Filling out its portfolio of wireless-based services for fleets, Qualcomm Enterprise Solutions has launched OmniVision Metro along with a set of software tools specifically designed for managing local service fleet operation. OV Metro has been built to serve “last-mile” fleet operations, complementing Qualcomm’s OmniVision and OmniTracs wireless services for long-haul fleets, according to Bert Gillespie, director of sales for OmniVision Metro.
The new OV Metro is built on an XML and Java platform and communicates over cellular networks. “It’s [wireless] carrier agnostic and hardware agnostic so it can work with all sorts of off-the-shelf products,” Gillespie told Fleet Owner. By comparison, OmniVision is satellite-based and uses a proprietary in-cab device running Windows CE.
“The focus [with OV Metro] was on the user interface – the software and applications,” Gillespie said. “We want to let people manage their business without having to learn ours.” Comparing it to the intuitive interface of the iPod, he added, “We want to give the users access to everything they want without needing outside help to get it.”
The first application-specific tool released for OV Metro is Service Fleet Metro, which is intended for service business in metropolitan areas such as plumbing companies, electrical contractors, landscapers and pest control services. The tool is built around a web-based dashboard that can quickly show managers the status and location of its vehicles, which are fitted with tracking and two-way communications hardware. In addition to location and route tracking, the system can monitor idling time, off-duty use and other operational criteria that directly impact a service business’ profitability.
“The dashboard provides graphical analytics, not just a lot of data,” Gillespie explained. “You can see at a glance that green is good, yellow is caution and red is an area of concern.” The user interface also allows split screens and can integrate with Google Maps to provide quicker, more intuitive access to fleet management data.
Another important feature of OV Metro is Qualcomm’s long history as a wireless service provider for truck fleets. “There is no shortage of companies selling ‘dots on a map,” but there is a shortage of companies willing to invest in the service, support and training resources required to take care of the customer for the long term,” Gillespie said.
Future services and features planned for OV Metro include workforce management tools with support for handheld devices that would aid proof of delivery, inventory management, signature capture and other remote data functions. The new product would also fit well with current OmniVision and OmniTracs long-haul fleets that also have local delivery operations, as well as with local and state government fleets, according to Gillespie. OV Metro does not have an OBD II interface for capturing light and midrange truck operating information from the vehicle databus, but that is “part of the product roadmap,” Gillespie said.