Wialon named Top telematics services providers globally
Ukrainian OVERSEER leads the way for Europe
Every year Wialon, an ultimate GPS tracking platform with over 3.4 million vehicles connected in 150 countries, recognises the best telematics services providers in different regions. Companies with the largest number of vehicles connected to the Wialon platform in their regions over the last 12 months are listed among the best. The winners were named during the Wialon Top Partners award ceremony, and this year Ukrainian OVERSEER topped the ranking in Europe.
Unfortunately, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine the company had lost a lot of what was achieved over the years of hard work. We caught up with CEO of OVERSEER Sergey Stepanchenko to discuss the telematics market in more detail.
Can you give some background on OVERSEER.
The company was founded in 2008, and in 2009 we started working with Wialon. Since then, we have grown significantly: now we have more than 40 professionals in our team and have been listed in the Wialon rankings among the top 5 companies worldwide more than once. We work in Ukraine, all over the country. Last year we increased by 25% by adding 9 thousand vehicles controlled by OVERSEER. Unfortunately, almost immediately after the Russian invasion in February we lost those 9 thousand at the expense of the southern and eastern regions. But over a difficult six-month period, we got 3 thousand tracked units back. Of course, we are experiencing problems right now. Five colleagues are now fighting in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are constantly in touch with them.
What sectors of the economy do you operate in?
The sectors we work with include transport and logistics, manufacturing companies, and rail transport. Our big customers are involved in the agricultural sector where they actively use special machinery. This year, despite all the difficulties, agrarians still needed to cultivate the fields, control the machinery, and the safety of this machinery also came to the fore.
What steps have you undertaken to work under the new conditions? War is hard to prepare for.
When I look back at February 24, shivers run down my spine. No one believed that it would happen. The first few days everyone was in a state of shock, no one knew what to do or where to run. But we supported each other, this is probably the most important and most crucial thing. I can say with certainty that our team became more united. After two weeks, the understanding came that we had to keep working no matter what and supporting our clients. Unfortunately, some of them have lost everything.
The fact that our business was diversified and that we had clients all over the country – from east to west, from south to north – helped us get back up and running. It also happened that small providers who were unable to serve their clients asked us for help and handed over their clients. Unfortunately, a lot of machinery was destroyed because it is often targeted. In the first months, moving around the country was simply difficult because it was all blocked, so many companies were forced to hand over their customer service to other market players.
Right now, it is not a question of making money and building up the business. Support has come to the fore. Only open dialogue with clients and mutual support are essential. We haven't seen such cohesion in all the time we've been doing business. Every day, in addition to our core business tasks, each of us does volunteer work. Helping out in the best way we can. We are losing people to great misfortune. The economy can be rebuilt. A person's life is the greatest value.
How are telematics solutions used in the military environment?
A lot has shifted in the country, and the economy has started to change to a war footing. Many transport companies were doing quite well because logistics flows had been rearranged due to the blocked ports. Grain could only be exported by road and rail. This meant that many transport companies went abroad and tachograph management solutions became much in demand.
The second thing is that farmers started to control fuel even more actively. In May and June, oil depots in Ukraine were destroyed and we experienced a big fuel shortage. At that time, we offered a full cycle of fuel control. This solution was very much in demand. We also had an increased interest in harvesting systems: how much grain is harvested in the field, how much is loaded into the vehicle, identification of the vehicle fleet so that the grain is not unloaded into someone else's vehicle, control of grain movement to the elevator, and finally, weighing of the grain. We controlled every stage of this process.
Even in this difficult situation, you continue to think about the future. How do you see telematics developing?
Telematics has now gone far beyond the functionality of vehicle control solely. We use many solutions for stationary assets. These are the same petrol pumps. We control everything that can be connected to sensors. Of course, classic tracking is not going anywhere, but it is not enough on its own. We need comprehensive solutions connected to CRM systems and other accounting systems. We give this to clients individually. As the mobile internet evolves, video telematics will develop as well.
Yes, now we are facing new challenges, which I hope all Ukrainian people will pass successfully. And Ukraine will become a great place for business and investment. We do believe in such a future.