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App happy: Taking advantage of an ecosystem of integrated business applications

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When Geotab, a provider of telematics technology, announced the launch of the first version of the Geotab Marketplace, it billed the complement to its MyGeotab platform as a way to provide “an extensive ecosystem of valuable business-focused applications and add-ons to the users of its GPS fleet management and vehicle tracking solutions.”

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“Geotab recognizes that customers can draw value from a level of operational customization,” said Chief Executive Officer Neil Cawse. “By providing access to a marketplace featuring applications and add-ons, customers have the opportunity to significantly extend the use-case of their fleet management and telematics services. The Marketplace enables customers to integrate data in an open, collaborative way, which accelerates a business’s strategic use of data.”

Examples of third party applications and add-ons found in the Geotab Marketplace include vision-based driver assistance systems that provide real-time warnings for collision prevention and mitigation; corporate fuel card purchase auditing; field force automation; accounting administration; CRM data integration; and maintenance and safety solutions. The company plans to feature more than 200 third party applications in the Geotab Marketplace by the end of the year.

Partnering with Geotab recently and joining the Marketplace was Vigillo LLC, creators of transportation industry big data and data mining software products. In particular, Vigillo’s Athena Big Data platform, which is now accessible within the Geotab Marketplace, will combine information from the Geotab telematics solution on drivers, such as overspeed, rapid acceleration and rapid deceleration, out of route mileage, fuel consumption, and vehicle hour usage data, with current Athena data pipelines on weather conditions, crash statistics, enforcement areas, and other statistics.

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“Using the power of the Athena platform to provide actionable business intelligence on safety, operations, vehicle maintenance and overall performance, combined with the multiple data channels provided by Geotab, will provide a Big Data solution within a single system,” said Steve Bryan, chief executive officer of Vigillo. “The markets we will serve are not limited to heavy-duty trucks, but will also include medium- and light-duty fleets. Aligning with Vigillo as its premier CSA Scorecard provider will also give Geotab additional resources by enabling data sharing as part of its MyGeotab platform.”

Also joining the newly launched Geotab Marketplace is Decisiv, the provider of service relationship management (SRM) solutions for commercial assets. Decisiv leverages telematics data from Geotab as part of the automation of the SRM process. The Decisiv listing on the Geotab Marketplace falls under the categories of Asset Management, Compliance, Planning/Scheduling, Roadside Assistance, and Vehicle Maintenance.

The connection with Geotab also brings users access to the Decisiv Network Alliance, a group of service and repair supply chain companies using, supplying and integrating services, content and technology. The wide-ranging scope of integrations available within the Decisiv platform brings together truck, trailer and component manufacturers, dealers and independent service providers, and fleet maintenance and service provider business systems.

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“Decisiv’s technology offers operational and financial benefits that lower total cost of ownership by managing communication, collaboration and interaction around real-time servicing of assets,” said Michael Riemer, Decisiv’s vice president of product and channel marketing. “SRM is a perfect application for the Geotab Marketplace where the combination of the capabilities of both platforms ensure improved vehicle maintenance.”

According to Vigillo’s Bryan, there’s no question that the data generated in trucking operations is growing at an astounding rate. “The real challenge is how to efficiently mine that data and use it effectively,” he said. “Tractor, trailer, driver and operations systems are generating vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. At all levels and for all functions in the trucking industry, managers and IT systems operators have to become comfortable with the rate that data is flowing. The good news is that the technologies and architecture to do so are in place.”

The big data challenge for fleets today is the multitude of sources. In trucking, data is collected from across the enterprise, from operations, maintenance, fuel, sales, HR, safety and other areas. “In separate silos,” Bryan says, “that information is static. Collectively it can provide a more meaningful, all-inclusive view that leads to better management decisions.”

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That, of course, is the goal of the Geotab Marketplace and its many partners, including Vigillo and Decisiv: to assist trucking companies in better managing, operations, drivers and vehicles by integrating accurate, actionable data from business-focused applications.

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