connect business offers connectivity services and digital solutions for fleet and business customers. With connect business, interfaces and services can be easily adapted to your individual needs and existing systems. The web-based portal is suitable for fleets of any size. Here you can find out everything you need to know about Connectivity Services powered by Daimler Mobility.
Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH offers solutions
Fleet management is nothing to be done incidentally, especially with larger fleets. Although the increasing digitalization in the fleet allows everyday work to become easier, controlling an entire vehicle fleet via Excel tables can nevertheless mean a lot of administrative work and a high risk of errors.
We have recognized the relevance of digital solutions for the fleet market and therefore founded Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH in spring 2016. As a subsidiary of Daimler Mobility, the GmbH seizes these changes as an opportunity for new customer experience.
The most important Questions about our Connectivity Services
Gernot Peters works as a project leader at Connectivity Services and he’s an expert in this field. He tells us what connectivity is: “In general, connectivity describes the possibilities of networking various systems in order to collect new information and offer innovative features and services.”
With regard to automobiles, this means that today innovative technology and the mobile Internet enable us to communicate with vehicles irrespective of the time and place. “Because the vehicle can transmit data externally, we can monitor its condition in real time. Examples of this include the tire pressure and the kilometer reading. Conversely, information can also be sent to the vehicle. This is relevant for carsharing, for example,” adds Peters.
The customers of Connectivity Services generally have one thing in common: They have to coordinate and manage numerous vehicles. ILet's assume you were responsible for 50 vehicles — being used by members of a company’s field staff, for example. You have to know when a vehicle is due for a service, what it’s current kilometer reading is, and where it is at any particular time. The connect business services help you know all of that.
“Using an online portal, the fleet manager can look at the latest vehicle data at any time, maintain a digital vehicle log, and locate a vehicle in the event that it’s stolen,” says Peters. What’s special about this feature is that Connectivity Services offers it for all brands, because few fleets consist only of vehicles from Mercedes, no matter how nice that would be for us. Although the communication module is pre-installed into Mercedes vehicles, Connectivity Services GmbH also offers retrofitting solutions for other brands. This ensures that fleet managers can always monitor all of their vehicles.
- The Vehicle Monitoring & Maintenance service continuously monitors, processes, and analyzes data about a vehicle’s condition and maintenance status. Kilometer readings, fuel level and range, tire pressure, coolant warnings, and reminders of the next service due date are just some of the kinds of information that the service provides. All of the data can be called up in the online portal, where they are clearly structured.
- The Vehicle Logistics service displays the exact position of all of a fleet’s vehicles. This real-time overview can be combined with automatic regional monitoring to make route planning far more efficient. The current locations of all vehicles can be shown on a map. Geofence information can be used to delineate certain areas and let the fleet manager know whenever a vehicle leaves or reaches this area.
- The vehicle automatically keeps an electronic driver’s log (Digital Driver's Log). As a result, this no longer has to be done manually, thus saving a significant amount of time and effort. If drivers also use the vehicles for private purposes, they can switch between Business, Privacy, and Commuter Mode. In Privacy Mode, the fleet manager cannot see the vehicle’s location. The associated data can be exported for the tax returns at the push of a button.
- Driver Messaging enables the fleet manager to always be in contact with the drivers. The fleet manager can send new commissions, change existing ones, or transmit information about upcoming maintenance appointments. Messages can be sent and received on an app.
- Thanks to Live Traffic Information, traffic jams are now a thing of the past. This service incorporates real-time traffic data into the navigation system to the second, thus making dynamic route guidance possible. This service makes use of information from Mercedes me. Live Traffic Information can be activated for business customers via connect business.
Data protection is a key aspect of our connectivity services. Although they want vehicle data to be accessible, it shouldn’t be so at all times and real-time data shouldn’t fall into the wrong hands, of course. Tabea Grössel is an expert for data protection, as she is responsible for Legal, Compliance, and Data Protection at the company.
“We don’t process any data without our customers’ and their drivers’ consent. Customers are always in complete control of their data — that’s very important to us,” she says. Grössel explains how this is done: “Many drivers use the cars for both business and private purposes. When they drive in private, they naturally don’t want to let the fleet manager see their location and the vehicle data.”
In such situations, the drivers can switch on the Privacy Mode in the connect business app.” In addition to data processing, data security plays a key role for customers. MB Connectivity Services also sets top standards in this respect. “We have a big team of system architects and software developers who make sure that our systems are protected as well as they can be and that third-party access is not possible,” says Grössel.
Moreover, the products are extensively tested by a variety of organizations. For example, our latest retrofitting solution for non-Mercedes brands, connect business GENIUS, has also been tested by TÜV.
- Relevant KPIs and reliable vehicle data, such as odometer readings at the touch of a button, in real time
- Predictive vehicle planning; reduction of planned and unplanned downtimes
- Tax advantages through the use of an electronic driver's logbook
- Consistent monitoring of the condition of your vehicles, ensuring reliable operating conditions
- Avoidance of additional leasing payments through intelligent forecasts and exact driving times
- Routes and jobs can be better managed using map- and GPS-based functions
Today, fleet customers already account for more than half of Mercedes-Benz’ sales. This means that the fleet market is bigger than the market for private customers. “We expect this share to rise even further because carsharing and alternative mobility solutions are becoming increasingly interesting for more and more fleet customers, and fewer people need to have their own car,” predicts Christoph Ludewig, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH.
The needs of fleet customers are also changing because they are increasingly outsourcing their business operations to fleet service providers. These developments are steadily increasing the importance of data-based fleet management and connectivity services. “Data and connectivity form the basis for new mobility services and efficient fleet management,” says Ludewig.
“Imagine taking it a step further: Autonomous fleets will further strengthen this trend because they cannot be operated without connectivity.” This shows that Connectivity Services is operating in a real future-oriented growth market. Moreover, the subsidiary has a competitive edge because almost no other OEMs offer connectivity solutions specifically for fleet customers.