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One of the first things that Sid Forougi, co-founder and president of e-Lantis, will tell you is that e-Lantis is not just a GPS tracking company. The San Diego, Calif.-based technology firm offers the Lantis II GPS Data Integration System, a wireless communications solution that increases automation for improved productivity.
And Forougi, who has a master's degree in engineering and owns a limousine business, should know what he's talking about when it comes to streamlining processes in the chauffeured transportation industry. He started the Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based Midnight Express in 1995 with his wife Veronica. The company now has 15 vehicles.
"When I started, I saw that the industry was very labor intensive, very redundant," Forougi says. "Lantis II provides a solution to this redundancy by improving information flow and data quality between the back office, chauffeur, client, and other businesses."
The GPS system tracks the movements of the car and its status, sending real-time updates to the back office. Updates en route alert the main office of pickup confirmation or unexpected tolls. A time log simplifies billing and payroll. Vehicle status updates such as mileage, gas, whether an engine is on or off, and alerts for GeoFencing, suspicious moves, and accidents, keep managers constantly informed.
Lantis II was created for any type of fleet, from trucks to taxis to the livery industry. Midnight Express is pioneering the system. "Because we have Midnight Express, right now we have customized it exclusively for corporate transportation cars," Forougi says.
The complete Lantis II system consists of three other components in addition to the GPS. The Chauffeured Peer Station (CPS), available via smart phone or as an in-dash system, allows the chauffeur to communicate with the back end to retrieve reservation details for quicker dispatching and routing.
The Client Endpoint Service (CES) downloadable software application for smart phones locates the client's position, lists the vehicles nearby that are on the Lantis II system, and allows the client to place an order immediately. The chauffeur receives the order on his CPS and the client can follow the movements of the vehicle on his screen.
The Data Exchange Platform (DEP) is a downloadable component that syncs real-time data across different back-office systems to allow for the seamless exchange of information between affiliate businesses. "You don't have to go through with the texting, the mailing, the faxing - it's just plug-and-play," Forougi says.
The system is written for the .NET framework. Forougi is working on integration with Limo Anywhere and Odyssey.
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