The current state of affairs
Fleets strive to reduce operating costs, increase productivity and improve safety and compliance. Fortunately, dozens of technologies offered by thousands of solution providers can help them achieve their goals. But fleet operators are struggling. They are already working across multiple separate dashboards and data sources provided by different solution providers. Adding new solutions means adding even more dashboards each with its own siloed datasets and separate user experience. This could actually increase complexity for managers rather than help them gain visibility into their fleets and make better decisions.
So, what do fleets really want going into 2022, and why will ecosystems drive the future for both fleets and solution providers?
Fleets want integrations
It’s not a secret that access to insights based on integrated data across solutions can help fleets make more intelligent and data-driven decisions.
Furthermore, many fleet solutions can provide enhanced value by leveraging data generated by other solutions. For example, maintenance solutions can provide predictive analysis if they gain access to a fleet’s diagnostics data.
While many solution providers understand the value of integrations for their fleet customers, the reality is that they struggle with integrating with other providers as integrations takes time, resources and focus away from their core products. Considering the fact that fleets have varied needs when it comes to integration, it’s almost an impossible mission for solution providers to integrate in a scalable fashion.
Fleets want a ‘single-pane-of-glass’ interface
Hopping from one application interface to another is an inefficient and time-consuming way of managing a fleet. But this is the reality for many fleet operators. Imagine doing this when you are in a ‘fire-fighting’ mode as one of your fleet vehicles has broken down and another one in the vicinity needs to be dispatched with the right parts and the right technician skillset.
To simplify things, fleets want to manage their operations from a single pane of glass. They want to make quick and sound business decisions by accessing maps, alerts and reports across the different solutions they use, all from one unified interface that is comprehensive and organized. A unified experience will improve productivity and provide better real-time visibility.
Fleets want a ‘one-stop shop’
Fleet operators have a million things going on all at once, which is why they rely on technology to help them get through each day. While there are many solutions out there to address fleet needs, finding the right ones isn’t always easy. Combing through thousands of applications to find the ones that truly fit a fleet's segment, size and specific needs can take a ton of time that they just can’t spare.
Fleets want a one-stop shop where they can get recommendations for solutions that will help them solve their own specific problems. A marketplace with a broad selection of pre-integrated solutions available through a single-pane-of-glass interface.
The key question is, how can solution providers in the commercial fleet industry build ecosystems of pre-integrated solutions that are available to their fleet customers via one-stop-shop environments and can be accessed through unified interface? Before, we address this question, let’s talk about ecosystems.
Ecosystems and marketplaces will drive the future
Ecosystems have taken over the world! Whether it’s in the B2C segment with the likes of Apple and Android ecosystems or in the B2B segment with the likes of Salesforce AppExchange which offers Salesforce customers thousands of third-party applications as add-ons on the Salesforce platform.
Over the years, AppExchange has been instrumental in Salesforce’s growth and success. As Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO puts it: “Building an ecosystem is about acknowledging that the next game-changing innovation may come from...Silicon Valley or from a programmer based halfway around the world. A company seeking to achieve true scale needs to seek innovation beyond its own four walls and tap into the entire universe of knowledge and creativity out there.”
In the fleet management industry, such B2B marketplaces are gaining significant momentum among telematics solution providers. A recent example is the GPS Trackit marketplace which provides its fleet customers access to a broad selection of third-party fleet solutions. Such solution ecosystems are also starting to pop up in the commercial auto insurance industry, where companies like Protective Insurance, a Progressive subsidiary, launched their own fleet safety marketplace to help fleets reduce losses and manage risk.
Other providers in the commercial fleet industry are starting to work on their own marketplaces as well, among them are leading vehicle OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, fuel-card providers, fleet leasing companies and others.
However, for the majority of such companies, even the largest ones among them, building ecosystems of third-party solutions on their own might not be a suitable course of action due to the immense amount of IT, development, product management, business development, legal and management resources it takes to scale up such an undertaking. Trying to build it on their own would mean shifting resources and focus away from their core products and investing years of effort and millions of dollars in something that is not their core expertise.
So, what’s the answer?
‘Ecosystem in a Box’
Fortunately, commercial fleet management solution providers can now launch their own ecosystems within weeks and with no upfront cost by leveraging the Roadz ‘Ecosystem in a Box’ platform.
Fleet customers can discover, try and buy relevant solutions through a convenient one-stop-shop platform. Integrated datasets, unified maps and event-logs powered by Roadz help them save time, improve productivity and make better business decisions.
A Silicon Valley company, Roadz is transforming the fragmented and siloed commercial fleet industry into an open and integrated ecosystem. The Roadz platform enables telematics providers, insurance carriers, fleet management companies, vehicle manufacturers and others to launch self-branded marketplaces with pre-integrated 3rd-party solutions. Their fleet customers can discover, try, buy and access smart fleet solutions from a unified user interface. The Roadz platform integrates fleet-related data across solutions so that fleets can gain visibility across solutions. For more information visit www.roadz.com.
As vehicle OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, telematics service providers, fleet leasing companies, insurance carriers, fuel card providers, and others look to differentiate themselves and strive to meet the needs of their fleet customers in 2022, they should seriously consider offering an ecosystem of innovative third-party integrated solutions as a strategic priority!