Hughes Telematics, which provides in-vehicle telematics systems, is using a machine-to-machine (M2M) platform based on Oracle's Unified Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) solution to expand into new markets.
Hughes Telematics, which was acquired by Verizon last year, offers a portfolio of location-based services for consumers, manufacturers, fleets and dealers through two-way wireless connectivity.
This includes remote vehicle diagnostics, an integrated GPS tracking and monitoring system for wireless fleet vehicle management, and an after-market solution for vehicles that don't have embedded telematics capabilities.
Its customers include Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and US insurance firm State Farm – which offers usage-based insurance packages based on actual driving habits, and also provides stolen vehicle location assistance, driving reports and a mobile personal emergency response system (MPERS).
All of the information collected by the in-vehicle telematics systems is fed back to a central platform consisting of an Oracle Siebel CRM and Oracle E-Business Suite, which processes the data and distributes it to whoever needs it – be that the consumer, insurance company or emergency services.
The integrated solution also consists of Oracle Fusion Middleware components including Oracle Application Integration Architecture for Communications and Oracle SOA Suite, as well as Oracle Contact Center Anywhere and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.
The Oracle Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) solution is used to handle subscriptions and support variable billing models in countries around the world.
“Oracle was chosen because it was the most capable off-the-shelf software and globally supportable. So we paid for that global license to be able to deploy anywhere. That's really important,” said George Ayres, VP of Global Sales at Hughes Telematics.
“Five years ago, car makers were thinking about the market. Not any more. They want one service provider that can go anywhere, because they make their cars that way now. Because it costs too much to try and localise.”
As the platform is built on open standards, application developers are able to incorporate new data sources, such as traffic information, weather news, and local information to build new customer services.
For example, if two people are in their cars on opposite side of town and decide to meet for lunch, an app could be developed that would allow the two cars to communicate their relative positions and find a restaurant that is half way between, while mapping the quickest to get there.
“Services like roadside assistance – you and I hope to never use them. So at some point we ask ourselves why are we paying for them? You get offered a free year of telematics and then how many people actually subscribe?” said Joshua Aroner, VP of global marketing at Oracle.
“But in this case you're using the application for fun, and it's stuff that you actually might be willing to pay for.”
Hughes Telematics is now using the same platform to expand into the e-health market. The company is putting its MPERS into wrist watches, belt clips and pendants, so that elderly people can alert the emergency services if they have an accident.
Users can instantly call emergency services by pressing the face of the watch or the centre of the belt clip, or if they are unconscious the accelerometer in the device will detect that something is wrong and automatically alert emergency services to the patient's location using GPS.
“It gives mobility to the senior, to be able to live their life the way they want to live it, but as important, it lets other people know about that. So your son or daughter would get a text message saying Mum fell in the kitchen,” said Ayres.
Aroner said that the same platform can be used in any market where large-scale monitoring is required, including logistics, supply chain management, telemedicine, health monitoring, education and utilities.
“Service providers are able to really expand their revenue streams by saying, we have our platform, where else can we apply the technology from a business model standpoint?” he said.
A recent report by the GSMA, developed in collaboration with PwC, predicts that mobile operator data revenues will overtake voice revenues globally by 2018, driven by a surge in demand for connected devices and M2M communications.
In developed countries, connected cars could save one in nine lives through emergency calling services, mobile health could save $400 billion in healthcare costs, and smart metering could cut carbon emissions by 27 million tonnes, according to the report.