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Connexion sells Flex in the US

Local success: Melbourne's Connexion Media has inked a deal with an American car-maker for its new Flex fleet management system.

Melbourne software company inks another American distribution deal

2 Jun 2015

MELBOURNE software developer Connexion Media has signed another distribution agreement with an American car-maker, this time for its Flex fleet management system.

Connexion’s Flex product will be sold through more than 4000 dealerships across the United States, although the company has not yet revealed which car-maker has signed the deal.

The identity of the car-maker will be revealed when it launches its version of Flex in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Connexion estimates that the new deal will see Flex subscriptions rise to 70,000 by 2018.

Connexion Media chief executive officer George Parthimos said that two more US car-makers had expressed interest in, or were trialing, Flex while five European car-makers were also trialing Flex.

The new US contract for Flex coincides with two new awards for Connexion’s products.

The original miRoamer internet radio app for cars was named one of the year’s Top 20 products by Anthill, the entrepreneurial and innovation publisher. Flex was named in the Top 100.

The Flex deal with the US manufacturer is the latest in a string of agreements signed with car-makers and parts-makers around the world. The company’s miRoamer internet radio application is already available in a wide range of vehicles in Europe and the US.

Connexion and the un-named car-maker will share the revenue generated by sales of the Flex system. In addition, Connexion will be paid to adapt the system to meet market requirements in America.

Mr Parthimos said the Flex system cold be one of the company's most successful products.

“This is a great result for Connexion shareholders as it potentially opens up our biggest revenue channel to date,” he said.

Flex was formally launched in March in Australia on a subscription basis, and Connexion has already signed up “a small number” of paying subscribers, Mr Parthimos said.

Flex enables a fleet operator to manage a number of vehicles from a central control point using a SIM card and mobile phone infrastructure.

The system uses a communications device plugged into the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port.

With access to the vehicle’s on-board computers, Flex can track a range of real-time and historical data including locations, distance travelled, fuel consumption, vehicle speed and a range of vehicle data, including engine performance.

“It is also able to monitor driver behaviour and instantly send notifications and alarms to vehicle owners and fleet managers,” Mr Parthimos said.

He said Flex had received a good reception among the car-makers because Connexion had established links with them when offering its original product, the miRoamer internet radio app.

“Flex is achieving cut-through success because the offering closely matches the specified needs of automakers, it can be quickly adapted to particular needs, it is co-optimised and can be branded by the automaker,” he said.

“In addition, the cost of Australian software engineers is competitive in the Western world and this can all be achieved with a competitive unit price for the consumer.” The latest deal comes only two weeks after Connexion signed a contract with a South American vehicle supplier to install miRoamer into millions of new vehicle infotainment units.

Previous deals signed for the supply of Connexion’s miRoamer internet radio application involved no payment by the car-makers. Revenue from miRoamer is received through the sale of advertisements that play when the driver turns on the application.

The company has already signed an agreement with General Motors under which miRoamer will be one of only two internet radio platforms to be made available in all web-connected GM vehicles from the end of last year.

The company’s first contract with a car-maker was with Volkswagen Group in Europe. Connexion supplied miRoamer for a number of VW Group models manufactured in Europe, including the Polo, Passat, Beetle and Seat Leon.

Other contracts have now been signed with Peugeot-Citroen (PSA) and big parts-maker Continental, which will integrate miRoamer into its infotainment hardware systems that will be sold to a number of manufacturers.

Earlier this year the miRoamer platform was the first ever application to receive the Mirrorlink Global Drive certification by Connected Car Consortium, meaning it will work on a number of next-generation hardware products across both new-vehicle and aftermarket sectors.

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