A lot takes place behind the scenes to give golfers the luxury experience they expect from a prestige golf course. A turnkey location intelligence solution from FAIRWAYiQ allows golf professionals and superintendents manage everything that moves on a course — golf carts, players, maintenance equipment and staff — to notify staff of issues to be addressed in real-time. Golf operators are able to respond to problems faster, cut down on hours spent driving around the course, provide a better experience for the golfer and reduce stress on their staff. FAIRWAYiQ has become the trusted service provider to help combat labor shortages, decrease labor costs, increase revenue and reduce the cost of turf replacement.
As demand for the solution began to soar, FAIRWAYiQ was struggling to keep pace with the needs of the marketplace. Then, a partnership with CalAmp improved everything from tee to green.
Seeking connected intelligence at scale
FAIRWAYiQ’s products rely on data insights delivered by GPS-enabled telematics devices that track the real-time location of golf carts and walkers and connect players to carts to location on a per hole basis. They wanted to add more real-time responsiveness and richer functionality to their service to address customer demand without the high cost of internal resources and multiple vendors to reconfigure the complex interoperability between devices, network connectivity and secure data transmission across multiple servers.
For deeper technical telematics expertise, CEO Dave Vanslette turned to CalAmp.
In addition to the added device purchasing power, CalAmp brought the connected intelligence expertise needed to prototype, test and scale dynamic new functionality. They also reduced the number of suppliers needed by providing a complete edge-to-cloud solution and helped establish an optimized server maintenance program using an enterprise-ready cloud platform.
A custom solution tailored to unique reporting needs
To provide the real-time visibility FAIRWAYiQ wanted to enhance the functionality of its platform, CalAmp programmed Cat M1-compliant wireless sensors based on specific data reporting requirements.
“We were able to customize our alert engine scripts and optimize the devices to reflect their unique use cases,” said Alex Ognjanac, fleet enterprise sales director at CalAmp.
The data allows course managers to be notified when players are entering a cart restricted area, when pace-of-play is creating a player back up or when a golfer drives the cart too fast for a particular area. To keep carts and walkers within designated areas, managers can set geofences to audibly notify a player when the cart is entering a restricted space.
A purpose-built telematics cloud platform enables the solution
Critical to the fast implementation of the solution was the CalAmp Telematics Cloud (CTC), a platform that unifies telematics data from the edge to cloud to accelerate connected asset intelligence. It transforms the data into a readable format, enhances it with additional information and pushes it to a customer’s platform via standard application programming interfaces (APIs). CalAmp provided FAIRWAYiQ with a robust telematics Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enabled them to accelerate service enhancements and streamline platform management.
“The CalAmp subscription model lets the company pay for only what it needs now, and it lets them expand very quickly when they’re ready,” said Ognjanac.
FAIRWAYiQ CEO Dave Vanslette noted, “We would have had to raise a lot more capital to support the manufacturing of our own sensors, whereas the SaaS model CalAmp set up for us is very cash-flow positive.”
Edge computing offers a competitive edge
CalAmp’s firmware knowledge allowed FAIRWAYiQ to push its beeper functionality to the edge.
“That was something we would not have been able to do on our own without significant resources,” said Vanslette.
Files identifying up to 72 distinct geo zones can be loaded into the sensors. Instead of waiting for the location data to travel to the cloud and back, the sensor begins to process it locally, so it knows almost immediately when a cart enters a restricted area.
“It often costs a lot of money when someone drives where they shouldn’t,” Vanslette said. “When our system recognizes a golf cart is in a closed area, it works as fast as if you were going through a virtual curtain.”
Golf course operators can respond to fast-changing conditions by instantly opening and closing areas or taking other corrective actions.
Eventually, thanks to CalAmp’s edge device processing, carts will be able to slow down on their own when overzealous drivers push the speed limit.
Flexible edge-to-cloud technology powers future innovation
With CalAmp’s edge-to-cloud technology, FAIRWAYiQ was not only able to reduce overall costs but scale their business with new functionality from proof of concept to market launch within two months. The added flexibility of the PaaS solution helps them simplifying service platform management and maintain cost-effective business operations.
“The configurability of the sensors is way beyond what we will probably ever need and has been really beneficial for us in getting new features and functionalities out the door fast,” said Vanslette.
Device reliability also counts. Vanslette has found that the CalAmp sensors always work, right out of the box.
“Quality in our sector is a differentiator, but unfortunately, many competitors don’t have that. We do, and we’re growing by word of mouth because of it,” Vanslette said.
For FAIRWAYiQ, CalAmp’s flexible cloud platform and edge computing expertise made the difference between struggling to keep pace with customer demand and becoming the market leader. By reducing capital expenditures, CalAmp’s PaaS model allowed the company to hire additional sales staff to support continued expansion and focus its resources on what it does best: improving golf course operations and enhancing the golfer experience.