What kind of Automotive blog has the subject line "Taking off the Handcuffs"?
I agree it's a bit ambiguous, but let me explain...most technology we use daily has the ability to talk to other systems, so why doesn't my DMS?
A majority of dealerships continue to support onsite servers with closed-data systems and outdated user interfaces. Frustrated with restrictions and expensive solutions, taking off the handcuffs becomes a welcomed analogy. The freedom to invest in technologies that support custom development and integrate freely with 3rd party vendors has long been unattainable .
Data management becomes costly when contracts are non-negotiable and monthly fees are based upon a rooftop minimum. To add to the expense, hosting servers requires IT personal and expensive equipment. Now dealerships are paying costly integration to access data. For example, a Dealership might pay multiple times to access *their* customer's data when using multiple solution providers. If customer data belongs to the dealership, why are DMS companies charging so much for access?
The answer could very well be a growing concern around updating legacy solutions for modern expectations. Leading DMS providers continue to promote solutions that cannot innovate fast enough to keep up with emerging technologies. Many dealerships are chained to outdated systems that continue to restrict access and offer reduced functionality. Controlling dealers' data allows providers to stifle innovation and bar out the competition. It's time to question the way things have always been done.
Around the world, leading manufacturers are investing heavily in open-compute technology and cloud-based platforms. No longer considered a trend, giants like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM have all launched their own cloud computing infrastructures and joined Salesforce in the PAAS revolution.
DealerTeam believes the future of all management systems will be built around connectivity, access to real-time data and seamless integration through open APIs. This is exactly what the automotive industry has been begging for and it's time for key players to get involved.
"Leaders must wake up," Marc R. Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, declared. “We are in a leadership crisis. We are seeing technological shifts and changes on a scale we have never seen on this planet. These require severe and extreme leadership."
Today it's evident more people trust and rely on platforms to conduct their business. Does your current management system have the capability to connect with web-based applications? Can your sales team greet potential customers online while they browse your inventory on mobile devices? Dealerships need to rethink how their management systems can keep pace with modern business objectives and actively support growing consumer demands.
Looking toward the future, today is more important than ever to free your business from traditionally closed systems. DMS providers who offer direct API access most notably challenge legacy solutions. Now is an exciting time for the entire automotive industry as more vendors take stride toward becoming an open-solutions platform. DealerTrack has released their product OpenTrack, helping pave the way for technologies to interact and communicate freely. The outcome should render a more usable DMS that's affordable and promotes rich interaction between multiple solution providers.