What Does Amacai Offer?

By Nora Parker

_On its company website, Amacai is described as "the premier information solutions company serving businesses that demand the most current national coverage of name, address, and phone number data." We followed up with the vice president of sales, Michael McCarthy, to better understand the company's products and value proposition.

According to McCarthy, the database they offer that is of most interest to the geospatial market segment is the company's "Enhanced Business Points of Interest." With growing interest in improved data for local search, this is likely the case.

The Enhanced Business Points of Interest, or Enhanced Business POI for short, is a compiled database that includes more than 14 million businesses across the country.The data is enhanced with exclusive information such as hours of operation, types of products and services offered, types of cuisine in the case of restaurants, what credit cards are accepted, etc."These searchable keywords enable mobile device users to narrow their targets and return search results that are appropriate and meaningful," said McCarthy."This is very relevant to the LBS/GIS industry
- you can drill down into the data and get more details about the products and services offered by a local merchant or service provider." Of course, in addition, each business listing includes a latitude/longitude coordinate pair.

"The primary attraction, above and beyond the currency of the data, is the deeper data we have.It has much more meaning to a person who might be in urgent need of a plumber who offers 24-hour emergency service, for example, because it's two o'clock in the morning and a water pipe just burst in your basement," said McCarthy.

"We have access to more than 40 data sources that go into the compilation of the data file - these include public and private sources, and all are telco-verified," said McCarthy.So far this doesn't sound radically different from some similar databases, but it appears that in addition to the depth of the data, "the key Amacai difference" is in the currency of the data.

The company website states that Amacai can deliver updated data three months faster than their competition.How is that possible? "There's about a 90-95% chance that the business is no longer in business if the phone number isn't working," said McCarthy.This is where our interview gets to be a little "black box" and information is less forthcoming, but generally speaking, McCarthy will say that they have a proprietary method of verifying connectivity of phone numbers all across the country from "providers that are smack-dab in the middle of the telco world." That's where the term mentioned before, telco-verified, comes in to play.

"We see this whole generic LBS space being in its infancy, but one of my observations is that the companies with the established carrier relationships will likely be the winners," said McCarthy."Right now the companies working in the LBS space are using very basic data as part of their 'crawl, walk, run' strategy, but as you see more maturing in their product lines, you'll see these companies looking for enhancements to their service - and that's where we'll come in.We're talking to all the players in the space and trying to get in at the ground level.We are ready now, we are just waiting for the market place to take off and need the data that our competitors don't have."

Published Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Written by Nora Parker



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