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Geoforce: 10 Years In
Can you afford to lose visibility of this cargo’s location? For an hour? For a day? For a week? Of course, we all know the answer already: losing visibility into critical assets can mean losing even more: money, time, productivity, safety, sanity…
Ten years ago this month Geoforce was founded with the idea that we could improve field operations by connecting assets to the web and giving companies web-based tools to simplify and optimize their business. That founding purpose has taken us on an amazing journey – one with a lot of ups, a few downs, and plenty of interesting stops along the way.
Bill Gates once said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.” So let’s take a look at what Geoforce has done in the last 10 years.
Inspired by Salesforce, we started with a sharp focus on software – building a platform to help customers track and manage their field assets. Our application, called “Geoforce” launched in April 2008 and found immediate success within the offshore oil and gas industry. From that base, we would expand into the US onshore market in 2010, and internationally beginning in 2013 with entities in Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
The Geoforce solution – primarily driven by our purpose built software application for field equipment – would become the industry standard for tracking oilfield equipment. As a company, we’ve been behind the largest asset tracking deployments in the oil and gas sector and are routinely recognized as the leading brand in field asset tracking. Sometimes our name is even used as a verb. It always makes us smile to hear our customers say that they “Geoforce their assets”!
That aspect of our history went according to plan, more or less.
Entirely unexpected was that Geoforce would soon become pioneers in hardware development as well. After several years of being frustrated with the reliability and safety ratings of third-party GPS tracking devices, we launched our own device in 2013. The GT1 Global Asset Tracker was a huge commercial success and its current iteration is still best in class. Geoforce is now known not only for its software platform, but also for offering the most rugged and innovative battery powered asset tracking devices on the planet.
Today Geoforce is used by more than 600 companies to track and manage their assets in 70+ countries on six continents. Oil and gas remains our core market, but we’re proud to have customers across a wide variety of industries that involve field operations. That list includes agriculture, mining, construction, transportation and logistics, retail, government and many others.
Beyond the interesting stats and numbers, I truly believe we’ve made a difference. We’ve made life easier for dispatchers and field crews to find remote assets in the middle of the night. We’ve helped companies recover stolen vehicles themselves before the authorities could. We’ve helped find offshore equipment that was scattered following a hurricane. We even helped BP and the US Coast Guard monitor and coordinate cleanup efforts during the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. We’ve helped equipment rental companies and their customers reconcile invoices that were previously disputed – often contentiously. We’ve helped identify millions of dollars of unnecessary or underutilized rental equipment or capital assets. We’ve helped companies improve driver safety through vehicle and driver behavior monitoring. We’ve saved countless wasted trips to a job site to locate equipment that was no longer there. We’ve saved mechanics from having to perform maintenance on equipment that was not required. We’ve helped our customers eliminate spreadsheets and even metal filing cabinets by moving their equipment inspection records and workflow to the Geoforce cloud. This list goes on and on…
In the end, we’ve saved our customers from countless hours of frustration and hassle by making their field operations less chaotic.. We’ve given them peace of mind. We’ve connected them with their customers and their machines. We’ve helped them recover lost revenue, create new revenue streams, and reduce expenses. Ultimately we’ve helped them to be more profitable and to do business a better way.
This is the reason Geoforce exists and the reason I founded the company 10 years ago.
The world outside of Geoforce has changed a lot in this time as well. Software as a Service (SaaS) has evolved from being an interesting alternative to the standard for B2B applications. Industry buzz words such as M2M (machine to machine) and IOT (internet of things) have been created to describe, essentially, Geoforce.
The iPhone was launched just three months before Geoforce was founded. Few people realized the impact it would have on our lives. Today people expect to have the internet in their pocket at all times and practically cannot function without it.
Similarly, in the next 10 years, people will expect to have visibility into their field equipment at all times in order to make better business decisions. This has been the Geoforce vision from day one. We’ve established our company as the market leader in the last 10 years. But there is still a lot of work to be done. In the next 10 years (or less!) we’ll see our vision for connected field equipment become a universal reality.
Cheers to the last 10 years and here’s to the next 10 years!
James MacLean III is the Founder & CEO of Geoforce.