Gurtam is 20 years old. Our partners shared memories about their journey with us

3 January, 2023
Olga Voytikhovich
gurtam-partner-stories-part-1

As Gurtam celebrates its 20th birthday, we look back at where we started, and the partners we’ve covered the distance with. The best people to tell those stories are our partners themselves, so we asked them. 

Specifically, we approached several of our partners to find out what made them consider working with us in the first place, what that experience has been like, and what they think the future holds. Their answers, below, are a crash course in what we’ve done right, and in the innovative ways our partners are deriving value from working with Gurtam, across disparate sectors, regions and roles. They also show how we’ve built our partnership network: one relationship at a time, and often by being the only company that can provide what our partners need.

Two IoT project of the year awards: Tracking Africa

IoT project of the year 2022

Carla Greyling, Sales Executive at Tracking Africa, and the company's founders Patrick and Jody Ashe with the IoT project of the year 2022 award

Tracking Africa, South Africa, has been our partner since 2017. The company aims at overtaking the fleet management and logistics market throughout the continent. The Wialon partner’s strongest suit is vehicle recovery. To provide the best service package in the niche, they have created the control center that dispatches the tactical response teams engaged in stolen or hijacked vehicle search. 

Tracking Africa is also a permanent participant and the last two years’ winner of the IoT project of the year competition and occupies its place among the most successful Wialon partners in Wialon Top 10 Africa 2022.

Patrick Ashe

Patrick Ashe
Director, Tracking Africa

For how many years have you been with Gurtam? How did everything start? 

Tracking Africa partnered with Gurtam in 2017. We met Gurtam whilst at Securex back in 2016. We had been in contact with the Wialon sales team and had met up there during the expo and started building a relationship. Our account manager at Wialon at the time was fantastic in guiding us in the right direction, and support was great with regard to setup and training. We have a great relationship with the Wialon team who has been there with us every step of the way.

Securex South Africa 2022

Securex South Africa 2022

Compared to your first experiences, how has Wialon developed?

It has been incredible to see how Wialon has grown. We have seen development throughout Wialon in the last five years and have gone beyond our expectations. The software has grown and so has our relationship with our partners. We have met so many new people in our industry. New trends have been introduced and the software has been consistently effective and dependable. New apps and features were added and improved. Tracking Africa is thrilled to have this type of software and technology for our clients. We can successfully custom-build a fleet management system for all types of clients in different industries. We are also honored to have won two IoT project of the year awards, and we’d like to thank the Wialon team for organizing such a prestigious event for their partners.


Tracking Africa is thrilled to have this type of software and technology for our clients. We can successfully custom-build a fleet management system for all types of clients in different industries.


What would your wishes be for the company’s future over the next two decades?

Happy anniversary Gurtam! Tracking Africa wishes you all the best for another two decades, and look forward to being your partners on the road ahead and growing together!

Learning together: Ares Sun

M2M evolution 2013

Jorge Valladares, Aliaksei Schurko, CEO, Gurtam, and Aliaksandr Kuushinau during the M2M evolution 2013 exhibition, the first Gurtam event in the US

Ares Sun is a telematics services provider from Honduras that has been with us since 2009. It’s the first ever Wialon partner in South America and one of the most experienced platform users. The company has developed several apps via the Wialon SDK in order to provide clients with the Wialon-based solutions tailored to their needs. Ares Sun keeps in touch with other members of the Wialon community and always looks for innovations to adopt.

Jorge Valladares

Jorge Valladares
General Manager, Ares Sun

How did it all start for you and Gurtam?

I was looking for a company that would help me solve the problem of fuel control. And I looked all over the world, actually. I got in contact with a company in Latvia that had a lot of information from sensors, and that had devices and hardware. They were actually the ones who told me, ‘Oh there is a new company that has the stuff you want.’ And they gave me Aliaksei Shchurko’s email address. 

I talked directly to Aliaksei first. And I remember, I asked him: ‘How much are you gonna charge me?’ He didn’t know the prices. He didn’t know how much he was going to charge at that point. And he told me: ‘I’ll be back to let you know how much I will charge per unit.’ That was so funny because he didn’t know it back in 2009!  

What did you find interesting about the proposal?

Actually, I did test the system. I liked the way it showed the graphs, the way it did the logic, the way it was presented. I liked it a lot. That’s one of the things I like about Wialon — I agree with the logic of presentation. 

Do you remember your first Wialon-based project?

It was construction equipment, for extracting and moving soil and stones. We had them doing cycles and fuel control. We didn’t start with monitoring but engaged in the fuel control projects first.

Do you remember the first Gurtam partner event you attended?

It was a small booth Gurtam had at a CeBIT event back in 2011 or 2010, the first time they were out of Belarus. They had two cars they drove and they had this small stand. At that time there were about 10-11 people working at Gurtam. And there were three people in our team: an installer, a girl doing the administration stuff, and myself. And today we are 39 people.

CeBIT 2011

The Gurtam booth at the CeBIT 2011 exhibition Jorge is talking about

Which of your Wialon-based solutions or projects are you proud of?

We‘ve got a couple of them. One of them is fuel base dispensing, it’s the solution we have for Sugar King companies. It’s about fuel control for mobile and stationary dispensers. Plus, we have control of the pumps, water pumps, and on the field equipment. The whole project is based on Wialon.

Another one that I like a lot is the fuel transportation system we have for fuel tankers. It’s hardware-based but it’s implemented using Wialon, because we use Galileosky for speed control, driving habits. And we have a couple of our own applications that we’ve developed to control that also.

These two projects are very good for us. Two little babies that we made grow.

Comparing your first experience with Wialon now, how has Wialon

developed?

The essence of Wialon has not changed. Wialon has grown and now gives more solutions that help us do more difficult stuff. And that is the part that I like. In 2012-2013 I visited the Gurtam’s office. We sat down with Aliaksei and the developers. And I was there explaining to them what the construction equipment needed — control of the hours being spent while the engine is not running.

I was explaining to them what efficiency and productivity on machines was like, because that was my expertise at that time. Aliaksei and the developers asked me a lot of questions. And now it’s not needed as they’ve learned a lot. And other partners have learnt a lot. Such a development and the way Gurtam heard what we needed — that’s one of the secrets of the whole platform. What I most appreciate working with Gurtam is that they actually did what we needed.

If you could send a message to Gurtam and the community, what would you say?

I would say something very poetically. That we all remain true to ourselves and we all keep on having fun. Because yes, money is good but what makes us who we are is that we enjoy what we are doing. And we have to never forget that.


Gurtam heard what we needed — that’s one of the secrets of the whole platform… they actually did what we needed.


An impossible standard: MaliaTec

IoT project of the year 2022

MaliaTec with the IoT project of the year 2022 award

Headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, MaliaTec is part of Malia Group that comprises 20+ companies working in oil and gas, pharma, consumer packaged goods (CPG), logistics, and other industries. With five operating offices and five certified service centers, the IoT project of the year 2022 winner keeps expanding its presence in the Middle East. 

Peter Chalhoub

Peter Chalhoub
Regional Sales Manager, MaliaTec

How long have you been with Gurtam? Can you recall how you got to know Gurtam?

We've been partners with Gurtam since October 2016. We were looking to upgrade our existing telematics software due to limitations, so we went to GITEX in Dubai to look for a partner we can grow with. After meeting all eleven providers exhibiting there, I was on my way out of Zabeel Hall, with just one provider left to meet. Gurtam’s booth was right at the exit of the hall, next to the Galileosky booth. It was relatively small, compared to the IoT zones we've been seeing for the past few years. 

Alexander Smirnov was the salesperson. I had this long list of requirements, and Alex just looked at the list and smiled, because what I thought were impossible requests were readily available with Wialon. We talked for an hour, discussed partnership in the coming few weeks, and officially signed in January 2017. In April, I visited Gurtam’s office for a full week of training. That was the start of this great partnership. 

IoT project of the year 2022

MaliaTec getting their award from the Gurtam team at the IoT project of the year 2022 award ceremony

How would you say Wialon has developed since you first encountered the company?

Wialon now compared to 2016 is more solid. flespi was a game-changer, and really opened Wialon to integration with other parties. Downtime is much reduced, and we're happy with the monthly updates and bug fixes.

What would you wish Gurtam for the future?

Gurtam is a trailblazer in the telematics and IoT industries, and I trust that Gurtam will remain this way. I wish all the best for its members and management. Keep your beliefs, and reflect them through your operation.


What I thought were impossible requests were readily available with Wialon.


The way ahead

We’ve just heard from some of our partners what the early days working with Gurtam were like. We were small and just finding our feet, and we grew right along with some of our most valued partners. Sometimes we could fit their whole company and ours into the same room!

We’ve all come a long way since then, and our 20th birthday is a good time to look back, reflect and take stock. 

It’s also a good time to look at the road ahead. Prediction is always a risky business, so we need an approach that still works when things get difficult. We will keep listening to you, our partners, and keep delivering what you tell us you need. And we’ll be taking advice from you: we’ll remain true to ourselves, keep our beliefs, reflect them through our operation, and don't forget to have fun. If you’re reading this — that’s our message to you too. 

Olga Voytikhovich
Olga Voytikhovich
Olga is a content editor at Gurtam. She proofreads and reviews other authors' materials, also writes about Gurtam products, presents partner use cases in the best way possible, and tells about the system updates. In fact, Olga helps out with the content of almost all Gurtam resources.

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