The Power of Partnership

It has been said that there are often two ways to do things--the easy way and the hard way.  And while this principle doesn't always hold across the board, it does when applied to complex tasks or projects such as migrating from an old legacy system to a new one with leading-edge functionality!. In this case, complexity and resource drain can be managed by choosing the right partner(s). When each parther contributes core expertise in a collaborative spirit, the insight and knowledgebase of each combine in synergy--to make the result greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, choosing the right partner can make all the difference between a streamlined process leading to success or one wrought with inefficiencies and delays, or worse.

When SmartKargo was faced with choosing a partner and platform on which to build the SmartKargo solution, we chose Microsoft and its world-class Azure platform. Businesses that select solutions powered by Azure benefit in a number of ways. In addition to cost, the Azure platform has a global network of data centers with high uptime and extraordinary performance. And leading-edge global infrastructure is something they are continually investing in, so their customers don't have to. Mobility, for example, is facilitated through the cloud solution and can be quickly deployed to any device or platform. And the best part is that our customers deploy systems that never become obsolete. 

Take the example of infrastructure. Industry leaders like Microsoft have made huge investments—to the tune of $15 billion—to build the world’s leading global cloud infrastructure. Microsoft Azure delivers the exceptionally robust computing power needed by airlines that are not keen to invest capital in hardware and software.

Working together, Microsoft and SmartKargo continue to build a state-of-the-art, industry leading platform that airlines can deploy in an out-of-the-box or a customized mode. And Microsoft is the only major cloud provider with a full hybrid model.

Using solutions powered by Azure, airlines and businesses in the cargo chain can extend their capabilities from on-premises to the cloud, seamlessly, to meet their particular business needs now and into the future. And perhaps, the greatest benefit is that after the investment in time and resources to get that system up and running--it is never yesterday's news. Future readly and always integratable using a number of API's that keep it agile and adaptable.

Our partners at Microsoft are simply the best. Our platform and our business model is inextricably linked with them, and so, they are your partners as well, by extension. Greg Jones is our Seattle-based Account manager and a Microsoft Managing Director of Worldwide Hospitality & Transport. He has summed up their commitment well: “Microsoft’s commitment to security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency, and our investments in this space, are unmatched. Airlines and their partners in the cargo chain choose the Microsoft Cloud because it is open, flexible and has a full spectrum of services that span IaaS, PaaS and SaaS,” he said. In terms of security, Microsoft invests more than $1billion in security research and development each year to provide the most secure cloud platform to customers." The investment in global infrastructure is an additional $15 Billion!

Whatever you want from your cloud solution is likely obtainable. You can freely integrate the tools you need with the system you already have. And then, you can run virtually any application using your data source, with your operating system, on just about any device. Now that’s a partnership that keeps on giving.

Getting I.T. Right: What forwarders can learn from DHL’s struggle

In a recent report by Air Cargo World, Editor Randy Woods sheds light on the perils of trying to develop complex air cargo management systems in-house, highlighted by the recent struggle experienced by leading global freight forwarder DHL. 
Part 1 

Part 2

by Randy Woods | Air Cargo World | June 2, 2016

345 Million euro write off - Could different clock speed of Business Vs Technology Innovation cycle be a reason ?

This is my first blog - must admit it ! Some interesting things are happening in the industry and thought it may be interesting to share some ideas!

A customer and someone well respected in Air Cargo industry sent me a news article about the decision DP/DHL made to write off a 345 Million euro investment in a IT initiative. Must be disappointing to the leadership at DHL to say the least. DHL has an impressive track record in innovating and leading the way technology is used in logistics and transportation. What could have gone wrong? Gives all of us something to ponder over..

Past few years have seen rapid changes in how technology evolves. Software as a Service has become smarter for sure. A range of inter operable development tools are available, and its easy to leverage work done by unrelated partners to create a powerful ecosystem with functionality to meet the most complex business needs. Providers are seen delivering consistent, reliable service levels. Consumers are getting exactly 'what' they want without having to spend an arm and leg in figuring out 'how'. Arrival of cloud technology and acceptance of cloud services in the enterprise world has changed everything. Its a easy guess where this is going in future. For a business there is perhaps less need to own technology, just to solve a unique challenge or in search of a competitive advantage!

When it comes to large enterprises - 'Business as Usual' still remains the safest thing to do for corporate managers. The larger a business grows, the more slower it becomes to change. There is culture, there is hierarchy, there are egos, systems, processes - endless list if impediments.  Its a obvious mismatch in comparison to the speed of technology changes happening around the business. Before companies get teams organized and architects put a firm plan in place - everything around changes, thus bringing technology initiatives back to square one! Wonder if DHL got caught in this cycle..

Businesses may want to look at technology as a perishable commodity and avoid large capital investments or locked-in positions. "If technology solution is not useful immediately - don't buy it", could be the rule. If technology is not consumed while its still fresh, you will be left with a bad taste! As a thumb rule - every technology initiative with a deployment timeline of over 12 months may have to be carefully evaluated for its worthiness. A lot of things change in the tech world in 12 months. Its going to be difficult for businesses to keep pace and adapt with technology if its is not a core competence.

If you are a business with great operations and need technology to make it smarter - Look around ! There may be readily available alternatives that will pleasantly surprise you. 

- Milind