Updated: Jul 12, 2021
What is geo-tracking?
According to Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, geo-tracking is a “technology that gives you the ability to find the exact position of a person, vehicle, etc. by obtaining data from their smartphone or other device.”
Nowadays, businesses use geo-tracking technology to manage or optimise their asset usage. This helps them locate important assets, including containers, mobile phones, and connected devices (IoT devices) in real time.
For example, the backend staff of a logistics company needs to be aware of the location of delivery vans at all times in order to streamline the supply chain, help prevent accidents, take corrective action in real time as required, and save transportation costs (by suggesting the shortest or fastest possible route).
Most MDM solutions include geo-tracking features. By installing an MDM solution, such as SureMDM by 42Gears, on their devices, enterprises can track their devices easily.
What are some uses of geo-tracking?
In Logistics and Delivery Services
Geo-tracking helps logistics and supply chain companies to manage their fleets of vehicles. Geo-tracking helps track vehicles and suggest better routes. This reduces transportation costs, saves time, ensures on-time delivery, and optimises vehicle utilisation. It also helps in minimising the occurrence of accidents by monitoring vehicle speed. And if there are any accidents, geo-tracking aids in arranging help or taking appropriate actions quickly.
SureMDM’s geo-tracking features can help logistics companies in streamlining and securing their fleet in the best way possible. The solution provides insightful information on how vehicles or devices are being used by the drivers. It can also send alerts to concerned people in the event of a theft or accident, which can help authorities take prompt action.
For Asset Tracking and Management
Industries have to deal with a large number of assets everyday. Tracking, managing and securing them is a big challenge. This is where geo-tracking technology helps.
Organisations can install SureMDM on all the assets they want to track including computers, laptops, smartphones, rugged devices, wearables, and even IoT devices. This will help them track or manage the corporate assets easily and effectively.
For Lone Worker Safety
Sometimes a lone worker is assigned to work in a mine, deserted forest or mountain that is difficult to reach quickly in the event of an accident. In such cases, geo-tracking can help save the lives of those working under hazardous conditions.
Devices used for lone worker safety can be managed using SureMDM. SureMDM can help geo track such devices and also manage applications on them.
As an Anti-Theft Solution
Companies invest highly in acquiring assets – and no matter where employees log in from, these assets can be stolen or misplaced. Geo-tracking can help tackle this problem.
Devices and assets enrolled in SureMDM can be easily geo-located by IT admins. If admins suspect any foul play or that the device has been lost/stolen, they can take corrective actions immediately. They can either send IT personnel to the device location, or lock/wipe the device if it’s in a remote location to ensure that nobody gets unauthorised access to business data.
Geo-Tracking Ensures Device or Vehicle Use for Work Purposes Only
In some companies, employees are allowed to use organisational devices or vehicles during their working hours to perform assigned tasks. However, it’s possible that some end up using these corporate assets for personal purposes. This can increase costs, reduce productivity, and in some cases, even damage the device or vehicle.
With SureMDM’s geo-tracking features, companies can define regular routes that a device or vehicle should take, and track them accordingly. In case the user/driver fails to comply, admins can take immediate action (like investigating non-compliance and penalising employees if necessary).
Serve Helpful Historical Data to Insurance Companies
In the event of an accident or theft, insurance companies ask for evidence that proves the event actually occurred. Insurance companies never settle claims unless they have evidence. Here, SureMDM’s geo-tracking feature can provide the recorded historical data needed, such as all routes taken by the driver (or device).
Tracing High-Value Non-Computing Equipment and Appliances
Organisations also have to deal with non-computing devices and appliances such as Wi-Fi routers, printers, electrical appliances like tube lights, bulbs and more. Geo-tracking can help track the exact location of these assets.
As SureMDM is capable of managing such things using Things Management technology, geo-tracking of these things is easy for organisations using SureMDM.
Personal or Family Vehicle/Device Tracking
Geo-tracking can also help individuals keep track of personal devices or vehicles used by the elderly, kids, drivers, or other household staff for safety purposes. Here, SureMDM’s geo-tracking features can ensure easy and accurate tracking so corrective actions can be taken in time.
How do you Geo-locate a phone or device?
To initiate geo-tracking of devices using SureMDM, admins need to install the on-device SureMDM software, and then enable location services on said device. Due to privacy-related regulations, most operating systems do not allow tracking device location by default. Once this is done, go to the console side and push a geo-tracking profile on the devices to enable tracking via SureMDM.
Is Geo-Tracking Legal?
Considering State or Regional Laws
It’s important to know about regional laws and regulations around geo-tracking before implementing it in the workplace. Generally, laws and statutes allow geo-tracking if an employee uses company-owned devices or property, provided the employer has taken prior consent.
Taking Employees’ Consent Before Tracking Them
Employers should take employees’ consent before tracking, even if they are using company-owned devices or property. Also, it should also be made clear if businesses are tracking the employee only during working hours or beyond that as well.
Personal Vs Company-Owned Devices
It’s easy for organisations to track company-owned devices given prior employee consent, along with steps like specifying the time of tracking.
It’s also possible for admins to track employee-owned devices if such devices are being used for work purposes. If a company allows access to business data, networks, and servers through personal devices, it must have mobile device management (MDM) software or other apps in place to track such devices and wipe data off them remotely if required.
MDM vendors such as 42Gears offer geo-tracking features to track both company-owned and employee-owned devices.
Geo-tracking has revolutionised the way we manage and control company assets. It helps companies to have complete control over corporate devices.
SureMDM provides location tracking features for multiple platforms including Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Wear OS, Windows Mobile/Windows CE and non-so-smart things.