FrontM is a software platform with efficient communication and offline analytics capabilities. The platform technology powers applications that drive higher productivity for distributed workforces and personal welfare for the crew working on ships, rigs, etc.
For the maritime industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the risks of delaying digitalisation. Manual processes, physical touchpoint, analogue or paperwork procedures, asynchronous communication are collectively contributing to inefficiencies and impacting the industry’s performance and the bottom lines.
Maritime Market Segments and Key 21st Century Themes
Across maritime’s end-user market segments, below are the current broad themes that we focus on:
FrontM for 21st Century Maritime Digital Reboot
While designing the platform for accelerating the digitalisation of maritime processes, we have focussed on 2 key characteristics
1. Unification: Enable a suite of collaboration and intelligent solutions via a single trusted touchpoint
Fundamentally, ships are profitable only when sailing or transporting. When they’re distant, people isolated in them, and their remote operations easily become disconnected. In this context, traditionally to introduce digital solutions and to gain user’s trust has been more challenging to achieve. A variety of monolithic solutions and heterogeneity in experiences means a further barrier to acceptance and adoption. And to close-in on the distance between distributed users, lack of an ability to continuously keep comms open and collaborate seamlessly prevents stickiness.
Enabling crew on ships with access to the ground ecosystem in a contextual, collaborative manner and empowering them with relevant information at their moment of need is crucial. Aggregating solutions into a single hub or portal, with a built-in comms suite (messaging, VoIP, video) is a key part of FrontM’s design that is addressing the challenges of trust, adoption, and stickiness.
2. Offline: Ensure offline capabilities and efficient use of Satcom
On the one hand, broadband-like speeds and more bandwidth is becoming increasingly affordable, and on the other, there is a data explosion taking place with connected IT systems demanding more connectivity than available. The data remand is at any point 100X higher than the bandwidth available. This is likely to be constant!
Also when satellite connectivity footprint has dark spots and VSAT technologies suffer rain-fade and light-of-sight issues, truly continuous and uninterrupted connectivity, particularly with a guaranteed streaming quality of service over satellite continues to be a gap.
Hence FrontM solutions for shore-ship communication have been designed to enable efficient use of satellite bandwidth, with optimisation and compression technologies. The platform also ensures offline continuity when connectivity is momentarily absent using Edge computing and on-device processing.
COTS Applications on FrontM Platform
Given the range of use-cases and requirements to address the aforementioned goals across the above market themes, we focussed on establishing the core software platform with a low-code developer framework to create applications rapidly.
Using the developer framework, our product teams have packaged the below commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions on FrontM platform. We offer them via a B2B SaaS license model to Maritime service providers and operators.
- Unified Digital Workspace – For shore-ship messaging, VoIP, Video conferencing, bridge Satellite number calling, file sharing, calendar management, contact directory, and digital wallet. Also hosts the app-marketplace which enables seamless access and subscription to bolt-on apps.
- Tracking and Monitoring – For GPS equipped assets and satcom equipped small boats, a VMS solution with tracking, intelligent monitoring, communication and administration system
- Crew Welfare – For crew management companies, shipping operators, and directly for crew themselves, a suite of communication, welfare, and entertainment solutions
- Sustainable Fisheries – An edge intelligent catch logging, reporting, and compliance application for operational benefits as well as a regulatory compliance
- Telehealth – A comprehensive suite of medical care and teleconferencing solution to connect ship-based mariners to shore-based medical officers seamlessly
Bespoke Applications – Flexibility via programmability
Further partner or customer-specific solutions are delivered by our product team using our developer framework by analysing, prototyping, and fully integrating the application. This follows a methodology we use called 2-4-4; 2 weeks of prototyping, 4 weeks of development, and 4 weeks to pilot/commercial rollout. Currently, we have engaged in developing complex applications with partners such as field services maintenance and service assurance.
Be it addressing specific requirements for automating ship-based workflows, service provisioning, tracking, management of equipment, or enabling intelligent collaboration by combining messaging, VoIP, video conferencing with workflow automation, FrontM is becoming the go-to platform for the maritime ecosystem to address requirements at pace.
Our focus is to maximize ROI and bottom-line growth for our partners and customers, via a combination of propositions:
a) Avg. 50% saving on Satcom bandwidth usage and offline capability
c) 2-10 weeks rapid time-to-market for bespoke solutions
c) Simplicity of Pay-As-You-Use and subscription models
d) Unified platform UX for convergence and trust
Our team is currently engaging with maritime service providers, solutions companies, installers, and integrators, as well as operators to help achieve their 2021 digitalisation goals.
We Love An Open Discussion
Do you have any thoughts, observations, requirements or ideas to bounce off and ideate the art of the possible with us. We’d love to discuss them!