Phunware versus Connexient
When it comes to choosing a wayfinding and indoor navigation solution for your large building, the number of options and considerations can be overwhelming! In this article we’ll compare two popular solutions side-by-side in order to help you decide which option is the best choice for your particular use case.
Difference between the companies and their focus
This article compares Phunware versus Connexient. Phunware is based in Austin, Texas with a few hundred employees, and has been around since 2009. They’re an established company that provides mobile solutions “from soup to nuts” as the saying goes. These mobile solutions range from indoor navigation, apps, games, and everything else a company might need in the mobile space. Phunware works with all verticals. Here’s what they say about themselves on the Phunware LinkedIn page:
“Phunware is the pioneer of Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS) – the only fully integrated services platform that enables brands to engage, manage and monetize their anytime, anywhere users. Phunware has introduced category defining experiences that challenge the outer limits of the most advanced multiscreen devices for the world’s most respected brands”
Connexient is a much smaller company with less than 50 employees. It has been in business since 2012. This company focuses on the healthcare vertical and doesn’t provide a full-featured mobile solution, instead their focus is on indoor location services. Here’s what Connexient’s LinkedIn page says about itself:
“Connexient™ is dedicated to creating innovative Indoor Mapping, Navigation and Indoor Location-based Services Solutions for Healthcare and other Enterprise verticals. This is true turn-by-turn navigation – indoors! Nobody else is even close to the quality, accuracy & reliability of the navigation UX we are delivering.”
Right off the bat it looks like if your company needs a full-featured mobile app, you might want to lean toward Phunware. If you are a healthcare company which already has an app and just needs a navigation solution, Connexient might a better fit between these two.
Connexient versus Phunware: Main Offerings
Next, let’s take a look at these two companies’ bread and butter offerings. Both companies’ products might look similar on first glance, but they differ in some significant ways that might make the choice between the two easier. In this section we’ll break down exactly what each company is best at and how they approach their customer’s problems.
Phunware: has a suite of offerings that are designed to appeal to newbies in the mobile space. They’re really a one-stop-shop for all of your mobile needs. Need an app? They can build it! From off-the-shelf white label apps to fully custom jobs, they are going to be a much more robust option for app building than Connexient.
In addition to apps, they offer app add-ons like digital stores. They’ll get your product catalog online and on smartphones. They want you to know they will help you monetize your brand.
For Phunware, their indoor location services are just one of a suite of services that they’re offering. If your company or client is ready to take the plunge fully into mobile, and you need indoor location services as part of that mobile solution, Phunware might be just the ticket.
Connexient: On the other hand, Connexient bills itself as doing one thing really well. They offer specialized indoor location services to the healthcare vertical. Perhaps your client is a hospital that either already has a mobile app or doesn’t intend to enter the app world yet, but they want to implement indoor digital wayfinding now, then Connexient might be the right vendor for you.
Connexient has a suite of healthcare-specific tools ready to roll out to their healthcare customers, including “MediNav”, which is a collection of location tools to help large medical facilities do things like asset tracking and facilities management – definitely enterprise-level functionality that Phunware doesn’t offer.
Hopefully the differences between these two companies is becoming clear. If you are a large medical facility that needs enterprise indoor location tools, it seems like Connexient might be the better choice. If you don’t need enterprise-level tools like asset management, but you do need an app to work right out of the box with more basic indoor location functions, Phunware might be a better fit.
Connexient versus Phunware: Limitations
While both of these companies have strong offerings in the indoor location services space, each has a particular set of limitations as well. In this section we talk through those limitations. If you’re still on the fence, this might help you decide between the two.
Phunware: In the section above we talked about how Phunware is a great option for customers wanting to get all aspects of their mobile solution from a single vendor. And they are! However, this breadth comes at the cost of depth, so if you are shopping mainly for navigation and wayfinding features you might be disappointed with these following limitations:
- No integration with digital signage or kiosks – Unfortunately Phunware won’t make getting around easier for visitors without smartphones. Print stations and kiosks are a common solution for these visitors at many large campuses, so that people who either don’t want to install an app on their phone, left it at home, or don’t have a phone can find what they are looking for. Phunware doesn’t offer any integration with these solutions. However, Phunware does offer the ability to print directions from their webapp.
- Doesn’t focus on healthcare – Some healthcare customers will see Phunware’s generalist marketing as a limitation, since they will not understand the needs of a healthcare client as well as a specialized vendor. However, Phunware does offer the ability to work with customers in any industry including retail.
- Location sharing – For healthcare customers this can sometimes be seen as a limitation due to the focus on privacy in healthcare customers.
- Doesn’t track your parking spot – Unlike Connexient, Phunware doesn’t have a feature that will track your parking spot.
Connexient: For healthcare specific customers, Connexient might seem like the right choice. However, this company also has a set of limitations due to their specialized business model that might be a deal breaker for prospective buyers. These include:
- No prebuilt apps – Connexient might offer to put your indoor location services in an app (to be fair, we haven’t asked them about this), but they don’t offer prebuilt apps as a standard option in their marketing materials. App building with Connexient will likely take a bit longer and cost more than something equivalent from Phunware.
- Doesn’t print directions – while Connexient does integrate with kiosks (unlike Phunware), they do not offer the ability to print out direction from a webapp.
- Only focuses on healthcare – What if your facility is a shopping mall or sports arena? Connexient might offer solutions that could fit your venue, but you’ll always know you would be getting the full value out of their platform if you were in their target market.
- Doesn’t have fully built-out apps as an option – They might be able to offer an app to house their indoor location services, but they won’t be able to satisfy your need for a fully featured mobile solution, if that’s part of what your customer needs. If you want app users to be able to purchase goods, send messages, or otherwise interact with you through an app, you’ll need to find other or additional vendors.
- Doesn’t share locations – For some this will add to the privacy expecations of healthcare customers, and for others it will be seen as a limitation. Will this affect your particular use case? If so, you may want to go with Phunware.
When it comes to a large enterprise tech purchase like mobile app purchases and indoor location services providers, there are many aspects of the services to consider. In this article we broke down the differences between Phunware’s and Connexient’s indoor location and wayfinding services.
Phunware is a clear winner if what you need is a fully-featured, functional mobile app that happens to have a navigation component. If you want your visitors to be able to print directions from a webapp, share their indoor location, and do other things with your app than just find what they are looking for, you will likely want to consider Phunware.
Connexient is a clear winner if you are an enterprise healthcare facility that needs a robust location platform that will work for visitors and also internal functions like asset tracking and facilities management. If you already have an app or don’t care to develop one now, you won’t be bothered that Connexient doesn’t sell them. If you want an indoor location service that respects users’ privacy and that focuses on solutions for healthcare specifically, you’ll want to consider going with Connexient.
Choosing an indoor location services provider is a complex decision. We hope this blog post was helpful in determining which vendor you may want to go with for your facility’s navigation and location services. If you found an error in this post, please let us know by sending us an email about it.
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