There are sectors of industry that have made their entry into the world of technology very recently. Often, these sectors leapfrogged all the prior architectures and have come straight onto the cloud. Partly, this is because of the cost structure of prior architectures that they could not afford. The cloud is bringing many such industries into the age of modern technology at a furious pace. Chris Sullens talks about one such corner of an old-fashioned industry that is now modernizing.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to you and Marathon Data Systems. What do you do? What’s the business?
Chris Sullens: I’m President and CEO of Marathon Data Systems. We’re a leading provider of cloud-based mobile workforce solutions for the field service and transportation industry. In the field service side, we have an end-to-end business management platform that spans everything from billing to invoicing and everything in between. On the transportation side, our platform enables customers in the last mile of delivery to plan, optimize, execute, and analyze their routes. Our customer base spans everything from very small to companies that have tens of thousands in their fleet. Our sweet spot is 10 to 500 vehicles.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s take a use case. I think one case would probably be enough to explain, in a bit more detail, what kinds of things you do for your customer base. Since your segmentation is very tight, I think one use case would be enough. Don’t you think?
Chris Sullens: That platform has quite a few solutions. I’ll just take one which is on the mobility side. The problem that customers in both segments face is visibility and being able to predict outcomes. Most of their assets and expenses are out on the field. There’s not a lot of visibility and intelligence to help manage them, especially for the smaller-end of the market.
The other thing that we see is, customer expectations have escalated dramatically due to the fact that customers can now, at any point in time, know where their package is. They turn around and ask, “Why can’t I ask where my technician is and get better visibility into that?” We’re essentially focused on developing innovative solutions in the mobile workforce to help SMB customers. The cloud has been essential for that because it has opened up the possibility for smaller companies to be able to afford these expensive technologies that bigger companies have access to. Now, it’s easier to use and implement. The smaller guys are now put on a more level playing field with the big ones.