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China Navigation chooses Dualog to streamline ship to shore digital systems

Andrea Giglietti, customer service manager in Dualog's Singapore office. Image courtesy of Dualog. Andrea Giglietti, customer service manager in Dualog's Singapore office. Image courtesy of Dualog.

The China Navigation Company (CNCo) has partnered with Tromsø-based maritime digital platform provider Dualog to test its maritime-optimised file and folder replication service. The service, Dualog Drive, is designed to simplify the collection and distribution of large data volumes between ship and shore.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Dualog Drive provides a solution to the core challenge of how to integrate ships with the shore-based elements of an organisation. As every part of business becomes digitalised, land-based enterprises have turned to cloud solutions to enable secure, company-wide data collection and distribution. But for those whose 'offices' are away at sea, connected via costly satellites with limits to their bandwidth rather than superfast fiberoptic cable, that is not the straight-forward solution that it seems. Furthermore, these vessel-based offices will be operating with a mix of systems, IoT devices and users that need to access or share data with head office regularly.

Currently, most shipping companies use email-based systems for data and file sharing, but this becomes a problem with big file sizes. Typically, they rely on being in port so that an agent can take the files back to the office on a USB stick, a time-consuming and costly process. Moreover, expensive and unreliable satellite connections require users to micromanage data transfer volumes to synchronise with other business communications needs. Having transfers halt or fail due to unstable connections is also a challenge.

Featuring maritime-optimised technology that secures data flow even in low-bandwidth situations, Dualog Drive ensures optimised transfers between sea and shore at the time and place they are needed.

"Dualog Drive has proved to be an efficient means to share information from shore to ship and vice versa for CNCo. Safety documentation was our starting point, and we now use Dualog Drive to distribute and maintain a repository of SMS documents pertaining to all ships in our fleet,” said Gerry Bonner, general manager fleet services, at CNC.

“As we investigated the options, other potential uses became apparent. We have used the system for IT software distribution, collection of Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) data for urgent investigations, and to share updates of vessel drawings after revisions. We also want to use Drive to ensure that major Equipment Safety Updates and Technical Circulars, as well as Certificates, are updated across our fleet accordingly. We have also used the system to distribute company circulars and safety notices, and we are considering several other situations where we can provide additional benefit to our Ships Staff by using the Dualog Drive Application,” he continued.

CNCo plans to have Dualog Drive fully operational across CNCo's entire fleet before the summer. Andrea Giglietti, customer service manager in Dualog's Singapore office, said: "Dualog Drive makes possible digitalisation of many processes that were simply impracticable in the past. And with the possibility to install and roll out to large numbers of vessels in a very short timescale, implementation causes minimal disruption."

In 2011, CNCo rolled out Dualog's email solution across its entire fleet. As its digital operations have expanded, so has its relationship with Dualog, culminating in this latest decision. {/mprestriction}

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  • GTReplicate averts looming ship-shore data transfer bottleneck

    GTMaritime has launched a new cloud-based tool to automate a key part of the data transfer process between ship and shore, relieving seafarers and shore teams of a growing manual file replication burden. GTReplicate is a cyber-secure solution that automates synchronisation of files and data relating to vessel operation with next to no intervention.

    With the quantity of data shared between vessels and shore-side teams increasing at an accelerating rate, personnel onboard and ashore are having to spend ever more time uploading, downloading and managing file transfers manually. As well as being tedious, such repetitive tasks increase error risks, with the potential for serious financial consequences if the data lost or overwritten is needed to verify compliance.

    Running on GTMaritime’s FastNet data transfer platform, GTReplicate provides a reliable and highly configurable automated alternative that reduces the growing administrative burden on fleet IT managers and frees up crew to use their time more constructively.

    GTReplicate is performance optimised for use in a marine environment. This means it operates across a variety of connectivity platforms, including 3G, 4G, L-band and VSAT, maximising throughput in each case. To further conserve bandwidth, GTReplicate monitors files intelligently, only sending on those that have changed since the last replication.

    Acknowledging the range of specialised software used on ships and the diversity of onboard network configurations between fleets, there are no artificially imposed limits on the type or size of file GTReplicate can handle. It also enables automated bi-directional transfer of selected files, folders, or entire folder structures with multiple mechanisms for maintaining total data integrity. Shore-side email can be used as both replication source and target.

    GTReplicate provides shore-based fleet IT managers with a central cloud-based dashboard for configuring and controlling every aspect of how replication takes place, without having to involve crew. Advanced options include ship-specific task creation as well as pre- and post-transfer processing for maximum flexibility.

    With a nod to an increasing need for stringent security auditing, GTReplicate comes complete with a full suite of notification, journaling and reporting functions as standard, ranging from basic timestamping to granular detail on execution status and files moved. Likewise, it features robust and flexible archiving functionalities.

    Mike McNally, global commercial director at GTMaritime, commented: “Shipowners are now embracing digitalisation as a low-overhead route to improved operational efficiency, but the growing information flow poses challenges for manual processes in ship-to-shore data transfer. GTMaritime created GTReplicate to provide a scalable, secure and highly configurable solution for automating file transfers and averting a data logjam.”

    FastNet is a multi-stream platform designed for today's data demands. Employing a variety of bandwidth management techniques, it optimises, secures and then transfers data packets according to business needs. It will form the core of all GTMaritime products going forward and can be made available to its customers for bespoke digitalisation projects.

     

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