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Making Your Fleet Solution Fit: API Integration

By Jennifer Coreno Strouth February 2, 2020

When you buy software off the shelf, it doesn't always fit your organization's IT infrastructure exactly. You may need it to integrate, or at least communicate, with your CRM, ERP, HR or other software applications to avoid re-keying data or maintaining separate and disconnected databases.

Not making any sense?

Never heard of an application programming interface (API)? Here’s a simple explanation: Imagine that you speak Spanish, and you need to communicate with someone who speaks Chinese. Obviously, you won’t get far speaking in your native languages. But if you both speak English, then you can easily communicate by using that common language. An API similarly makes it possible for two different systems to “speak the same language” and be understood by one another. If you’d like to learn more about APIs, read this Wikipedia article.

One of the biggest challenges most IT and IS departments face is maintaining the integration between various back-end business systems. Companies often turn to middleware in order to bridge the gap between these disparate software solutions.

Does your fleet management or maintenance software integrate smoothly with your other business solutions?

Fleet management software is a large part of your organization, particularly for the operations division. And the larger your fleet, the more critical it is that your fleet software play nicely with the rest of your IT infrastructure.

How does our fleet management software help users with integration?

Some of the largest fleets in the world use fleet management software. To maintain their presence and strong brand, these companies need to have full confidence in their IT systems and know that they're flexible enough to accommodate their stringent requirements.

We work with our customers to make sure that their fleet management solution is the perfect fit. Whether users need interface customization or have unique hardware needs, a good fleet management solution has the internal resources and comprehensive partner network to make it happen.

We manage integration with other software systems through the application programming interface (API) developer's kit. This module allows a developer to quickly and easily connect your existing systems to your new fleet management software.

What can the API do?

Some features of the data sharing API in fleet management software include:

  • Data can be sent both ways

    Send and/or receive data from your fleet software.

  • Data sharing is automated to work at pre-defined intervals

    Specify how frequently data is passed to or from fleet software, balancing network traffic with information needs.

  • Over 100 different attributes available

    The API can retrieve or populate data using more than 100 individual service calls, giving your system administrators the power and flexibility to determine what information is shared between your enterprise systems.

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  • Common data languages

    APIs use widely available platforms and protocols, such as SOAP or XML URLs, to ensure compatibility with existing systems and database software.

  • Different tools for different jobs

    Depending on the level of customization required, fleet management software offers your developers a range of different APIs to get the job done. For example, an XML URL can offer read-only access to real-time GPS information such as how far away a fleet vehicle is from its destination.

How could I use the API integration?

  • Paperless timesheets and notifications

    All of the delivery information — name, location, time windows, time on site — is stored in your ERP system. An API allows you to export all of that delivery information into the fleet management software to create optimized routes. The API can then send that route information (such as start and stop times or ETAs) back to your ERP system for customer billing or notification.

  • Driver performance for employee grading

    You can import driver data from your fleet management software into your HR system to monitor the number of moving violations your drivers have received over a specific period of time. This could also be used to record any type of event or exception that you specify, such as vehicles being outside of a designated area or on-time starts and stops.

  • Vehicle depreciation

    You can import information (such as mileage data) about your fleet vehicles into your ERP software to calculate depreciation for accounting purposes.

  • Operators can assign drivers to job

    Your dispatch staff may be using a CRM to manage customer interaction. An API enables them to assign a driver to a new job from within your CRM system, sending the job directly to a driver for processing.

Continuing development means the APIs just keep getting better

The APIs are constantly being further developed, driven by advancing technology and changing customer needs. This means the number of different ways APIs can be used to connect your enterprise software systems is expanding, as is the potential for productivity gains.

For the most up-to-date information on  APIs and how  fleet software solution can be customized to suit your precise needs, contact a sales representative.

Jennifer Coreno Strouth

Jennifer is Product Management Leader, Platform & Integrations, at Verizon Connect.

Tags: Billing & Invoicing, Data & Analytics, Dispatching & Scheduling, Field management, Productivity & Efficiency, Vehicle Maintenance

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