the complete list here. An excerpt from the report is given below:
"Gartner forecasts that by 2014, there will be more than 70 billion mobile application downloads from app stores every year. This will grow from a consumer-only phenomena to an enterprise focus. With enterprise app stores, the role of IT shifts from that of a centralized planner to a market manager providing governance and brokerage services to users and potentially an ecosystem to support entrepreneurs"
With mobile/tablet based applications becoming ubiquitous, there is no doubt in my mind that the timing is just right for an App Store dedicated to PeopleSoft applications. Considering the strong partnership Workday has with, it would not be a surprise if a Workday App Store is launched soon.