Ford to offer software service starting next year

Ford to offer software service starting next year

The software service, called VIIZR, will be offered starting next year by the automaker's Ford Pro commercial vehicle and services unit. Ford said that the system will digitize paperwork for contractors, repair technicians and other tradespeople, and will start at $39 per month per user.

The target small-business market overlaps with a key market for Ford trucks and commercial vans because of the fact that VIIZR customers don't have to drive Ford vehicles.

Ford is working to build sources of steady recurring subscription revenue to supplement revenue from vehicle sales that can get hit by economic downturns or disruptions, like the recent shortage of semiconductors.

Salesforce and other software-as-a-service companies tend to command higher stock valuations than manufacturers. Salesforce has a market value of nearly $253 billion, compared to $76 billion for Ford.

Ford said it would offer businesses free trial use of the VIIZR system ahead of the launch in the first half of 2022.