Enterprise Mobility & the Connected Worker Blog

Latest BlackBerry Partnership Signals a Significant Market Opportunity for End-to-End Asset Tracking Solutions

by Nick Elia, with Eric Klein | 09/29/2017

In today’s world, transport and logistics are crucial to global trade, organizations have become reliant on sophisticated technologies and services to keep the flow of raw materials and finished goods constant. In this highly competitive environment, organizations have been taking advantage of a combination of cloud, mobile and satellite technologies as a way to manage demand, track assets, and address key challenges such as aging infrastructure, spiraling fuel costs, weather disruption, regulatory pressures, and complex intermodal networks. The logistics industry has relied on GPS and satellite-based asset tracking systems for decades; however, companies are beginning to evaluate modern solutions such as BlackBerry Radar which may bring an opportunity to reduce costs and gain operational efficiencies.

Radar is an end-to-end hardware-based asset tracking system which provides real-time visibility into fleet location and performance. The Radar solution comes in two flavors; Radar L is primarily geared towards heavy agricultural & construction equipment, cargo/box vans, and smaller chassis/flatbed vehicles. Radar L is a cost optimized version of Radar M (Radar M’s target market is dry and refrigerated/heated trailers, and containers and intermodal equipment), and significantly expands the total addressable market for BlackBerrys Radar from 8 million units to a market of 28 million devices. Both of the devices contain a unique feature that leverages sensor readings to provide customers with asset updates every 5 minutes. The solution also encrypts all the data sent through to maintain a high level of security, as well as provides developers with unique APIs in order to produce apps geared specifically towards the freight industry. Both versions of Radar feature intuitive interfaces, offer powerful analytics, and are accessible on any modern mobile platform.

Competitive Offerings from Honeywell and Zebra?
In terms of competitive offerings, both Honeywell and Zebra have similar solutions in this area, but don’t nearly have as many capabilities that the BlackBerry Radar has to offer. Zebra’s offering, the SmartPack solution, is specifically aimed at trailer load operations and captures things like load density, load quality, number of packages being scanned, and many other data points. Leveraging a 3D Camera with built-in RGB imaging technology, the solution combines load density and trailer information with carrier data in order to optimize trailer loads in near real time with a high rate of efficiency. Managers utilizing the solution can monitor dock doors from a single dashboard view, and see the progress / loading status of each trailer to identify areas where problems need to be addressed. Honeywell’s offering, ConnectedFreight, is more closely aligned with BlackBerry Radar and is a solution that tracks assets all the way to their delivery point. Honeywell recently partnered with Intel to announce the launch of this solution in conjunction with Intel’s Connected Logistics platform. The solution consists of sensors that can be attached to individual assets, and these sensors communicate wirelessly via a cellular or WiFi enabled gateway. It provides real-time updates and allows managers to have clear visibility of the routes in order track data like location, humidity, temperature, shock/tilt, trailer pressure, and to fix problems or dispatch repairs quickly.

BlackBerry Partnership with Fleet Complete and Potential Market Opportunity
BlackBerry recently entered into a reselling partnership with Fleet Complete that will expand the logistic company’s current fleet tracking / monitoring solution. Fleet Complete has a presence in Europe, Mexico, Australia, Canada & the U.S., and provides solutions for logistics companies that leverages their proprietary telematics platform. Fleet Complete will insert BlackBerry Radar into their IoT solution portfolio and it will be available to customers through AT&T in the United States and Telus in Canada. The company also appears to be getting close to a partnership with Pana Pacific.

Resell partnerships will be essential for BlackBerry to gain traction in this mature and competitive market. VDC data shows increased interest from customers who are looking for alternative ways to simplify and improve operations for logistics managers across the board, as well as leverage their mobile, embedded systems, and security to different verticals. This latest move by BlackBerry reiterates their strategy towards selling B2B solutions, and highlights the fact that this type of fleet solution will ultimately become mainstream within the transportation industry and create a significant amount of market opportunity for solution providers who work in this specific vertical. Broadly, the transportation market relies heavily on technology for incremental supply chain optimization opportunities. Given BlackBerry’s IoT ambitions, their Radar solution is timely and should generate positive revenues for the company beginning next year—not bad, considering the Radar team was small, and operated as a bootstrapped startup.

View the 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research Outline to learn more.