As the Nordun Sales Director, my duty is to solve the customers’ pain points by offering products and services from the Nordic Unmanned portfolio. A part of my job is to provide customer feedback to the NU team. I see myself as being the bridge between technology and the market, or in other words, the bridge between Nordic Unmanned and the customer.
Technology always sells. Customers in the drone market want a solution that provides them with what they want when they want it, and as cost-effective as possible. Nordic Unmanned has decided to focus on delivering high-end services with mature platforms, to provide customers with frequent, quality, and insightful data.
The educational roadmap
Through many years in the drone industry, we have often seen a need to educate customers on the solutions drones can offer. In many ways, you can say that technology is maturing alongside the customers.
We teach our customers what drones are capable of and how to use them, in addition to providing our recommendations for how the clients can improve their drone operations. We are comfortable handling these situations after several years in the business. Not every customer is ready to conduct their own large-scale drone operations and most often this is due to a lack of knowledge regarding drone regulations and capabilities.
So even though the market and clients are maturing steadily, there is still room for improvement. We take our customers through what we call an “educational roadmap”, where we educate our clients on how to adapt drone solutions most efficiently to their business.
“The educational roadmap is best represented through the world of data. Every customer wants to have a digital twin, a 3D model, or use the latest type of sensor available on the market. For most customers, these buzzwords and trends represent digitalization or the green shift. The problem is they don’t always know how to use or analyse the data provided by these solutions”Dr. José Luis Gil Yepes, Sales Director at Nordun
Many customers acquire and store data. Data acquisition is amazingly simple these days, and it can be acquired from any type of device. This can end up in an enormous amount of data, but the acquisition of quality data is not as simple as it may seem. Additionally, there can be challenges related to the management and analysis of the data. An interesting approach to managing loads of data is by using AI (Artificial Intelligence). These tools can bring you the most interesting insights and filter all non-interesting data sets.
Some customers want to own and manage every piece of data themselves. Other customers are only looking for something specific, like a key piece of data required to act or make an important decision.
Examples of such data could be the amount of CO2 emitted from a vessel, the status of critical infrastructure, or the position and or status of specific assets. Whatever the goal may be, data supplied by our drone operations provide situational awareness that is shared with different stakeholders enabling them to make proper decisions.
Which drone solutions will customers prefer in the future?
In the future, I believe customers will prefer more automatic drone operations. The commercial development of Automatic Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, will be interesting to follow. The overall commercial trend in the market is to reduce the manpower required for land and maritime operations and increase the amount of quality data acquired in one flight.
Combined with AI, automatic drone operations will lead to more actionable data, which will be available quicker, and with fewer personnel needed. This will ultimately reduce the cost per data acquisition.
Time is just as important as price. How quickly can we provide the required data when the customer needs it? The quicker and better we can acquire a piece of data, the higher the ‘willingness to pay’ becomes.
Therefore, we say: – Cost is one thing, but timing is everything.
That’s the beauty of our catalog of drone systems and services. Our diverse portfolio allows us to tailor drone solutions, which can give users an immediate overview of a situation (situational awareness) and provide them with valuable and actionable data.
Not all operators are the same
We have seen a growing concern regarding drones this fall as unknown drones were spotted in the North Sea. This has given drones a lot of media attention and increased the need to differentiate serious operators from other operators. Maybe even more relevant,
So how can we identify the non-serious / potentially threatening operators?
A drone is a tool that can be used for different purposes. It gathers critical data, the more insightful the better. Clients need to get insights on what drones can be used for to improve their current situations, society, or the well-being of all. Due to the rise of unknown drones spotted in the North Sea, the counter-drone market has increased. This is a solution that has existed for years, but due to recent events, people are learning more about it. Clients learned that having measures in place to identify and track unknown drones can give immense value.
How to grow the industry further
If drones remain a relevant alternative for customers, the technology will improve. Clients must continue to look in the direction of drones for solutions, for the development and innovation of the industry to continue to flourish. Increasing the necessity of drone solutions will contribute to reducing the weight of the drones, and increase their range, endurance, and communication possibilities.
The industry will continue to expand as requirements from customers continues to grow. New use cases for drones will lead to innovation of hardware and software, which in turn will expand the drone market.
I believe customers will demand these things from the drone industry:
- Less personnel needed to acquire data
- Effective ways to manage and analyse data
- The ability to acquire data as soon as the demand appears
- Increase the amount of relevant data acquired per flight
- Mature systems and solutions
One thing is for sure, the future is unmanned!