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RSC and Wireless Logic M2m Connectivity Enable UTrack developed app.
-An award-winning passenger app by UTrack using tracker-based technology
-Win-wins for customer loyalty, business effectiveness and the green agenda
-A tailored connectivity solution bringing all of the major networks through a ‘one stop shop’
London – 04 February 2011 Recognised as one of Europe’s pioneering transportation tracking organisations, UTrack’s (www.utrack.com) consumer app putting passengers firmly in control of their journeys is proving a golden ticket for bus and coach companies. Yet UTrack’s presence in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe was initially challenged as the then start-up operation was faced with crippling costs of entry when connecting their clients’ fleets over the mobile network. A recommendation by Alpha Micro, UTrack’s partner tracking unit provider, led founders Kevin Short and Austin Birks to meet with Wireless Logic (www.wirelesslogic.com), Europe’s leading aggregator of M2M connectivity. The outcome sees UTrack today successfully opening new accounts across the UK, France, Spain and shortly, Poland.
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Former travel agent Kevin Short, and bus operator Austin Birks, saw an opportunity in the public bus and coach market space recognising that embracing smart phone technology could change the behavioural drivers of passengers forever. Provide real-time information to their handsets notifying the passenger of the bus’s precise time of arrival at their stop, and the uncertainty of not knowing when the next bus might come along would be rid of. And whilst for many, digital signage located at the bus stop might be seen as a step in the right direction, Short and Birks believed that the wasted time waiting by the side of the road was avoidable. Armed with precise details of the bus’s progress, even if it were delayed, would enable the passenger to continue with their shopping, work, or any activity knowing with confidence that they wouldn’t miss the bus. Short also recognised that whilst expensive tracking applications in their many guises had been the domain of larger fleet operators, few had seen the consumer benefits by linking the operational data to the benefit of consumers. Short and Birks further realised that such systems could be replaced by a much lower cost cloud application – opening up the potential for a consumer and business information model, available to every size of fleet operator.
Delivering the solution
The tracking device and middleware: developed and provided by Alpha Micro, leading experts in the fields of GSM, GPRS and GPS, the SIM-based tracking solution developed for UTrack has been designed to meet the needs of small and larger fleet operators alike. The system delivers real-time positional data back for the operator to monitor scheduling and movements.
The vehicle tracking connectivity challenge: Approaching the major mobile networks, UTrack found that the upfront costs in setting up data connectivity for tracking devices were way in excess of their budgeted figures. Coupled with this, as a start-up, initial SIM quantities were prohibitively high. The UTrack team presented the data connectivity challenge to Wireless Logic’s business development team, headed by consultant Craig Hollingworth.
Craig Hollingworth CEO of Red Squirrel explains: “Talking to UTrack, we realised that such an organisation would need a tailored package of connectivity; competitive, flexible and with low quantities at the outset. We also identified that UTrack’s plan to work with a single network offering was not right for this potential pan-European offering. Consequently, we were able to create a number tariff choices across multiple networks, with final network selection based upon location and optimised signal strength.”
The Alpha Micro tracking device in each bus or coach transmits positional data every 30 seconds to the operator’s control centre. A Wireless Logic data SIM within the device is switched on at point of installation, the network selected based upon a coverage audit of the fleet’s area of operation. Day to day monitoring of an operator’s SIM base can be controlled by Wireless Logic’s SIMpro system - this enables an operator to access, monitor and control an entire SIM base through one window; SIM provisioning, two-way SMS communication, data activity reports and tariff management. For international fleet movements, a choice of roaming SIMs are available.
The consumer app: designed for iphone and Android devices, the consumer app that interfaces with the tracking data has been developed to deliver precise location, current speed and ETA directly to a passenger’s smart phone. The app can provide ticketing information, live arrival/departure flight information and a platform that can enable the operator to evolve a range of customer relationship initiatives to encourage loyalty and sales promotion.
UTrack in action: Today, UTrack are working with fleet operators of all sizes, delivering value-based data to passengers, and vital consumer profiling to the operational management teams that can help them fine-tune their routing and frequency of bus travel. As an example of the product’s effectiveness, airport to city operator Dublin Coach has seen a 300% increase in passenger numbers over a 12 month period. Trials are also taking place in several European countries, with upgrades of the consumer app in the pipeline ready to deliver more benefit-driven information to improve the user/passenger experience. SIM connectivity is a seamless aspect of the entire operation with fleet trials and resulting SIM orders managed by the Wireless Logic team based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Kevin Short, UTrack: “Wireless Logic and Red Squirrel was able to see the great potential in our earliest days of market entry. With their foresight, we could financially model the final and intrinsic part of our connectivity jigsaw. They gave us a choice of tariffs, the opportunity to test and trial several networks, and an overall wireless package to make the UTrack offer compelling. For us, it’s one phone call that gives us access to every mobile network operator, supported by an account team who are as passionate about our business as we are.”
Oliver Tucker, Managing Director, Wireless Logic: “Working with organisations such as UTrack gives us the ability to support enterprises at the point of market entry. Our business model allows us to provide customised tariffs across all of the major networks with degrees of flexibility not achievable by the major mobile networks. This lets us build long-term relationships with organisations that are at a relatively embryonic stage. UTrack has created a product that is so right on so many levels – creating customer value and loyalty, answering the green agenda, and enabling small and large operators to utilise information technology with ultra low set-up costs. From initial trials to a business that is making great headway across Europe, we are delighted to be supporting UTrack.”
Red Squirrel is pleased to announce a new Partnership with CIC Corporate Integration Consultants (CIC) In Holland. CIC is one of the leading M&A specialists in Europe focussing on the ICT Sector and give Red Squirrel a good foundation with people who know the local landscape and culture.
CIC is an independent organisation of experienced management consultants, interim managers and corporate finance specialists. CIC operates with an entrepreneurial outlook and is specialised in ICT. CIC constantly analyses developments in this market. Based upon this analysis they offer an integrated service package tailored to the specific requirements of their clients.
Craig Hollingworth of Red Squirrel Said " this is a very exciting time for mergers and Acquisitions ,this partnership gives Red Squirrel more depth into the european market especially as European buyers are actively looking inward into the UK"
Bert Kroes of CIC said "We now have a new edition to our family with Red Squirrel who add local knowledge and cultural expertise in the UK.This has significant value to our focussed approach in mergers and Acquisitions."
Invivodata is better connected… with Wireless Logic.
As the world’s leading providers of electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) solutions, invivodata has built a global reputation for clinical expertise, capturing data of the highest integrity, and delivery of over 95% protocol compliance – regardless of a patient’s technological experience or age. With clinical drug trials taking place in every continent and less reliance on wired connections, wireless connectivity that is resilient, cost-effective and ensures secure data transfer is a prerequisite to the success of valid data retrieval.
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With a rapidly growing user base, monitoring of SIM-connected devices had become logistically difficult – with little leverage in terms of ‘controlling’ the SIM estate. Challenges included:
- Multiple bills on a month by month basis.
- Occasional misuse of the data SIM card resulting in extraordinarily high costs.
- Incumbent providers limited to providing a singular network.
- Delivering one level of customer service, with an inability to respond quickly to network problems – often jeopardising the effectiveness of the ePRO solution.
- Limitations to provide new connectivity solutions to locations not covered by their existing coverage.
Wireless Logic have provided invivodata with a suite of tailored services and solutions designed to deliver a one-stop connectivity platform acrossmultiple networks:
- The SIM estate is now managed via a bespoke platform based upon Wireless Logic’s SIMpro middleware, empowering invivodata to have full access and control of their entire SIM estate.
- SIMpro delivers real-time reports on individual SIM actions, pinpointing individual usage, usage trends, and identifying unusual activity which might have previously led to fraudulent data usage.
- Connectivity reach is much improved with Wireless Logic providing a choice of national and international networks including a number of roaming SIM options.
- Invivodata is managed by a dedicated account management team who can respond rapidly to client requirements and any network issues. A Service Level Agreement ensures agreed response times. Granular billing on one monthly invoice significantly reduces invivodata’s administration.
Wireless Logic have quickly become an intrinsic partner delivering a reliable, solutions-focused service. Their approach to roaming, network and other related issues gives us immediate answers - long gone are the days of having to work with a multi-layered customer service team who are not prepared to respond effectively to connection issues. By working with the Wireless Logic account team, they are able to cut through the layers of red tape within networks and address challenges to agreed time scales. It’s time and money saved. Feedback from patients taking part in our trials has improved. This partnership is giving invivodata a uniquely competitive edge.
Wireless Logic says:
Red Squirrel Consulting, Craig Hollingworth, Consultant for Wireless Logic: “we have set out to develop an unrivalled range of connectivity solutions designed to address the frustrations previously experienced by invivodata. As an aggregator, we are delivering value at every stage of the relationship – from improved tariffs where we have used our consolidated purchasing strength across all of the incumbent networks, to the benefits of operating fixed IP over our secure private APN – taking invivodata away from the risks associated by running important clinical trials across the public network.”
Philip Cole, co-founder and Sales & Marketing Director: “healthcare is one of the key areas of technology investment within the M2M sector. Partnering invivodata as the global leader in ePRO puts Wireless Logic at the forefront of wireless monitoring in medical research. Our ‘one window’ platform is well-suited to the complexities of a worldwide multi-network solution.”
Red Squirrel Employees have been awarded the highly Prized 'Platinum Movember Award' for raising more than £1,000 for Movember , Red Squirrel staff had to grow a moustache for the month of November and raised £2226.00 pounds for the Prostrate Cancer Charity Movember.
Well done to all that contributed in the moustache growing and all those who kindly donated.
Red Squirrel signs an exclusive contract with a brand new business acceleration company due to be launched in January called Gorilla One.
The Mo, slang for moustache, and November come together each year for Movember.
Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men’s health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start Movember 1st clean shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month. The moustache becomes the ribbon for men’s health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days.
All male staff within red squirrel will be competing to see who can grow the largest moustache, and the winner will be featured on our news page!
MiX Telematics chooses Wireless Logic to provide fixed IP connectivity, superior data diagnostics, SLA security and improved cost control to aid innovation in 2010
International telematics company, MiX Telematics, has migrated its UK base of SIMs to Wireless Logic's fully managed, fixed IP connectivity service, in a bid to improve control over the usage and cost of each connection and to allow the company, for the first time, to analyse the performance, procurement and activation of its SIM base via Wireless Logic's 'ManageNet' platform and 'SIMPRO' provisioning system.
MiX Telematics provides fleet management solutions, including vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery, using predominantly Orange SIM cards, embedded within the company's range of on-board computers. Procurement of SIMs for its estate via the network operator involved a cumbersome ordering and activation process.
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Steve Coffin, Marketing Director, MiX Telematics comments: "As our customers and the number of mobile assets we track and protect increased, we realised our SIM procurement, management and security model had to change. Each SIM had to be ordered and activated manually which meant potential delays before we could deploy a unit; we now use SIMPRO which allows us to automatically order and activate SIMs ourselves, and gives us visual access to our SIM estate 24/7.
"Our clients also required the security and reliability of a private APN and so Wireless Logic's APN complements our own Datatrak network by offering us the reliability and security of fixed IP connectivity - something our customers expect."
MiX Telematics is now using Wireless Logic's ManageNet platform to extract a deeper level of performance and behaviour data, enabling them to make significant cost savings via usage reduction and streamlining, and opening the door to the development of a new generation of 'smart' products in 2010.
MiX Telematics worked with Wireless Logic on a competitive data tariff which better suited the needs of the company and its customers as it continues its expansion plans into Europe. MiX Telematics can now access a competitive Orange tariff through Wireless Logic. As the country's largest mobile aggregator within the M2M market, Wireless Logic can provide a single point of contact, singular billing, and pan-network Service Level Agreements (SLA's) giving clients total flexibility and confidence when considering appropriate networks for their projects. Robust Service Level Agreements are not currently common with data connectivity contracts.
Red Squirrel Consulting, Craig Hollingworth comments: "It's important to treat a data connectivity contract with as much reverence as any other corporate contract and to protect customers' interests with a formal agreement which guarantees excellent performance and service. As with any formal business agreement, customers demand assurance that their investment is safe and so providing a Service Level Agreement around airtime and connectivity should be no different."
Wireless Logic's investment into its own private network 'ManageNet' has continued throughout the year, with more clients adopting this platform to communicate securely with their SIM estates. The organisation has also evolved its dedicated provisioning and control panel - 'SIMPRO', which enables clients to activate/suspend and monitor data usage/performance in real time. Most recently, SIMPRO has incorporated a comprehensive SMS communication tool, giving clients added functionality and control over their SIM base. SIMPRO is internet based with no requirement for time-consuming software integration.
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