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Digitalisation in shipping isn’t new. Digital transformation drivers have been around for quite a while, and Covid-19 has acted as an accelerator – zooming the industry forward.
More and more players in shipping are exploring the opportunities offered by new digital technologies and increased connectivity, whether for operational analysis and optimisation, reduced ecological impact, better decision-making, or cost-saving.
Concerning the latter – cost-saving – there seems to be a 50/50 approach. Half of the shipping companies focus on reducing costs, whereas the other half focuses on improving the business.
Improving both cost efficiencies and business operations requires you to establish a digital strategy. One of the safest and most value-adding ways of doing this is to invest in ICT solutions purpose-built to tackle the challenges and complexities of maritime connectivity.
To secure buy-in and budget for new enterprise software, you need a clear picture of your company’s overall return on investment. This article provides the information you need to present a persuasive business case to your organisation’s other decision-makers.
As a shipowner, you have invested significantly in satellite communication systems onboard your vessels. For obvious reasons. Being able to communicate and collaborate with shore-based operations is no longer a ‘nice to have’.
Today’s commercial vessels require reliable satellite communications to stay connected with main offices, customers and ports, satisfy crew welfare demands, and meet ever-increasing customer expectations.
Your shipping operations depend on 24/7 ship-to-shore connectivity. The more you are organised to benefit from data communication systems (IoT data, integration with customers, ports, etc.) the better-informed your business decisions will be.
This, in turn, can result in lowered cost, improved vessel and environmental performance – and, crucially, new revenue streams and maximised profits.
In other words: higher returns on your IT investment onboard.
Investing in the Dualog solution is a strategic decision to retain predictability, stability and flexibility when operating services like Internet optimisation and maritime email, allowing you to get the most of your vessel IT investments.
Dualog’s versatile range of services and solutions enable you to…
Implementing the Dualog solution will have a positive impact on operational productivity and safety. Here are three examples:
Maritime-optimised file and folder replication: A typical challenge for vessel personnel is when they try to send large files through email-based solutions, due to file size restrictions. This often results in delays in big file retrieval from vessel to shore personnel. The service Dualog Drive simplifies and streamlines data collection and distribution 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 subfolders, Dualog Drive handles these challenges directly.
Secure data flow: To be able to trust your vessel data and utilise it to make better decisions, it needs to make it ashore safely and securely. The Dualog solution ensures this high-value data remains unchanged, protected and trustworthy in transit from ship to shore. Built-in encryption safeguards confidential documents and files from unauthorised access. Authentication of clients ensures data privacy, so that you can rest assured data flow is secure.
Automated data collection: As more and more shipboard systems are being equipped with sensors, a key maritime safety measure is to ensure data about the state of machinery is brought to shore directly, reducing possible human errors.
The Dualog solution allows you to save operating costs in several ways. In addition to helping you avoid typical time-wasters such as lack of automation and efficient processes, the Dualog solution will enable you to...
Have guaranteed service uptime and system operability: In a complex and competitive environment like shipping, system security and operational stability are critical. As a Dualog customer, you are guaranteed a 99.98% service uptime. What’s more, all kinds of viruses and malware attempting to infect your IT and OT systems need to be blocked, in real time. Dualog’s 360° cybersecurity helps you stay secure from cyberattacks and keeps your shipboard systems operable at all times.
Minimise revenue loss: Classification societies regularly carry out inspections and surveys onboard ships. Each time one of your ships goes into dry dock for inspection, the downtime costs you money. Instead, you can send data about the ship’s health and status to the classification society and other authorities ashore for analysis, thus eliminating the need for inspectors to come aboard your ships. The Dualog solution provides the crucial transitional link between your ships at sea and classification societies on shore.
Control onboard Internet traffic: Crew members will never self-regulate when it comes to the use of bandwidth. They will always use their entire share. Thus, you can never buy enough bandwidth. Using Dualog’s maritime-optimised quota management system allows you to easily allocate a certain amount of free surfing data to everyone on board each month. This prevents the never-ending cycle where your only viable option is to buy more bandwidth, and more, and more... Besides, it prevents unforeseen spikes in usage, effectively controlling costs.
Move fast and get a competitive edge: In today’s shipping environment, your employees are being asked to work on increasingly sophisticated equipment, against increasingly complex regulatory demands. Competition is fierce, and the companies that are able to move fast and leverage maritime-optimised digital solutions to automate and streamline their operations are more likely to gain a competitive advantage.
Eliminate time-wasters: The best way to make sure your teams save time – both in your offices and on your vessels – is to invest in technology that enables automation and streamlined processes. The Dualog solution enables your employees to work smarter and thus faster.
Save time with easy deployment: Choosing an enterprise software solution that ticks all the boxes of maritime requirements will minimise the time and attention required to implement the service and adapt it to your organisation. Dualog has extensive experience implementing software in shipboard infrastructures just like yours, and we can foresee common time-consuming issues that similar shipping companies have dealt with before. This saves both shore staff and onboard crew several hours that they can dedicate to more pressing matters.
From 1 January 2021 onward, shipping companies are obliged to incorporate cyber risk management into their ISM Code safety management. No later than the next annual DOC verification after this date, you must demonstrate that appropriate measures for handling cyber risk are an integral part of your safety management system. Non-compliant ships risk being detained.
IMO states that ships have to be ‘cyber secure’. This means you need to be able to document that your fleet is cyber secure – by producing an authorised certificate offered by classification societies.
With a cybersecurity certificate in place, you can safely proclaim: “Yes, we are cyber secure, because this independent party has certified that we are.” The Dualog solution can solidify and safeguard your onboard digital security and move you toward the cybersecurity certifications you need to be IMO compliant.
High crew turnover brings hiring and onboarding costs, learning curve losses and productivity nosedives. The more inexperienced your crew is, the more incidents will occur. Reliable ship-to-shore Internet access is one essential basic’s that you need to implement across your fleet to boost crew morale and reduce the likelihood of early exit.
Moreover, young people entering the industry expect at least some access to Internet services, whether on sea or land. In fact, onboard Internet access is increasingly influencing seafarers’ decisions about which shipping company they want to work for.
Many software vendors seek to lock customers into their offerings. The Dualog solution is designed to enable transparency and freedom to choose for shipowners and ship managers. This gives you the strategic flexibility to a) retain control over your own data, b) at all times choose airtime, hardware and other software solutions best suited for current and future needs, c) have standardisation across your fleet regardless of the airtime vendor, and d) avoid vendor lock-in.
Compounding all the above-mentioned business value increases your ROI further.
Your sea operations rely on the safe and secure ship-to-shore transfer of data. Using the Dualog solution on your ships ensures optimised use of your communication infrastructure, adding real business value.
As a consequence of digitalisation and the rapidly increasing volume and complexity of vessel data, decisions in the logistics chain must be made at an ever-increasing pace. The Dualog solution puts you at the forefront of developments in the industry. This enables you to make the right decisions at the right time, in turn solidifying the competitive edge you need to sustain business growth in a global market.
Rune Larsen is Service Marketing Manager in Dualog, with responsibilities for user experience design, visual design and marketing of existing and new services. Educated in business strategy and marketing from the Arctic University of Norway, he has more than 25 years of experience from the creative industry, where he worked as a writer, consultant, designer and creative director in various advertising agencies and design studios. He's been orchestrating brand identity projects, design work and brand building campaigns for a wide range of organisations. He brings a passion for great design to the team, never compromising on the importance of the 'experience' part of UX. When not at the office, he enjoys hiking with his wife or is busy being a football coach for his youngest daughter. His fitness regime involves either running or cross-country skiing. Rune is an avid reader of business-related books, and he loves the occasional bottle of Barolo.