SAP has launched a cloud-based corporate ride-sharing platform called TwoGo, with Nokia providing the location component.
The service is for companies that want to quickly roll out a ride-sharing scheme for their employees – as is generally the case with such schemes, the advantages range from greater environment-friendliness to lower petrol costs and the need for fewer parking places. As Peter Graf, SAP’s sustainability chief, put it in a statement:
“We’ve combined our mobile and cloud technologies into a carpooling solution to help provide immediate economic, environmental and social benefits to companies and their employees. As such, we expect TwoGo to not only help people and businesses save money and greenhouse gas emissions, but to also connect people more closely with each other and with the company they work for.”
TwoGo works on the web and on mobile devices. Employees can enter their travel preferences, after which Nokia’s Here platform kicks in to display likely matches. Here is (in this writer’s opinion) Nokia’s big hedge against a post-hardware future, and this deal is significant for taking the location-based services platform into the enterprise. “We believe that location will be the new frontier of technology across industries,” Nokia mapping chief Christof Hellmis said in the statement.
Although it is particularly well-suited to large enterprises — the travel giant Thomas Cook is the first announced customer, having taken part in the beta program – SAP is also pitching TwoGo at smaller companies, as employees of neighbouring businesses can share rides too.
Handily, TwoGo also works with the likes of Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps (anything iCal-compatible will do) so that ride schedules can be integrated with corporate calendars. SAP has been using TwoGo internally for almost two years, and claims to have “generated more than $5 million in value for the company” through fuel and maintenance savings, lower travel expense reimbursements, cutting down on emissions and, of course, getting more employees talking to one another as they travel to work and back.
According to a separate blog post from Nokia, TwoGo is currently available for licensing by companies in the U.S. and Germany, with other countries coming online soon.