On July 30, Gurtam announced ten hardware manufacturers whose devices were most frequently connected to the telematics and IoT platform Wialon over the last 12 months. Navtelecom, Russia, became this year’s winner. We know this company very well due to their previous achievements. More than 170 thousand devices by Navtelecom are connected to our platform.
In the interview, Vyacheslav Kulikov, the head of Navtelecom, told Gurtam about the company, tips for gaining victory, new products, and plans for implementing machine learning.
What are your feelings on the victory?
To be victorious feels good and a little unusual. Many thanks to everyone who congratulated us.
We enjoy this victory for sure, and I have thanked all my colleagues for this result.
Rankings by Gurtam are very useful. On the one hand, they introduce healthy competition into the community. On the other hand, the stats allow hardware manufacturers to learn the quantitative and qualitative data on the market demand in various hardware segments.
The first GPS Hardware Manufacturers TOP 10 award ceremony. From left to right: Aliaksei Shchurko (Chief Gurtam Architect), Vyacheslav Kulikov, and Denis Grebennikov (CIS Business Development Director)
Did the victory take you by surprise?
We’ve been regularly tracking the dynamics of hardware connections to Wialon on the Gurtam’s website. We assumed that we could be among the leaders, but were not completely sure about the victory. That’s why, the result, in a way, appeared to be a surprise to us.
How can you explain such extensive growth over the last year? Last time, you were second being considerably behind the winner, but this time you've taken the lead.
I can point out the two most important reasons for that. First of all, we’ve always tried to do our job well. Our partners-integrators felt it and supported us with their trust. Secondly, our products with their reasonable price and rich functionality appeared to meet the demand of the transport telematics market.
Tell us a little about your company. When was it established?
Navigation has always been and still remains the main technology for our company. I got acquainted with the principles of space navigation system development when I studied at the university in the early 90s. After graduation, I worked at the research institute and after that, at the end of the 90s, I joined the company that specialized in the development and production of the onboard monitoring equipment. Soon, the transport monitoring systems boomed. By this time, the company I was working for had ceased to exist, unfortunately, and I got an idea to accumulate all my previous experience in a new project. This is how Navtelecom appeared in 2007.
Initially, only three people were working for the company. Then the team started growing. Like many other startups we had a temptation to try various segments: industrial controllers, a quite successful project on the development and mass production of a stationary GSM alarm system, a GSM video streaming system, a precise navigation system, a transport monitoring web-system.
However, several years ago, we realized that to achieve a considerable result, we need to focus on one segment. At that time, we made a difficult decision to close all our projects except the project on the development and manufacturing of the onboard monitoring equipment as well as related software.
Our current objective is to provide our clients across the world with quality and functional transport monitoring hardware at a competitive price.
It’s hard to achieve without a dedicated team. What does your team look like now?
Several dozen specialists work in the team: hardware engineers, developers, technical support specialists, sales and marketing department, administration, production, logistics, repair and service, financial departments. We are all different and extraordinary people with various backgrounds, habits, views, and hobbies. We were born in different places, but we share professionalism, decency, responsible approach to work, and focus on the result. I love working with all of them.
Do you remember getting acquainted with Gurtam?
We became partners about 8 years ago. We were amazed by how quickly and professionally Gurtam specialists created the data exchange protocol to support our devices in Wialon. Before that, we mistakenly underestimated our partnership perspectives.
Gurtam IoT zone
First meetings in person with the Gurtam team took place at the industry expos in Moscow. We noticed our colleagues’ openness and friendliness together with their professionalism and enthusiasm. It made us consider closer cooperation. Now, we participate in almost all Gurtam IoT zones at various exhibitions and visit an international partner conference Telematics.
Gurtam IoT zone
Let’s talk about today. COVID-19 is the topic that we can’t avoid. How did the pandemic affect Navtelecom?
Yes, COVID-19 has affected the absolute majority of people on the planet including us.
We faced some demand reduction during the active restrictions phase. Now, the situation is changing for the better. Our production and logistics departments were fully functioning during the quarantine being in their working places. Other specialists were working remotely. Luckily, no one got sick. What is the main lesson I learned during this difficult time? It is simple: you shouldn't fear any challenges if you have a reliable and effective team.
We see that the Navtelecom team is more than just fine. What about developing something massive any time soon?
We’ve started a new project focused on the development of an onboard video system for monitoring driver behavior. The system is based on machine learning algorithms with the use of the NVIDIA platform. Our journey has just started, but we have already obtained some promising results. Besides, we are evaluating our opportunities for creating IoT systems outside of the transport telematics sector. We also plan on expanding our presence in the world market.
I think many would be interested in new devices. Are you ready to announce anything?
In the upcoming months, we are planning to expand our product line with new devices supporting LTE. We are also planning to come up with simple and cheap trackers supporting GSM. Additionally, we have plans for developing complementary software such as the configurator for PC, web system for remote tracker management, mobile configurator for Android, the app for a multifunctional driver display interacting with our hardware, and based on secured Android tablets.
Production by Navtelecom
As a winner, please say something to the community.
Most likely people engaged in transport telematics will read this interview. That’s why I’m addressing them first of all.
Dear partners-integrators, thank you for your trust! We value your choice and will do our best to meet your expectations in the future.
Our special thanks go to the sensor and additional hardware manufacturers! Your products keep getting more functional and smart.
We also send kindest wishes to our fellow tracker manufacturers! Your success makes us always work on the improvement of our products.
I’d like to thank the entire Gurtam team for your professionalism, giving us the opportunity to grow together with you, and positive communication. Your headquarters are located in a wonderful city of Minsk. When I visit Belarus, where I have business partners and old friends, I always feel happy due to the hospitality and kindness of your people. I wish peace and prosperity to your country!
You can watch the recording of the GPS Hardware Manufacturers TOP 10 award ceremony here.