Gurtam's Wialon is already widely regarded as being a major platform in terms of GPS tracking and fleet management, both deeply important points to the transportation industry. But is that all Wialon can do? As some have recently discovered, Wialon has some big potential in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications as well, taking on some very unexpected bonuses for its users.
Gurtam put out a request for information from some of its current partners and got back some very surprising information about just what Wialon was actually being used for out in the field. Like when a flathead screwdriver is used to pry open paint lids, Gurtam's customers had several tales to tell about unexpected but perfectly valid uses for Wialon.
For instance, PowerTrace -- a company that provides fleet information management solutions and has Wialon as part of its roster -- described how Wialon was part of a monitoring system for the storage and transport of human blood in South Africa. Human blood is extremely perishable, and when it needs to be moved to remote hospital locations, it has to be kept under very specific conditions. To transport the blood, the company used a Teltonika FM4200 GPS tracker and a battery backup, along with a special electronic circuit that routed information back to the Wialon Pro servers, providing information about the transport's current location and providing emergency alerts when needed.
PowerTrace also discussed Wialon as part of a wireless temperature monitoring system for the transport of baked goods to supermarkets in the Netherlands. While they were already using Wialon Pro to track the fleets carrying the baked goods in question, they were also finding an unexpected bonus: as source material to use against regulators. Wialon allowed them to not only show how long they had taken, but also by what route and that all applicable regulations had been followed.
The Altenberg ski resort in Germany turned in another use, using Wialon to not only keep track of where snow plows had been, but then by relaying that information to resort patrons to show where the best places to access trails were. Now, patrons could see at a glance which trails were ready and which were not by the simple application of a website accessible via smartphones.
MyCarControl even managed to turn Wialon into an application for street sweeping machines, allowing a public utility company to not only identify which sidewalks and streets had been cleared by those devices, but then compile them into reports by area so that individuals and businesses could be charged for the services provided.
It's quite clear from the sheer number of reports turned into Gurtam that Wialon -- indeed, that many similar products -- can have unexpected applications discovered and put into play by aftermarket users. But Gurtam has made a smart move here by not only encouraging it, but also by showing it off. When customers can find their own uses for a product above and beyond the stated use by the company -- assuming of course the result isn't dangerous or otherwise illegal -- the product gets extra value by providing more solutions than were expected.
Sometimes all it takes to find that bit of extra value is a set of fresh eyes on the problem, and in Wialon's case, that's just what they did here. They turned the concept over and invited their users to let them know just what they were getting out of the product, and in all likelihood, changed a few minds who were on the fence about buying Wialon in the first place.
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Edited by Rich Steeves