Can SKT discover growth engine in SME service?
By Yoon Ja-young
SK Telecom has been looking for business opportunities in other markets. It is now eyeing information services for small sized businesses or salespeople, to make use of its strength in the smartphone era.
SK Telecom announced Tuesday that it launched Geovision, a business platform based on geographic information system (GIS). For 150,000 won, the platform provides the user with market analysis of the location in five minutes. If someone wants to open a café, he would want to know about the population, the number of passersby, their income level, rent, and competitors. Geovision provides around 30 kinds of detailed information, such as buying patterns of each age group or gender and real estate development.
SK Telecom launched the service with eight partner companies.
SK Telecom, and its eight partner companies of Hyundai Card, National Information & Credit Evaluation, SK Marketing & Company, Korea Productivity Center, KIS Van, Sundo Soft, Real Estate 114 and ILM Soft, link their massive database with maps to provide management support services such as customer management and marketing tips as well as market analysis. It is the first map based business platform, according to SK Telecom.
“The map based business service has already become a core tool for corporate management in countries like the United States, Japan or Australia,” a representative for SK Telecom said. “Unlike previous market analysis services, we will be providing top information to which individuals had no access. We can do so as we use various databases accumulated by the partner companies,” he added.
SK Telecom is also launching Smart Sales, which aims at providing 1.2 million salespeople in insurance and retail, with real-time tips for the most effective sales. It recommends which customer to visit, based on individuals’ statistics. It also tells them the fastest way to get to the customer, and provide them with the list of consumers in the location. The service is based on the Galaxy Tab tablet PC.
“In the past, the three success keywords for sales were ‘Location, location, location,” said Lee Sung-ho, a researcher at Samsung Economic Research Institute. “With smartphone users increasing, accessibility turned into a mobile concept linked with real time location based services, from the static concept of the past,” he said. He cited a merchant who can control discount coupon issuance depending on the sales at the shop as an example of smart accessibility management.
Global IT companies like Google, Apple and Twitter as well as local players are eying location based services as killer content, launching various services coupled with maps, transportation or social networking services. Location based services are among the most popular applications for smartphone.