Sometimes the line between what you can consider B2B and what you can consider B2C begins to blur. With connected devices impacting both our personal and professional lives, this tends to happen more often than not.
Here at Connected World magazine we are all about reporting on all the ways in which this line is indeed blurring. So when you get a compelling story that touches both sides I think it is an important one to relay to the market. That is why I was particularly excited when Novatel Wireless approached us with a great customer story for our Connected World Conference, June 11-13 in St. Charles, Ill. The customer story is very compelling; the only caveat was that I could not say a word about it until it was officially announced.
Well, I am happy to say that day has finally come! A few days ago the official announcement came out that NexTraq has signed a supply agreement for mobile tracking devices with Novatel Wireless and will use the company’s devices for its GPS fleet-tracking solution.
At first glance it looks to be just another fleet-tracking story. But it’s quite the contrary, in fact. When I got on the phone with NexTraq’s CMO Mark Roberts regarding the company’s session at Connected World he detailed all the great ways in which they envision the fleet-tracking market evolving, empowering fleet operators across multiple markets with new ways to help customers. In fact, his vision around how technology can empower end users to make smarter and better decisions is very much in line with what we say at Connected World magazine. Big picture—he has some great ideas.
One such innovation centers on the idea of UBI (usage-based insurance) for fleets. Normally you associate such an idea with the consumer market, e.g, the Snapshot device from Progressive Insurance. Taking such an idea and applying it to the fleet arena opens up a wealth of opportunities for fleet operators to reduce costs with their vehicles, which in turn lowers insurance premiums. This is not even mentioning the idea of lowering the level of driver distraction by monitoring driver performance in realtime.
I think it is important to note the great role that technology from Novatel Wireless is playing in this vision. Its devices are plug-and-play with internal antennas, which greatly reduces vehicle installation costs and associated vehicle out-of-service time, thereby lowering total up-front costs. This is quite the divergence from hard-wired systems that can typically be employed on the fleet level.
Needless to say we are thrilled that NexTraq will be presenting with Novatel Wireless at our conference. Looking at the big picture, I am excited about what such a topic means to M2M and connected devices overall, and how such a presentation might get others to start thinking about how that blurring of the line might be beneficial to their vertical markets as well. You won’t want to miss this one.