The transportation industry changes rapidly, which makes it critical that the technology solutions that supply chain stakeholders use be able to change rapidly along with it, addressing new needs, enhancing features and improving the user experience.
Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to mobility solutions: drivers and fleet management staff alike need their in-cab devices and back-office systems to run smoothly and efficiently to keep operations moving. Reliable connections, secure platforms and user-friendly interfaces are all essential to keeping carriers moving.
To learn more about Trimble’s approach to developing the high-quality, dependable and insightful mobility applications and devices the industry knows and loves, we talked with Giovani Benedetti, divisional vice president, mobility technology, to hear about his approach to software development.
Tell us about your current role with Trimble and your career path throughout the years.
My career path leading to Trimble Transportation began in 2018 when Trimble acquired Veltec, a Brazil-based fleet management company that I co-founded in 2005. I spent 13 years at Veltec in a variety of roles, mainly overseeing the technology and product teams, but also leading support, implementation and customer success for a while.
After the acquisition, I came into a technology position within Trimble’s Mobility business unit, bringing a broader view with me about how all the pieces must fit together. That’s really important to me – technology shouldn’t be just a siloed department. It’s so important for everyone to be aware of what’s happening within the company and with our customers.
I really like the people I work with, and I enjoy overcoming the challenges that come our way. What really motivates and engages me is the ability to work with others to find ways to improve processes and our products.
What have you and the team been working on recently?
Today, I lead our talented team of software engineers in the Mobility business unit, developing solutions for Trimble’s thousands of carrier customers.
One of the biggest undertakings we successfully completed in the recent past was preparing our ELD solutions to meet the requirements of the Canada ELD mandate. We had almost 100 developers working on that effort for more than a year, which allowed us to develop and deliver a compliant solution to the market.
I’m so proud of all the effort our team put into that project, and am even more proud to say that as a result, Trimble was the first major telematics provider in the U.S. to gain certification for our PeopleNet Mobile Gateway product when paired with Trimble ELD. That “win” was followed closely by the certification of our PeopleNet Connected Gateway solution.
Additionally, as a leading-edge technology provider for more than 25 years, Trimble has built a deep portfolio of solutions, many of which are operating on legacy systems that we are working to modernize and bring into a cloud environment. Running solutions in the cloud enables our team to develop so many new and exciting features more rapidly and easily bring them to our customers, so we are reviewing our products and identifying ways to enhance functionality by transitioning to cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models.
You have a deep background in software development – tell us about your approach to software development at Trimble.
I aim to bring new ideas and processes to Trimble’s software development team, focusing on a mindset of innovation and quality. We are on a path of continuous improvement, always looking for new ways to better serve our customers with enhanced user experiences, useful new features and innovative solutions.
Empowerment is a big thing for me, too – which goes hand-in-hand with our approach to continuous improvement. Our main tenets in the software development team are empowerment, collaboration, delivery, integrity, transparency and curiosity.
We want to create a culture of shared responsibility, where engineering and product team members work collaboratively and are empowered to ensure that the solutions we’re developing and delivering are adding value, delivering on performance, solving industry problems, easy to use and aligned with our overarching mission. We want to continue having those healthy conversations about these topics as we bring our product and engineering processes and teams to work together more closely.
What steps do you and the development team take to ensure that Trimble’s solutions are secure and reliable?
Security is the number one thing we are focused on across all Trimble applications. We talk about it in nearly every conversation we have, and it’s our top priority when it comes to software development.
Something that sets Trimble Transportation apart from other fleet technology providers is our size and scale. Trimble has a large technology footprint across many sectors, including construction, geospatial, agriculture, natural resources and transportation, and uses a standard set of strong security protocols across all its solutions to ensure that customer data stays safe.
In addition to building solutions with security baked into the foundation, Trimble utilizes industry-recognized proactive testing and scanning tools like the SOC2 Type 2 Audit to make sure that as new threats and vulnerabilities arise, code can be updated so customers are protected.
Trimble also employs some of the smartest security experts in the world – including a dedicated vice president of cybersecurity who oversees our technology organization to stay on top of updates, needs and emerging trends.
Other technology providers in the transportation space may not have access to the same high-quality resources, tools, talent or standards to proactively monitor for potential threats, which could create greater probability of errors or outages.
How does starting with a strong software base enable the connected supply chain?
As I said earlier, technology shouldn’t operate in a silo. It’s so common in the transportation industry right now to see solutions and interfaces that don’t talk to each other, or require a great deal of development effort to integrate. Historically, integrating solutions has been complex, making it difficult for data to readily flow between solutions.
That’s why it’s so important to continue pushing toward a more modern approach that seamlessly connects shippers, carriers and intermediaries workflows, rather than bouncing between five or 10 different systems and making some calls to understand what’s going on.
A connected supply chain removes those siloes and constraints and allows participants in the ecosystem to share data and connect to as many partners as they want, securely. The more stakeholders we can connect in this ecosystem, the richer and more impactful the experience will be.
As we are building more solutions within the Trimble Transportation Cloud, we expect to see more of this seamless ecosystem where everyone understands what's going on with all their partners. That's the magic of the connected supply chain, and we are excited to enable that from a technology perspective.
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