Get to Know More About Fleet Management Software as a Service (SaaS)

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For many years, fleet management solutions providers give you the hardware that you need to install in your fleet’s vehicles and the software to allow you to collect data and interpret these data to help you make better fleet management decisions.  This software is important because it helps you make sense of the data, easily and conveniently.  In fact, without the software, you would probably miss the most important data you need and would have a hard time understanding the information you get, much more base your decisions on it. fleet management software reviews are essential so you can work out the right fleet management system for your company.

That kind of software is now available as a service.  You do not pay for the software, but instead you pay for the service you get.

Why should you consider software as a service (SaaS) solutions for your fleet management?

The most compelling reason is the cost.  You do not have to pay for the software and you do not have to buy a computer and install it.  You do not have to earmark budgets for future software purchases.  You get to use the latest and the most secure software without having to think about it, much less pay for it.

What are the things you get to save on when taking advantage of fleet management software as a service?

When you run in-house software, you would need to pay for:

  1. The cost of the software, of installing it and of maintaining it.  You would need to pay for the license and for upgrading it in the future.
  2. The expenses of running your own data center if you run a bigger fleet.  This means that you would need to buy and maintain direct costs such as the server, the storage, the rent, the power and the salary of the IT personnel you need in order to run these servers.
  3. Data security, networking, and the general IT platforms and infrastructure that you need in order to run these servers.

Aside from these, you would also have to take into consideration asset administration costs and depreciation.

You will have to pay for all of these even if you do not use your software, or even if you under-utilize it.

With fleet management software as a service, you can do away with all of these upfront and recurring investments.  Instead, you can rely on a service provider, which already has everything you need to run a reliable, secure and efficient data center, and you just pay for the things that you actually use.  That means you pay less if you have a fleet of 10 vehicles than if you have a fleet of 50 vehicles.  With in-house software, you might as well have a fleet of 100 vehicles to make the upfront costs worth it.

Other benefits of fleet management software as a service

Cost savings is not the only draw of fleet management as a service. Here are the other benefits:

a.     Speedy rollouts.  You can decide on a fleet management solution today and have it running tomorrow at the very latest or once you have the system in place.  This is because of the lower cost of entry, which means that you can just use a fleet management software as a service provider and be ready to collect the data from your vehicles.  You do not have to wait for a big budget.

b.     Instant software updates.  Your providers will be the ones to take care of updating their software.  This means you have access to the latest versions as soon as they become available – without you having to update it yourself.

c.     Access your data anywhere.  Using only a Web browser and your log in credentials, you can access your data anywhere in the world, any time you want.  You do not have to go to the office to see where you vehicles are.  You can be sipping pinacoladas on some beach in Miami or Barbados and still be able to manage your fleet!

d.     Allows you to try out several solutions.  You can easily get in and get out if you do not like the service or if it fails to meet your expectations.  You will not be stuck with servers and data centers that you need to make use of even if you do not continue with your fleet management initiatives.

e.     Allows you to expand quickly.  If you expand your fleet, you may encounter problems if you have an in-house data center.  You might need to add more storage and more processing power to your machines and servers.  You may need to negotiate for more licenses and all that.  But with a fleet management software as a service solution, you can just add the number of new vehicles to track in a matter of minutes.

f.      Allows you to scale down just as quickly. If you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you sell half of your vehicles, then you will love the cost savings you get from being able to scale down your tracking requirements quickly as well.

g.     Availability and reliability issues.  You might have a rock star IT person now, but this is not a guarantee that your fleet management software will be 100% available and ready to use all the time.  Fleet management software as a service providers can guarantee you a high level of availability and reliability as set forth in your service level agreements.  This means that you would be able to take advantage of their expertise in making sure that you have a reliable and highly available system.

Considerations before you take the plunge

It may seem that fleet management software as a service has tremendous benefits that you could not ignore.  But there are some things that you should be aware of when you consider using one.

One is data sovereignty and security.  Who would own the data that you house in a service provider’s server and what happens to this data when you leave the service?  Or more importantly, how secure is the data you put there?  Would unauthorized third parties be able to see your data?

Another thing to consider with regards to data security is whether or not the service provider itself is secure.  Are their systems prone to hacking attacks when cybercriminals would be able to steal your data and sell it to your competitors?

Putting your data out there means ceding some control over it.  Are you comfortable with that?  The good news is that most dedicated fleet management software as a service have very good security controls and can do a better job at keeping your data safe than your in-house IT team.

Another problem that you could encounter with a fleet management software as a service solution is that you cannot customize the software the way you want it.  So if you need to have additional features and functionality, the only way you could get them is to ask the service provider and that could take time to get implemented, if they do take you up on that offer.  Plus, your functionality will be available for all other customers, even your competitors who use the same fleet management software as a service provider.

With an in-house solution, you can tweak and add to it anyway you want.  You can even extend it to work the way you need it to work.  If you have a good developer on board, you will have everything you need with just a click of a mouse, if you want it to.  The best thing is that these apps will be exclusive for your own use.

A fleet management software as a service can help you make sense of the fleet tracking data you get without having to pay so much upfront.  So you can just do away with the complexity of owning and running your own data center.  So much so that you could probably run everything without having an IT staff on board.  This way, you could focus your resources on other business concerns.

That may mean having more money or having the credit line to buy more vehicles or to invest somewhere else.  Your IT personnel can work on other important projects.

The benefits of using cloud-based fleet management software is even more apparent for those businesses that view their fleet as something to be managed but not core to their operations and investing too much in a cost center may be an issue.

These software as a service offerings are typically the same with in-house software.  They function the same in that they help you make sense of fleet tracking data.  They are also easy to use, sometimes even easier to use than in-house software where you need to learn how to install and connect them to the tracking data you have.  And these have features that companies like you are looking for.  But these services might not be able to handle the uniqueness of your business.

If you are looking for a cloud-based solution for fleet management, then check out the top providers, including Geotab , Chevin Fleet Solutions’ Fleetwave, Telogis Fleet, TeleNav Track, Teletrac Field Director, My Route Online and Hanseatics Software’s Cloud Fleet Manager or use our form here. So whether you require fleet maintenance software, fleet management freeware, a free fleet management software download, fleet management software open source or vehicle maintenance software one of these providers will suit your needs.

Read more here about SaaS FMS Vendor Telogis Raised $93m from KPCB & Others.

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Sherly Mendoza is a banker by profession, but she's been blogging and writing tech articles since 2012. She's a woman fascinated with all things related to telematics, wearables, gadgets, the Internet, fashion, health and lifestyle. Sherly is also a new mom to a bouncing baby boy. She just gave birth last August 2013. Sherly reads and follows several tech and fashion blogs and websites. Some of them include Gizmodo, Engadget, Marie Claire and Pete Cashmore of Mashable. She's a Mac and PC user. Sherly is teaching herself on how to use the cPanel for website management. She's also fascinated with the Internet of Things, its applications and potentials. Sherly maintains her portfolio and blog at http://www.TechyFashionista.com.