Products

Xata Changes Name, Moves to Mobile Platform

August 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by Jim Beach, Contributing Editor, Technology Editor - Also by this author

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Xata Corp. announced it is changing its name to XRS Corp. The company also announced a new all-mobile platform for its fleet management and compliance software solutions. The announcements came at the opening session of the company's Xata User Event (XUE) in Minneapolis Monday.
XRS CEO Jay Coughlan announcing the company’s name change to XRS Corporation and its new all-mobile platform, also called XRS, during the XUE opening session on Aug. 13.
XRS CEO Jay Coughlan announcing the company’s name change to XRS Corporation and its new all-mobile platform, also called XRS, during the XUE opening session on Aug. 13.


The new name, which stands for Xata Road Science, is effective immediately. The company expects to be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the new symbol "XRSC" as early as today.

The name change was driven by the company's move to mobile devices, said company officials. XRS will run on more than 50 types of mobile devices to automatically transmit vehicle and operator data directly to a management dashboard.

"We are going to an all-mobility strategy that will get us completely out of the hardware business, and it will be a single focus for our organization," said Christian Schenk, Xata vice president of product marketing, In an interview with HDT prior to the meeting.

Xata Chairman and CEO Jay Coughlan said the company's change in focus was driven by what he called a "mobility revolution."

"Our mission is to lead this revolution that is transforming the trucking industry," Coughlan said.

Coughlan said the company saw the potential for the mobile market when it acquired Turnpike in 2009 and decided then to move the company's solutions to a mobile platform. The strategy going forward is three-part, Coughlan said: make compliance easy, maximize fleet efficiency and make trucking easier for the driver.

He noted that mobile devices are easy to use and that 86% of drivers are already using a mobile device, 44% of those are smart phones.

"Get ready for BYOD - bring your own device," he said

Drivers are like other consumers, Schenk noted. "It won't be long before every trucker will be carrying a smart phone or tablet or both. At that point, it will not be about how the data lives inside that display in the truck, but how do we build an interface between smartphones and that truck."

"I think you are going to see more and more fleets move away from the notion of having something pre-installed. People are not going to be buying $2,000 hardware boxes anymore. It will be more about having everything work together and making use of all the technology in the trucks, including the driver's hand-held."

In referring to the mobile platform, he said, "we've taken the cost component out of the EOBR mandate."

The company also announced that its new applications would be cloud-based. "Moving forward, our next generation product will be hosted in the cloud, the entire infrastructure," Schenk said. The biggest benefit: the ability to scale instantly. "You no longer have to worry about adding resources as you grow your operation."

The new XRS mobile applications will operate on Windows and Android mobile devices and will be available as a subscription service - there will be no upfront hardware or other costs. The new application is scheduled for release in spring 2013.

At a press conference after the event, Coughlan said XRS will continue supporting its legacy systems until those customers are ready to change to the mobile platform.

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