News Article 14/04/2006

Digital Ship Dubai- Software Report Farzin Karma, Ulysses Systems(abstract). 

14/04/2006 - Digital Ship- April 2006, p.10

Farzin Karma, managing director, Ulysses Systems Singapore, spoke about the continuing increase in seafarer tasks, and the necessity of introducing better tools to assist them.
"Either you put Einstein on board or you need better solutions", he told us. "Suddenly risk management has become the buzzword. TMSA requires 30 instances of checklists, 64 instances of records and reports, and 25 instances of information distribution. You need to manage a tone of staggered bits of information. To do that with conventional methods would take a tonner of resources - or you can use software."
"What effect is the increasing information load having on marine software?" asked Mr. Karma. "Software is going to become mission critical for companies, and more and more people within the company will have to start to use it. This will mean that software companies will have to put more effort into design to make sophisticated software that is easy to use."
"Organizations now increasingly base their management strategies on the software they have, part of the KPI effect. Buying software is going to have a greater influence on the success of a company. If you know your goals well you can get useful KPIs."
"If you have a visible result for a particular process it can be examined across the fleet."
"TMSA is nothing new. it's an extension of what the industry has already been doing", Mr. Karma continued. "You're already recording these things, your existing software should be able to be configured to do that. And the more people use it, the better your return from your investment in the software. Your software should be convenient enough to encourage the accurate input of data."
There were some in the audience who felt that greater levels of technology were responsible for greater levels of accidents. "Technology can cause lots of accidents", said one former seafarer. "I've been on the bridge and said, ''what's that?'' - and they say - ''but it's not on the radar''.
Ole Wang, for one, disagreed. "Over the years we've seen reductions in accidents and pollution and so on", he said. "We've seen reductions in grounding, we have reductions in people being killed. Technology is helping things."
Mr Karma thought that: "once you recognize the limitations of the software, it should free more time from administrative chores."
Another audience member felt that wasn't the case, however, saying that: "it doesn't free up time because there are alarms going off all the time. The way the world is going now - we're monitoring everything. That's because of the media. We made a big rod for our backs with all these fancy communications."
Mr. Zaitoun argued that it doesn't have to be like that, and that people onboard have to follow the technology.