All Pedigree Technologies posts related to the OneView platform and any products in our full range of available telematics solutions.


What is Cloud-Since-Birth and Why Does it Matter?

Choosing a Tech Platform in 2022

Today it seems that software solutions targeting enterprise operations are doing so with the positioning that the solution(s) is housed in the “cloud”, but what does that really mean? Well, it means different things to different people, and the complexity goes up when trying to compare solutions (apples to apples) vs infrastructures (apples to oranges). That said, it is very important to understand and incorporate into your buying criteria.

We come across this topic a lot when working with clients or prospects on solution evaluations, and you’d be surprised at the amount of misleading information being presented to the market. As an example, just because a sales rep presents their solution to you as a SaaS solution (software as a service) does not mean that it is a cloud-based solution. And, if it was a cloud-based solution, what type is it? Is it an old clunky technology stack that has been ported from private servers to public cloud and or private cloud? The fact is, each deployment and instance is different, and if done properly would present huge advantages to the provider and the end users. That said, not all cloud solutions are equal.

In the transportation technology industry, solutions have been consolidated, ported, integrated and glued together after years of acquisitions, generations of technical debt and decades of sins and scale issues. The opportunity to completely rebuild a technology stack while paying customers are using it and relying on new features and continuous availability is scarce. That is bundled with the likelihood that R&D funding is most likely allocated to the platforms generating the most revenue (aka: legacy platforms), and the opportunity to invest needed resources and focus on building something from the ground up is equally unlikely. So why does this matter to you as a transportation company or services company that is evaluating providers before making a material investment into technology? It’s simple — if a solution was built from scratch using the newest technologies such as cloud services, high-performing software languages, and processes such as the use of microservices, then it will perform better, update faster, and provide scale and velocity to the provider. This in turn means more features, less bugs, and better reliability for you as the end user.

The truth is, cloud computing today takes many shapes. As an example multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions offer technology companies further flexibility when it comes to performance redundancy and costs. Hybrid cloud combines both a public cloud infrastructure with that of a private cloud infrastructure. The combination of the two enables extensive computing (which can be costly) to operate in the private cloud while the main functionality and hierarchy live in the high availability public cloud solution. This offers the ability to provide end customers with data intensive solutions like analytics and visualization tools like BI without slowing down the core functionality of the system.

Another common deployment is the multi-cloud infrastructure. It combines two separate public cloud architectures to provide redundancy, and load balancing across disparate networks, which provides end users with a high-reliability and high-performance experience, free from major outages — we have all heard about them in the news — that cripple access to mission-critical tools such as driver log books and load assignments.

So, in summary, not all cloud solutions and deployments are created equal. Your larger legacy options, with their long lists of customers and cluttered logo slides, are more often than not ticking timebombs waiting for another rack to be thrown at a pervasive problem that can not be fixed, but rather needs to be replaced.

At Pedigree Technologies, we are a cloud-since-birth technology company, meaning our solutions were built from the ground up in the cloud, and have been iterated over the years using only the best processing and infrastructure advancements available; we never had to undergo a server migration from our closets or “data center” to a cloud provider.

What is a data center by the way?! I sure hope our competitors stop listing that as some type of advantage versus the costly lease space and redundant headcount it really is.

Do your homework, and when you’re evaluating options and you are checking the box for “cloud hosted”, remember that cloud hosted does not mean it’s a true cloud solution — and if it is, it’s crucial to ask what kind and why and which services are running on which parts. Ask the tough questions and see how they respond; if it truly is an advantage, then their sales staff will be educated on it and use it as such. Reliable infrastructure is not a bullet point on a slide, but the foundation of the solution you are seeking.

See why Pedigree Technologies exceeds performance and reliability standards >>

Buying Based on Functionality vs History

In the transportation technology industry we have been trading bragging rights for years now. One provider does X better than Y and the other bought B & A but what really matters to fleets when making an investment into technology?

We spent the last year or so collecting information from our customers, prospects and even competitors and a few themes emerged. While the ability to solve complex business problems remains top of mind for the fleet operator, it is not always the deciding factor when evaluating one provider over the other. 3 out of 5 prospects we talked with said that relationships and references were deciding factors in why they were leaning our way or another way. 2 out of the 5 stated that most providers “all do the same things” and 4 out of 5 competitors listed “name dropping” and references as a leading sales tactic when soliciting new business.

These findings (amongst others) were telling and influenced us writing this blog post to our audiences with a few pointers and some advice when it comes to attributing weight to decision criteria. So here it goes…

 


 

Not All Features Are Created Equal:

Just because a provider can state that they provide electronic log books does not make them as competent as another provider that provides a comprehensive, integrated hours of service (HOS) solution that happens to include an electronic log book. As an example at Pedigree Technologies we support over 45 HOS exemptions which provide our clients with competitive advantage fueled by more operating hours because we can support various calculations for niche industry applications such as Oil & Gas or North of 60. What’s that you ask? Exactly our point!

 

Tech Over Talk:

We have sat through our fair share of painful sales presentations and it’s one thing to talk about features or functionality but it’s far more powerful to discuss business problems and how the tech will solve them vs listing off a series of cool functionality that may or may not be applicable to the audience. Our team must undergo rigorous industry training to qualify as a sales professional, in fact most of our sales team comes from the transportation industry vs the technology industry. This provides a knowledge base that you can’t teach, but rather have to live. The benefits of industry experience come out in spades when working on solutions.

 

Buying to Catch Up Is Not a Sign of Progress, It’s a Sign of Upcoming Integration Challenges:

We have all seen dozens of transactions in the telematics and fleet technology space over the last decade or so. It is incredibly predictable to identify the path of these consolidating entities over the first few years post combination. As an example: It does not make financial sense for these companies to maintain two technology stacks, so eventually one of them will sunset and many customers will be forced to migrate to either the other platform or a new one all together. Either way the misnomer surrounding buying from one of the consolidators is flawed and almost always results in a shift away from that provider within 3 years. The safest bet is to work with a real tech company that has a fully integrated solution since birth.

 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better:

Have you ever heard the term, “it takes a long time to turn this ship”? That is in relation to the effort and complexity that comes with larger less nimble organization. In fact there are many business books written about this very corporate challenge. Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore for one. A good read for innovators and those looking to buy from innovators. It is hard enough to produce leading edge technology and mission critical solutions without having to worry about how it will impact legacy platforms and deployments. You know who we are referring to here. ;)

 


So in summary it is important to evaluate not just the technology, not just the referenceable customers, not only the size of the organization and not only the people, but a combination of all of them. Think about it this way — as a fleet operator, how do you solicit new business and how do you want your target audience to measure your value? What are your competitive strengths? Now that you’ve answered that question — apply the same logic to your vendor and partner selections.

Let’s build something remarkable together — the unofficial member of your fleet operations team!

 

Drivewyze Safety+ Safety Week 2021 Thumbnail

Former CVSA President Shares Insights on CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week

As the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual Operation Safe Driver Week approaches, it’s time to think driver safety. To provide some insight about what this event, and the CVSA is all about, plus what to expect on the road during the safety event, we caught up with Mark Savage, former CVSA president. Mark most recently served as a CVSA board member up until his retirement from a 26-year career with the Colorado State Patrol last year. Mark has since joined Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS) and Drivewyze and serves as its Director of Connected Truck Solutions. 

What is the purpose of CVSA events like Operation Safe Driver Week? And why does the CVSA give so much notice about these events and what enforcement officers will be looking for? 

Operation Safe Driver Week and other safety events the CVSA coordinates are truly meant to be a reminder to fleets and drivers to be safe out on the roads. It’s why many safety events are announced in advance, with information on what law enforcement officers will be looking for. The CVSA really isn’t ‘out to get anyone’ or create headaches for fleets and truck and passenger vehicle drivers. The CVSA’s goal is to be as transparent as possible while ensuring safety for all who share the roads throughout North America.

Sometimes people will get the CVSA confused with law enforcement, who is responsible for issuing citations or conducting inspections during the events, but that isn’t CVSA’s role. The CVSA was created to establish uniformity in how vehicle inspections are conducted throughout North America so that drivers and fleets know what to expect when a vehicle is inspected no matter where a driver happens to be at the time. The CVSA is the ‘facilitator’ for Operation Safe Driver Week and works with local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor vehicle safety officials to conduct these events. The data collected helps government agencies and the CVSA benchmark where highway safety is at.

 

What can fleets do to prepare for Operation Safe Driver Week? What advice would you give to improve their overall safety?

The vast majority of fleets already take safety very seriously. And for most, this is just another week for them and its business as usual. In this day and age, it isn’t a smart business decision to not prioritize safety, as the consequences for a driver being involved in an incident is only increasing. Plus, with more technology available to help drivers stay safe, insurance providers continue to expect more from fleets in the form of documentation that shows the fleet is doing what it can to keep drivers and equipment safe. That said, there will always be a few fleets or drivers out there that don’t emphasize best safety practices as much as they probably should. 

For those that are interested in learning more about the CVSA, safety events, and what officers are looking for during inspections, and how they’re typically conducted, I highly recommend looking at becoming a CVSA member. It’s a great resource that can help fleets and drivers stay compliant. 

 

The CVSA selected speeding as this year’s main focus point. Why do you think the CVSA selected speeding, and what should drivers expect out on the road?

As the CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week announcement mentioned, last year there was an uptick in the number of traffic fatalities with an increase of 24% compared to the previous year despite the number of miles driven dropping by 13%. With less traffic on the road last year due to the pandemic and the fact vehicle speed plays a role in a large number of traffic incidents, it makes sense that speeding is the violation of emphasis in the upcoming event. 

During Operation Safe Driver Week, drivers should expect to see a larger patrol presence, especially in areas that are well-documented for having a high collision rate due to speeding. Every state has its high crash areas for speeding, and its likely enforcement officers will focus their attention in these areas, although passenger vehicle drivers are typically the worst offenders. In addition to vehicle speed, law enforcement will be on the lookout for other risky driving behavior like unsafe lane changes, aggressive driving, signs of impairment, and/or fatigue – all reasons a driver may be pulled over. 

While vehicle speed is under the microscope for this event, the reality is speeding has long been a problem on the road. Most people are guilty of doing it every now and then. But it’s serious, and it’s the leading cause for most collisions.     

 

If a driver is pulled over during Operation Safe Driver Week, what should they expect? What advice would you give to a driver to get through the inspection process as smoothly and quickly as possible?

The best piece of advice I can give is to stay calm and follow the officers’ instructions. Officers know being pulled over can create a sense of stress. At the end of the day, officers, like truck drivers, have an important job to do and they want you to be safe. The more you can assist law enforcement with what they need, the sooner you will be on your way. If you’re pulled over for speeding or for another traffic violation and show signs of impairment, fatigue, have falsified records, or other serious violations, that will be dealt with accordingly. 

 

From what you’ve seen during your career in law enforcement, what do you believe is the future in commercial vehicle safety?

The technology used in the trucking industry has advanced so much – like in most industries – since I entered law enforcement in the 90s. Early in my career, it was much more common to see collisions related to equipment failure. Today’s trucks are much more reliable and equipment failure makes up a small percentage of collisions now. As a result, the number of traffic fatalities has steadily declined since the 80s. Although in recent years, we’ve seen a bit of a plateau in those numbers as equipment failure isn’t much of a concern. Driver-related behavior is now responsible for roughly 87% of all fatalities on the road, so to continue that downward trend, technology designed to help correct and improve driver behavior will need to continue to evolve. And it is.

Dash cams, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), improved driver training methods, and other safety-related technologies are making a difference. Those products and services, plus future technologies that are introduced, are the key to creating safer roads for all.

Since retiring from law enforcement and joining Drivewyze and IIS, I’ve been involved in developing some really amazing technology that is designed to help improve driving behavior and assist fleets in managing safety programs. Last year Drivewyze launched Drivewyze Safety+, a proactive driver safety service that provides in-cab notifications to drivers of upcoming high-risk areas. The alerts are designed to help prevent accidents, safety incidents, and citations before they happen. One of the latest safety alert additions is actually on high citation areas for speeding. 

With Safety+, drivers that approach an area that is commonly known for a high rate of speed citations will receive a notification through their ELD or smartphone of the upcoming area, encouraging drivers to slow their speed if necessary. So far, Drivewyze has geo-fenced more than 2,800 zones throughout North America that provide drivers with speed and other safety alerts such as high rollover areas and upcoming low bridge notifications. 

To identify high citation for speeding zones, Drivewyze worked with state and provincial agencies to identify ‘problem areas’ for unsafe speeding behavior and areas where speed is a known factor in collisions. What’s more, with Safety+, fleets can proactively create their own custom zones for areas that they’ve identified as a problematic location for drivers with speeding. What’s unique about the custom zones feature is that fleets can create safety notifications for virtually any potential hazard or create important safety reminders for drivers wherever that location may be, in addition to other safety notifications Drivewyze provides. 

All told, the service is proving to be an effective way of reducing speeding events, as well as other driver-related incidents. When Drivewyze tested Safety+ with beta fleets prior to its launch, results showed there was a 27% reduction in speeding events by drivers going 5+ miles over the speed limit. This technology makes a difference – and this service, along with other safety technologies, is one step in reducing speeding events and other driver-related incidents. 

As we come up on Operation Safe Driver Week, remember to keep an eye on your speed and be mindful of drivers you share the road with. If you’d like to start a free trial of Safety+ Speed Alerts to prepare your fleet for Operation Safe Driver Week, visit our Drivewyze solution page for more information and to sign up for a custom demo.