An important goal of managing technology within organizations is to ensure that the right user gets the right technology at the right time. With the right technology often dependent on a user's ever-changing needs, automated tools are crucial for organizations. In many cases, a user's technology needs may be based on his or her location within a building. A teacher may want to have content distributed to all students as they enter a classroom, or an IT administrator may need to automatically map a printer based on a user's proximity to a printer.
Trying to track the right technology
Whatever the case may be, these needs are constantly changing and dynamic. In order to keep pace, IT administrators need the ability to integrate device management solutions with technologies that can automatically discover where a user is inside a building. In other words, a technology that can tell a device management solution to perform an action when a user is in a specific place.
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Many mobile device management solutions integrate with GPS technology to try and accomplish this. However, there are various pitfalls with GPS that limit capabilities and effectiveness in achieving the desired outcomes. GPS is not accurate indoors, it can drain device batteries, and it often leaves users feeling like their privacy has been infringed upon by location tracking. Other solutions, such as RFID, can be expensive, and difficult to scale and integrate into an existing environment.
A better alternative is Apple's iBeacon technology. iBeacons provide indoor proximity technology that enable devices to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon. iBeacon is a proximity technology that uses Bluetooth, not a location technology; therefore, it is better suited for distribution and restriction of applications, content, and settings based on where a user is within a building.
So if you want to distribute or restrict technology based on where a user is located in a building, here are 5 reasons why iBeacon shines brighter GPS or RFID.
- Accuracy - Since iBeacon is a proximity technology, it is extremely accurate indoors. When a device senses an iBeacon in close range via Bluetooth, actions can be immediately taken on the device — without relying on satellite connectivity which is subject to atmospheric and building penetration issues.
- Privacy - Because iBeacons are not tracking users everywhere they go, and rather simply logging when they come into range of an iBeacon, users can feel confident that their privacy is preserved and that IT is not tracking them when they leave work or school. No Big Brother here.
- Integration - iBeacon is a native Apple technology, so it integrates seamlessly and scales effortlessly with your Apple ecosystem.
- Affordability - Because even an iPad can be configured as an iBeacon (via a number of free apps), the technology is affordable, accessible, and scalable.
- Usability - iBeacons use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Technology, so there's very little impact to the users device and battery life. And since it's built into the operating system natively, it just works.
The Casper Suite fully integrates with iBeacon technology to perform device management functions based on where a a user is within a building. Learn more about the Casper Suite's iBeacon capabilities and check out how you can See the Light (and benefits) of iBeacons.
To learn more about iBeacons, visit Apple's "Getting Started with iBeacon" guide.