HERE’s Looking at You, Kid: HERE Technologies' Ever-Expanding Visibility Services

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By Tancred Taylor | 1Q 2021 | IN-6074

HERE Technologies is increasingly becoming the one-stop-shop for all location and asset visibility-based services. With a background in the automotive industry (majority owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler) and claiming to be integrated into 80% of cars worldwide, HERE has consistently sought out new markets where its mapping, navigation, and positioning services may be useful. It is no surprise then that it is finding significant traction in IoT applications, from its core activities in fleet management to the more recent additions of supply chain solutions for shipment and asset visibility. Originally built as a pure SaaS play, HERE has been expanding its range of products and services to address all corners of the IoT visibility market.

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HERE, Far: Wherever You Are

NEWS


HERE Technologies is increasingly becoming the one-stop-shop for all location and asset visibility-based services. With a background in the automotive industry (majority owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler) and claiming to be integrated into 80% of cars worldwide, HERE has consistently sought out new markets where its mapping, navigation, and positioning services may be useful. It is no surprise then that it is finding significant traction in IoT applications, from its core activities in fleet management to the more recent additions of supply chain solutions for shipment and asset visibility. Originally built as a pure SaaS play, HERE has been expanding its range of products and services to address all corners of the IoT visibility market. These include:

  • HERE’s expansion of a partnership with Actility in November 2020 to provide end-to-end IoT solutions. Along with HERE’s partnership with Sigfox dating back to 2018 and its integration with Concox’s cellular trackers in February 2020, HERE is showing its connectivity-agnostic credentials for mapping, positioning, and location-based applications.
  • AWS’s preview of its new cloud-based location services in January 2021 using mapping, positioning, and geofencing services from HERE and Esri, expanding location services on one of IoT’s biggest clouds.
  • HERE’s rollout of private mapping in January 2021, targeting in particular large manufacturing facilities, and enabling assets to be visualized and navigated within complex facilities.
  • HERE’s shift from being simply a SaaS/PaaS provider to becoming a full end-to-end solution provider on the asset tracking front over the past 12 months. HERE integrates a wide number of trackers from different manufacturers based on the use case, and offers a full solution (device, connectivity, platform, and software) on a CapEx or OpEx (tracker rental) basis.
  • HERE’s ability to ingest not only location data, but also contextual data (e.g., temperature, humidity, light, etc.), increasingly opens possibilities for location+ services.
  • HERE’s ability to use multiple location technologies concurrently (GNSS, cellular, Wi-Fi, BLE, etc.) further marks it as a full-service location provider, both indoors and outdoors.

The HERE and Now

IMPACT


HERE’s shipment visibility product deployment is 4X the size of its asset tracking product deployment. This aligns with the levels of digitization seen at different levels of industry: logistics providers and industry players are focused on shipment- or container-level visibility to feed into their EMS, to a great extent because the high cost of trackers makes it more challenging to deploy these on an item-level basis. As asset tracking increases in deployment volumes, as we are currently seeing on the returnable packaging front, more granular shipment visibility is possible and desirable, in particular for higher-value items (such as for motors or expensive single-purpose packaging, where the cost of damage or replacement is high). With trackers reaching below the US$15 mark, the scope for high volume deployments increases significantly. HERE is positioning itself as the visibility provider to enable easy ingestion and analytics on the data gathered from these smaller devices. As such, ABI Research expects to see very significant growth in this side of HERE’s business over the coming months and years, in particular as industry players move past PoC stages.

HERE is also helping to simplify the complexity of asset tracking deployments. Through SDKs deployed on a device, it can greatly simplify the ingestion of data into its location platform, reducing the need for multiple vendors and partnerships. These end-to-end solutions can be white-labelled for existing telematics and tracking providers, reducing the need for extensive tracking infrastructure and solution development, and enabling these to offer a ready-to-use solution to their customers. A wide range of ways of offering the solution (as software, as a development platform, as an end-to-end solution, as an API, etc.) makes HERE a highly active behind-the-scenes partner for any company offering or requiring tracking solutions.

The Future Is HERE

RECOMMENDATIONS


The key will be in how HERE is able to address the needs of different markets. As it looks to develop its products and solutions further, HERE will need to learn to address the specific requirements of vertical industries and use cases. This can be achieved through a strong network of hardware partners able to deliver use case-specific devices, as well as software partners able to provide the process and workflow management required to suit different customers. HERE is focusing initially highly on the healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and equipment rental markets. With more projects under its belt, it will be interesting to see how HERE’s solutions are adapted to each of these.

As the asset tracking market develops, additional significant opportunities will further open up. ABI Research sees the highest volumes in the asset tracking market coming on the parcel-tracking front, in particular as the disposable label model finds higher commercialization and traction. Significant design wins with device manufacturers and development projects to bring new devices to market can help location technology providers position themselves for the most granular level of logistics. Other opportunities for monetization of the data gathered are also significant. Beyond the direct customer and consumer of the data, location technology providers should examine how they can work with logistics carriers, insurance providers, or even financial services providers—where the value of understanding the movement and value of goods globally can create whole new business models and revenue-generating activities. 

 

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