News Article 01/09/2001

Integrating Maritime Operations - Ship Shore Communications

01/09/2001 - Digital Ship - September 2001

The products of the ISM Solutions series by Ulysses Systems are Microsoft-based "local" databases, which are planned to be web-enabled in the near future. Whereas software was developed as stand-alone systems ten years ago, nowadays "modern technologies are designed to talk to each other", says Panteleimon Pantelis of Ulysses Systems. He adds that "software needs to be able to integrate" and the altogether image of the industry is that is has become more intellectual in sense of communication.

Breaking the industry down into the various components it provides in terms of software products for marine management purposes, the question is whether it makes sense today to deliver an all-round solution from one provider or to create technologies, which are east to integrate. "Developing software is an expensive business," says Mr Pantelis. "You have to focus on things you are good at and use as many other components as possible." Quite clearly, "the need for integration comes down to basic economics."

With the use of IT progressing constantly, more users are handling different electronic tools to do their jobs effectively. Products range from maintenance and purchasing (M&P) software to document managers and applications that handle crew data and general management assistants. This variety of products, developed on different standards and by different companies is, of course, needed to communicate with each other. Yet, integration is not always feasible. Standards that were created a decade ago may require too great an effort. Man-hours at a software provider are, after all, expensive.
Ulysses claims that the newest versions of its products are never older than 18 months, which means they are always based on the newest technological developments, to guarantee easy and seamless integration. Mr Pantelis also says that Ulysses' "software is designed to link with any communications provider."
At the moment Ulysses is in talks about integration with various e-procurement providers to enable clients with its maintenance and purchasing module to deal with their purchasing activities fully electronically.