Partners of Verizon are applauding its plans to acquire Irish fleet and mobile management provider Fleetmatics Group, saying it will build up the telecommunications giant's growing presence in the telematics space.
Earlier Monday, Verizon announced it would buy Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion. Fleetmatics offers cloud-based GPS tracking and mobile workforce management solutions to monitor vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage.
The deal demonstrates that Verizon is serious about building out its Internet of Things strategy. Meanwhile, partners say, the acquisition shows that the carrier is keeping its eye on the same trends that are catching the attention of solution providers.
One Verizon partner executive, Rob Chamberlin, co-founder and chief revenue officer for DataXoom, a Walnut Creek, Calif.-based solution provider that specializes in mobility services, is glad to see the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier reinforce its focus on business-grade solutions for the channel.
"Unlike Verizon's recent push into content [with its] AOL, and Yahoo acquisitions, which seem to be more focused on the consumer market, the connected devices strategy is very suitable for the partner channel," Chamberlin said.
Verizon buying into the IoT space is important because it will start to drive more consistency around IoT data best practices, said Michael Goodenough, vice president of cloud solutions for New York-based BCM One, an IT consulting and managed services provider that also partners with Verizon.
"I think it's brilliant, and I think the market is in demand for a simple, mobile platform for IoT devices," he said.
Solution providers that are connecting devices need a platform for those efforts to prove effective, Goodenough said.
"Without [a provider] like a Verizon, we're not able to connect all of those devices so that everything works together," he said.
Verizon did not respond to CRN’s request for comment on the Fleetmatics acquisition, or on what the deal will mean for partners, by publication time.
Verizon first dived into the telematics space with Networkfleet, the location monitoring and real-time automotive diagnostics technology the carrier acquired as part of its Hughes Telematics purchase in 2012 for $612 million. The purchase launched Verizon Telematics, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications that's still based at Hughes Telematics' former headquarters in Atlanta.