Telematics Conference MEA answers key questions

Real-time communication, monitored behaviour, reduction of accidents, reduction of operating costs, fuel savings, safety improvements – these are the plethora of benefits of telematics, a widely misunderstood technology in the GCC market
Telematics, Dubai, Uae, Fleet management, Transport

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. So goes the famous opening to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and while this might be a little extreme, it is a similar place that the telematics industry in the region finds itself.

“It is a very interesting and challenging time for telematics in the UAE,” says Sankalp J Dhavale, head of international business development, CVS Mobile, putting it a little more mildly. “Interesting, because there are plenty of local and international players in the form of hardware resellers, application and platform providers, SI’s and full-service telematics and IoT providers like CVS Mobile… Challenging, because customer and business expectations have moved beyond position based data. The market is demanding more value for their dollar in terms of predictive and preventive analytics, deeper and actionable insights and richer visualisation of data generated by their fleet and field based employees/teams.”

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Dhavale, along with several other telematics solutions providers, is exhibiting at the Telematics Conference Middle East & Africa, which is being held in Dubai on 28 March 2019 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Another exhibitor is Cradlepoint, which told Logistics Middle East that the ever-increasing number of connected devices is bringing new challenges to the market. The number of connected devices is expected to grow to anywhere from 20 billion to 50 billion by 2020, according to Husni Hammoud, general manager, Cradlepoint.

“Deploying and managing the number of devices sending information to a telematics application is a daunting exercise and the volume of data coming from multiple devices makes delivering a telematics solution that can scale in-line with exponential growth a complex and time-consuming challenge,” he says.

Because of this, the complexity and scale of delivering telematics applications for an enterprise is a costly undertaking. Cradlepoint’s purpose-built transportation networking platforms allow fleets to minimise data usage, maximise uptime, increase agility, and streamline operations on many levels. Features include ignition sensing, active GPS, and dual-band, dual-concurrent WiFi. CVS Mobile, meanwhile is modularising its solutions to be industry specific to construction, transport, mining and so on.

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Matej Ďuríček, sales executive for MEA and UK+I, Sygic, agrees that the demand for telematics solutions in the Middle East has grown beyond simple location tracking to the utilisation of multiple suites of advanced tools (fuel monitoring, security breaks monitoring, navigation, etc.) to enhance their operational performance. But the complexity of the systems on offer can make some clients hold back from exploring these solutions. “We just need to clearly explain how they can benefit from embracing new solutions, such as deeper vehicle data integration, driver behaviour monitoring etc., both when it comes to cutting the operational costs and enhancing the effectiveness of their fleets,” he says.

“Customers have to see how the efficiency and revenue can be raised, by utilising these new technologies,” Leon Zhu, product director, Howen Technologies, agrees. “Based on years of R&D, project experience and insights in this market, Howen adopts cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence and H.265 video compression, to thoroughly help the fleet owner to improve safety, saving the operation human resources and telematics data cost as well.”

“Price has always been a factor together with the inherent mistrust of telematics as seen as ‘Big Brother’,” adds Myles McNulty, senior sales director, EMEA, Queclink Wireless Solutions. “However, the benefits are now being understood and the technology being embraced.” This is why Ďuríček at Sygic says educating the market is so important. “Close relationships with customers are everything. We provide our potential clients an easy-to-understand overview of how our solution leads to the benefits described above,” he says.

This is why events like Telematics Conference Middle East & Africa are so important, and its why all five of these companies will be exhibiting at the event.

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