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The Future Of Smart Fleet Devices

How Technology Has Improved Driver Functionality And How To Choose Which Ones Are Right For You.

12/30/2013 by Michal Olszewski

The evolution of smart devices has provided fleets with a world of opportunities to improve their overall business.

In the past few years, smart phone and tablets became a normal part of society, and, in the process, nearly everyone was trained on how to use these devices. So now just about every fleet driver has a mobile device on them at all times that offers functionality and connectivity from just about anywhere.

For fleets, this means there is an opportunity to increase efficiency. However, there are also plenty of difficult decisions for companies to make regarding which devices are best for their business and how to properly manage the technology.

Companies need to begin by stating clear business goals such as managing operating costs, reducing driver turnover or improving customer service.

From there, decide on the data requirements the fleet will need, and whether this is something that will be monitored in real-time, weekly or monthly and who will have access to that information.

Lastly, a fleet needs to identify its technology requirements such as monitoring, communication, cellular or satellite coverage and other technical specifications.

Which Form of Smart Technology is Best for Your Fleet?

There is one basic decision that fleet companies must make regarding the hardware they use: Providing the smart technology, or having employees supply their own devices.

Bring Your Own Device

Taking advantage of the smart phones and tablets that your employees already use in their personal lives has been referred to as “bring your own device,” or BYOD.

There are plenty of advantages for fleets are choosing this model to be an ideal fit for their drivers. It provides a fleet with almost instant access to a function-rich communication system along with computing technology at a relatively low upfront cost. In many cases, it’s up to the employees to purchase their own device. This lower cost of entry also makes it much easier for fleet companies to keep up with changes in the smart device marketplace, where new phones and tablets are unveiled on a constant basis.

Using devices that are familiar to employees also reduces training requirements, since drivers are already well-versed with the device, or something similar, and have had plenty of personal use. Instead, training can focus on business applications and procedures rather than new technical skills.

Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled Smart Devices

Security concerns are the main reason for fleets to choose the corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE) method to mobile computing.

Using COPE, a fleet sets up a framework to support and allow personal use of company devices. The company decides on a set of preferred phones and tablets, purchases and owns them, but the employee is allowed to install the applications they want to use on the device.

Fleets see plenty of benefits by using the COPE model, including a longer lifespan for commercial-grade devices, secure access to a managed network, lower cost of ownership, increased levels of technical support, and the enhanced ability to limit the functionality of mounted smart communication devices while the fleet vehicle is in motion.
 

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