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As the need for ships to stay in touch with shore increases, the ability to manage data transfer on challenging bandwidth conditions across a fleet becomes essential. Dualog’s new file and folder replication service Dualog® Drive is designed to streamline the collection and distribution of large data volumes between ship and shore.
In modern shipping, there is a clear need for digitally connected systems that can work together efficiently. A vessel IT architecture has become more complex, and in addition to the traditional IT systems, we are now seeing more and more OT systems connected to the Internet.
A modern ship generates more data than ever before. As a shipowner or operator, you need to have this data available at all times and make qualified decisions based on it.
Data can also be shared among various stakeholders in the supply chain, enabling collaborative decision making that benefits each one of them and the industry as a whole.
Moreover, access to data is vital for several stakeholders within a shipping company.
The Operations Department is responsible for the monitoring of the fleet's performance (engine, fuel consumption, etc.) and all things related to managing the vessels, such as providing safety documentation and reporting to the DPA all incidents, pollution incidents and other major operations cases for initiating necessary corrective action.
The Chartering Department will focus on the "well-being" of the cargo as well as voyage instructions, port arrival times, and so on.
The IT Department (if there is one) will focus on their domain and deal with the digital data-processing functions of the company.
To achieve the best coordination of fleet and shipping company, all these departments rely on a seamless ship-to-shore flow of real-time data. This is why integrating ships with shore has become crucial, as the industry needs onboard data to be distributed effectively and securely ashore as well as across fleet or ship groups.
Typical land-based file sharing solutions such as Dropbox and OneDrive pose several problems in shipping. They are complicated to configure and monitor, or even archive and search for the completed or failed transfers. Bandwidth is very limited and expensive, and most of the available solutions are not built for maritime use. Without proper data prioritisation and bandwidth optimisation, such solutions can bring about unexpected costs in operation.
This is why Dualog has created a secure and efficient file and folder replication service – Dualog Drive. Tailormade for maritime operations, Dualog Drive offers a comprehensive file transfer and sharing service far beyond that of Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and similar services.
Read more: –Works nicely so far
Quite a few Dualog customers have already implemented the Drive service across their fleet, such as The China Navigation Company (CNCo).
For these shipping companies, the business value of having a reliable file replication solution has become apparent.
What typical use case scenarios are we seeing so far for Dualog Drive?
Synchronising documentation is something that many shipping companies are struggling with. Dualog Drive allows you to easily synchronise files or folders from any shore location to an entire fleet or group of vessels, or from any vessel to shore. This is typically safety documentation (SMS), certificates, circulars, IT documentation, or any kind of documentation that needs to be shared with the full fleet.
For example, your safety team can distribute and maintain a repository of SMS documents to all ships. The safety department can efficiently distribute even large document libraries across a large fleet with a single task configuration, ensuring, for instance, up-to-date safety documentation.
Several Dualog customers are using Drive for daily operations, to avoid sending files via email. Officers can share large pictures, or even videos, with the technical department during maintenance or survey.
Various departments within a shipping company have a need to distribute files to the vessels, as well as to monitor ongoing and completed transfers.
We are seeing a surge in transfer of critical data such as Planned Maintenance System (PMS) data and Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). PMS data is critical for the ships’ operations, and Dualog Drive ensures its safe transmission from ship to shore and vice versa.
We are also seeing on-demand VDR data transfer. These large files are typically transferred through an agent once the ship is in port. Dualog Drive optimises the transfer of large files and cuts the delivery time, as well as all the costs incurred by involving agencies in the process. And finally, the system allows for example maintenance systems or other IoT-enabled devices to send status reports, files, images or videos to shore-based personnel for review.
Several Vessel IT Managers have started to appreciate having a way to manage a common IT-dedicated repository that can be maintained from the comfort of their desk. Whenever a new version of a software is available, all the Vessel IT staff need to do is upload on a Drive folder and the file will swiftly be distributed to the entire fleet.
Dualog Drive is very often used for sending software updates and patches to the vessels. Files needed to upgrade any given software onboard a group of ships can be placed in a folder for easy and secured transfer.
Addressing both operational pains, security pains and business pains, Dualog® Drive is purpose-built to take the pain out of replicating files between ship and shore.
The system simplifies and streamlines the collection and distribution of data between your vessels’ IT and OT systems and shore operations. Whether you need to distribute files one-to-many or many-to-one, or one large file or thousands of files in multiple sub-folders, Dualog Drive handles these challenges directly.
Marko is an enthusiastic Solution Architect and a key member of the sales force and deployment team. Marko is responsible for the overall design of the IT solution to the customer and mapping client business requirements to systems/technical requirements. As a technical lead in both pre-sales and deployment meetings and processes, he is used to communicating with clients on all levels to understand business and technical drivers. Marko joined Dualog in 2015 and had a chance to work within numerous departments in the company, including pre-sales, deployment, product design, customer service and cybersecurity. Marko is based in Oslo and works closely with Dualog’s European customer base.