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Sofico acknowledges industry ‘crossroads’ at 30th birthday celebrations

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Sofico’s chief technology officer Piet Maes addressed the “industry shift” from ownership to user-ship at the company’s 30th birthday celebrations last week.

The celebrations, which took place following the annual Miles Customer Forum, saw 200 guests including customers, partners and staff gather to hear its vision of the future which it believes will be focused on sustainable shared mobility and connected vehicle services.

Chief technology officer Piet Maes told delegates there was a shift taking place, away from vehicle ownership towards user-ship, which meant that it was no longer about the vehicle but more about the driver and the driver experience.

“Car manufacturers are reinventing themselves as mobility service providers by bundling subscription models with pick-up, delivery and concierge services and peer-to-peer sharing, all aiming at an augmented driver experience,” said Maes.

“At the same time, fleet and leasing operators are looking to manage the usage of the vehicles on their fleet with greater and different granularity: from years to minutes.

“In addition to long term products, they are offering ultra short term rental, car and ride sharing and pooling to their fleet customers.

"There can be no doubt about the significance of both car and ride sharing for getting more people in less cars, for our customers or anyone involved in providing access to vehicles.”

Maes said that Sofico believed that the automotive finance and leasing industry was at the crossroads of a rapid evolution towards connected, autonomous, shared and electrified vehicles.

“Adding in multi-modal mobility trends and FinTech developments to this mix, we believe there is an important challenge and opportunity for our customers to play a broader role as true mobility aggregators beyond simply asset finance or leasing,” he said.

Maes said that digital self-serve channels with end-to-end online customer journeys would allow leasing and finance companies to offer a wide range of user-centric, value-added mobility and connected car services to its customers. 

Maes said: “Recognizing these industry trends, we have expanded our Miles product offering with a cloud-native micro-services architecture and decision-support framework, which we call Miles.next.

"This way, we have turned our existing Miles Core ERP application into a hybrid solution platform which lets our customers embrace the future and explore new opportunities.

“Data from Miles can be combined with that from third parties to provide better and value-added insight into the business through near real-time dashboards or even automated feedback loops into back office processes.”

Earlier this year, Sofico began its first customer projects based on the new generation Miles.next to implement web and mobile apps in different areas.

“Our focus going forward is on leveraging the Miles.next platform to help our customers manage subscription models and car sharing, aggregate multi-modal mobility services and implement data driven decision-making through descriptive and predictive analytics,” said Maes.

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