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The differences between software and telematics

Date: 28 August 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

A rise in the amount of products on the market along with the dwindling number of staff whose sole focus is fleet has led to confusion between fleet management software and telematics systems. Jack Carfrae reveals how to tell them apart

Dedicated fleet managers are a thinning crowd and the task of running a company's vehicles is falling at the doorstep of HR or finance departments, and anyone else deemed fit to pick up the slack.

That's led to a bit of confusion over some of the more technical aspects of looking after a fleet, to the point where software specialists and telematics providers have reported that some fleets don't know the difference between the two, nor do they really know what they need for the task in hand.  

"Commercial fleets are much more aware," says Giles Margerison, sales director of TomTom Telematics. "Truck fleets certainly and van fleets are usually good, but it's absolutely the case with cars. The industry awareness is quite different. People often don't see themselves as fleet managers - it's just something they need to get their head around."

The mix-up is partly due to a rise in the amount of telematics companies and doesn't just apply to smaller, lesser-manned fleets, as Ashley Sowerby, managing director of fleet management software specialist Chevin, explains: "We were advertising with Google keywords and suddenly the price went up because we were going head-to-head with telematics products, so there's definitely some confusion out there.

"It's across the marketplace - it's not just small fleets or part-time administrators, so we have to have to be careful as to the language we employ."

Here, BusinessCar explains the fundamental difference between fleet management software and telematics to dispel the myths about what's what.