Fleetmatics leverages mobility with new cloud-based field worker platform

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Mobility is the focus of Fleetmatics new cloud-based Work platform that enables field service workers to use smartphones and tablets to manage customers, jobs, schedules, invoices and even payment.

The mobile app enables field workers, such as HVAC repair personnel, to see job details, provide quotes, document work, invoice and get customer signatures. In addition, the platform enables managers to see employee work schedules and availability, get information to and from job sites and track job status.

The Fleetmatics Work product is "designed to be delivered through a mobile device...mobility is critical" to Work, Fleetmatics CEO Jim Travers tells FierceMobileIT.

"The power of the mobile device for Fleetmatics Work is that the service workers...can pull up the jobs for the day, see the work history before they get to the site, confirm the work they are doing from the mobile device, complete the work and confirm completion through signature capture, which then allows the work order to be sent via the cloud and converted into a bill--all from the mobile device," Travers relates.

Mobile payments can be incorporated into the Work product through use of a credit card swiping dongle, such as one made by Square. "We might become an intermediary in processing those payments; this could be an opportunity for us," Travers explains.

Fleetmatics also unveiled this week its new business intelligence-based fleet management Reveal and Reveal + platforms. Data that is collected and analyzed includes how the fleet has performed operationally in the past, how their performance compares with similar businesses, and how its drivers are performing across different vehicles.

This data and analysis can be accessed by business owners and fleet managers using iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. This allows the user "to get access to information remotely wherever they need…It's important to give the owner of the business, who is often in the field, the ability to stay informed while on the move," says Travers.

To collect the data from its Reveal products, Fleetmatics installs a telematics unit underneath the vehicle's dashboard. An antenna sends the data to the cloud through a cellular connection to the company's servers, where firm does data mining.

While Fleetmatics has so far focused its products on small and medium-sized businesses that have small vehicle fleets, the company launched this week Reveal +, which is designed for the complexity of large enterprises with large vehicle fleets.

Fleetmatics currently has 22,000 customers with 445,000 subscribers and 700 employees. Travers estimates that the addressable market for Fleetmatics products is 39 million vehicles.

Jean Bouchard, research director for mobile enterprise software and applications at IDC, says that Fleetmatics is "hitting all the right topics" for the "third platform," which is an IDC term referring to a computing platform based on mobility, social media, big data and cloud computing.

The next wave of innovation will involve contextual computing, Bouchard predicts. "You need to invest in solutions and companies that have all of the components to embrace contextual computing…Fleetmatics is well poised for that future, according to IDC," Bouchard adds.

For more:
- see Fleetmatics' release

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