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Trakm8 signs-up Visilink customers

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Hundreds of vehicles will be transferred to Trakm8 after the company struck a deal with Cheshire-based telematics provider Visilink.

Visilink customers had been unable to upgrade their existing telematics software due to a lack of investment by the supplier, which has now announced plans to exit that market.

However, under the terms of the agreement with Trakm8, its entire customer base – thought to number fewer than 50 companies – will now be offered the opportunity to transfer to the Swift telematics solution.

John Watkins, chief executive officer of Trakm8, said: “Trakm8 is delighted to offer Visilink customers the opportunity to transfer to Trakm8’s solutions, allowing us to broaden our footprint in the UK.”

The free upgrade will provide fleets with more detailed reports and could also save them cash, according to Watkins.

He said: “In a number of cases we have reduced monthly charges to bring them in line with our existing pricing.”

Watkins expects about 500 vehicles to transfer to the Swift Classic product, while some will choose to upgrade to its more advanced EcoN solution, which provides feedback to the driver and fleet operator on driving behaviour.

If fleets choose to upgrade to the Swift Classic product, the units already fitted in vehicles will be updated remotely.

It will take approximately one hour per vehicle to complete the hardware change if the EcoN product is installed.

Watkins said: “Many customers are taking the opportunity to transfer to Trakm8’s EcoN solution, which does require a hardware change but will provide the additional benefit of fuel savings and driver behaviour monitoring opportunities.”

So far, just 50 vehicles have moved to EcoN, but Watkins believes most will follow suit, “given the very quick payback in fuel savings derived from driver behaviour monitoring”.

All Visilink customers were notified in writing and contacted either by one of the Trakm8 field sales staff or by phone.

Watkins said: “Visilink’s customers will have an easier time monitoring and controlling their vehicles.

“They will not have ‘black-outs’, they have a continuous development of features and the opportunity to migrate to even more powerful solutions following a hardware change.

“The primary benefits of Swift are a much easier to use interface, comprehensive reports, aerial photography and virtually no downtime due to our cloud server architecture.”

Visilink had been using a software package developed more than four years ago when sold as Eagle-i.

It has been a busy year for the AIM-listed developer of GPRS-based hardware and software. A series of high-profile appointments have bolstered its focus on sales and engineering, while existing products have been enhanced and new products such as Trakm8 Go and EcoN launched.

Trakm8 has more than 30,000 vehicles globally fitted with one of its solutions. Swift Classic and Advanced are responsible for the highest volumes, but EcoN is growing quickly, with more than 4,000 units installed since launch.

In a trading update, the company reports that it has remained profitable despite increased staff costs, the benefits of which are now expected to be realised in the second half of this new financial year and more fully in future years.

However, revenues during the year to March 31, 2013, were slightly down, mainly due to the timing of major new contracts that missed this financial year, but should have a positive impact on the next year.

Watkins concluded: “Having established a strong financial base, we are embarking on a period of significant expansion. The board is confident this investment strategy will deliver increased revenues and shareholder value in the near term

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