The Geotab Connect 2020 conference hosted approximately 1,500 attendees in San Diego, California, which was held Jan. 13 - 16, 2020 at the San Diego Convention Center.
The conference centered on Geotab’s latest product features and telematics improvements, offered live training opportunities from in-house experts, and had ample networking opportunities with Geotab Resellers and Marketplace Partners.
Colin Sutherland, executive VP, sales and marketing, for Geotab, kicked off the Geotab Connect conference by doing a deep dive into the company’s pillars of innovation, which include productivity, safety, fleet optimization, compliance, expandability, and – just recently added – sustainability.
“People in the telematics industry think about developing micro-vertical niches, we didn’t do that. We developed pillars of innovations,” said Sutherland. “Because we realized we may have customers in certain industry segments, and their competitor might be a customer of ours, but the two companies value things that are completely different. So we can’t say one thing is the exact definition of what telematics means for a specific vertical, it may just be an innovation pillar.”
Sutherland also spoke in-depth about the company’s successful ecosystem overall, which included the launch of a new community website, community.geotab.com.
Following Sutherland, Neil Cawse, CEO, Geotab, presented a deeper company overview as well as a roadmap of 2020, and detailed how Geotab will continue to support its customers in its expanding marketplace of technologies.
“The industry is buzzing about open approaches to technologies, customers need and want multiple platforms. They need them to seamlessly integrate in a way that covers all of their vehicle tracking needs, their diagnostic needs, their compliance needs, and even video safety needs,” said Cawse.
Reflecting this, Lytx CEO Brandon Nixon followed the presentation by announcing a partnership between Lytx and Geotab to provide a single interface experience for users of the two products, for a streamlined solution to improve safety, productivity, and efficiency.
Following were presentations on the digital transformation of government, including the state of telematics for the federal government and the state of California.
Later in the evening, Mike Antich, editor, Automotive Fleet, moderated a fleet manager fireside chat that included award-winning fleet managers who spoke on fleet management best practices. The panel featured opinions from 2017 Professional Fleet Manager of the Year winner John Dmochowsky, MBA, CAFM, senior global fleet manager, Mondelēz International, and 2019 Fleet Safety award winner Dina Kushaliyeva, senior HSE Manager, North America, for Direct Energy.
Antich also hosted a CEO fireside chat immediately following, which featured executives from major fleet technology corporations who discussed the future of the telematics industry. Participating were Tom Mitchell, CEO, Actsoft; Cawse of Geotab; and Brandon Nixon, CEO, Lytx.
The second day began with numerous breakout sessions with presentations that covered a wide variety of topics pertinent to the telematics and fleet industries, including product announcements and new partnerships.
One major announcement was the reveal of Geotab launching an integrated telematics solution for General Motors. The solution allows fleet managers to access their compatible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicle data within the MyGeotab platform via a factory-fit, GM-engineered OnStar module. Compatible vehicles will be model-year 2015 or newer.
Geotab also used a breakout session to announce the launch of its Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment (EVSA) tool this is designed to enable fleets to go electric by analyzing a fleet’s existing telematics data and creating an electrification recommendation based on each vehicle’s distinctive driving patterns.
The closing presentations on the main stage included a talk by Mike Branch, VP, data & analytics, Geotab, on how to elevate telematics data that is available to fleet professionals, and the significance of being involved in this industry.
“So you have to decide as partners and customers, where do you want to play?” asked Branch. “Do you want to play as an advocate for all of this, do you want to become a translator, or do you want to go all in and become an expert.”
Following this was a presentation on future trends in the transportation industry presented by Tom Raftery, Global VP, SAP.
The evening wrapped up with a Hornblower Boat Cruise evening reception which overlooked the San Diego coast.
The following morning were several post-show meetings that included Geotab fleet management partners, including an invitation only global client advisory panel hosted by Sherry Calkins, VP, strategic partners, Geotab, and an FMC Global Best Practices Panel, that was moderated by Carlos Castillo, associate VP, fleet management Latam, Geotab, and featured Mace Hartley, executive director, Australasian Fleet Management Association (AFMA); Bill Elliott, executive director, Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA); Kristofer Bush, VP, product management, LeasePlan; Louis Vella, telematics product development manager, ARI; and Oliver Matus Gómez, strategic consultant, Element Mexico.