BlackBerry continues to evolve into anything but a smartphone maker. This time the Waterloo, Ont.-based vendor has entered into a reselling partnership with Fleet Complete, a Toronto-based Internet of Things provider specializing in mobile workforce management solutions.
The partnership will see BlackBerry Radar, an IoT sensor device that can track assets, utilization and efficiency of fleets, as part of Fleet Complete’s fleet tracking and monitoring solutions. BlackBerry unveiled Radar in early 2016 to fill in the gaps with transportation and logistics management.
Tony Lourakis, the CEO of Fleet Complete, said fleet managers will now have a real-time, aggregate view of vehicle and trailer operations.
He added, there are more than 20 million commercial vehicles in North America and that Radar will be integrated into his company’s Fleet Complete platform. With Radar, Fleet Complete can now expand its solution by offering digital freight brokering and measurement of environmental conditions of trailers and containers on a single dashboard.
Lourakis said that since GPS entered the market place only 30 per cent of the transportation and logistics industry is using telematic solutions. He believes that percentage will increase to 65 per cent in the next 36 to 48 months.
Fleet Complete has approximately 250,000 subscribers in about 10,000 businesses worldwide.
BlackBerry’s senior vice president and GM of its IoT division, Philip Poulidis said the market opportunity for Radar is large because BlackBerry anticipates a rapid expansion in the transportation and logistics industries. “This partnership gives us an opportunity to get to customers that we may not have gotten to as quickly. It will open up new channels for us and it will address the specific needs of the market. Another important element is that it will save customer’s money with the combined solution,” he said.
Currently there are only two channel partners for Fleet Complete in Canada and the U.S. Telus in Canada and AT&T in the U.S. Lourakis told CDN that partnership with BlackBerry does not necessarily mean an increase in the number of channel partners. “This is our business strategy and we plan to keep it that way,” he said.
Fleet Complete does have other channel partners in Europe and Asia.
BlackBerry Radar is planned to be used for measuring high value loads, temperature sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals and food. It can also capture data on humidity, atmospheric pressure, location and cargo. The solution has sensors and an algorithm that can monitor load capacity and the number of data points can scale exponentially, Poulidis said.
“We can now understand how much is in a trailer. We’ll know when the door is open and closed. This will help with security. One of the issues we have is if the freight gets to it intended destination such as a dock. But often times the trailer is in the yard because the dock is backed up. Now we’ll have proof and we can see how long the wait times are,” Lourakis said.
Poulidis added that Radar with BlackBerry’s cloud service and mapping technology can provide accurate mileage information to transportation companies to within three per cent.