In addition to Microsoft MapPoint, a desktop business mapping desktop application scheduled for shutdown this December, MapBusinessOnline.com competes with a number of web-based or Cloud service mapping software tools. Most of them are pretty decent mapping applications. And you can find them all through a quick Internet search for business mapping software or some similarly phrased search term.
SPOILER ALERT: anything I say in this blog-post is going to be weighted in favor of Map Business Online, largely because I get paid to write for MBO but also because I work with the tool constantly and speak regularly with customers about business mapping software and how it can improve their businesses. This process makes me somewhat of self-appointed expert on what’s out there for mapping services, although (as I mentioned) I am heavily influenced by MBO and our happy MBO customers.
I can’t mention competitors by name. If I do that we get threatening emails informing us of trademark violations and letting us know that further use of their brand will land me in ‘the big house.’ So let’s just refer to them as Brand X, Y, Z and so forth.
Brand X is a pretty good business mapping tool. I often talk to users who’ve tried it. There may even be a few minor things that it does that MBO doesn’t do. It’s possible. Still Brand X refugees often come over to MBO because the product is complex and it’s significantly more expensive. So much more expensive that the question I usually have to answer for these users is, “Exactly how much is your software again?” Yup, that’s right, for a full year subscription, with USA coverage it is only $249.95 per user.
Brand B is more of a mobile mapping tool. I kind of feel sorry for these guys. I’m told their app actually has “some cool features” in the smart phone navigation area, but when it comes to real business mapping the tool falls short. Its sales territory mapping functions are “really difficult to understand,” according to one customer. This may explain why their social media guy tried redirecting Map Business Online customer interest by posting a nasty blog comment a few weeks back. Nice try cowboy. I recommend you start your own blog.
Some of our mapping competitors are better at certain things. For instance, MBO is not a low-end Geographic Information System (GIS) and Brand M definitely covers those bases nicely, as does Brand G. These tools are excellent alternatives to more expensive GIS software; especially if you’re only interested in certain aspects of GIS. For example, you may just need to display an energy power line across a few states for a target to route by in support of vegetative control. You’re low tech users don’t require a massive array of energy related data to support this so a less expensive approach makes sense.
We also compete with a few Google Maps based business mapping applications. Again, brands Y & Z are great applications they just need to focus more on business user features, as opposed to the general mapping audience. Additionally, I’ve noticed a bunch of map errors in Google Maps related to the town I grew up in. Looks like Front Beach is fixed now – perhaps because I complained. The base map data used in Map Business Online is an outstanding data set compiled by Esri experts using the best map data available from sources like Here.com, Tomtom, and other world-wide data providers. We rarely get complaints, although, in Google’s defense, no map dataset is perfect.
So, keep in mind, just because the tool uses Google Maps that doesn’t mean it is the best tool available. Sometimes I think Google partners can get complacent because they’ve got that magic name behind them. The rest of us are used to focusing on the customer. When you truly focus on the customer, your product improves and your business grows.
It’s also come to our attention that a competitor completely changed its name from a map related feature name – we’ll call it Brand T – to a brand name made up of words found in our name – MapBusinessOnline. We’ll take that as a compliment.
In general, all business mapping software providers have long focused on beating Microsoft’s desktop mapping software MapPoint, as I mentioned above MapPoint is scheduled for shelving in December 2014. Www.MapBusinessOnline.com is a clear web-based alternative for MapPoint‘s business mapping functionality. Like MapPoint, Map Business Online is customer mapping software and retail mapping software, all at once. It’s all about your business data visualization. Some users are planning on riding out their MapPoint investment for as long as they can. That’s cool, if stale demographics and ten-year old map data do it for you and for your customers.
I encourage ex-MapPoint users to try out Map Business Online’s sales territory mapping capabilities. I think you will find MBO territory mapping to be intuitive and full featured. You won’t find this level of functionality for territory management anywhere else for less.
• Build territories from zip 5 and zip 3 codes, counties, states, cities, MSA’s, or Census tracts.
• Create territories on the fly using a polygon lasso tool or import a pre-assigned spreadsheet
• Use a data filter tool to search for results and create a territory of the results
• Choose to allow or disallow overlapping territories
• Choose from twelve demographic themes to add to your territory analysis
• Establish teams of viewer and map editors – balancing your team capabilities against your mapping investment
• Share your territory map views with your team through MapShare URLs
• Create spreadsheet reports of territory assignments by district
Contact: Geoffrey Ives firstname.lastname@example.org (207) 939-6866
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