Leaders from commercial fleets, OEMs and after-market hardware manufacturers, and cloud technology providers have united to launch the Smart Transportation Council (STC). This new industry association’s mission is to orchestrate remote operations management product development activities across OEMs, to advocate open standards, and to help OEMs deliver streamlined and more powerful solutions to fleet owners and operators at a lower total cost of ownership. Optio3, a leader in workflow automation and hyperscale cloud solutions for operationalizing industrial IoT, is the STC founder and has orchestrated its launch.

In-cab telematics is mandatory for fleet compliance. Engine OEMs have begun providing proprietary “virtual mechanic” telematics services to customers. Trailer tracking telematics has proliferated and reefer manufacturers, tire pressure monitoring OEMs, liftgate manufacturers, solar providers, cargo tracking providers, and other ecosystem players are bringing new proprietary telematics offerings to fleets. However, fleets are united in their dislike of duplicative telematics offerings and their desire for streamlined solutions. They balk at the complexity of redundant hardware devices, data plans, and siloed data, resulting in stalled digital transformation and delayed innovation.

“C&S is an innovation leader in the wholesale grocery business. We are proud to be a Founding Member of the STC and have high hopes that by working together we can finally solve this puzzle. Fleets need to step up and articulate a clear set of requirements so our key vendors can make smart investments. And we need world-class technology companies to help spur innovation,” said Chris Trajkovski, VP of Transportation, Fleet Maintenance, Safety & Compliance at C&S Wholesale Grocers, the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S.

“Digital transformation is inevitable, and the Smart Transportation Council has the right players and focus to make a tangible difference now,” said Joe Barrett, Executive Director of the STC and VP of Sales at Optio3. “It takes fleets to lead, independent technology companies to add workflow automation and hyperscale cloud expertise, open-minded OEMs willing to collaborate, a commitment to open standards, and a laser-like focus on tangible, near-term wins for fleets with compelling economics for all. We are hyper-focused on solving the smart trailer/smart truck problem out of the gate,” said Barrett.

Founding Members include C&S Wholesale, PLM, Microsoft, Optio3, Palfinger Lift Gates, and Merlin Solar. Optio3’s heritage in making data visible and driving enterprise workflow automation is the key ingredient in the company’s contribution to the STC. “In our past roles at Microsoft and ServiceNow, my co-founders and I built hyperscale cloud solutions for IT operations management and enterprise workflow automation,” said Sri Chandrashekar, CEO of Optio3. “We are doing the same for massive but immature IoT markets including commercial transportation, commercial real estate, and remote electrification. By launching the STC, Optio3 will help unlock the value in data for fleets and speed their journey to breakthroughs in workflow automation and asset utilization,” said Chandrashekar.

Microsoft has joined the STC as a Founding Member to help accelerate the commercial transportation industry’s transition towards smart mobility.

“At Microsoft, we combine advanced cloud and edge computing services with a strong partner network to empower transportation companies to build better connected driving experiences. The STC’s mission is therefore well aligned with our desire to support customers and partners in their efforts to capture data, gain key vehicle insights, and improve business outcomes. We look forward to the opportunity to leverage Microsoft Azure and our Connected Vehicle Platform and Azure Maps as we work with the other STC members to develop a common smart transportation framework and simplify operations for fleets,” said Tara Prakriya, General Manager, Azure IoT Mobility and Connected Vehicles, Microsoft Corp.