As an airline looking for a software partner it can be daunting to say the least. Trying to find a software provider that understands your industry and requirements at the same time as providing the best software solutions is rare. We are specialist in aviation - it’s the one industry we focus all our efforts on, we are also the only software partner that can offer the full range of EBT solutions in full compliance with the official EASA best-practice technology guidelines in the Alternative Training Means concept paper.
So let’s talk details - how do we acheive this if no one else can?
We get the right balance of software development and deployment
Traditionally there are two main types of software deployment available; Software as a Service (SaaS) and Bespoke on-site. The SaaS model over the past 5 years has rapidly become the favoured means of deployment in the tech industry as it has a number of advantages over more traditional bespoke software. As it is subscription-based and hosted in the cloud the capital up-front costs are low in comparison to a bespoke equivalent. SaaS also tends to be much more flexible and scalable to your needs - you just pay for the features you require and enhance them instantly the minute you need to. It is also much quicker to deploy and requires no developer involvement from the client.
One of the main drawbacks however, is that Software as a Service tend to be set up on a one-size-fits-all approach and therefore can offer less potential to be tailored to your exact requirements.
We have therefore built our software on the foundation of a SaaS model but with the flexibility to make changes to meet your exact needs. This is a unique approach which means we can listen to your own particular needs, discuss your EBT implementation plan and then take our industry-proven software and tailor it. It’s the best of both worlds - a bespoke solution, built to industry best-practice using open standards with all the efficiency and speed of a SaaS platform. You’re welcome!
We are agile
The dictionary definition of agile is the ability to create and respond to change in order to succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment. Sounds like a competency we’d like to all think we have as pilots! But it is also very appropriate to the software industry too.
Agile Software Development is an umbrella term for a set of methods and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Agile Manifesto. Solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organising, cross-functional teams utilising the appropriate practices for their context.
It’s seen as a best practice in the software industry and it actually has many echoes from the way a good commercial aviation operation functions.
When we first migrated to agile, we saw really quickly how much of it related to the way pilots do their day job. Agile has a defined team, just like a flightdeck and cabin crew team, with defined roles and responsiblities. Instead of operating a flight, the agile software team operate a “sprint” - this is a pre-defined time period of software development with the aim of giving tangible results a user can see (a bit like getting a passenger from departure to their destination).
Communication is formalised at the start and end of each sprint by a de-briefing (called a retrospective) and briefing (sprint planning) to identify and mitigate threats and learn from the experiences to do the next sprint better. What went well and what went badly are all written down by each team member seperately then discussed to encourage everyone to give their honest views without bias or pressure. Flight crews could actually benefit from this approach!
If new information comes along during the sprint, there is the flexibility to change course and move in a new direction - just like diverting around a thunderstorm or changing flight level for turbulence - it’s always best to avoid a bumpy ride!
Just as a well-run flight arrives safely on-time at the destination, in agile software development it’s the same - at the end of the sprint the new software features arrive built in the right way and on time with a tangible result to show.
We start by understanding the problem to solve, then apply the right technology
Too many IT departments will start a project the wrong way around - they understand a specific technology and then try to crowbar it in to solve the problem. This ends up giving airlines and ATOs a significant amount of “technological debt”; systems that were never really fit for purpose, are inflexible and go out of date quickly and become harder and harder to support and access.
We always take time to fully understand the problem we need to solve, then choose the best technology to fit. We always use open standards and common platforms to ensure our software will work now and into the future without becoming a legacy system that works only on one old dusty computer in the corner of the office (if you work in aviation I am sure you know of a software program like this!)
We build Device Agnostic software
There’s nothing worse than being held hostage by critical software that only runs on one type of device! We know of an airline that needed to move to Windows surface tablets but some of their software was iPad only. In a cost-sensitive, safety critical industry, we build our software to run on any platform you may ever need; if you need to change to new hardware, then no problem - our software will continue to work and you don’t even need consider it. In fact, with such a connected world and prevalence of consumer smart devices, the majority of our clients don’t even need to provide hardware to their pilots - the pilots just access it on whichever of their own smart devices takes their fancy.
We want to bring a revolution to the aviation industry by powering their EBT needs with next-generation software built to the best practices of the tech industry. We’d love to partner with you and share this EBT journey!
Want to discuss your airline’s technology requirements for EBT? Don’t hesitate to contact us.