Competing AND Cooperating: The Way of The Future

Because of the wide acceptance by consumers of telematics devices, our industry has been rapidly growing. In 2014 160,000 subscriptions were added by Geotab alone, and the 100,000 unit goal of previous years has now been upgraded to a goal of 1,000,000. Of course, with great success along comes big responsibility. Our competitors will remain the key to increasing customer value and innovation, but in order to minimize risk and maximize potential, the cooperation between leading players will become equally as important.

Here are three examples that help explain that point:

  1. Product Safety: Telematics solutions save lives and advance safety through promoting better driving habits and generally improving the awareness of road safety. Therefore, it’s no surprise that telematics solutions are not only embraced by fleet operators and businesses but also by emergency response units, police forces and insurance companies. Promoting product safety through design, production and installation processes with safety in mind is extremely important to enhance and protect the industry’s reputation and address critics. Some of whom unfortunately have their own plan. The more providers can learn from one another and develop strong standard, the better.
  2. Patent Litigation Involving Non-Practising Entities (NPEs): Patent lawsuits from non-practising entities, notably in the USA, have become a part of life in the telematics industry. While there has been a lot of talk of patent reforms NPEs are still going strong. The most recent verdict against cyber security from Symantec is just one example. Patent litigation is expensive and the more providers of telematics that can pool their resources to ward off patent enforcement outfits the better for everyone.
  3. Cyber Security: The digitization of nearly every element of society and the rapid adoption of the “internet of things” (IoT) has brought up major concern of data and cyber security to the forefront. It seems a day cannot go by without reports of a big hacking incident. Some of these issues can have complex implications as competing interests such as privacy vs. national security, create irritating dilemmas. Others, like acts of ultra-sophisticated acts of state sponsored cyber warfare, may cause people to throw up their hands in distress. Neither are reasons to do nothing. Non-controversial security practices are very effective in minimizing the overwhelming majority of threats. And there is no question that: in the interest of better security, cooperation will help all players just the same as a bad headline will harm everyone.

Geotab and GoFleet are committed to growth through competition and innovation. But, at the same time, Geotab is proactively engaging in issues related to product safety, patent litigation, and cyber security with the strong belief that these issues require solutions industry-wide to be able to better position the industry and instil confidence in our end customer base as a whole.

Original Article By: Dirk Schlimm, Advisory Board Member at Geotab