Royal Dirkzwager keep eye on seas with satellite comms and big data

Royal Dirkzwager keep eye on seas with satellite comms and big data

Maritime tracking specialist Royal Dirkzwager has used technology from Software AG to help clients keep a closer eye on vessel movements.

For Netherlands-based Royal Dirkzwager and its clients, shipping information is a way to keep a close eye on conditions at sea and ensure a smooth passage for vessels. The company tracks almost 2 trillion ship locations a year on behalf of around 800 maritime organizations – but the world’s oceans are vast and remain tricky to monitor.

Early, ship-based transponders provided a partial solution, but these can only communicate data when a ship comes into port and don’t reach any further than around 40 kilometres offshore.

“Satellite tracking was the obvious solution,” says Royal Dirkzwager CIO Ton De Jong, but with 120,000 ships transmitting data every two seconds over satellite networks, he soon found that the flood of data swamped Royal Dirkzwager’s systems.

Read more: Dubai shipping company Topaz links ships to shore with Maritime Connect

Attention all shipping

Today, the company uses Software AG’s Apama Analytics & Decisions Platform and Webmethods Integration, as part of its wider deployment of the Software AG Digital Business Platform. This set-up enables satellite and IoT information from vessels to be collected and analyzed, aiding shipping movement forecasts and in-harbor logistics.

Royal Dirkzwager can now provide its clients with live and continuously updated ETAs (estimated times of arrival) for ships. This, in turn, means customers can coordinate better with port employees and the trucking companies that collect goods at docks and carry them on their onward journeys.

This is important, because when a ship comes into harbor, a complex choreography of services is initiated, from finding suitable tugboats and a berth, to refueling, unloading cargo and resupplying the vessel with fresh food and supplies for its crew. If the third parties providing these services aren’t ready, an unscheduled arrival can prove extremely costly.

Accurate ETAs, by contrast, come with a host of benefits, including lower costs, higher asset utilization and increased customer satisfaction.

Read more: Cargo shipping tech specialist MTI completes blockchain pilot

Customers embrace customization

Customization is another big win for Royal Dirkzwager, using the new platform. With Apama working in the background, the company’s clients can send their own alerts, customizing real-time messages by ship, route and tracking location. By automating this process, the company has improved its real-time message handling by 300 percent, it claims, from 500 messages per second to 1,500.

Clients subscribe to information about specific ships based on virtual zones drawn around any location. As soon as a monitored vessel enters (or exits) a zone, the subscriber receives details by email or text. An XML message can also be submitted to an operational system or invoke a Web service.

For Royal Dirkzwager’s customers, this helps control costs and improve safety. And for the company itself, it provides a foundation for new logistics services in the future.

Read more: Semtech LoRa geolocation helps Irish Port of Cork track shipping assets

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Internet of Business

Intelli-Buoy gathers water data

Water is essential to life on earth, and making sure our rivers and lakes are free from pollution is therefore quite important. For environmental monitoring, students from Bergen County Academics Magnet High School have come up with the Intelli-Buoy system that can track water turbidity, pH, oxygen, and temperature levels for analysis. It can also keep tabs on wind speed and rain stats for possible correlation.

The floating device uses a pair of Arduino Unos with an SD card shield mounted on each in order to record these statistics over several days, and it’s designed with two external USB ports for easy access.

Be sure to check out this orange PVC sensor assembly the video seen here.

Arduino Blog

Digitalist Flash Briefing: Who Cares About Data Breaches?

Today’s briefing looks at how major consumer data breaches – fraudulentcredit card charges, compromised data, hijacked e-mail or social media accounts, and loans or lines of credit opened via identity theft – impact consumersAND the breached companies.

  • Amazon Echo or Dot: Enable the “Digitalist” flash briefing skill, and ask Alexa to “play my flash briefings” on every business day.
  • Alexa on a mobile device:
    • Download the Amazon Alexa app: Select Skills, and search “Digitalist”. Then, select Digitalist, and click on the Enable button.
    • Download the Amazon app: Click on the microphone icon and say “Play my flash briefing.”

Find and listen to previous Flash Briefings on

Read more on today’s topic


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Data Will Be the Next “Oil”

Data Will Be the Next “Oil”

Data Will Be the Next “Oil”

This is the first of a series of exclusive articles by Nicolas Windpassinger*, Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert Partner Program and the author of the IoT book Digitize or Die**.

Data is becoming a key business asset with tangible value. Owning the source of data, building value from it, and improving the business relevancy for customers will be game changers. The game will be less about selling products than owning the relationship and the data. Tomorrow’s winners will be the ones who have managed to not only connect their customers, but have made sense of the consequential flow of data to them.

Yet, we’re only at the start of unlocking the full value of the data at our disposal. The same is true for all the machine-generated and IoT data that exists and will soon become a real data flood. Are we ready to deal with it? And how can we leverage it in a smart, safe, and purposeful way?

The Data “Oil Well”

While data is omnipresent, it can be leveraged in more ways than it is today. While it needs to be turned into value, there are technical challenges to gather these volumes of data.

First is real-time transmission of information from devices such as sensors, which can require far more bandwidth than is available. Consider, for example, a smart operating room in a hospital, which could contain a wide variety of sensing devices to monitor every aspect of a patient’s health including their breathing, heart rate, blood levels, and even skin colour and muscle tone. It’s an overwhelming amount of data that must be analysed in real time as it can literally save lives. Or, take a large office building where contextual data is gathered on all levels, ranging from real-time alerts and meeting room occupancy to smart metering data for regulatory or energy saving goals and pattern detection.

Next, is the aggregation of the data and the intelligence that can be extracted from it. Aggregating data so that it can be useful presents different questions and opportunities alike. Consider a smart city concept with smart homes and buildings across a major metropolitan area; the amount of data is immense and continuous. information is also extraordinarily useful when examined on an aggregate level. Resource usage throughout a city can be predicted by analysing the aggregate data and then factoring in the effects of weather, social events, and other variables. Let’s take the example of a smart stadium that was connected to the surrounding metropolitan area; in a large event, such as a football game, it’s predictable that there will be a surge of traffic as the event begins and ends.

Sensors could report on the number of people in the stadium, and adjust patterns automatically as those people begin to leave the parking area. Businesses in the local area – such as restaurants – which normally close early, could receive notifications of the traffic surge and remain open longer.

The third challenge is the storage and legal ownership of the data. Does the customer own their information? Or, do the companies and businesses which collect information own it? Or, perhaps the data aggregators own the data; or is the data, once personalised information has been removed, available to the public domain? There are also legal aspects to consider such as the data general protection regulation (GDPR), which is intended to strengthen data protection in the European Union.

The Forest Behind the Trees: Dark Data

Recently McKinsey & Company calculated that on an oil rig with 30,000 sensors, only one percent of data is examined. Why? Because the data serves a purpose: detecting and controlling anomalies. When used for prediction and optimisation the unused data can create real value, the company stated. There is even more value at stake if you consider that, in practice, we use several data formats and sources in most applications where actionable information and decisions are the outcomes. A pharmaceutical company, for instance, combines IoT data, health data, data from wearables, hospital data, research data, and even genetic data to find new healthcare solutions.

Gartner defines dark data as the information assets organisations collect, process, and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes. You can imagine the opportunities and challenges of detecting, storing, and leveraging dark data.

IoT is the “Pickaxe” and “Shovel” of the Oil Race

The Internet of Things is connecting things with things, people with things, and people with people; this is unleashing an unprecedented flow of data. It will definitively change the way we work, live, and seek entertainment in smart buildings and cities. However, end-to-end connectivity on a broad urban scale has never been deployed. We should not underestimate the societal benefits of such connected ecosystems, which aim to reduce carbon footprints, provide better living conditions, cope with growing and aging populations, and ensure the security, safety, and comfort of citizens, while respecting their data and privacy.

There will also be more and more alternative and distributed sources of energy, which will raise the complexity of connected buildings, smart city ecosystems, and tomorrow’s digital factories. Considering that network infrastructure has evolved over the past 10 years, moving from basic hub to fully routed and intelligent networks, it is a good indicator of what we will experience over the next 10 – 15 years. The digital transformation trends of the industry, intelligent buildings, smart cities, intelligent energy grids, and connected critical power infrastructure in airports and hospitals will have similar impacts, if not greater, than what the internet had on the way we live our everyday life.

Digitize or Die : the IoT book for digital transformation leaders
Read Digitize or Die to learn how to transform your organization and rise above the competition with IoT.IoT book: Digitize or Die by Nicolas Windpassinger

Data sovereignty

Dealing with the aspects of sovereignty (data ownership), IoT data transactions and data exchanges that are inevitable to achieve innovation and transformation beyond the level of the single organisation -and on the level of industrial markets, smart cities, and the types of connected ecosystems as described – is not an easy task.

Transformational programs which are organised on sectorial, local, national, and supra-national scales, such as the European Union’s program for a regulated data market, are being studied and developed today. Their purpose is to create the framework and safe, certified, and regulated contractual mechanisms to not just leverage an organisation’s own data – but to enable innovation and digital transformation using aggregated data and the resulting insights.

There is a new kid on the proverbial block that could solve the transactional data dimension with the same considerations of sovereignty, transactions, and safe contractual methods. That blockchain technology, which promises to be the missing link enabling peer-to-peer contractual behavior without any third party to “certify” the IoT transaction. It also answers the challenge of scalability, single point of failure, time stamping, record, privacy, trust, and reliability in a very consistent way.

Some companies are investing in innovations and programs that enable and equip their partner channels to effectively deliver on this IoT evolution. One such program is Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program, which puts the business growth of its partner channel at the forefront of its mission while delivering best-in-class, IoT-enabled solutions to customers such as that offered by the EcoStruxure™ architecture and platform.

Regardless of which technologies or frameworks will be chosen for the further development of IoT and the data opportunities it offers in a value-generating way, we’ve only seen the beginning of the true potential of IoT data as we enter the next stages in collaborative and connected ways.

* About the Author
Nicolas Windpassinger
With 15+ years of computer networking industry experience, Nicolas Windpassinger is the Global Vice President of Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program, whose mission is to connect the technologies and expertise of the world’s leading technology providers, pioneer the future of intelligent buildings and the Internet of Things, and deliver smarter, integrated and more efficient services and solutions to customers.
As a result of his work, Schneider Electric’s EcoXpert™ Partner Program has been granted a 5-Star rating in the 2017 Partner Program Guide by CRN®, which is part of The Channel Company group. The 5-Star Partner Program Guide rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs.
Nicolas has been recognized by The Channel Company’s Top Midmarket IT Executives list. This annual list honors influential vendor and solution provider executives who have demonstrated an exceptionally strong commitment to the midmarket. The Channel Company, has recognized Nicolas as one of 100 People You Don’t Know But Should in the IT channel for 2017.
** About the Book
Understand, master, and survive the Internet of Things with one simple and pragmatic methodology broken down into four steps. Digitize or Die is used by front-line business decision makers to digitize their strategy, portfolio, business model, and organization. This book describes what the IoT is, its impacts and consequences, as well as how to leverage the digital transformation to your benefit.
Inside these pages, you will learn:

  • What the IoT means to all businesses
  • Why the IoT and the digital revolution is a threat to your business model and survival
  • What you need to understand to better grasp the problem
  • The four steps your company needs to follow to transform its operations to survive

 Order the book now 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of IoT Business News.

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IoT Business News

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions

Enables business outcomes for edge-to-enterprise Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing projects.

Tech Data today announced a pan-European agreement with Advantech, a leading global provider of Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions.

The Advantech product portfolio covers a comprehensive range of technologies from hardware and software to specific industry solutions for intelligent industrial automation and control.

Tech Data resellers and system integrators across Europe can now access Advantech’s extensive range of innovative products, which enable business outcomes for edge-to-enterprise IoT projects in industrial spaces, extreme environments with harsh conditions, transportation or outdoor applications.

Advantech is the latest addition to Tech Data’s IoT Solutions partner ecosystem, bringing special focus on data acquisition sensor capabilities, IoT networking infrastructure and data interfaces supporting a variety of environments. With this partnership, Tech Data reinforces its commitment to closing the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) in the IoT market and driving adoption of industrial IoT through the channel.

Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT & Analytics Solutions, Europe, at Tech Data said:
“Success in IoT requires strong partnerships and collaboration. With this agreement, we will help our channel partners to deliver a complete solution, including the required IT and OT elements for the industrial sector. Industry 4.0 is driving growth in the IoT sector and Tech Data is now able to provide reliable end-to-end industrial solutions to help our partners resolve end-customer needs and deliver transformative business outcomes.”

The partnership between Advantech and Tech Data allows the creation of end-to-end solutions that open up new markets to Tech Data customers, such as predictive and prescriptive maintenance, remote field support and asset condition monitoring across Europe.

Jash Bansidhar, sector head of Industrial IoT Europe at Advantech, said:
“Advantech has selected Tech Data to accelerate its go-to-market for Industry 4.0 and Smart City systems integrators.”

“The partnership enables both companies to offer enhanced customer value by rolling-out international solution ready platforms (hardware and software) in industrial markets. Our cooperation enables us to offer one-stop-shop IIoT products and solutions that bridge the gap between OT and IT in factories and provide best-in-class customer service.”

The post Tech Data Announces European Agreement with Advantech for Industrial IoT Solutions appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News