Louis To, Octo Telematics: local partners are key in Asia
Multinational Octo Telematics has got its bases covered in terms of providing services on a global scale, according to Louis To who is Vice President of International Sales for the Italy based company.
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While Mr. To heads the international team which covers Russia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and most of European countries. There are other VPs heading the Americas, Italy and Spain and the UK.
What are the main challenges of a western-based multinational expanding into the Asian market? Let’s see what Mr. To has to say about it.
I already know which countries you cover but could you give our readers an idea of who your target customers are?
To: Octo’s key strengths lie in the vehicle leasing, rental and insurance markets. We also work closely with asset and fleet management companies to deliver our services via a B2B model.
Most of us have an idea of how business works in Europe but isn’t it a bit more difficult in Asia?
To: Yes, there are definitely some challenges to work in Asia and that’s the reason why we choose to partner with key local companies. They understand the region well, including its laws, infrastructure and processes and it is partnerships like these which has allowed us to accelerate our geo-expansion in China for example.
Another challenge is regulations. In terms of the vehicle insurance market, these changed in August 2020, and this has opened up some doors for us. The large insurance companies in China really want to know what we have to offer, and we are setting up a pilot programs in this regard right now.
We also have a partner in Russia where some of the recent regulatory changes has helped us there, but the challenges are slightly different. I believe you know how regulations impact the market. For instance, in Europe, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other government policies are influencing factors.
Russia is no different. It really helps to have a partner who is fully up to speed on the matters and one that can assist us.
Telematics is a hot topic in fleet management today. How can fleet managers benefit from this technology?
To: What we do is digitize large amounts of data so that fleet managers can better manage their assets, or to say fleet. We carry out analysis by bringing added values to their data and giving them information aimed at optimizing vehicle maintenance schedules, monitoring uptime, fuel efficiency and of course driver behaviour.
For the larger vehicle leasing and car rental companies, or indeed any large company running a fleet for that matter, one of the biggest challenges with telematics is having multiple providers of telematics within that fleet.
Octo is an agnostic Telematics Provider which can amalgamate not only our hardware across the fleet but more importantly aggregate the data coming from other sources like OEMs and other hardware suppliers, thus allowing our clients to have one single telematics platform.
The growing trend that I am seeing in telematics today is the use of cameras. Do you offer this?
To: We have a new solution offering camera capabilities specifically for the Truck market. It entails a driver facing intelligent camera that monitors driver behaviour whilst behind the wheel, looking at things such as fatigue, eating, and mobile phone usage, ultimately ensuring that the vehicle is being driven safely.
Octo Telematics team at Fleet Europe Summit 2021 in Brussels (copyright: Nexus Communications)
Finally, could you tell us about a new product you have on offer?
To: We have a fairly new product called Drivability Score which measures and reports on the risk of individual drivers. Each of them are given a risk profile and the goal of the product is to improve driver behaviour.
Driveability is a unique product which takes all the usual parameters into account such as speeding and harsh driving events. However, its real strength is that it incorporates claims history and demographics into the equation as well. Octo works hand in hand with all its insurance partners.
This information allows the insurer to proactively and accurately assess the risk levels of clients or even companies, thus creating significant savings in terms of claims costs.
We also provide our Crash Reconstruction service. It is a unique solution which helps insurance companies accelerate and define responsibility in the case of a crash or accident for drivers using Octo’s solution.