Issue: Jun 2007


Cross Country and Telcordia to Jointly Deliver Next-Generation Telematics Service Network to Automak



by John Beckman

Cross Country Automotive Services (Cross Country), a leading provider of integrated information and assistance programs, and Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (www.telcordia.com), a leading global provider of telecommunications software and services, today announced a strategic alliance. Together Cross Country and Telcordia will build and operate the infrastructure necessary to deliver a complete spectrum of telematics services for the automotive marketplace.

The joint telematics solution draws together location-based technology, wireless voice and data communications, mobile applications, and a remote service infrastructure. The companies will offer a variety of new and compelling services to automakers and customers alike, including information content, navigation assistance, safety services, vehicle status reports, and entertainment products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telcordia and Cross Country will collaborate on projects that bring the true power and scale of carrier-grade wireless technology and R&D to Cross Country's automotive clients. The result is the latest in communications-enabled services, tailored to the needs of drivers, dealers, and automakers, and delivered by a trusted service supplier focused on the automotive marketplace. The two companies will work together to deliver the next generation of telematics services, bringing together Cross Country's rich 35-year heritage in delivering information and assistance services, a dedicated team of telematics experts and excellence in execution with Telcordia's unmatched technological innovation, reach and experience. The two companies will help automotive OEMs address the need for cost-effective services and reduce the time and effort to bring new services to market. The new offering will provide safe access to a wealth of information beyond the vehicle and assistance in the time of need.

"We are pleased to announce this broad alliance with Telcordia," said William Tolhurst, Senior Director of Telematics and LBS at Cross Country. "This is a perfect synergy - Cross Country brings a deep understanding of the information and assistance services required by the automotive market to make telematics live up to their customer's demands and expectations. Both Cross Country and Telcordia have a long and proven history of delivering comprehensive and innovative solutions that address the needs of the automotive market. By bringing our respective and complementary capabilities together, we will help automotive OEMs deliver today and prepare them to stay ahead of market needs of tomorrow."

"Clearly, wireless-enabled cars are the future of the automotive industry. They are intrinsically valuable to consumers and a competitive differentiator for automakers," said Adam Drobot, President and CTO, Advanced Technology Solutions. "Bringing together the combined expertise of Telcordia and Cross Country in a robust, flexible solution will help increase customer satisfaction and drive profits as automakers look to leverage innovative technological solutions to capitalize on new market opportunities."

Cross Country and Telcordia have entered this alliance based on the success of several joint projects the companies have completed over the past two years. They have created a range of business models that deliver what the market wants, from traditional subscription service offerings to "service for life" concepts. The companies are currently teamed on multiple engagements and have a series of service network demonstrations available now and also in development. These highlight their shared vision of high-quality, affordable and truly integrated information and assistance services that can support automotive OEM telematics programs through in-vehicle, personal mobile, and traditional Internet-based delivery.

According to Thilo Koslowski, Vice President and Automotive Practice Leader at Gartner, "Successful telematics offerings will use a collaborative technology and partner architecture as the foundation to create cost-effective and flexible service offerings. This approach enables telematics service providers to leverage synergies, accelerate R&D efforts, share the financial burden, and ultimately deliver innovative solutions to the automotive, consumer electronics, and LBS industries."

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