The world’s largest fleet management services company leverages data to beat the competition

Data usage has exploded in recent times and organizations need to harness it to manage it effectively. Michel Alsemgeest, CIO and CDO, LeasePlan, explains how the company used Denodo‘s technological solution to Streamline everything into a single Global Data Hub and leverage its data assets more efficiently, with the aim of becoming the first Car-as-a-Service company.

LeasePlan, the world’s largest fleet management services company, is working with Denodo, a leader in data virtualization, to become number one in Car-as-a-Service by providing more innovative services to its customers and generating more income. generating activities.

To do this effectively, it had to take advantage of its large data pool. However, this data was spread across a variety of siled and heterogeneous data sources, making it difficult both to create new business models and to comply with EU regulations. To combat this, LeasePlan wanted to create a blueprint of its entire data ecosystem that would allow visualization of data assets that could be leveraged for specific purposes and identify missing data assets that should be part of its. data-driven initiatives.

LeasePlan used the Denodo platform to create a logical data fabric architecture that sits at the heart of its global data hub. This effectively links all data together and ensures that it can be used for its intended purpose. The logical data structure consolidates data from various source systems and serves as a single, integrated source of all data needed by reporting applications.

We spoke with Michel Alsemgeest, CIO and CDO, LeasePlan, to learn more about the business challenges the company was facing and how the Denodo platform offered the solution.

Can you tell us about your role and the extent of your responsibilities at LeasePlan?

I joined LeasePlan as Chief Digital Officer (CDO) in 2017. Prior to that, I held senior technology roles at KLM and TNT, implementing large-scale digital programs to help increase revenue and improve the customer experience through new innovative products and services.

Since his start at LeasePlan, the role of CDO has expanded to combine with that of Chief Information Officer (CIO). So I am tasked with leading the company’s transformation into the world’s first fully digital Car-as-a-Service company from a business, process and technology perspective.

What business challenges did you want to overcome before working with Denodo?

We are present in almost 30 countries, with a fleet of over 1.8 million vehicles – and all of these vehicles have their own data. Traditionally, this data has been spread over a variety of siled and heterogeneous sources. It was our challenge, to streamline everything into one unified Global Data Hub. Essentially, it would be a blueprint of our entire data ecosystem, making it possible to visualize which data assets could be leveraged for specific purposes. The Global Data Hub also identifies missing data assets that may be part of data-driven initiatives.

We wanted the model to support our proactive and reactive data initiatives. Proactive data initiatives include building new business models using data-driven technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Meanwhile, from a reactive perspective, the Global Data Hub also needed to connect all of LeasePlan’s data assets to make them available for business reporting and advanced analytics.

Why did you choose Denodo as your technology supplier?

It all started with our NextGen data strategy. Here we have developed the concept of a unifying platform that can be used by drivers and fleet managers in all LeasePlan countries. We wanted to make sure the data was easily accessible to those who needed it and met the unique demands of drivers and fleet managers in each country in which we operate.

Denodo ticked all of our boxes. It is a technology independent platform, allowing us to connect to a wide variety of data sources and data consuming applications. When building our Global Data Hub, we wanted to create a platform that can adapt to rapidly changing technology in the data space. So it was important for us to have a data agnostic platform. Here we can easily change technology as needed without affecting business operations. Denodo’s virtual layer allows us to be as flexible as possible, while also allowing us to effectively manage and govern data.

How does the Denodo platform keep you a global leader in the automotive industry?

As a company, we decided that in order to consolidate our data and get the most from it for our customers, we needed modern data storage that was scalable, reliable, efficient and cheaper. The result was the move to the AWS cloud and the integration of the Denodo platform to form the core of our data fabric.

Denodo’s technology is now at the heart of our Global Data Hub. It provides a layer of abstraction to create a single, secure entry point to the data ecosystem. By providing a centralized framework for data governance, the platform also protects our customers and ensures the highest level of data security.

How has leveraging your large data pool enabled you to deliver innovative service to your customers globally?

From a customer experience point of view, being able to mobilize all this data allows us to offer more innovative services. For example, it helps us to enable accurate detection of damage to the car. We may collect data from internal and external systems to more accurately detect damage to the car and calculate maintenance and other related costs. This not only contributes to the safety of the passengers, but also reduces the overall cost of any damage.

In addition, we may use this data to improve the comfort of our customers. We can now predict with much more accuracy when a car may need servicing and direct our customers to preferred garages on time. We can even schedule appointments for them if they wish. Our analytical capabilities have been enhanced so much that by merging information from one car with historical information from other cars, we can predict when a car needs urgent maintenance so that we can take preventative action.

How do you integrate data-driven initiatives into your overall business strategy?

For us, it starts with having the right conversations – seeing through all the complexities, finding common ground, and setting priorities that everyone can agree on. Data-driven culture starts at the top. By taking a leadership position early on and creating a NextGen data platform that can meet all business needs, we have been able to integrate data into products and services, improving processes and creating value for customers.

On top of that, we have also transformed the capabilities of LeasePlan in the data space itself. We have made sure that the data is integrated into the business tools and gives the fleet managers data-driven insight that is easily accessible and supported by statistical models generated by our team in the backend.

As a CIO, what challenges do you see in the automotive industry from a business / technology perspective and what advice can you offer to other CIOs in this regard?

LeasePlan has operated in an extraordinary, strong and resilient market for almost 60 years. As we look to the future, there is much more we can accomplish. There are megatrends that are driving the growth of our business, such as mobility as a service, electrification of fleets, and the evolution of the car ownership model towards car subscription services.

To capitalize on these opportunities, our strategy is to become the world’s first fully digital Car-as-a-Service company. Our digital approach will allow us to enter new market segments, providing digital services at digital cost levels.

What does LeasePlan have in store for the next 12 months?

We are on track to implement a fully digital business model that will accelerate growth through scalable systems, aligning our products and services, and standardizing processes. Our digital team is fully focused on providing NextGen solutions for our organization and removing existing systems. Data plays an important role in this journey, especially to be able to ensure that we standardize our processes.

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Veronica J. Snell