Taking M4 Out in the Field


The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and it’s time to talk about all the cool things we can with GIS when we’re out enjoying some fresh air.


So by now you know all the amazing things GIS when you’re at your desk, you can configure floating menus and macros, and you can view ISP bays and ports with ease. You can do all of this from the comfort of your cozy desk chair! But once you leave the office, there is little you can do right? WRONG!


First of all, let’s review how some of these GIS tools work. For example, M4 MapSync makes a copy of your project and database on a local machine. Console then allows this copy to run on a local machine.  But you don’t need an active internet connection in order to view and edit your project. As long as you remember to sync your project when you’re within range of an internet connection, you’re free to take your project anywhere! There are times when you might want to see your project without using GIS software; for example Engineers and Field Techs can use it to find COs, structures, elements.  They can redline it when in the field (for example, say a cable length is a lot shorter than it is in the database). This allows you to make this change right then and there, and then sync your project when you’re back in internet range.


How exactly can you see your GIS project when you’re not at your desktop computer? If you have M4 MapSync and Console you can view your project on just about any laptop, tablet, or smartphone device. If you’re somewhere with a strong internet connection, you’re free to use M4 Web Console. If you’re without internet, have no fear—you can still run M4 Standard Console with Mapsync.


What about Sales and Marketing teams? Those folks can take their GIS software out of the office too! Sales and Marketing can use Web Console to see where service is provided, and which customers are not served so they can maximize the reach service potential. These teams can use this information to offer on-the-spot upsell opportunities when techs are servicing a home. For example, a tech visits a home for a basic phone service install, but can see using Web Console on his smartphone or tablet that the customer is also eligible for a high-speed broadband package. The tech can inform the customer of the opportunity, giving them an option of purchasing the upgrade right then and there. This is great news for Sales and Marketing, who—apart from maybe a little bit of sales training for the tech—didn’t have to use a single costly resource to upsell that customer.


So go ahead… break out of the office for a few hours and enjoy some fresh air! If your manager wonders how you can possibly be working AND enjoying the outdoors, tell him or her about the many options for expanding GIS outside the office walls.