"The fleet market is moving at such a pace that fleet decision-makers and their drivers increasingly require access to leasing and fleet management information whilst away from the office. They require on-demand functionality delivered through mobile internet channels to devices such as smart phones and tablets," said Jan Bouckaert, Head of Business Development at Sofico.
The latest forecasts estimate that mobile internet users worldwide will overtake those who rely on a traditional desktop internet connection by 2014. Many company employees now regularly use web-enabled smart phones and other hand-held devices to access daily workflows and receive important business information, often out of the office.
Anticipating this evolution, we have further developed our Miles leasing and fleet software solution to support mobile website development and capitalize on this growing trend. Miles Mobile has been built specifically for use by Sofico's leasing company clients to provide a series of mobile web-enabled services for their end-user customers, typically corporate fleet managers and their drivers.
Initial feedback from leasing companies who have seen the new functionality has been very positive with one major international leasing company now moving towards implementation of the new solution.
Miles Mobile provides the necessary tools for bringing the back-office capabilities of Miles, to web-enabled mobile devices like smart phones and tablets. This can include fleet information, data and reporting.
The information is made available through specially developed mobile websites which can be produced by either Sofico technical staff or by the client leasing company, and can be accessed through the mobile internet browsers typical of most current generation, web-enabled devices.
As a showcase for Miles Mobile, we have also developed a "Driver Toolkit" mobile website that allows fleet managers and their drivers to access fleet information held in Miles. This helps to improve efficiencies, remove paper from the system and drive down operating costs.
The Driver Toolkit provides a range of self-serve facilities for company car drivers, including real-time information about their current contract and car, details of their next car if appropriate, dynamically loaded contact information, location-based assistance information with integrated maps functionality and an accident registration form with picture upload features.
The Miles Mobile web framework also opens up a new communications channel through which alerts for outstanding or important work such as overdue servicing or maintenance, mileage capture or incident details can be sent by fleet managers directly to drivers.
Other possible functionality, which can be developed on demand, includes productivity tools, such as a quick quote calculator, benefits tax calculator, or the ability to display additional vehicle information.
Miles Mobile provides users with access to a host of mobile functionalities optimized for mobile web browsers and designed to match every web-enabled device on every platform available on the market.
This saves the need to develop specific apps for separate and independent operating systems, such as Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone or other device-specific operating systems, and is therefore far more efficient and cost-effective.
Jan Bouckaert says: "The rise in mobile internet access and usage through hand held devices, like smart phones and tablet PCs, is causing a paradigm shift in working practices. Leasing companies need to have access to flexible, modern and web-delivered software solutions to provide their customers with the instant and timely information flow they require. We firmly believe that Miles Mobile and the new Driver Toolkit will help them achieve that objective."