Samsara looking Beyond

Samsara had its Beyond conference a few weeks after its underwhelming Q1 (no thanks to that extra week in Q4).

They had a number of new product announcements:

  • They expanded their Equipment Monitoring line with a new Asset Tag product that can track smaller high-value assets across field sites and highway routes.

  • They expanded their Connected Forms with a new Connected Workflows automation platform, which can detect conditions (entering geofence, crash detection, safety violation), trigger form workflows, and take actions.

  • Their Virtual Coach is now GA, which allows admins to trigger coaching sessions after a shift or trip after a safety incident occurs. They just expanded this with a new Connected Training feature to use AI to automate the assignment of training modules to frontline workers. As the system detects things like distracted mobile use, harsh braking, or excessive idling, it can automatically assign out-of-the-box training videos or custom ones via the Driver App.

  • They added new Charge Insights to manage EV charging at scale, to schedule charging, minimize peak loads, and track actual vs planned energy usage.

  • Their new Power BI Connector is now GA, allowing customers to pull in operational data from data warehouses. Their Kafka Connector is coming later this summer, to pull in streaming data from Kafka on AWS, Confluent, Red Hat/Strimzi, or Red Panda. Both of these again help pull more and more operational data in as a system of record.

  • They added several new AI detections in Video Safety, including Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Drowsiness Detection.

  • They added additional telematics to Smart Trailers beyond their external sensors (door, cargo, environ/temp), to pull in other telemetry like anti-lock brakes, electrical, and tire pressure monitoring systems (through partners).

  • They also added Smart Trailer enhancements to the Driver App to allow drivers to search for assigned trailers and streamline the hookup and dropoff process.

The 2 that interest me most are Asset Tags and Connected Workflows.

  • Asset Tag is a small new Bluetooth-based tracking device that expands Samsara into smaller assets used in fleets and field work. Think high-value tools used in the fleet or out in the field , or that is shipped, or that is loaned out to partners or customers. These tags can ping into their existing 2M+ network of Vehicle and Asset Gateways, who then tell Samsara the object’s location. This greatly expands the usefulness of their Equipment Monitoring product and should drive adoption, plus will explode the number of devices that customers track.

  • The Connected Workflows product greatly enhances their new Connected Forms capability, by allowing admins to create workflows around detections in the platform (entering/leaving a geofence, accident detected, safety incident occured, etc), trigger forms to frontline workers or supervisors, and take actions (create an incident, send an alert, etc). This is another step towards Samsara pivoting towards becoming a mini version of ServiceNow honed for fleet/field oriented physical operations. I think it will drive adoption of Forms, which is priced per user (a different pricing model than their per-vehicle/asset norm).

The IR Day was pretty interesting too.

video: https://youtu.be/_DfaqxoLc0U?si=QRbrO0oUJPNoe2nx
slides: https://s29.q4cdn.com/853855404/files/doc_presentation/2024/Investor-Day-2024-Final.pdf

  • The CEO demoed a coming Generative AI-based “admin copilot” at 30:00 mark. Note how it used voice recognition for inputs – this suggests they’ll create a “driver in-cab copilot” as well.
  • The CPO went over the new product announcements, including a demo of Asset Tag that showed it tracking a toolbox they shipped from LA to Chiacgo.
  • The PWFO thinks they have 50% greenfield still in telematics, and only 85% in video safety.
  • The CFO noted adoption trends, showing how the Top 25 customers keep growing/expanding. They recently landed their #3 cust in Q4, and had 24 of the top 25 expand over the Q4-Q1 period.

-muji

53 Likes

Interesting Muji.

Whilst these seem value adding developments, I can’t help but feel that the majority concern their core transportation telematics market rather than help them break out into new use cases.

The asset tagging though could be useful - I’m not sure whether this is pure geo-locating or whether these tags possess additional smart intelligence capabilities. If purely geo-locating presumably this competes with Impinj’s RAIN technology or Zebra’s RFID?

Thanks
Ant

8 Likes

hi Ant! good questions.

Their 2 main products (Veh Telematics and Video Safety) are what I consider their Fleet Mgmt side, and yes this part of Samsara remains about 75% of ARR right now. However, only a subset of the Beyond announcements above are in that core Fleet Mgmt side (new AI detections, EV Charge Insights, Virtual Coach). I find they are very focused on extending beyond that.

The two announcements I focused on most are part of moving beyond fleet:

  • Asset Tag is part of Equipment Monitoring segment (only the Smart Trailers part of it pertains to Fleet Mgmt, it is mostly geared for Field Services)
  • Connected Workflows sits over Connected Forms, all part of their Workforce Apps segment - aka their moves into software solutions for the workforce (what I like to call the ServiceNow side of Samsara)

As for Asset Tag, it provides GPS geolocation of high-value tools and accessories used by in-field services. There is no other telemetry (which would complicate the device).

The main selling points for Equipment Monitoring have always been asset inventory, utilization tracking, Find My Asset, and theft & loss prevention over smart trailers, heavy equipment (yellow and green iron) and other large portable equipment (lifts, lights, generators, containers, dumpsters).

Asset Tags greatly extend the reach of all the above to a much wider base of smaller portable equipment, and at a much lower cost than their current Asset Gateway (fuller cellular/GPS IoT stack). However, beyond tracking assets across geofenced field sites, Samsara can also track things along major highways & routes – anywhere that Fleet Mgmt solution you referenced is driven.

Mgmt was highlighting how customers were finding other uses for asset tags, including tracking shipments/cargo (which they demo’d in both the Beyond keynote and IR day) and loaned equipment. I wrote about this on my premium blog, here are a few tidbits:

"But beyond expanding their Equipment Monitoring solution to a much larger pool of smaller equipment (down to the tool level), they also demonstrated other uses cases, such as using Asset Tags for tracking shipments of high-value equipment. They shipped some toolboxes with attached Asset Tags from Los Angeles to Chicago for Beyond, and demonstrated how they could track its route as it traveled across the US.

As examples of other use cases, mgmt noted a crane company was using it to track high-value crane attachments alongside their vehicle & equipment fleets, another was using it to track high-value specialized equipment being shipped, and a third was using it to track tools to curb their $10M+ in lost assets a year. At IR Day, customer DHL spoke about how they plan on using Asset Tags to track high-value shipments from customers, and Nutrien discussed using it for farming equipment loaned to customers (which has a high loss rate)."

It does compete with RFID solutions like Impinj and Zebra, and mgmt was asked about this in the IR Day Q&A on how it compares. The key here is that it doesn’t require readers at all – Samsara is now leveraging its existing install base of 2M+ vehicle and asset gateways with cellular connections to provide a network of “readers” across a customer’s own remote sites, but also the vast network of highways and routes across the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, and into the broader EU.

I like how it leverages their existing install base of IoT stacks. And there are some helpful use cases being solved here, including tracking a wider set of in-field equipment (tools, signs, specialty equipment), as well as tracking high-value shipments & cargo and customer-loaned equipment.

-muji

26 Likes