Shift to MaaS requires hybrid software systems

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The increasingly complex nature of the European leasing, finance and fleet and mobility markets is creating added need for future-ready hybrid computer systems.

Sofico managing director Gémar Hompes

Sofico managing director Gémar Hompes

According to software provider Sofico, the landscape is changing as the shift from ownership of the new vehicle asset to its usage continues in both B2B and B2C, along with new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) requirements.

In European markets, Sofico says fleet and retail markets are converging, with a growth in private leasing and value-added services. As the B2B and B2C markets converge, new B2B2E (business to business to employee) products such as mobility budgets are emerging.

Sofico sees a number of factors contributing to the changes in the market; a growth in the ‘sharing economy’, increasing environmental consciousness, the roll-out of electric vehicles, the advances in autonomous driving and a younger generation, from millennials onwards, preferring to access, rather than own, a car.

And the firm says the software necessary to manage this increasing complexity must have a hybrid and multi-specialist capability to provide customers with the full range of solutions they require.

“Globally, the frontiers of traditional automotive industry practices are being disrupted and transformed by our quick-change digital lifestyle and new technology. OEMs, fleet operators and leasing companies are experiencing increasing pressure to innovate and reinvent their relevance, in an increasingly complex marketplace,” said Gémar Hompes, Sofico managing director.

“A modern hybrid system is capable of bridging contracted vehicle usage with driver-centric, value-added mobility and connected car services to meet the requirements of both financial services providers and OEMs.

“They will also need to be capable of covering the full spectrum of contracted vehicle usage, including financing, leasing, renting and sharing, as well as supporting larger volumes of data, handling more vehicles, more customers and more, but often smaller, transactions, as well as social and telematics data,” he added.

Such a rapidly changing automotive landscape has seen Sofico recently expand its product offering with the new-generation Miles.next software system, which brings a cloud-native micro-services architecture that turns the existing Miles Core ERP application into a hybrid solution platform to help customers meet evolving mobility needs.

“Miles.next is a cloud-native architectural framework that complements and enhances our core Miles system,” said Sofico’s chief technical officer, Piet Maes.

“Miles.next’s micro services architecture allows customers to enhance and deploy applications in a quick and easy way. With different .next based applications storing their data independently from each other, .next will enable customers to cover the full spectrum of contracted vehicle usage from minutes to years across B2B and B2C financing, leasing, renting and sharing offerings.

“The cloud based architecture allows for elastic scalability to handle different volumes of data, from low to exponentially high. As an open, cloud-native platform, it’s easy to integrate .next with any third party app, and/or integrate with partner system data, allowing the creation of one seamlessly integrated value chain that’s available 24/7,” he added.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.