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Deflating the Grip of Proprietary GPS - Objection by Objection

Deflating the Grip of Proprietary GPS - Objection by Objection

May 13, 2015

By Mike Gundling

Many of our customers struggle trying to break through the company’s “status quo” of field operations that have long relied on GPS handhelds as part of their jobs. GPS handhelds like Trimble, Leica and TopCon work, well enough, and longstanding employees already know how to use them. And for every clear benefit that TerraGo Edge delivers over GPS handhelds, there is a hurdle to overcome based, not always on fact, but on old habits, fear of change and quite often, misinformation. We hear them all in our interactions with our customers, during webinars and at industry events. We think mobile technology and innovation will overcome the status quo and win the game for our customers in the end. We all benefit greatly from the competition of ideas and exchange of viewpoints.

But it’s like IT shops moving from mainframes to PCs in the 90s. Personal bias and traditional investments can derail the best companies and slow progress with outdated objections. So, while keeping it brief, let’s tackle the most common, customary objections one by one. Feel free to contribute new ideas by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Objection: We can’t get the GPS accuracy we need from a smartphone or tablet

Answer: The truth is you can. It’s proven. You can get cm and sub-meter with leading Bluetooth GPS receivers. But unlike the other mobile GPS apps, you need to integrate directly with their software to deliver that performance. We’ve done that with TerraGo Edge. But you’ve got a healthy skepticism. Clearly you need a field test to give you an objective answer. We’ll help you find a geodetic monument for a side by side test, so you can take the Pepsi challenge for yourself. Results don’t lie.

Objection: I can’t disrupt our current projects or take risks with new mobile technology

Answer:  You don’t have to. Open solutions like TerraGo Edge work side-by-side in your current workflow. And you can try a no-risk pilot just to see how it works.  

Objection: I’ve invested so much in Trimble that I can’t consider another GPS technology

Answer: Nobody’s asking you to make a direct cutover. That’s the great part of being open. We create an open geodatabase you can use to update your current systems using both your Trimble devices and TerraGo Edge.

Objection: We’ve invested so much in the integration of ArcGIS and Trimble that I can’t just plug another solution into my ecosystem

Answer: It’s done. However you want to update your ArcGIS, TerraGo can support your current workflow and make it easier.  We’ve been building interfaces with ArcGIS for over 12 years and nobody does it better.  We’ll help you the GPS precision you need from the field and give you tools to ensure its quality and make it easy to update your ArcGIS system of record.

Objection: I need to post-process my Trimble data with my Trimble software

Answer: No you don’t. 99% of the time anyway, post-processing is nothing but a costly waste of time and justification for legacy software sales. Today’s real-time DGPS and correction methods mean you can stop post-processing and start improving productivity, cutting costs and enjoying all the benefits of real-time GPS. Let us introduce you to a GPS consultant to see if you’re the 1% who truly benefit from post processing.  Odds are, you’re not.

Objection: We need ruggedized handhelds to withstand our working conditions

Answer: Why not get a Lifeproof, Silver Mountain or any of a number of IP65-rated tablets?   For what you’re paying for a handheld, these devices can be replaced at a fraction of the cost.  And IF they should fail in the field, with TerraGo Edge you don’t lose any data.  It’s a mobile cloud-based solution so your data is always syncing and backing up.  Not so, our customers tell us with the big yellow devices that die in the field costing them weeks of re-work and lost data.