Orange Business Services has acquired fleet management company Ocean as it looks to turbo charge its position in M2M/IoT.

The incorporation of France-based Ocean into Orange’s enterprise arm puts a 100,000-strong fleet of managed vehicles at OBS’s disposal alongside Ocean’s fleet management platform, which is currently used across 45,000 vehicles for 2,000 corporate customers.

Further, Orange said the acquisition would allow it to develop new M2M/IoT solutions for vertical markers, such as construction and public infrastructure, using a new platform from Ocean that provides tracking for assets such as agricultural equipment, machinery and building site materials.

Ocean will be absorbed into Orange Applications for Business, the digital division of Orange Business Services that specialises in areas including connected objects, big data and analytics.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Thierry Bonhomme, Executive Director of Orange Business Services, said: “With the acquisition of such an innovative and powerful leader as Ocean, we are creating a new European leader in Fleet Management that will support the growth strategy of Orange Applications for Business on the connected objects and M2M markets.

“Through these advanced technologies, companies managing fleets of vehicles or equipment can leverage huge benefits that will facilitate their digital transformation and develop new processes and business models.”

According to Orange, fleet management and vehicle tracking is one of the most advance sectors in the M2M industry and a “pillar” of the operator’s growth strategy.

OBS has been tasked with increasing the share IT services adds to its revenues by 10 percentage points by 2020.

[Read more: Orange plays it safe with connected objects, mobile banking focus in new strategic plan]

Jacques Riviere, President of Ocean, commented: "The project with Orange, which is based on the technical platform recently developed by Ocean, will give us the opportunity to pursue our growth by building on our core success factor: a unique organisation and development model.”

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