Case Study :Microlise delivers vehicle tracking, telematics and proof of delivery worldwide, using Vodafone M2M
For fleet operators, the cost of fuel is critical to the bottom line. When a saving on fuel of just a few per cent can double profits, the emphasis is on eliminating inefficiency wherever they find it. Telematics solutions are helping transform fleet management through improved driver behaviour and increased utilisation of fleets. Such solutions are also making vehicles safer, cheaper to insure and easier to maintain.
The challenge : Creating a complete end-to-end solution
Microlise is one of the UK’s largest and most established providers of telematics and proof of delivery solutions. It is also a company with serious international ambitions, operating globally, across 28 languages. International revenues now account for a growing percentage of group business.
The company is based in the UK, but has dealings with some of the world’s biggest businesses. Microlise boasts OEM relationships with vehicle manufacturers DAF, MAN and India’s Tata Motors, and counts many of the leading transport operators and hauliers as its customers.
In a growing market for telematics, Microlise’s expertise is relentless innovation and an ear for the customer. The business is among only a handful of players in the Transport Management Systems space that offer a one stop solution and service capability. It develops and tests all its own software and also manufactures its own hardware. In a global market awash with competitors, it means Microlise controls its own roadmap, priorities, costs, technology, and quality.
“Microlise has a long-standing reputation for innovation,” says Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive Officer at Microlise. “We listen to our customers and develop accordingly but we are also pushing the boundaries of technology within the telematics space.”
Raza says it is not enough to trade off last year’s products as the telematics market moves so quickly it is reliant on suppliers to bring new products to market.
“The success of SmartPOD, a pay-as-you-go proof of delivery application for sub-contractors, and our new in-cab tablet driver communications module, are testament to our substantial investment in research and development,” he points out.
Microlise recognises it cannot do this alone. Its investment in research and development has to be underpinned by a robust, global connectivity platform, enabling the reliable transmission of data from vehicles to customers.
“We want to provide a complete solution for customers,” says Raza. “Hardware, software, hosting, communications. Other players will offer one or two elements. We manage it all.”
We have the right access to the right technical people at Vodafone. That’s not the case with every supplier, but our relationship with Vodafone means we can get the right people on the line quickly. When we’re working on developing new solutions, implemented in new territories, that kind of access is invaluable. – Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive Officer, Microlise.
The solution : A platform for innovation
Microlise and Vodafone have been in partnership since 2007. Today Microlise relies on Vodafone for its global connectivity; it has well over 100,000 Vodafone connections in 116 countries.
“Vodafone is the only provider to offer a truly global deployment,” says Raza. “They have far more reach than any other network. For example, our deal with Tata Motors which began in September 2014 is entirely dependent on Vodafone M2M SIMs. Tata has over 60% share of the Indian truck market and the deal has the potential to significantly increase our annual revenues.”
The Vodafone Global M2M Platform enables Microlise to install M2M SIMs in all its products, allowing these products to be deployed quickly anywhere in the world. Using this to its advantage, Microlise is building new lines of business with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as DAF, MAN and JCB. Microlise can switch SIMs on or off and view usage via a unique portal.
This robust connectivity then allows Microlise to add an appropriate software layer depending on the customer. For some customers, the emphasis is on driving style monitoring to improve safety and standards, for others it is fuel savings.
Vodafone is the only provider to offer a truly global deployment. They have far more reach than any other network. For example, our deal with Tata Motors which began in September 2014 is entirely dependent on Vodafone SIMs. Tata has over 60% share of the Indian truck market and the deal has the potential to significantly increase our annual revenues.- Nadeem Raza, CEO, Microlise
Either way, says Raza, Microlise’s solutions produce compelling results, “One customer found an engine fault using one of our solutions. Early warning was the difference between a £2,500 part replacement invoice and a £30,000 blown engine. The savings justified putting our software in every vehicle.”
In the UK, Carlsberg realised fuel savings of 4.8% in its first year with Microlise, finding another 1% saving in year two. As fuel costs can tend towards 40% of a truck’s operating cost, with trucks often running 22 hours a day, saving just a few per cent on fuel can double the bottom line profit of a vehicle.
For JCB, Microlise is the brains behind its vehicle tracking. The JCB LiveLink solution has helped track and recover stolen JCB machines worth a total of well over £1m.
“We’ve had a good year and have seen significant growth both in our direct solutions business through existing customers like Tesco, DHL and Carlsberg and also some major new contracts. Additionally, we’ve seen a significant jump in our channel business with our resellers and OEM Automotive and Plant partners,” comments Raza.
“Our success in delivering white label solutions to OEM partners has been reflected by JCB previously awarding us its Supplier of the Year Award for Innovation for our solution which they fit across their product portfolio around the globe.”
Raza says Microlise benefits from having the right access to the right technical people at Vodafone: “That’s not the case with every supplier, but our relationship with Vodafone means we can get the right people on the line quickly. When we’re working on developing new solutions, implemented in new territories, that kind of access is invaluable.”
The challenge going forward, says Raza, is to keep step with advances in technology across the globe, across sectors. “We’re transitioning from 2G to 3G in some territories, for others it’s 3G to 4G. That transition will be unpredictable, it might happen faster than we imagine. We need a technology partner capable of putting the appropriate solution in place for each territory.
“We will continue to grow. We need robust technology across a range of areas. Vodafone, with its strength in M2M, data and fixed line, is the partner we need.”
The bottom line
• Creates a platform from which Microlise can test, develop and commercialise new telemetry solutions
• Single Global SIM and access to technical expertise enables the business to plan for global expansion and entry into new markets
• Provides a real-time view of customer usage, payments and SIM control from a single Global platform
• Improves user experience through comprehensive visibility of individual vehicles, helping reduce the cost and environmental impact of fleet operations
• Privately owned business based in Nottingham, UK
• Invests in research and development to ensure its solutions are underpinned by market-leading technology
• Helps customers to save over £175m a year in fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tonnes
• Visit www.microlise.com for more information
Disclaimer : This case study has been republished exactly as the original at Vodafone M2M Case Study