Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Orange buys Ocean to boost fleet management offering

Steve Rogerson
April 30, 2015
 
Orange Business Services has acquired Ocean to strengthen its vehicle fleet management activities. By integrating Ocean’s operations into its own activities, Orange is targeting the more than 100,000 managed vehicles in the French and European markets.
 
Founded in 2003, Ocean became one of the leaders on the French market of fleet management and vehicle tracking thanks to its vertical approach and technology choices. The company, which manages 45,000 vehicles for 2000 corporate clients, will become an operational unit of Orange Applications for Business – the digital services division of Orange Business Services specialising in connected objects, the digitalisation of customer experience, big data and data analytics.
 
The merger of Orange's fleet management activities – launched in 2005 with dedicated M2M offers and managing today more than 60,000 vehicles – and Ocean gives rise to a new industry leader in the European market. The entity will bring together 110 employees, including a technical and development team of over 40 experts, and will be led by Jacques Riviere, the current president of Ocean.
 
"The project with Orange, which is based on the technical platform recently developed by Ocean, will give us the opportunity to pursue our growth by building on our core success factor: a unique organisation and development model," said Riviere.
 
The IoT and M2M are key drivers of companies’ digital transformation strategies. Orange Business Services aims to provide support for this transformation and the acquisition of Ocean provides opportunities in a number of areas. To enhance its vertical expertise,Ocean has developed know-how through specialised services in different industry sectors. Ocean is the French leader in tracking in the fields of public works and construction and has developed skills in other areas such as maintenance and troubleshooting, equipment rental, and green spaces.
 
The aim is to develop fleet management services and more generally new services for connected objects,based on Ocean's service platform, designed to integrate services related to the IoT. In addition to fleet management, it will be possible to develop services for monitoring non-powered objects such as skips, tanks, agricultural equipment, machinery and building site materials.
 
For Ocean, this acquisition is an opportunity to join an international groupto support its growth beyond the French market and to benefit from its capabilities and expertise in areas such as M2M and the IoT.
 
"With the acquisition of such an innovative and powerful leader as Ocean, we are creating a new European leader in fleet management that will support the growth strategy of Orange Applications for Business on the connected objects and M2M markets," said Thierry Bonhomme, executive director of Orange Business Services. “Through these advanced technologies, companies managing fleets of vehicles or equipment can leverage huge benefits that will facilitate their digital transformation and develop new processes and business models.”
 
Fleet management and vehicle tracking is now one of the most advanced sectors in the field of M2M and connected objects, and one of the pillars of the Orange group's growth strategy. By 2018, Europe will represent a potential market of 35 million company vehicles, among which more than a fifth will be equipped with a fleet management system.
 
Orange Business Services is a leader of applied M2M in France with over 1.3 million connected objects in the areas of smart cities, healthcare and transport. Present on the entire M2M value chain – connectivity, development, integration and management of applications and platforms for connected objects – Orange Business Services has been positioned in 2014 in the leader quadrant in the first edition of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for managed M2M services.