Verizon Telematics sees progress from blockbuster acquisitions

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Updated Oct 31, 2017

The chief executive of Verizon Telematics gave an update on the company’s progress following its blockbuster acquisitions of Fleetmatics and Telogis in 2016.

Andres Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics, spoke at the Telogis user conference, Oct. 24Andres Irlando, CEO of Verizon Telematics, spoke at the Telogis user conference, Oct. 24

Andres Irlando spoke during the annual Latitude business conference for Telogis customers on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in Dana Point, Calif.

With the acquisitions, Verizon Telematics became the largest provider of built-in telematics and mobile applications for commercial vehicles. Verizon Telematics has more than 100,000 clients worldwide that use its cloud-based software platforms to connect with more than one million vehicles and drivers.

The original plan for the acquisitions was to marry the strong products and teams of the companies with Verizon’s established track record for “operational excellence” and scaling businesses, he said. The acquisitions would also give access to the resources and the brand of Verizon that stands for “quality, consistency and reliability.”

If successful, the acquisitions could make Verizon Telematics “unstoppable in the industry and make a difference for our customers,” he said.

During the past nine months, the company has focused on the following areas that Irlando believes are instrumental to achieving a lofty goal – to be “the easiest, most seamless software company you do business with,” admitting this to be “a very tall order since you do business with a lot of companies.”

Buying experience. Verizon Telematics has invested significantly in a customer success program to support clients during implementation and beyond. The company has also simplified its contracts and made them more flexible to “meet you where your business is,” he said.

As part of the customer experience, Verizon Telematics added a pop-up feature in its products that lets customers provide real-time feedback using Net Promotor Scores.

Bundled solutions. The company has created product bundles that combine the connectivity, hardware and software components of Verizon to meet specific needs in the market. One recent bundle is geared to help fleets comply with the electronic logging device (ELD) rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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Infrastructure. Verizon will continue to invest in new technology and simplify the installation process of its hardware and software systems in order to bring down the cost per vehicle.

Integrated partnerships. At the end of day, the customer “just wants all of this stuff to work together,” he said.

OEM partnerships. Verizon Telematics has 15 partnerships with OEM truck manufacturers who install, or embed, its hardware and software at their factories. “We know the future is embedded,” he said.

Another area of focus is product development. Verizon Telematics now has more than 1,000 people, or one-third of its workforce, dedicated to this end.

“Over the last year we have put more resources into innovation,” he said, “to create the most innovative, compelling, consistent and reliable solutions in the marketplace.”

User experience

Another product strategy since the acquisition has been optimizing the user experience for users at all levels.

Jason Koch, senior vice president of products, Verizon Telematics, said the user experience is a major focus.Jason Koch, senior vice president of products, Verizon Telematics, said the user experience is a major focus.

“We call this the ‘user personas,’” said Jason Koch, senior vice president of products for Verizon Telematics. “We figure out how people are using it and refine the experience.”

Each user — be it a fleet manager, C-level executive, a mobile worker or driver — extracts different value from the company’s suite of cloud-based applications. New features are being developed to optimize these “user personas,” and Koch mentioned how this plays out with the company’s ELD application – the HOS module for its WorkPlan application – used by drivers and compliance managers.

Rather than toggle through different apps, drivers can view their duty status and time remaining on the bottom of the screen while using the Telogis Navigation application.

Compliance managers will have a new search feature to locate the right driver for a job based on duty status, and can quickly set up short-haul exemptions for individual drivers based on a 100-mile or 150-mile air radius.

Verizon has developed an “Inspector” mode for its HOS module. A driver initiates this mode to show DOT inspectors only what they need to see. The driver has to enter a PIN code to exit the Inspector mode.

Companies that use the HOS module in the Telogis WorkPlan app also have 24/7 driver support through the Verizon support network, he said.

Workforce bundle

Another new product bundle announced at the Latitude conference is Workforce. Fleets that use the Telogis platform are processing 40 million work orders per month to assign work to routes that minimize time and mileage.

A route planner can use a new Scenarios feature to select the variables to optimize for such as labor costs or vehicle count. The new feature gives users instant visibility to predicted outcomes by running “what-if” scenarios to assess the impacts of business growth or driver availability, for example.

Koch announced a new LiveETA app that companies can offer to their end customers to optimize their user experience for an “on demand” world. The app can prompt the end customer to give feedback as well.

Going forward, Verizon Telematics will be leveraging the billion-dollar investments that Verizon is making in areas such as autonomous vehicles, smart cities and machine learning. Verizon has one of the largest venture capital funds in the world.

“As these things mature, we will bring them to Verizon Telematics and bring them down to you,” Koch said. “I have never been so excited about the future of this company and this group.”

Verizon Telematics plans to rebrand itself in the mid-November timeframe.