Cloud computing, Fishtalk and AKVA connect - solutions and ambitions

This might not be that important if we can understand which possibilities cloud technologies open up for us as users of different software solutions. In common with all other software providers, AKVA group is working on these types of solutions, and we are eager to discover what these solutions may mean for our customers.
akva overviewWhat it means short term, and what it might mean in the longer term – both for individual companies and for the sector as a whole? In this article we will describe in laymen terms our visions and ambitions related to cloud technology and how this will provide our products in the Fishtalk family and the process management software AKVA connect with better user experiences and interaction.

Short term we are convinced that Cloud technology first and foremost is about making everyday life easier for those who use our systems. The technology will make it easier for different software solutions to exchange data. Quite specifically for our customers it will mean that a fish farmer avoids entering data from the feeding systems into Fishtalk – regardless of whether the data comes from AKVA group’s own feeding software or from one of our competitors’ software. The elimination of data entry errors is important, and it also frees up time for other tasks. Checking the numbers remains important, but it doesn’t mean that they have to be entered every day.

Cloud technologies will provide a more seamless transfer of data between different products in the AKVA family, and in the longer term between AKVA products and third party software solutions. Cloud technology also allows for making data accessible by smartphone, tablet and other devices than PCs with relative ease, and to register work operations and data directly when conducting operations and inspections. One example is recording data during sea lice counts and sea lice treatment or daily inspections of pens.

In partnership with key customers, AKVA group has developed APP solutions for these work operations that are currently being launched. The APPs communicate with the Fishtalk software so that recordings done during operations are registered directly in the databases. Our future ambition is that the various digital platforms can retrieve data from all of AKVA group’s software solutions, either from the Fishtalk family, from feeding software, from fleet management, or from environmental sensors.

AKVA group has worked on establishing certain overarching design principles for such solutions, and the principles are based on our extensive knowledge of the industry and our customers. We have received excellent suggestions from EGGS Design – a renowned bureau that has developed design criteria for other sectors and players. Finding inspiration from what other players and sectors have done in this field is a good idea. The key design principles for our APP solutions are that they are easy to use, that they are customized for the users role and that the APPs will contribute to rationalize everyday work. However, the most important insights are derived from close cooperation with our customers. Not exactly rocket science, in other words, but we and our customers will live by these principles for some time. It is therefore important that the principles are easy to understand and that they withstand the test of time. Our customers will also recognize AKVA group’s general design in the new solutions – we’re concerned with totality and solidity, while also wanting to offer new solutions. The customers should recognize AKVA group’s design and work methodology – regardless of work interface and regardless of the role one has.

Roles are key when designing digital work interfaces. Needs differ between a production manager who is responsible for several sites and a person who is responsible for feeding the fish. There are differences between which types of information these individuals need to see, record and not least report. Our ambition is to develop tools that allow for customization for different roles in the company, and we work on solutions for this every day in partnership with our customers. We have to understand the workday of each individual, as well as the formal requirements the company faces – both internally and externally.

Cloud technology provides opportunities to process large volumes of data from numerous different sources, so-called Big Data. For the aquaculture industry Big Data analyses will provide the opportunity to understand complex interrelationships in a new way and generate new knowledge. One example is to better understand the environment in the sea along the coast and around the aquaculture facilities, and how different parameters influence actual   production. Cloud technology can allow for combining data sources from a number of players, processing the data, making it accessible, and providing feedback to the facilities. Although these opportunities are obvious, there are both legal, technical and strategic obstacles that must be overcome. This type of work requires a form of structure and system of agreements that must be developed, and a culture for this way of working must be established. Good Big Data projects in the aquaculture industry needs a longer perspective and require something different than the development of company-specific systems.

Short term in AKVA group, we are more concerned with what cloud technology might provide of opportunities to make every day work easier for our customers through customized solutions on different digital interfaces. The technology also facilitates greater interaction between different software solutions in the sector – both internally in the AKVA family and in relation to third party software solutions. This provides interesting opportunities, but the solutions must maintain data security and business interests – which is in the interest of both customers’ and the software providers. No doubt Big Data analyses will provide completely new stages for learning and generate knowledge, but such projects require awareness and maturity in the sector at large.