Currently there are 65 people supporting TomTom in 9 different languages from Amsterdam. Roy is looking to recruit another 40 starting 1st September and a further 30 or so support staff before the end of this year. This will enable TomTom to keep their support lines open during the evening and provide a better service to clients. Especially those of of us living outside the Central Europe timezone.
For those of you in the USA there are currently 20 staff but this will be increasing to somewhere between 40 and 50 during the rest of this year.
TomTom Plus Services
The presentation of TomTom Plus services was very interesting. TomTom want to add value to the navigation experience. We all know about POIs and Speed camera Databases, but they are also building up libraries of Voices and other items such as itineries
Not a lot was discussed about the Plus Services during the meeting, but we had some animated discussions during the evening. There were 5 of us who were concerned about TomTom's POIs in particular the Speed Camera databases. We are still in discussion awaiting a response as to the of the origin of the data for these databases.
The SDK was about to be released, which of course it now has been. The SDK is designed to allow 3rd Party developers to "Add Value" to the TomTom Navigator 5 software. This has already seen some early applications developed and released.
The SDK though is really aimed at "Professional" use. This is the transport markets. Providing the SDK allows the development of Logistics and Service industry integrated solutions.
There was a contingent from Teleatlas there to present the Teleatlas mapping process and to provide a demonstration of the Teleatlas surveying data collection vans. The main thrust of this was more what I would call a "marketing" presentation. PocketGPSWorld.com is visiting Teleatlas in their Belgium head office soon where we will be able to put your concerns and get down to more detailed and useful discussions. Click here for details of our TeleAtlas visit.
Dedicated Staff for Web Communities
From our point of view the most useful part of the meeting was appointment of a dedicated member of the TomTom team to liaise directly with PocketGPSWorld.com and the other communities. This will provide us with an official communications channel for both news, support. This will provide us with authoritative responses and official statements from TomTom.
The actual person is still being recruited so we are not able to make that announcement yet, but watch this space (as they say). The intent is there on TomTom's part, it remains to be seen how successful this will be.
A TomTom Road Test
Well TomTom is all about navigation products, and you cannot do too much driving a desk. TomTom arranged a trip in one of the pool of test cars that they use for road testing of the TomTom software. We took the opportunity to go to our hotel and book in leaving our luggage behind. We were given a demonstration of the TomTom Rider though the bluetooth headset was not available so we could not determine the quality of the output.