By Francesco Signor, Corporate Communication Manager Viasat Group
Over the last ten years, a profound change has taken place in the road transport market in Italy and, more generally, in Europe. This transformation falls within the more general framework of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has finally brought about a new paradigm – for Western economies, but not only. With particular reference to our country, the crisis in the sector has clearly shown how the point of no return has been reached a long time ago. Refusing to accept reality, indulging in the thought of the good old times, does not come cheap. Over the last 6 years, almost 17,000 road transport companies have disappeared from the market. According to Infocamere’s data, 95,259 companies have registered with the Chamber of Commerce as of 30 November 2016 – about 15% less than in 2010 (112,216). The economic situation has certainly had a major impact on these figures, which are made even more dramatic by the effects of the opening of borders and the advent of competition from foreign operators (especially those coming from the East, from an Italian point of view). However, all of this is just a gust of wind that pales in comparison to the storm of change that still awaits us. Industry 4.0 brings along new processes, models and strategies that will completely disrupt the current understanding of economy and market. The Internet of Things is no longer just that curious neologism, introduced by Kevin Ashton, which used to fascinate conference audiences, but a solid reality on which new industrial models are taking shape. It is no coincidence that the American magazine “Fortune” described 2017 as the year of artificial intelligence, the “fundamental magic” needed to study, analyze and process, through algorithms based on deep learning, large amounts of information (Big Data) acquired by vehicles, things and people, equipped with sensors and interacting with each other through the Web. Viasat Group’s IoTplatform project finds its natural place in this scenario. It is a sort of “application cloud”, understood as “middleware” capable of integrating the different platforms of the Group, safeguarding its technology, know-how and specificity from a widespread point of view, free from monolithic IT solutions. It is not just a simple plug&play solution which, by its nature, would tend to level down the offer of platform services according to standardization logics, but a modular architecture that can be tailored to the customer’s specific needs, harmonizing the different technological solutions of all the Group’s subsidiaries. In this issue entirely dedicated to fleet management, the second of this year on Viasat’s 30 years of activity, we will focus on these themes. We will tell you what the Viasat Group is doing on the tracks of its tradition of technological innovation, in order to redesign its own unique identity on the basis of how this epochal revolution will remodel our future in the times to come. As a protagonist, like always. I wish you a pleasant reading.