2020 turned out to be complicated. We decided to ask the Wialon community members who operate in 130 countries what the year was like for them. Our partners talked about how COVID-19 changed the telematics market in different countries, what services became more sought-after, and also shared their forecasts for 2021.
CEO, Tetron, Russia
This year was a challenge for everyone. We did everything to switch to remote work and provide our employees with individual protection means. The new reality has removed all the restrictions for team formation. It doesn’t matter anymore where you live and work, and we were hiring people regardless of where they lived.
Telematics has never been as focused on security as in 2020. Of course, the Russian market got paralyzed, and all the planned investments were frozen. At the same time, new requirements appeared on the market. For example, at the fleet depot, we have implemented a system for face mask use control and body temperature monitoring. We are also working on automated lockers with contactless authorization for drivers so that they could effortlessly get documents and keys before a trip.
2021 will not be simple, but it’s crucial to find new solutions and, of course, put them into action. Look for new ideas to solve customers’ problems. Take care of your team. In a time of crisis, only team spirit and mutual assistance help to keep going.
Business Development Manager, MaliaTec, Lebanon
What was 2020 like for you?
2020 became "business as unusual" globally. As COVID-19 hit Lebanon, our main priorities were to provide safety for our employees and the opportunity for our clients to keep working efficiently. But MaliaTec was made to overcome such situations. We have a dedicated and resilient team, a proactive approach, and strategies based on the requirements of emerging markets. We responded to the market need for robust telematics and mobile solutions by developing the first solution for e-commerce and integrating the online store with payment gateways and third-party logistics service to arrange the delivery process and manage it through Wialon. We also automated the supply chain within the warehouse, which allows clients to take orders, get them bundled, and then dispatched using our route optimization platform.
What changed in the telematics market last year?
The telematics market adapted to the special requirements caused by coronavirus restrictions and social distancing. For example, we got requests for tags helping to make sure students and employees are keeping a safe distance as well as for personal trackers for people living in the same household.
Could you remember one or two things (both positive and negative) that affected the telematics market in 2020?
One of the positive outcomes of 2020 was the growing business’s awareness about the importance of telematics and IoT solutions, be it personal tracking or delivery monitoring. On the other hand, we saw a lot of companies going out of business due to COVID-19 restrictions and people shifting their approach from buying to saving.
What is your forecast regarding the year 2021?
With the increasing capabilities of telecoms and information technologies, as well as the need for a safer and more eco-friendly means of transport, telematics will be used across various industries to satisfy logistics and transportation requirements. In 2021, the focus will shift from basic tracking features such as vehicle locating and routing towards the solutions for drivers and their safety. By monitoring the driving behavior, the vehicle state, and maintenance intervals, telematics solutions will help minimize the number of road accidents, speeding tickets, and downtime.
The telematics market is expected to grow by 20.7% within the period from 2020 to 2025. We’re proud to be a part of the Wialon community and one of the business leaders who shape the future of this industry.
CEO, Golden M, Panama
Could you briefly describe your impressions of 2020? How did your work change last year?
In 2020, changes were profound. Among other things, humanity changed the ways of communicating, working, and building relationships. Сhanges are a part of progress. Without them, voluntary or not, things remain static, lose relevance, and disappear. The latest example is the era that we call Dark Ages or the Middle Ages.
Certainly, there are various types of changes. They may or may not have an impact, may or may not be positive, may or may not be temporary.
We, in Golden M, transformed. We decided to continue moving forward when the world stopped. We realized that nothing would be the same, and it gave us a great opportunity to establish ourselves as a developer of IoT solutions.
In 2020, we made our “all-in” bet on the world of the Internet of Things, our vision of the IoT.
What changed in the telematics market?
From 2019, we started witnessing the transition of objectives and priorities in the projects, which accelerated even more in 2020. The dependence on the human factor and the lack of process automation revealed the great shortcomings and opportunities for operational improvement across entire industries.
The "new" paradigm is based on the minimization of the human factor, real-time data, integrations with other data sources, and the personalization of the user experience. On the other hand, it has increased the specialization and specificity of the applications and solutions required.
Smartization is not yet to come, nor is it the future; it is today.
Tomorrow it will be about who has the smartest product.
Could you recall some things that affected the telematics market in 2020?
I can name several of them:
What is your forecast regarding the year 2021?
If 2020 was a year of change, 2021 will be the one of adaptation. The current reality is new for everyone.
Although the vaccines are already being distributed, it still does not mean the end, just a good advance.
We will see a greater proportion of companies' budgets go to technologies that will allow operating with reduced personnel or even without its physical presence. I also believe that we will see certain trends for the change in our social behavior.
What would you like to say to the Wialon community?
After such a difficult year, congratulations to all those who faced it with courage and determination. To Gurtam and its great team, thanks as always for taking care of the partners as well as your awesome products.
My recommendation is not complex for the curious: it is crucial today to understand the evolution of the industry, especially how technological advances and the current global context have redefined the requirements of end-users and the services they need. The world today requires data scalability, user experience, and adaptability without delay.
General Manager, Ares Sun, Honduras
What was your 2020 year like?
In 2020, we realized that with the help of Wialon, we work more effectively, reduce costs, and improve staff performance. We focused on helping our clients be more efficient with Wialon. We hired people to provide the best support and make clients feel like we offer an irreplaceable product.
How did the telematics market change in the past year?
More than ever before, users began to perceive telematics as something valuable and not as extra costs. If we do not provide them with this experience, they will find it somewhere else.
Can you remember the things that influenced telematics the most in 2020? Both positive and negative.
Some positive facts: we realized that we could do our job better, optimize work processes. We also understood that we were in the comfort zone before, but now we needed to get out of it.
As for the negative, I don't see anything terrible. I take everything that happened as an opportunity to become better. If clients leave us because they had to close their companies, then it is something we can’t control. What we can do is to explore the situation and diversify so that it doesn’t affect us in the future.
Could you share your forecast for 2021?
Nothing can get back to normal in just one day. Better be ready for a marathon.
What are your recommendations to the community?
Take care of your customers, nurture them. Show them how to get the most out of the Wialon platform to become more efficient.
Slowly but confidently engage customers in the new products use or make them use to the fullest what they already have.
CEO, Navtelecom, Russia
What was the year 2020 like for you?
The impressions of the last year are mixed. On the one hand, we managed to do a lot by implementing new products and upgrading the existing ones. On the other hand, 2020 was a year of complicated tests, and we passed these tests eventually.
What was this year like for the telematics market?
Our market, like almost all other segments of the economy, has undergone changes due to the pandemic: a significant reduction in business activity, a sharp decrease in the number of call for tenders, including large ones, and it is understandable. Because of the great uncertainty and high risks, companies started saving money. The pandemic forced many players of the telematics market to reconsider their business models, optimize their business structure, and change approaches.
At the moment, the overwhelming majority of partners have adapted to the new conditions and are trying to make plans, not for survival but for sustainable development
Could you single out the highlights of the last year?
The highlight for us as professionals was our victory in the GPS Hardware Manufacturers TOP 10 competition organized by Gurtam. Another highlight was the participation in the international exhibition GITEX 2020 at the Gurtam IoT zone after a long pandemic pause. The latter event had some symbolic meaning to us, indicating that the world business activity gradually starts increasing.
Would you dare to predict what 2021 will bring?
Our forecast for next year is generally positive. The emerging trend towards stabilization of the epidemiological situation in several countries as well as vaccination that has already begun are likely to result in a noticeable decrease in the pandemic by spring. It means that the existing restrictions will be lifted with time, the risk of the introduction of the new ones will decrease, and it all will lead to the growth of the business activity.
At some point, let’s say, by summer, even some development boom is possible as a result of the deferred demand.
We are pretty sure that 2021 will be a year of significant changes for the better.
Would you like to wish anything to the Wialon community?
Our community is fantastic! I sincerely want to congratulate everybody on 2021 which is already here! May this year bring many new successful projects and challenging ideas! May all the market participants expand and strengthen their businesses!
I would also like to wish our entire community and the whole planet to defeat the pandemic quickly. Happiness, good health, confidence about the future, stability, prosperity, peace, and goodness to you all!
Earlier, the Head of Wialon Division, Aliaksandr Kuushynau, summed up the 2020 events for Gurtam. We also talked about 2020 in the context of figures and general facts.