Google Maps turns field service manager with Coordinate

Google has turned Google Maps into a field service management tool with the introduction of an enterprise feature called Coordinate.Google Maps Coordinate, introduced on Thursday, includes web and Android apps that let mobile workers disclose their co-ordinates to their colleagues and employers, and that give dispatchers a way to create teams and manage jobs.

Google has turned Google Maps into a field service management tool with the introduction of an enterprise feature called Coordinate.

Google Maps Coordinate, introduced on Thursday, includes web and Android apps that let mobile workers disclose their co-ordinates to their colleagues and employers, and that give dispatchers a way to create teams and manage jobs.

Google Maps Coordinate

Google Maps Coordinate lets people place workers in the field and assign them jobs. Image credit: Google

"As the number of mobile employees continues to grow, so does the need for a location sharing solution that works in real-time," Google Maps senior product manager Daniel Chu wrote in a blog post. "Google Maps Coordinate combines the power of Google's mapping technologies with modern smartphones to help organisations assign jobs and deploy staff more efficiently."

Coordinate is in some ways similar to Google Latitude, a consumer-oriented service that lets smartphone users disclose their whereabouts to their contacts. However, the newer service has a lot of extra features for the enterprise.

Admins can customise which fields their mobile workers need to fill in, according to the job — with the customised fields showing up for the worker in their app.

The particular attraction for such services is, of course, in knowing where workers are at any given time and assigning the closest relevant person to a job that comes up. Chu also pitched the usefulness of this kind of visual representation in making business decisions, for instance about assigning more workers to a particular area.

Coordinate will cost businesses $15 (£10) per user per month, although that is just an introductory price that lasts until 1 September. Users will have to be toting a phone or tablet running Android 2.3 or higher.

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