Digital Ship Scandinavia - March 28th - 29th 2006
Telenor Headquarters, Fornebu, Oslo
Digital Ship will be holding its third annual Scandinavia conference / exhibition in Oslo in March, returning once again to the beautiful Telenor headquarters building in Fornebu.
The event is steadily growing in the number of delegates it attracts, both shipowners and suppliers.
The conference is established as the most important annual event for shipowners in the areas of electronic navigation and charts - these are interesting times as shipowners gradually see the benefits of electronic charts, following in Maersk's footsteps - Norway is also a world centre for electronic chart production, development and co-ordination, home of the Norwegian Hydrographic Service and C-MAP Norway.
As normal with Digital Ship conferences, at least half of the speakers will be from shipowners, so you will hear from people actually using the technology rather than the people selling it.
We expect there will be plenty of interesting discussion on the satcom and shipboard computing front - Norwegian companies such as Palantir are in the forefront of developing tools to make it easier to manage shipboard computers, and Dualog leading the way in ship-shore e-mail tools.
Norwegian companies are leading the way with Inmarsat services, with Nera the first company to produce a terminal for the new Inmarsat satellites (you can't use it on ships, but never mind for now).
The Inmarsat distributors Telenor, France Telecom and Stratos will, Digital Ship anticipates, increase their efforts to help shipowners do more exciting things with the Inmarsat data connection and tell you about the efforts they are making to add value and keep hold of the customer relationship.
We also expect considerable coverage of VSAT technology, which is growing quickly in Scandinavia.
On the electronic purchasing front, Digital Ship is predicting that Scandinavian companies ShipServ and MTS will finally announce that they have made a deal to integrate their software together at Digital Ship Scandinavia.
Digital Ship is expecting great things from SpecTec - nearly a year after its management buyout, we expect that the world's largest maritime software company will be ready with new services, software products and offices.
Most people who use software today will agree that the software business is still in the stone age with regards to how hard most software tools are to use - things are so bad that one leading oil company has reportedly putting a new paperwork officer onboard every ship, rather than implement software which does the paperwork automatically (which the company obviously does not believe is feasible at this stage).
Digital Ship is expecting to see software products which analyse the clicks which users make to automatically present them the minimum information and minimum data entry, completing all forms and documents automatically.
The industry is still waiting to see what impact Boeing will make on the maritime industry - with its Connexion by Boeing satcom service (which some say is overpriced, but Boeing has the flexibility to reduce the price) - and also the Jeppesen Marine electronic charts service (Jeppesen has not provided its response to the problem of ships being unable to use electronic charts from private companies except just as an aid).
These are exciting times for the maritime IT industry - we look forward to seeing you in Oslo.
Karl Jeffery, Diana Leahy Engelbrecht, Peter Patterson and Rob O'Dwyer - Digital Ship events team