Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 37 of 79

36 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR NOVEMBER 2016 WWW.LCTMAG.COM TECHNOLOGY from TNCs muscling into their business. Given the limousine industry has been slow to adopt improved technol- ogy to run its operations, coupled with the traditional software providers only offering proprietary applications with- out hooks into other software applica- tions, on-demand technology is forcing them to finally play nice and cooperate with one another. In addition, a host of new players have entered the private ground trans- portation space, enabling operators to play in the on-demand and pre-arranged world via their booking/dispatch web- based and mobile app technologies. "Unfortunately, our industry is a mix of different dispatch systems that do too many things and you can't tell an oper- ator what platform they should choose, so we have to work with the platforms A NETWORK PRIMED TO BE A DIGITAL PLUMBER GRiDD is looking to be the industry's unifying global booking platform in the on-demand space. The industry has been stuck in a tech bubble, says Amir Zafar, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based GRiDD Technologies. "There's a lot of good technology out there, and GRiDD is just the plumbing tying it all together so everyone can connect and every system can flow to one another." GRiDD is a neutral platform that does not compete in the industry or step on any vendor's turf. "We are just a facilitator for operators to do what they want to do using the systems they have to do real-time, on-demand chauffeured services nation- wide. However, operators not interested in on-demand could also use GRiDD to make use of deadhead runs or take more advanced reservations." The company was launched in 2011 by Zafar with a group of industry consultants who have a long history in large, enterprise level system integrations across many industries worldwide. Before starting GRiDD, Zafar co-founded AAXIS Commerce. "We are the new guys who saw the opportunity in the limousine industry because there have been promises to build bridges but nothing has happened," he says. "We are integration experts but are neutral players that have no interest in your fleet, cus- tomers, or business model." Here are some frequently asked questions regarding GRiDD: Q: What is GRiDD? A: GRiDD's GNet is a B2B open and neutral market platform designed to enable operator-to-operator reservations and to facilitate new market channels and new busi- ness opportunities for operators from outside and within the industry. The GNet platform is a communications/translation platform. GNet is not a booking system nor does it sell transportation services of any kind. The GNet Platform is a bi- directional switch; an operator may send or receive reservations and other information / services from other operators as well as other travel and transportation distributors, including travel portals, travel management companies, online travel agencies (Expe-, etc.), mobile booking applications, and other aggregators. These connections are designed to expand the visibility of the network partici- pants (operators), drive participation in new market segments, and help create busi- ness opportunities for all participants. GNet members completely control their levels of visibility in the marketplace (both to other operators and/or other sources of new business) and may establish relationships with any other company on the platform they wish to do business with. By facilitating operator visibility and providing access to global travel portals, mobile applications, and other verticals and/or technolo- gies, GNet arms operators with the tools necessary to exchange information via their dispatch systems. Q: What is the cost of GNet? A: GNet is a transaction based system requiring no upfront payments. No investment in additional hardware or software is required or necessary. Registration on the GNet platform is free. Once an operator begins sending and/or receiving transactions via the platform, a flat transaction fee (50 cents) for each completed reservation sent or re- ceived is charged. Updates, cancels, or querying the location of vehicles do not incur extra fees. Bills are monthly, with no commitments or binding contracts. Q: How do we know if we can use GNet? A: GNet is connected to multiple dispatch systems such as Limo Anywhere, Livery Coach, FASTTRAK Cloud Livery Systems, and others set to come on board. If you are using one of these systems, you are already connected. Make sure you are registered on GNet to be seen by other operators, distributors, and other sources of new busi- ness. If you are not using a GNet connected dispatch system, GRiDD will be happy to develop a customized integration process for you and your system. Q: What is required for installation? A: If you are using one of the GNet connected dispatch systems, then your software provider has made all of the necessary changes to your programming to enable the transmission of reservations and information to/from your system. You will not be re- quired to install any additional technology or equipment. You will simply need to reach out to your software provider for the necessary instructions and support documenta- tion to activate the new capabilities. Apurva Patel, CEO and founder of GroundWidgets, which acquired Limo Alliance in September. "There's a lot of good technology out there, and GRiDD is just the plumbing tying it all together." — Amir Za- far, founder and CEO of GRiDD Technologies. "Unfortunately, our industry is a mix of different dispatch systems that do too many things and you can't tell an operator what platform they should choose, so we have to work with the platforms they have," —Apurva Patel

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