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8/29/2011 5:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

PeopleNet Executives Brief Customers, Outline Updated Back-Office Package

By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Aug. 29 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

BOCA RATON, Fla. — PeopleNet’s short-term plans for new products, services and upgrades are not likely to change as a result of its recent acquisition by Trimble Navigation Ltd., executives told customers.

“We’re going to be able to continue to run PeopleNet as PeopleNet,” Brian McLaughlin, chief operating officer, said at the cab communication firm’s annual user conference, “but we’re going to be able to access resources from Trimble.”

PeopleNet will stick to the plans it had developed before the July announcement of Trimble’s acquisition of the firm, focusing upon an update to its back-office fleet management application and small improvements to its main in-cab communications products, Matt Voda, vice president of product management, said in a session about the company’s “product road map.”

PeopleNet planned to roll out a complete revamp of its fleet management product, known as PeopleNet Fleet Manager, shortly after the Aug. 16-17 conference, Voda said.

“There’s a lot that’s new with PFM,” he said. “This is an exciting evolution for us.”

The new product, called “New PFM,” will be released to current customers throughout this and next year, he said.

New PFM, which took about $9 million and several years to develop, is a complete rewrite of PeopleNet’s hosted back-office software. Among the improvements is a new system for alerting fleet managers to problems such as drivers’ exceeding their allowable hours of service or traveling an incorrect route.

“It’s got internationalization; it’s got more frequent updates; it’s got better scalability,” McLaughlin said.

PeopleNet soon will add a Web-browsing capability to its Tablet platform, a portable in-cab device that it introduced last year, Voda said. Fleets will be able to control what websites drivers can access, he added.

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