Best practices: 5 keys to delivering robust indoor location services

Fabio Belloni of Quuppa

The market for real-time indoor location services is growing rapidly, with a wealth of new applications emerging across healthcare, retail, sports, manufacturing and dozens of other verticals that are expected to drive the market to $58 billion (€50.18 billion)by 2023, according to KBV Research says Fabio Belloni, chief customer officer and co-founder, Quuppa.

While their pain points and needs vary significantly, all are seeking to drive efficiency and cost reduction, and improve the customer experience, through location capabilities.

For example, in healthcare, companies are pursuing real-time location capabilities to track patients, employees and hospital equipment, with the goal of providing proof of compliance to hospital regulations, while meeting standards and ensuring staff and patient safety.

In retail, real-time location can help increase conversion rates, streamline inventory management, enhance loss prevention and improve the shopper experience. In industrial IoT, such as manufacturing and logistics, companies are seeking to improve operational efficiency, quality control and employee safety.

Likewise, the RTLS industry is literally powered by a variety of ways to get there, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ultrawideband (UWB), Bluetooth beacons, Wi-Fi, and others. While all have their benefits and challenges, each has found a home in a particular vertical market segment.

However, as technology evolves and business needs are becoming more specific and highly curated beyond general location requirements, many companies across industries are investigating newer solutions that help deliver not only highly accurate location but also the scalability and reliability needed for complex, real-world applications as well as the ability to maintain the system easily over time.

This combination of accuracy, scalability and reliability has spawned a whole new set of applications that are helping companies more effectively compete and drive even more value across the business.

To find success with these next-generation applications based on real-time location, there are five key considerations companies should keep in mind:

  • Think beyond the single application: Many companies make the mistake of trying to solve for the immediate problem—the killer app—without determining what other needs their department or company might have that would benefit greatly from a more modular solution—and a strategic plan. In choosing the single application, they end up budgeting for the minimum viable solution instead of one that will meet their mid- and long-term needs. That type of process will only bring frustration and cost overruns. The value from location services comes from a modular solution approach that takes into consideration both the short- and longer-term needs of the company.
  • Clearly define the tangible and intangible project deliverables in advance of execution: Many IoT projects never deliver on the results that were expected because those expectations were never qualified and quantified at the start of the project. Defining key deliverables, as well as the due dates for each piece of the deliverable, is a crucial step in any project management process. It’s also important as part of the roadmap to understand what happens after a deliverable in the plan is successfully reached—what are the next steps that are automatically triggered? It’s helpful to think of steps as milestones. For example: when the milestone is reached, what happens next? Qualifying and quantifying in advance through a strategic, agreed-upon plan that all stakeholders have access to is critical and avoids downtime for team members, who will inevitably ask “what should we be working on next?”
  • Make sure the end user problem is clearly understood: Despite the growth of the global location services market and the rise of IoT overall, that doesn’t automatically mean there aren’t growing pains. For example, end users may not be fully educated, and often either have unrealistic expectations or don’t really understand fully what they need. Taking the time to truly understand how the user will use the solution to solve a problem will avoid roadblocks down the road.
  • Understand all of the components in your location solution: A complete solution for location services includes both hardware (tags) and software. However, software includes a wealth of layers and dependencies that make the solution robust and specialised to certain applications. Understanding what type of tags will work best for a company’s applications is also key. Taking a holistic approach in selecting hardware and software that meets immediate and long-term needs is critical.
  • Do not take shortcuts when implementing your first real project: The temptation to speed up a project to meet deadlines often ends in disaster because enough time was not taken to adequately test the solution in real-world conditions as part of the implementation process. Companies need to understand how a solution will scale beyond their small test arena before implementing on a wider scale across the business. Cutting into the testing phase frequently ends in disaster.

Real-time location services are helping companies to deliver on a wide variety of applications that drive value across their businesses. By doing the legwork to understand these best practices ahead of time, companies will be well on their way to a successful implementation.

The author of this blog is Fabio Belloni, chief customer officer and co-founder, Quuppa.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow


9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

Yellowfin explores the future of data storytelling and reveals the impact narrative and automation will have on business analytics

Posted on: October 27, 2021

London. 27 October, 2021 – Yellowfin, the analytics vendor that combines action-based dashboards, automated discovery, and powerful data storytelling, launches a white paper exploring ‘The Future of Data Storytelling: how narrative and automation will redefine the next decade of analytics’, offering valuable insight to organisations on the power and potential of future augmented and automated

Read more

Renesas and wolfSSL enable ready-to-use IoT security solutions based on embedded TLS stack

Posted on: October 27, 2021

TOKYO, Japan and EDMONDS. Washington, October 27, 2021 ― Renesas Electronics Corporation, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and wolfSSL, a provider of embedded security solutions, announced a multi-year licensing agreement whereby customers of Renesas’ 32-bit MCU offerings can obtain a free commercial license for the wolfSSL TLS (Transport Layer Security) stack with integrated Renesas hardware

Read more