XRS Corporation during the annual XRS User Event (XUE) in Minneapolis released a new white paper analyzing a convergence of technology trends in the trucking industry that will have a far-reaching impact on safety, efficiency and competition. Company Chairman and CEO Jay Coughlan referenced the analysis, featuring research from Gartner (The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information, Published: 2012, 14 June, Chris Howard, Daryl C. Plummer et al.), during the keynote session, available as a white paper titled "Convergence: Mobility in Trucking Is Now Anywhere, Anything, Anytime, Anyone."
Coughlan's XUE keynote and the white paper examined how pervasive trends in mobile technology adoption and use can help decision-makers address three major burdens impacting everyday trucking operations: regulatory compliance, safety and efficiency, and driver recruitment/retention. They also share how embracing the convergence trend can ease these common challenges for trucking companies.
Beginning last year, XRS was among the first companies to recognize how four prominent technology trends – mobile connectivity, cloud computing, social media and big data – had the power to transform and improve the trucking industry as technology-driven regulatory changes for fleets and drivers began to take shape at the federal level. The result was a completely refocused business, product and market strategy designed to serve a growing appetite among customers and drivers for mobile enterprise applications that deliver significant competitive advantages.
"Trucking companies have long been pioneers in using technology to improve business performance, and they have embraced the power and simplicity of mobile communications with similar speed and enthusiasm," Coughlan said. "We believe that harnessing the potential of mobile connectivity – through the 'Nexus of Forces' identified by Gartner – will have far-reaching implications for the trucking industry, and XRS is proud to lead the way by providing the right tools for future success."
The white paper details how convergent technologies can benefit drivers and fleet managers by:
- Tapping into a broad range of mobile business applications, like weigh station bypass, POD, routing and dispatch apps, strengthening their competitive advantage and empowering their employees, no matter where they are.
- Enhancing their personal and professional lives via social media engagement by gaining access to rich crowd-sourced information, tapping conversations for business intelligence and staying in touch with loved ones when far away from home.
- Connecting and collaborating with employees, partners and customers on a secure, expandable cloud platform, offering greater transparency across the entire supply chain.
- Capturing, analyzing and reporting on vast amounts of information, helping drive operational efficiencies and metric-driven business decisions.
Odell Tuttle, chief technology officer for XRS, recently presented how IT convergence impacts XRS and the trucking industry at the annual Gartner Catalyst Conference, showcasing the adoption of mobile, cloud and big data, sharing the podium with Gartner analyst Drue Reeves, VP, distinguished analyst, and Obama for America CTO, Harper Reed.
"Research over the past several years has identified the independent evolution of four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information," noted analyst Chris Howard, Daryl C. Plummer et al. in The Nexus of Forces: Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information, Published: 2012, 14 June, the source of inspiration for the XRS convergence white paper. "As a result of consumerization and the ubiquity of connected smart devices, people's behavior has caused a convergence of these forces."
The company's mobile trucking intelligence platform, also called XRS, is an ideal example of how technology companies are bringing the convergence strategy to life. XRS runs on certified smartphones, tablets and rugged handhelds that transmit vehicle and operator data through the cloud to a fleet management dashboard, allowing companies to comply with the pending MAP-21 mandate for electronic recording of a driver's hours-of-service.
Nearly 90 percent of drivers already use mobile devices, meaning there are no additional hardware costs associated with the XRS platform, and XRS Corporation has partnership agreements with the leading brands in mobile communications.
"We are only beginning to realize the potential of convergence to improve the bottom line for fleets and drivers alike," Coughlan said. "Just as digital downloading transformed the entertainment industry and wireless networks transformed the telecommunications industry, mobile trucking intelligence has the power to improve the transportation industry for years to come."