The PeopleNet acquisition of 2011 has worked out for California-based Trimble Transportation, the big trucking logistics and mobile solutions operation.

Trimble conducted its annual meeting last week in Minnetonka, which is home base for fast-growing PeopleNet.

Since 2011, PeopleNet has grown from 132 employees to nearly 800, as part of Trimble’s mobile solutions business segment. That includes 500 Minnesota employees.

Trimble’s mobile solutions business, of which PeopleNet is part, grew 170 percent to $588 million in revenue in 2016 compared with 2011.

CEO Steve Berglund, a Minnesota native and University of Minnesota graduate, has led Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble since 1999. He led the annual meeting here last week.

Trimble’s revenue has doubled to $2.4 billion over the last decade and the stock price of the $10.5 billion-value company has hit all-time highs this quarter.

In August, PeopleNet President Brian McLaughlin was named president of the reconstituted “Trimble Transportation Mobility” division.

The unit, with PeopleNet at the core, brings together multiple Trimble business units, including software engineering, oil and gas services, and mobility solutions India.

McLaughlin said PeopleNet has evolved over the years to enable trucking fleets to “improve safety, connectivity and efficiency, including video intelligence from onboard cameras and electronic logging devices that replace manual drivers’ logs.”

Neal St. Anthony


MHTA Awards annual winners are in

Ability Network, PeopleNet, Arcserve and Reve Academy were among 13 organizations honored this week with 2017 Tekne Awards at the annual ceremony of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) for their “innovative drive and focus” to improve their communities and the economy.

“More than 30 years ago, MHTA’s founding members came together around three principles: build support for Minnesota’s science and technology institutions, enrich relationships between industry and education to understand future workforce demands, and develop a strategy for science, engineering and technology education,” said CEO Margaret Anderson Kelliher of MHTA. “The Tekne awards are a celebration of these principles, and these 13 recipients highlight the advancements of science and technology right here in our community.”

Winners included:

• Calabrio (analytics), the fast-growing customer-engagement software company that provides analytic insights to catalyze growth through customer-service centers and its Calabrio ONE unified workforce optimization suite.

• PeopleNet (communications technology), a growing provider of fleet mobility technology to the trucking and logistics industry that enables greater levels of safety, compliance, cost reduction and customer service.

• Arcserve (cyber security) develops data protection and availability solutions that deliver enterprise power with small team simplicity, focusing on comprehensive backup and recovery across all environments under one pane of glass.

• Activated Research Co. (industry impact), founded in 2014 with a vision to improve chemical analysis through expertise in catalysis. In 2015, its Polyarc system was launched, which provides the scientific community with better, faster and cheaper gas chromatography analyses.

More information:

Neal St. Anthony

Fixture of NWA fleet heads for final flight

Delta Air Lines is the last U.S. carrier flying the famed Boeing 747 aircraft, but not for long. Delta will bring the jumbo jet through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for its farewell tour on Dec. 20. It is likely to be the last time a 747 provides passenger service at MSP. The airplane was a fixture in the fleet of locally based Northwest Airlines, which Delta acquired in 2009. Northwest used 747s on international routes to and from the Twin Cities for decades.

The Queen of the Skies will make her final international trip — flying between Detroit and Seoul — a few days prior.

Here are five things aviation enthusiasts in Minnesota should know about the double-deck aircraft’s final days:

1. Delta will take its only remaining 747 on a victory lap to its four largest U.S. hubs next month. The aircraft will fly from Detroit to Seattle on Dec. 18, Seattle to Atlanta on Dec. 19 and Atlanta to Minneapolis-St. Paul on Dec. 20.

2. The flights are open to current and retired employees, who can purchase discounted tickets on the flights on Monday beginning at 11 a.m. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds will go to the Airloom Project, which operates the 747 Experience exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.

3. Delta customers can bid on tickets for these flights — which include access to the after-flight hangar party at MSP — using their SkyMiles.

4. Between now and the end of December, Delta will fly a few sports teams or one-off charter flights on the 747 bird.

5. Delta will ferry the plane to its final resting place in the Arizona desert in January.

Kristen Leigh painter