John Graham, CEO Omnitracs LLC, welcomes attendees to the company's user conference which opened in Dallas Feb. 8. Photo by Jim Beach.

John Graham, CEO Omnitracs LLC, welcomes attendees to the company's user conference which opened in Dallas Feb. 8. Photo by Jim Beach.

Omnitracs LLC hosted its first global user conference in the company’s new hometown, Dallas, Feb. 8-11, featuring users from the company’s various business units including Omnitracs, Roadnet Technologies, Sylectus and XRS Corp., Omnitracs Analytics (formerly Fleet Risk Advisors) and Omnitracs Mexico.

The opening general session kicked off with a rousing drum line performance, ensuring attendees were awake.

More than 700 users from the various business units gathered for two days of educational sessions, technology demonstrations and networking opportunities.

Omnitracs CEO John Graham welcomed attendees and reviewed the company’s progress since it was acquired from Qualcomm in 2013. The company’s business units have more than 30,000 customers in 60 countries with nearly 1 million mobile assets representing more than 100 million data transactions per day, he said.

Noting the company now has over 800 employees among its business units, Graham said the company wanted “to focus on transforming transportation with technology and insight in a rapidly changing world.”

He looked back at how much Omnitracs has grown since its founding in 1988 as part of Qualcomm, and said that while the company has had a great history and great evolution, “now we want to create our own history” as a stand-alone company.

The company relocated its headquarters from San Diego to Dallas, a decision Graham said they made “quickly, but not lightly. We wanted to be closer to our customers. We have a great new home, 125,000 square feet in downtown Dallas, but we are still in all the places we were before, including San Diego, Minneapolis, Baltimore and Toronto."

He said that transportation is evolving, and since 70% of all goods move by truck, it is “the most significant industry.”

Omnitracs' customers are focused on productivity, he said, and his company's job is to make its customers more productive, more compliant and safer.

Omnitracs and the big picture

He listed what he considers some of the top trends in the market – OEM developments, big data, geographic expansion, government mandates and a focus on service.

“We want to cut across that entire marketplace. If you are a long haul company, we want to be there. If you are making hundreds of deliveries a day, we want to be there.”

Part of Omnitracs' strategy going forward is to expand mobility beyond the cab via a convergence of telematics and mobile technologies, to deliver improved data utilization and to “make stuff easier to use and install.”

The big themes in the marketplace the company wants to address are productivity, safety, compliance, security and data, he said.

David Post, Omnitracs chief operating officer, said the company’s products strive to allow customers to make better business decision with the data at their fingertips.

He said the company wants to help make drivers more productive with hours-of-service applications, in-cab scanning, electronic driver vehicle inspection reports, advanced routing solutions, extending productivity outside the cab, and using technology so fleets can load their trucks more effectively.

Using data

“We have truly entered the golden age of data.”

Omnitracs Analytics, which has developed models for driver safety, hiring and retention, will take its data models “to a whole new level” Post said, with models predicting accident severity, for instance.

David Vice, chief sales officer, noted that in some of the markets they serve, security is a top concern. He said that while cargo theft has been a problem as long as there has been cargo, “today’s cargo thieves are very sophisticated. The technology the bad guys have is way beyond what pirates had.” But using telematics solutions such as geofencing, remote vehicle shut down and other technologies, the dangers of cargo theft can be mitigated.

As for making use of data, Kevin Haugh, general manager, Roadnet Technologies, said “we have truly entered the golden age of data.” And while data and analytics are not new, people have become frustrated trying to get data out of their applications they can make use of.

Getting the right kind of data or obtaining it in a timely manner have been frustrating, Haugh said, and “these are the kinds of things we face in trying to make data useful to the end user.”

Despite the challenge, the demand for data continues to grow and the amount of data is growing 50 to 60 percent per year. “The opportunity to tap the data is tremendous, he said and that the company was bringing data together in a way that “connects the dots for our customers.”