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Matt Brett

Do You Have a Telematics Provider – or a Telematics Partner?

Software and hardware matter, but a telematics partner that’s ready to guide you through every phase of growth for your business is best

It’s a common scenario: You buy a new car. You are thrilled with how it looks and performs, and you got a good deal from the salesperson. But your good feelings about your purchase fade a little more every time you deal with the service department, which is never able to accommodate your busy schedule and seems to never have the right parts in stock. 

Instead of a partner that helps you continue to enjoy and get the most out of your vehicle, the dealer proved to be much more focused on the sale than taking care of your needs after the fact.

As this example illustrates, service and support matter. And they matter no less when it comes to your investment in a telematics solution for your business. You may have purchased a system that gives you access to all the data you need on your fleet. It may have great features and powerful reporting capabilities. But what about the company behind the solution? Are they backing up their product by providing exceptional support?

As I talk to many fleet operators and managers, the answer I too often hear is a resounding “no.” They may have bought what they thought was a great product, but poor post-purchase support overshadows their view of their investment. 

When it comes to support, what should you expect from a telematics service provider? At the very least, these four categories should be covered.


1. Implementation support and onboarding. The adoption of a telematics solution is typically a major undertaking for an organization. The rollout must be carefully planned, and onboarding and training needs to be provided – specific to your particular business – so everyone can use the system and get the most from the solution. 

A telematics provider shouldn’t leave you to go it alone when it comes to implementation. The provider should partner with you to ensure a smooth installation and get everyone up to speed on how to use the solution. 

2. Connection expertise. A big part of the successful installation of a telematics solution is getting all your fleet vehicles and assets connected. A telematics provider should have the expertise and experience to equip your entire fleet with the right hardware and be able to write the custom scripts needed to connect each hardware unit into the telematics platform to provide a view of your fleet on a single pane of glass. 

While this expectation speaks to the capabilities of the solution itself, the support to make the implementation as easy and seamless as possible is usually as much about great customer service and support – and true partnership – as it is about a great telematics system.


3. Responsiveness when issues arise. Technology, especially a telematics system that is typically integrated with your business’s other systems or platforms, will inevitably require support to fix glitches, troubleshoot issues, and even just answer your questions when they arise. This is an area where many telematics providers fall short. They don’t provide a dedicated resource – a single point of contact – for customers to reach out to.

Further undermining their ability to be responsive is the fact that many providers rely on third parties for some of the functionality of their solutions. This is especially common when it comes to inspection. The use of third parties can raise questions about whom to contact if issues arise – not a great look for a provider that wants to pride itself on customer support.

4. True partnership. A telematics solution provider should be focused on your growth and your specific business needs. Avoid the “sell it, set it, and forget it” mentality and instead opt for a telematics partner that’s committed to indefinitely sharing expertise and insights, as well as to providing training to guide you through every phase of your growing business.

You Pay for Expectations

When you invest in a telematics solution, part of what you are paying for are expectations – expectations that the solution provider will not only stand behind what they sell but also continue to make you happy you made the investment. You should expect nothing short of a partnership.

If you’re not happy and not getting what you need, there’s no better time than the present to begin exploring a better option. Here are some tips on why now’s the time to take calls from your telematics provider’s competitors.