Recently when showing our Dealer Systems Integration portal, Motive Integrator, to an automaker we heard something to the effect of the following: “I can see how Motive Integrator produces big savings for the DSPs, so shouldn’t they pay for it?”
We have been working with Motive Retail for the past few years. Over this period of time Motive has routinely improved and added to the functionality of the Motive Integrator portal, refined their processes and expanded their service offerings. We have been a beneficiary of Motive’s investments in their business and their commitment to excellence in dealer systems integration.
Today, we’re excited to announce some significant new enhancements to our Motive Integrator Testing Suite. Three new apps have been added as core testing components, each specifically focused on Certification Testing.
In Part 3 of our Testing series, we talked about independent testing, specifically testing performed by DSPs. Perhaps the most critical aspect of an integration project is the coordinated testing (or Certification Testing) between both parties which so often is known for being cumbersome, slow and expensive.
When it comes to rolling out new integrations with dealers, some automakers have turned to their IT services partners for support. Certainly this works well for the design and development of the back-end systems, communications infrastructure and the Web Services that will be used to implement the integration with dealers. The expertise and business model of IT professional services firms is well suited to this sort of work. Ensuring that these integrations are efficiently and correctly implemented by dealer system providers, though, is a different matter.
Motive is pleased to announce that it has added Porsche Cars North America as a new automaker client. Porsche is embarking on a new global program to implement a range of integrations with the key DMS systems used by its dealer body. This is the first project of its kind at Porsche in a number of years and demonstrates their commitment to improving retail performance through greater integration between systems. Motive will be providing all services for management of DSP Integration and Certification activities including the development of all integration specifications, DSP technical support, certification testing and dealer pilots.
Volkswagen Group of America continues to expand its Dealer Integration Program with new dealer system certifications. Most recently Serti Information Systems, out of Quebec Canada and PBS Systems, also based in Canada, have completed certification for two new integrations. The Serti Dealership System and the Aristogold system from PBS now support Vehicle Inventory and Warranty Credit Note integration.
A story in this week’s Automotive News (“This tile, that gray: Chevy's store plan by the book") shows how much focus automakers direct toward the physical design of their dealerships and the attention to detail necessary to create an environment that reinforces desired brand impressions and customer experiences. The design of the store is critically important, but is only one factor influencing customer experience. Customer experience is also shaped by the efficiency of their interactions with the dealer, and by extension, the automaker. Since dealer operations in sales, service and parts today are largely driven by the dealer’s computer systems, the ability of those systems to seamlessly integrate with the automaker’s systems is now an extremely important contributor to customer experience.
Both Nissan and Toyota Motor Sales are in the process of expanding their integration programs to work with more DSPs, as reported in Automotive News this week (“Nissan dealers expect DMS costs to drop”). In both cases they will go from supporting integration with 2 DMS systems to 8, significantly expanding the choice of integrated systems for their dealer networks.
A third-party integration certification program which includes verification that the third-party dealer system complies with integration specifications provides great value to the automaker, the DSP and the dealers. A comprehensive testing process is the only way to ensure interfaces have been implemented correctly. Over the coming weeks, we will publish a number of posts on this topic, to highlight why testing is such an important element of any DSP integration program and how it can be implemented most effectively and efficiently. Our views on testing are informed by years of experience working with both OEMs and DSPs on dozens of integrations giving Motive a unique understanding of the perspectives, constraints and business objectives of both parties. Motive believes that for any certification program to be successful it must accommodate the needs of both sides. Look for upcoming posts about the nature of testing in a B2B integration program, the type of testing that is generally required and common pitfalls. We welcome your comments, questions and any anecdotes you may have from your experiences.