NEW ORLEANS—One acquisition at a time, Solera has created a North American fleet management technology suite with a global reach. With Omnitracs, Spireon, SmartDrive, and other trucking technology brands now part of the company, executives said they see a lot of potential growth for their fleet solutions.
After acquiring fleet intelligence provider Omintracs in 2021, Solera added trailer and asset management company Spireon earlier this year. The trucking technology acquired the past year created a fleet business to go with Solera’s more light-duty/consumer-focused verticals: vehicle claims, repairs, and technology solutions.
“When the opportunity arose to acquire Omnitracs, we took it because we viewed it as an opportunity to enter an adjacent space to the ones we were already in—where we could apply many of the same capabilities and disciplines that we had learned and mastered throughout the other three verticals into an adjacent space that we view as a growth business,” Alberto Cairo, managing director of vehicle and fleet solutions at Solera, said during a roundtable session with transportation industry media and analysts.
Omnitracs' nearly 15,000 for-hire and private fleet customers use the company’s fleet management offerings, including fleet tracking, communications, routing and dispatching electronic driver logs, and operations analytics. Omnitracs brought with it SmartDrive, the video safety and predictive analytics firm it bought the previous year.
Months after the Omnitracs acquisition, Solera added Spireon, the device-independent telematics and connected vehicle intelligence provider with products such as FleetLocate trailer management solutions. Spireon, which has more than 13,000 customers, also provides fleet, automotive, and asset management technologies.
“We see the combination of these assets as giving us the ability to serve all segments of the market that we find attractive,” Cairo said. “We believe this gives us a fairly unique portfolio of solutions that we can put together very effectively for the benefit of our customers in a platform.”
With 300,000 customers and 7,500 employees in 100 countries, Solera executives here said they are bringing global capabilities to North American fleet solutions.
“We're gonna take a lot of these products and apply globally where we have the data to localize that product for that market,” said Todd Bransford, VP of product management at Solera. “We have good people that are champing at the bit to have new solutions and opportunities to go chase.”
That global teamwork is part of the new Solera organization. Before it started acquiring fleet technology firms, Solera Holdings had 50 independent companies in its portfolio. But now it’s “a functionally organized operating company,” Cairo told the more than 500 customers attending Solera Outlook 2022 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. “A big piece of that was to build scalable, global engineering capabilities distributed around the world to enable us to source the best talent wherever it is.”
Later in the day, he told media and analysts that with the giant streamlined company comes an international team of engineers. “That global engineering force is one that we continue to build for the benefit of all our customers,” Cairo said. “But it also allows us to pivot engineers to fleet projects from other areas when we see the need and benefit.”
Other fleet solutions
Along with Omnitracs came the fleet video safety technology from SmartDrive, which Omnitracts acquired in 2020. Also, in 2021, Solera bought eDriving, a global digital driver risk management company that developed a FICO Safe Driving Score that uses a smartphone app to monitor, coach, and reduce driver risk.
These solutions joined Solera’s SuperVision, a motor vehicle records monitoring service that alerts fleets of changes to driver’s license status and violations across all U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions.
Cairo said he sees Solera’s fleet services as an essential part of the supply chain. “It’s one where we believe that we have the wherewithal to gain market share with the solutions we have,” he explained. “We think we’ve done that very well in other segments of the transportation industry—and this is no different.”
Bransford said customers should expect a “loose integration” of all the fleet products. That integration would include having a central location to log into with one menu that connects to various databases. He said customers want to simplify the credentials process and not have to bookmark several sites.
“Over time, we’ll find the points where it’s really important to have deeper integrations,” he added. “But we’re going to do the crawl, walk, run on this.”
The popular trucking industry brand names are likely to stick around, too, Cairo said. “We have a number of brands that are incredibly valuable in the marketplace that our customers recognize and value,” he added. “We’re in no hurry to get rid of those brands.”
Cairo said that Solera’s products would continue to support third-party applications. “We don’t believe in forcing people to use our solutions,” he said. “We believe in winning their business by providing the best solutions. We want to create an environment for you that allows you to pick what works for you because everybody has a unique workflow.”