Carlos Castillo, Geotab: Expanding open-platform telematics to Latin America
Telematics and big data is increasingly being used by vehicle fleet managers who want to cut cost, improve operational efficiency, monitor drivers and road conditions, among other things. One company providing this service is multinational open-platform telematics firm Geotab based in Ontario Canada.
Global Fleet had a brief talk with Carlos Castillo on the sidelines of the Global Fleet conference held in Rome May 28-30. He is the company’s associate VP for LatAm fleet management as well as one of the newest members of the Global Fleet Advisory Board Latin America.
Global Fleet: What is Geotab`s coverage area and how does Latin America fit in?
Castillo: Geotab, which is present in over 110 countries, is continuously increasing its presence around the world. Currently, over 1.1mn vehicles are equipped with our devices and Latin America is our third largest region.
Earlier this year, Geotab became the first telematics company to be present in all seven continents. This is a testament to our commitment to growing our trusted reseller netowrk and a new global road for fleet management .
Global Fleet: What are the main challenges of a multinational company entering a region like Latin America?
Castillo: Multinationals trying to enter Latin America need to always be cognizant and mindful of their growth strategy.
Some of the main challenges include looking to align the different operational and financial goals per country as well as identifying standardized KPIs and putting together reports to make informed decisions regarding the whole region.
Global Fleet: And what challenges do global fleet managers face and how can telematics help?
Castillo: Global fleet managers face continuous demands to deliver cost savings and operational improvements to their company. Telematics helps address this demand by providing companies with strong benchmarking opportunities which help to achieve real-results.
The added benefit of open-platform telematics is that businesses can continuously find new ways to optimize their operations through this highly-customized solution.
Geotab hardware and software (Source: Geotab)
Global Fleet: When releasing data, concerns for security and privacy seem to be hitting the headlines lately. How can this be alleviated?
Castillo: One way to alleviate concerns surrounding security and privacy is by working with established and trusted telematics providers. Telematics companies, such as ourselves, must take a rigorous approach to data security while maintaining the principle of continuously improving.
Understanding what data is being collected and how it is being used ensures confidence in a fleet’s telematics solution. Remember that transparency is always key.
Global Fleet: Last but not least, what key trend do you see in the near future?
Castillo: Data analytics (Big Data) is a continuous and growing “hot topic” for fleets as well as society as a whole. Leveraging data to help make business and communal decisions will help to form a more optimized, productive and safer society for all.
Geotab, for instance, collects over 2bn data points every day of which can be leveraged by “Smart City” initiatives. Vehicles will become sensors, giving real time information for urban developers seeking to make better decisions in terms of road conditions, dangerous intersections, hyper-local weather, among others.