Choosing the Right Geotab Reseller for Your Business in 2021
Before getting into this article, let’s be frank about something right out the gate:
The Geotab reseller network has its upsides (e.g. options/customization) and downsides (e.g. obscurity). This article aims to clear up some common misconceptions about the Geotab reseller network and better equip you to find the right reseller for your company.
As a general rule, your Geotab reseller is your mentor and should be well-equipped to guide you through the process of tailoring your Geotab system to meet your company’s specific needs. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you pick the right one to help you get the most out of your telematics solution.
Below we’re going to clear up some of the obscurity that has previously made navigating the Geotab reseller network a challenge, and we’ll cover questions you can ask to make sure you’re able to find the right reseller for you.
What is the Geotab Reseller Network and How Does it Work?
Except for rare exceptions, Geotab does not sell to customers directly but through a network of Authorized Geotab Resellers. The point of this isn’t to create additional obscurity; it’s intended to let Geotab do what it does best (make an awesome product) and let the resellers do what they do best (sell an awesome product and–in many cases–offer additional services related to it, such as Support and HOS Management).
Take a look at the following diagram to understand this a little better. Geotab is in the center, building quality products (e.g. MyGeotab and Geotab Drive) for its resellers to take to the market. Resellers then sell to (and often support) their own networks of customers, acting as the liaison between Geotab and its customers.
Conceptual Diagram of Geotab’s Reseller Network
Why is Choosing the Right Geotab Reseller So Important?
A Geotab reseller can be the deciding factor in your success with Geotab. They will likely be the one to help you get your database set up properly, tailoring it to meet your company’s needs. Your reseller should be your first line of support, so having a reseller that knows what they’re doing will make the difference in getting the answers you need.
How can Geotab Service Differ from One Reseller to Another?
Since the world of Geotab resellers varies so much, we’ll take some time here to look at what different reseller policies and options can look like. Once you have a better idea of how these work we’ll move on to questions you can ask to gauge whether a particular Geotab reseller is right for you.
There are two main things that resellers will likely charge you for:
- Monthly service
Hardware pricing should usually be a one-time fee for you to purchase:
Monthly service charges will likely include things like:
- Data fees
- Support services*
* Some resellers may charge for Support services separately or on a case-by-case basis while others may include it in with their monthly data-fee pricing.
How resellers bill for this is going to be different as well, so be sure to ask about this. It may be worth asking a reseller if they bill annually or monthly, how billing works (e.g. credit card or automatic withdrawal), and whether they have discounts for bundling different services.
Some Geotab resellers require contracts, others don’t. Make sure you know whether or not a potential reseller’s contract policy aligns with your company’s needs.
Here at Fleet Nav Systems, we think that contracts are an excuse to provide poor service. We want to keep your business for as long as we’re able to provide you with the best service possible, and we hope that’s a very long time. Because of this, we don’t do contracts. This means that if you do decide we’re not the right fit you don’t have to worry about having to wait out a contract term, and it also means we’re going to do our best to keep your business for the long haul so you can expect some top-notch support, Geotab training, etc.
Support services can be one of the most important aspects of what your Geotab reseller brings to the table. If you have a reseller with a knowledgeable support staff, you’re more likely to get your questions answered quickly and accurately.
Find out if your reseller has in-house support or if they outsource it to Geotab. You would think that Geotab-direct support might be the best thing, but it’s actually possible that your reseller’s support staff has been supporting Geotab longer than Geotab’s own Tier 1 agents and may be able to provide faster and higher-quality answers than Geotab Support.
Response times can also differ greatly between Geotab’s direct support and various resellers. For example, we have found that on average it can take 1 – 2 business days to receive a response from a real person on a Geotab Support ticket whereas Fleet Nav Systems is known for at least providing an initial response–and often an answer with a resolution–within the first 2 – 4 business hours.
There are three main categories of training that a Geotab reseller may offer:
- Self-paced video lessons
- Web-based, live conferences (e.g. over WebEx or Zoom)
- In-person, on-site training
Some resellers may rely solely on one of the forms mentioned above, others will likely offer a mix of these options. For example, Fleet Nav Systems has self-paced video training courses (and customers get free access to our Premium Geotab Drive for Drivers course), but we also offer the other forms of personalized training services.
When you’re new to MyGeotab, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to get your database set up. Some Geotab resellers offer advice on how to structure your database so that you can make the most of the system from the beginning.
Some Geotab resellers provide support and assistance with HOS-log management; others are not as familiar with HOS regulations. If this is important to you, it would be worth finding out how comfortable your prospective Geotab reseller is with managing HOS- and ELD-related issues for administrators and drivers.
10 Questions You Should Ask to Evaluate a Geotab Reseller
These ten questions are designed to help you obtain enough information about a Geotab reseller to give you a better idea on if it is worth considering doing business with them.
1. How Long Have You Been a Geotab Reseller?
This may seem like an odd question, but experienced resellers have a couple of advantages that others may not:
- They’re likely better prepared to help offer support due to having seen and navigated more support issues through the years.
- They’re more likely to know how best to find answers to questions they don’t already know how to solve off the bat.
Fleet Nav Systems has been in business since 2011, and we continue to learn how to better serve our customers every day.
2. What is included in my monthly service fees?
Here’s where you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting what you think you’re getting. Find out if the reseller includes troubleshooting, building custom reports, and training in with their monthly fees or if they charge for these services as “extras” for an add-on cost.
3. Do you require a contract?
If the answer to this is, “Yes,” you’ll want to be extra sure you’re getting what you’d like. At Fleet Nav Systems, we don’t do contracts because that gives you the freedom to leave if our service ever doesn’t meet your needs and this keeps us on our toes to make sure we’re providing some of the best support in the industry.
4. Are there any hidden fees in your services?
Knowing up front what is going to cost you extra will help you to determine if a reseller’s services are right for you. Ask if the price goes up as your contract continues. (We don’t know of any Geotab resellers doing this, but it’s worth asking: Samsara appears to charge as much as 5% more per year of a service contract–see Section 16 of their Terms of Service.) Make sure that any add-on costs aren’t going to affect you more in the long run than perhaps a slightly higher cost of adoption, etc.
5. What kind of equipment warranties do you offer?
This can vary from reseller to reseller, although any good one should offer a minimum of a one-year warranty on all devices. Some may offer more, and all units on the ProPlus plan should be covered for the lifetime of the device.
6. What do your support services look like?
Find out if the reseller you’re discussing this with offers round-the-clock support. Do they have after-hours emergency support? What is included in these services? What is not included? If ELDs are important to you, make sure they’re familiar with how the Geotab Drive app works and see if they support troubleshooting HOS-log issues.
7. What kind of training do you provide?
Find out what sort of services they offer to help you get acquainted with the MyGeotab software. Ask if they help with installations or can recommend a professional installer (if needed). See if they offer any of the following: self-paced video training, personalized web-based training sessions, or in-person training on site.
If it’s important to you, make sure they offer continued opportunities for training as your company grows, changes, or just decides to invest more time in learning how to leverage Geotab’s products to provide an even better ROI going forward.
8. Can you help us structure our database groups?
If your company has multiple locations or requires safety metrics for vehicles of varying sizes, this part can be a deciding factor in how well the Geotab platform works for you. Make sure that the reseller you go with is comfortable advising you on how best to set up your database for your company’s needs.
9. Will you assist us in creating rules and reports?
A good reseller will be able to help you create rules and customized reports so that you’ll be able to get the most out of your data. Finding out if a reseller offers these services, and whether they are included in their monthly pricing or offered à la carte is going to help you understand how much you’d need to budget going with one reseller versus another.
NOTE: Geotab has several out-of-the box reports that can be helpful for fleets; however, having a reseller that understands how to tailor these reports or build customized ones based off of your specific needs can be a big differentiator in how well you’re able to keep tabs on your data.
10. Do you help support US & Canadian ELD issues?
Here’s where you’ll want to find out just how familiar a prospective reseller is with US and Canadian ELD law. Ask if they are comfortable with analyzing logs to explain why a violation happened, see if they offer HOS-management support for help with managing drivers’ logs, and find out if they offer customized reports to help you keep better tabs on your drivers’ logs–and, if so, if they can help you fine-tune those reports to make them relevant to your particular company’s needs.
Tackling Common Myths About the Geotab Reseller Network
There are a lot of misconceptions about the Geotab reseller network, and it seems to be the case that most people passing them off as true are just trying to scare prospective customers away from Geotab and betting that they’re ignorant about how this actually works.
Here are some of the top myths we’ve seen about Geotab’s reseller network and why they’re not true:
Myth: Reseller Support is Inferior to Direct Geotab Support
This largely depends on your reseller, but in general this is just not true. Many Geotab resellers have been in the business for years and understand the software better than Geotab’s newer employees. For example, Fleet Nav Systems has been around since 2011, so in many cases we’ve actually seen issues and know how to troubleshoot them better than Geotab’s Support agents.
Myth: Geotab Resellers Don’t Support Their Customers
There are some resellers that offer outstanding support to their customers while others may have poor support services, which is why you need to ask questions when searching for the right Geotab reseller.
One common myth related to this is that in-house support services are better than what a reseller could offer. Not only is this not true, it has been our experience that large, enterprise-level companies have poorer support services than smaller companies. You’re a number at a larger company, whereas here at Fleet Nav Systems we know our customers by name and have an established rapport with a large majority of people who email or call us.
Turn-around time for issues is often much better if you’re with a smaller reseller, especially one with Support agents that have been around for an average of at least 2 to 3 years.
NOTE: It’s important to take into account whether or not another reseller or telematics provider is putting you into a contract. As a general rule, we’ve observed that customer service is much lower when you’re stuck with a service provider that takes your business for granted.
At Fleet Nav Systems we don’t do contracts because we want you to be satisfied with your service always; if that satisfaction ever changes, you’re free to find something that works better for you. This also keeps us at the top of our game when it comes to Support, so you can bet we’ll be doing our best to keep your business as long as possible.
Myth: Geotab Training Is Only Done with Online Videos
Geotab training may be done with online videos, live web-based training that lets you interact with the presenter to ask questions in real-time along the way, or even on-site training. Ask your reseller which of these services they provide to help you better understand what is available to you.
Myth: There is No Help from Geotab for Integration Products
Integrations are Geotab’s speciality; this claim is not only false, it’s plain silly.
First of all, Geotab has an open software development kit (SDK) where the different integration options available to you are well-documented and available for use to anyone with their own MyGeotab database and a little bit of development experience:
Check Out the MyGeotab SDK Here
On top of this, Geotab provides access to their Solutions Engineering team through your Geotab reseller on an as-needed basis for additional help if you run into issues working on an integrated solution.
All you have to do is reach out to your reseller and ask for help.
A good reseller should be able to get you or your developers in touch with the right people at Geotab to help you get your solution integrated properly.
NOTE: Make sure that when you are looking for a Geotab reseller that they are comfortable helping to connect you with Geotab’s Solutions Engineering team if you need assistance with an integration.
BONUS: Some Geotab resellers even have in-house developers who may be able to assist you faster than a Geotab Solutions Engineer. If this is important to you, make sure you ask prospective resellers what kind of support they offer for integration assistance.
Myth: No Geotab Reseller Account Managers Means Poor Service
Some Geotab resellers may actually provide an account manager (this is where you have to do your homework and ask how a reseller’s company is structured).
As a general rule, not having a single account manager means not having a single point of failure.
A lot of Geotab resellers have full teams dedicated to helping you out, and this ends up being more of a concierge service where you’ve got several knowledgeable resources available to help you out rather than one person who may or may not be able to offer you the personalized assistance that you require.
This could be an issue for some resellers, but at Fleet Nav Systems we’re a whole team of specialists who know your company and your name, who recognize you when you call, and know which team member needs to handle your issue on any given day.
What’s the Bottom Line in Choosing a Geotab Reseller?
As a whole, your Geotab system can do much better if you have an experienced reseller on your side who can help you make the most of your telematics software. Therefore, it’s crucial that you spend the time needed to ask the right questions to see if a reseller is right for you.
The other side of this is that your company’s success also depends largely on how much time you are willing to invest in learning the system. Your Geotab reseller is going to be a great mentor along the way, but at the end of the day you understand your business better than anybody else and so will know better than anyone which features are going to help make your job easier.
If you pair these two aspects together–finding the right Geotab reseller and investing the time into understanding how the system works–you’ll likely be very satisfied with your Geotab solution.