Recently, Billboard reported that the band Matchbox Twenty may be the first to use Geofencing in a concert setting for fan engagement. Its app is used to text fans as they come in and out of the venue, welcome them to the show, and give them a hashtag for participation. This sort of geofencing example is key to understanding how you can use the technology best for your business, whether it’s good for enterprise employees, fans in the case of Matchbox Twenty, or some other user base. Malls, municipalities, anywhere geographic boundaries group similar smartphone users together, geofencing can help both end users, management and company stakeholders alike.
Clearly, Geofencing is all the rage. Such location based services aside, what can enterprises do with geofencing? Geofencing is a key location based security feature that Amtel pioneered in its Mobile Device Management solution and later adopted by many vendors. After defining geofence areas, security policies can be implemented when the mobile device enters or exits the geographic boundaries of the area. Such policies can implement access control restrictions, pre-defined security profiles, or alerts to management upon policy or threshold violations.
An interesting use case is geofenced control over mobile apps usage. After you define work location as a geofenced area, you can restrict certain enterprise apps to be run only within the work location. Some other apps like games can be blocked at work location during working hours. For apps such as social media, you may want to simply monitor usage and send alerts to user and management upon crossing predefined usage thresholds. The visibility of apps on user screens can be controlled based on location. For example, some mandatory apps appear when user enters a geofenced area while blocked apps disappear from the screen. When the user exits the geofenced area, the blocked apps reappear.
Device features can be centrally controlled in geofenced area. A common use case is to automatically turn off camera at sensitive work locations. Bluetooth and NFC can also be restricted similarly. In contrast, GPS and location services on devices can be forced on within a geofenced area and persist even if the user tries to turn it off. When the user leaves that area, those settings and restrictions will be automatically removed.
Geofencing can be used to control device settings based on location. For example, default corporate mailbox, Wi-Fi, and wireless network settings can be set up based on location. Within a geofenced area, web access can be restricted to a limited set of URLs to focus users on work tasks and avoid distractions, helping boost worker productivity.
Admins and IT departments can setup any number of geofences, enabling granular definition and dynamic control of access control policies. These geofencing capabilities are available today in Amtel’s mobile device management solution and our customers love it.Tags: geofencing