Businesses may be trending toward a combined approach to fleet and travel and expense management, but that doesn’t mean that fleet management is falling by the wayside. The enterprise-serving of telco Orange is proof of that, having just announced a new acquisition that will expand its fleet operations significantly.
Orange Business Services announced late last week that it has reached an agreement to acquire France’s Ocean, a leading European provider of fleet services. The takeover, reports said, means that Orange’s fleet unit now encompasses 100,000 vehicles.
In a statement, Orange revealed that it is Ocean’s long history of innovative foresight that attracted the business plan. “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 on M2M markets,” said Orange Business Services Executive Director Thierry Bonhomme.
The focus on M2M and the Internet of Things has been spearheaded by Orange Business Services division Orange Application for Business, which will now envelop Ocean, the company said. Acquiring Ocean allows Orange to take significant steps towards its digitization goals.
Among Ocean’s key benefits, Orange stated, include its existing vertical connections across a variety of industries. Orange’s purchase will also include Ocean’s new service platform, which aims to integrate the Internet of Things into its fleet management tools. Orange said that it plans to continue this aim of digital connectivity within its fleet expansion.
In its announcement, Orange cited a Berg Study that found that Europe will include 35 million company fleet vehicles by 2018. Of those, more than one-fifth will come equipped with fleet management technology. It’s this trend that Orange said it wants to capitalize upon, and the acquisition of Orange is part of that goal.