During IntelliShift’s ConnectedOps Virtual Event, CTO Ryan Wilkinson and President Doug Eden discuss how IntelliShift is keeping up with and staying on top of industry trends in fleet and asset management, operations and more. Because your fleet and assets are directly tied to your profitability, this session covers strategies that forward-thinking decision-makers can leverage to increase connectedness, visibility, productivity and, ultimately, profit, ensuring your assets are never a liability.
Below is the transcript of this session. You can also watch the session and view all sessions from ConnectedOps 2020.
Ryan Wilkinson: Hey everyone, thanks for attending this product breakout session. I’m Ryan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer of IntelliShift, and today with me, I have Doug Eden. In today’s session, we’re going to be covering what is IntelliShift and ensuring your assets are never a liability for your connected operations.
So, this is really kind of the polarizing vision that we had when we designed IntelliShift and brought it to market, and I’ll let Doug kind of give some insight into the differentiation between where we were and where we’re going.
Doug Eden: In 2010, it was mostly about fleet tracking, and it’s still the benchmark for many of the organizations that were deploying GPS and telematics. Our evolutionary path has taken us to a different point in the industry where we see the value as taking the core telematics data and wrapping it around more of a holistic, centralized, connected operations message, which means we are both capturing this very deep fleet of telematics information, but augmenting it with a variety of other business data sets.
Ryan Wilkinson: And really, when we designed that connected operations platform that is now IntelliShift, it was really designed for visionary operation leaders that fundamentally agree with this statement, that their organization’s profit is optimized by how their assets are used. So, the IntelliShift Platform was designed to deliver insight into exactly how their assets are used and the operational insights that they can gain to better optimize their operation with the goal of optimizing the profit of their organization. Anything to add on that, Doug?
Doug Eden: Sure. And, people often ask us what verticals we specialize in, and actually, the answer to that is more along the lines of we focus on organizations and individuals who continually lean forward on process improvement; they’re always seeking to get better. In our world, what that means is often connecting data sets that traditionally have not been related; everything from safety to fleet to finance to maintenance, and giving them views that they’re able to take meaningful business decisions off of.
Ryan Wilkinson: And, really, the question that we’re collaborating with our customers and our ideal client profile, companies that have that visionary role in their organization, is understanding what they want their next-generation telematics to look like. If you kind of step back and remember that slide we went through earlier with the two different visuals, the one that was kind of just a narrow road and then the holistic operations view on the right, on the 2020 initiatives that we’re doing at IntelliShift are all geared at understanding our customers’ operations and what their next-generation telematics and connected operation solution looks like, with the intent to really deliver more meaningful business insights with the data that a telematics solution traditionally captured, but it’s traditionally siloed or segmented and the IntelliShift platform is designed to augment those data sets to deliver meaningful insights to the operation folks in an organization.
Doug Eden: And, 100% of our new engagements are migrating from an existing platform, and often they’ve already had the experience of using more than one, and when they lean forward to work with us, it is about them understanding that if they connect a lot of these fleet and vehicle and asset-centric operations to views that are tailored to their particular business, they realize they can get both fiscal and business improvements very rapidly.
Ryan Wilkinson: So, our vision of the connected field and asset operations is IntelliShift, and that is what our product roadmap, which I’ll be covering later, is actually geared towards. Everything that we’re doing today in our product team is 100% geared towards giving additional insights and vision into connected field and asset operations. Like I mentioned, it’s traditionally siloed data sets where you may have four or five different solutions, and now you’re stuck with a monumental task of trying to integrate those solutions or trying to export and manipulate the data sets, so our product road map, and what we’re building today, is product that lets you harness the information around your assets and lower the risk of your operation to drive additional efficiencies.
Doug Eden: We often speak with organizations who are spending millions and millions of dollars on fleet safety, maintenance solutions, that are being operated, again, in silos, and yet, even after those extreme expenditures, they’re still unable to get holistic visibility into the business process that they need to affect change on.
Ryan Wilkinson: So, the value proposition, right – today’s session was what is IntelliShift and the value proposition of IntelliShift, and it really is just understanding the data and the analytics that are available now with the tremendous amounts of data that are being captured in today’s digital world, and understanding how you can leverage that data. That is a digital currency for your operation to help you connect your people, your technology, your business, and ultimately, deliver profit. So, that’s kind of – here, you have the different categories, we’re focused on building product to once again, capture more data around your operation, connect to your people, and connect these traditionally siloed data sets to deliver analytics, predictive analytics, and really prescribe those analytics and that data specific to your business requirements.
Doug Eden: As we went through our evolutionary path, we stepped back and realized when you looked at the traditional history of telematics, what did it do right, and what did it do wrong, and one of the things it traditionally does wrong is it captures sheer volumes information, and drops it on clients with no meaningful context. We stepped back and said, “Hey, how can we help these organizations make meaning out of these incredible volumes of data?” and what we came up with was to help them understand that across their operational footprint, there are a variety of different departments that should be working together a little bit closer because both their data and their processes are related, and as Ryan will get into that a little bit later, we have done that by not only the data we capture, but augmenting it with a number of third parties, as well as business process and digitization efforts.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yep, well said, Doug, and that’s kind of the partner sessions that we have as part of the ConnectedOps event today are also covering some of those solutions. Our partnership with snowflake, which is all geared towards machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, as well as some of our other partners like Route4Me, that’s all geared towards optimizing some of the logistic operations that you’re dealing with in your business today with once again, the whole vision for the IntelliShift platform is delivering optimized business platforms by removing those silos in your organization and connecting the data, your people, and your technology.
So, our mission with the IntelliShift platform, right, what is IntelliShift again, the mission is to have a single pane of glass for users to view their connected operations while enhancing safety, profitability, and efficiency. So, I’ll let Doug speak here to the visual on the right on the different pillars of the IntelliShift platform.
Doug Eden: Again, back to our evolutionary path and people out there in the audience are familiar with how core telematics traditionally work, very product-based, we call it “business in a box” exercise, hand them over a bunch of different feature functions and we stepped back and said, “How can we help these organizations connect their data sets more effectively?” So, what we chose to do very aggressively was modularize the areas that we work in, and this actual chart here represents some of the areas we play in. Underneath each one of these, there are various traditional feature function things that people are familiar with, but more importantly, it’s the top icon, operations intelligence, that depending on what particular engagement you seek to deploy with us, it’s wrapping up in those data sets that are making sense of it. The core telematics down on the bottom is that baseline. We use that as a baseline for data capture, because as you guys well know, telematics companies like us do capture significant and sheer volumes of information. If we use that appropriately and repurpose it in a variety of other places, we’re helping people both to digitize and prescriptively manage their processes more effectively.
Ryan Wilkinson: So, Doug mentioned kind of the different features and functions and the products within each one of those kind of business segments. So, obviously, at the bottom, Doug mentioned the core telematics solution for all of our existing clients, the silent passenger solution that you all know and love, and then kind of the vision for IntelliShift is being able to enhance the product offering for all existing users, as well as to elevate your business and the insight into your business which is really where the other solutions will bring tremendous value to your operations, whether that’s the maintenance with the vehicle service solution, or whether that’s the fuel management solution with the integrations with maybe your existing fuel management and fuel credit card solutions, or whether that’s our new digital inspection application for DVIRs and mobile forms to do digital inspections.
We have the operations intelligence at the top, which once again, that is powered by that snowflake data warehouse that we’re covering in a session today as well, which is really understanding that all of these different products produce an immense amount of data around your operations, and how can you monetize that data and kind of revolutionize your operations with all of these different products? And, from what we’ve seen, traditionally, this technology is deployed siloed and it’s not connected, and that’s really where the IntelliShift platform and the vision for IntelliShift is delivering a tremendous ROI to users that leverage all of these additional products aside from kind of the core telematics like Doug mentioned.
Doug Eden: Yeah, and most often, as engagements migrate to us, they are still firmly entrenched in that bottom telematics bucket, and we often hear things, “Well, I’m not getting the customer experience,” or “It’s broken,” and Ryan and I often don’t understand what that means until we ask, and what we ultimately find out is that it’s not broken, it’s just not ultimately helping them achieve their next generation ROI in process optimization, which means we need to have conversations and help them see how if they align certain data sets and analyses, they’re no longer going to four, five, six different applications or different areas to actually get the insights and visibility they need to take that next step.
Ryan Wilkinson: Well said, Doug. So, it’s really beyond just the telematics and kind of the core location information and telemetry data that we’re capturing from the field. Our new release of our new Inspect Mobile Application, which was really designed to be a highly configurable, modular, mobile app that captures signature, photo evidence, and data and time stamp information, so, once again, it definitely has ties to fleet and telematics, right, for driver vehicle inspection reporting, confirming maintenance, and setting up automatic alerts for any of those failed inspections for compliance purposes, but the way we’ve designed and built this with our product team was ensuring that it is completely flexible to be used by other parts of your organization or maybe other traditionally different segments of your business, not necessarily fleet. What I mean by that is with our form template library within the Inspect application, you can actually download existing forms from the application and customize them to meet your specific business needs, so we have a lot of customers that are using this to do vehicle sanitation inspections, obviously given the COVID-19 pandemic, we have customers utilizing it to do job sight safety inspections, so it’s really a mobile application that is designed to capture additional data from the field through an inspection that’s done completely digitally, so now we have more data that we can augment with all of the other data sets within the IntelliShift platform.
Doug Eden: And, there was a little bit of a method to this madness, while on the surface it appears to be a point solution software, what we were actually intending to do with this application is digitize certain business processes that are traditionally manual, so while we are solving the automation of a specific inspection process, the actual intent is connecting other silos of data. For example, as you can imagine, if we’re capturing information regarding inspections and perhaps certain things that are faulty with a vehicle, we can now automatically push those to maintenance systems and share those with individuals who can now remedy the situation, and share that they have not only a safer work environment, but they are spending their money wisely on a preventive maintenance front.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, and I’m excited, once again, because there’s a lot of data flowing through this mobile application, so as I’ll talk through later today on our products roadmap, applying machine learning and AI within the actual mobile application is something our teams are working on, and that will deliver kind of another layer of insight into those mobile inspections that are coming, so looking into that data that’s captured by that mobile application from the accelerometer or the GPS receiver as well as other sensors on those smart phones and tablets, so now we can deliver a machine learned competence score of the inspection. So, if a traditional inspection looks and feels like this on all of those sensors, and we see something that maybe signifies that the inspection wasn’t don’t completely or thoroughly, we’re going to be delivering a confidence score within the application so that you can gain even more meaningful insights with all of those different data sets that we’re capturing from those sensors, and our vision is all around the data and applying machine learning and AI to that data set to give you more intelligent data points around your operations. So, that’s kind of the holistic overview on IntelliShift.
Doug Eden: Well said, Ryan. No, no, I was just saying that’s actually pertinent to our overall message.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, and I think the one big thing that we have also focused on is all of this great technology and product is obviously revolutionary in our industry, but it’s really understanding how we can align that with our customers’ business and one, not interrupt their business, and then ensure that we are optimizing their business and that we’re aligned with our customers’ business roadmap, so maximizing the value of the deployment of all of this technology, understanding that if there is an installation that needs to occur, a device needs to be deployed in the asset or in the field, understanding that the last thing that a user wants is to just receive that in a box, and then they have another project that they need to manage. So, one of the big initiatives for us is understanding that the deployment and the onboarding onto these products and technology is extremely important, and it’s vital for the success of the deployment. I’ll let Doug talk through some of the QA and QC processes that we’re holistically deploying with the IntelliShift platform.
Doug Eden: And, it’s all wrapped around the customer experience that we’ll get into a little bit later; however, one of the things we realize with the telematics world, and a lot of you folks will have seen it and experienced it firsthand, is again, the model is very much of a boxed product, point-solution type exercise, that with it, inherently comes things like shipping, devices for you to self-install, hoping you can figure out the application yourself, maybe running your own reports or standing up your own configurations, and what we’ve found is the message that we’re delivering and what we’re actually standing up requires a level of collaboration with our clients to work backwards from their business intent and their KPIs to ensure that we’re standing up an instance of the platform that is meaningful for them, and to do that well, we have to take a very serious approach to the deployment and the QA process, everything from how we handle a project management in phases, to ensuring that we’re giving back meaningful information regarding the accuracy and also the quality of the data we’re providing.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, absolutely, and that kind of goes hand-in-hand with the customer success initiatives that Kristi will be speaking to, Kristi Faltorusso, our VP of Customer Success, that has been a big initiative for us, because like Doug mentioned, a phased deployment of the IntelliShift platform is where we have seen the most success and the best ROI for our clients is understanding that it is Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, crawl, walk, run into the IntelliShift platform and customer success is kind of the pinnacle of that, understanding that it’s a commitment to a partnership with our customers for long-term success and ongoing partnership as we’re constantly releasing new product and technology and making sure that we have alignment with our customers for them to potentially adopt that new technology and product, so we’ve set up designated account teams that are aligned with business segments within our customer base, and then we have tailored onboarding like Doug mentioned, where we’re really taking time upfront and investing in the relationship and the partnership with our customers to understand their operations, understand their fleet, understand how we can deploy this technology with little to no impact on the actual operations, and that’s where just receiving a box to deploy yourself, obviously that can be disruptive, right, and then understanding that installation needs to be structured with QA and QC controls in place to ensure that as we’re relying on all of these data sets that we’re capturing from the field, that we can ensure that the QA of that data, and that relies on the installation, right? If the installation is done properly, then we’re getting accurate data sets back that can then be used in our operations intelligence platform, Operations IQ, and then setting up clear, spelled out success plans, understanding what your business goals are and how we can align our product and technology with those business goals, and then ongoing training and enablement with obviously our existing customers that are joining us today, our existing users, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot more feedback and surveys in our IntelliShift application, and once again, that’s all geared towards understanding that the customer is the most important aspect of the IntelliShift platform, understanding what the customer needs for their business is really what’s driving our product roadmap and our customer success initiatives at IntelliShift.
Doug Eden: And, each and every engagement we embark upon with one commonality that we hear from our clients is that they’ve exhausted the ROI they can achieve from their current platform, and the model Ryan talked about only works when we work backwards, understanding their business goals for the upcoming quarter, for the upcoming year, so that we can understand how they can maximize that next generation ROI. Doing the same thing over and over again, we all know that’s the definition of insanity, so what we need to do is understand where they are taking their business, and then we can help them with the data that we control to make sure they achieve that.
Ryan Wilkinson: So, with our focus on customer success, it’s really around the entire holistic customer experience, so whether that’s the 400+ data integrations that we have today with the IntelliShift platform that are constantly evolving and growing as we’re bringing on additional platform partners and additional kind of data integrators, whether that’s even the vehicle OEMs themselves that have OEM telematics built into the vehicles. So, once again, we’re all around ingesting additional data to augment the data within the IntelliShift platform and delivering that customer experience that’s aligned with your business goals and your business initiatives. And, obviously, our deep knowledge in being and 18-year-old-plus company, and our experience in working with fleet operators just like yourself and understanding having hundreds of thousands of assets out there, in the field, with operators is a monumental task and the more data and insights we can deliver to you, the more powerful and the larger ROI you’ll get from deploying technology like the IntelliShift platform, and then delivering that within an enterprise-grade software solution with flexible and robust APIs to ingest data into your other systems, or push data into the IntelliShift platform and obviously the partnership with snowflake we’re excited about, that kind of brings that to a whole other level for us. And, I’ll let Doug talk to some of the other data points that you see on that slide there, especially around the client conversions to the IntelliShift platform.
Doug Eden: Well said, Ryan, and one of the key topics here is a negative churn rate, which ostensibly means our clients are consuming more of our software as they continue down their evolution with us. There’s a number of reasons for that, Ryan mentioned a few of those, but there’s a few we haven’t talked a whole lot about up until this point, and I’m going to let Ryan get into a granular discussion of this, but it’s regarding the hardware the devices wrapped around the installation model that we work with in conjunction to our firmware and software that drives a lot of our QA process and ultimately the experience that our clients get from us.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, so, the hardware, obviously, is a critical part of the solution for the products that contain the need for hardware out at the edge, and we do take a little different approach to that. We’re relying on a lot of different types of hardware, but we’re controlling how those components work and interact with the IntelliShift cloud platform. So, we’re getting the firmware to behave how we want it to behave at the edge, and we’re doing data processing at the edge, which will then give us better data insights within the cloud. So, I’ll be covering later today our new AI video solution, which is actually using machine learning and artificial intelligence within the hardware in the cab of your actual asset to deliver more meaningful insights, which will automatically detect a fatigued driver or a distracted driver if they’re not monitoring the roadway. So, the hardware is just as important to the holistic solution as the cloud and the other technology. So, we do, obviously, utilize our 18+ years working with fleets just like yourself to ensure we’re doing a lot of R&D and field testing before we’re bringing any hardware to market, and then understanding that all of those hardware components need to be aligned with your business goals as well, so understanding what data we need to get from the edge out in the field, whether that’s the digital inspection information and understanding how we can get that in the most meaningful way to the IntelliShift cloud for delivering that meaningful data insight. And then, on the client convert side, 95%-plus of our new subscribers are actually converting to the IntelliShift platform from another telematics solution. So, Doug, give us some insight on why you think that is.
Doug Eden: Well, I think there’s a couple of topics. One is regarding how we approach the firmware and the software approach. Secondarily, it’s the project management and the customer experience we bring to that, and it all starts with the earlier comment I made about working backwards. If we understand the business goals of a particular instance of IntelliShift that we’re putting in place, then we can actually help organizations to collaborate with them to configure it to meet the intended business outcomes, and when we do that well, the ROIs are tremendous, and they understand that by working with us, we can help them down their evolutionary path not just now, but two or three years from now.
Ryan Wilkinson: Well said. And, kind of in closing, is this hashtag, #connectyouroperations. That is the vision, and that is what IntelliShift is, and that’s what it’s built for, and that’s what we will continue to focus on, is understanding how we can ingest more data about your operation and your business to deliver more meaningful insights to connect your people, connect your technology, and fundamentally connect your business using our IntelliShift technology and the IntelliShift platform.
Doug Eden: Yeah, and it’s truly granular level, it’s providing the right information to the right people at the right time.
Ryan Wilkinson: Well said, Doug.
Doug Eden: We’d like to thank you all for attending this session. Ryan and I will be around for another ten minutes regarding any questions you may have. Again, thank you all for attending and the time you afforded us today.
Ryan Wilkinson: Thank you, everybody.