We’ve explored the partnerships senseFly has formed with organizations like AirMap and MicaSense as the company works to build a complete drone solution, but their recently announced agreement with Airware sheds new light on what these types of developments can mean for professionals. Jean-Christophe Zufferey, senseFly’s CEO, mentioned that this pairing has enabled the creation of an extremely powerful enterprise-ready solution that will combine senseFly’s automated data collection with Airware’s enterprise-focused workflow, professional services, training, and cloud-based analytics. The agreement will allow the companies to bring survey-grade aerial mapping to enterprises in various industries.
What’s especially notable about the agreement is that Airware will distribute senseFly’s eBee Plus as part of their enterprise solution offering. Making the solution available within the global Cat dealers network as elements of the Cat Connect offering means that professionals in industries like mining, quarrying and construction will be able to specifically understand how these tools can help them.
These industries are ones that senseFly has always been focused on, but the fact that the mining and aggregates industries already represent two of senseFly’s core customer segments is an indication of just how much value this agreement can bring to those users as well as ones who have yet to explore the technology. Jean-Thomas Celette, senseFly’s Head of Sales and Marketing, explained how that value can and will be created.
“Around the world, operators such as Barrick Gold, Rio Tinto or Lafarge are employing eBee platforms to improve the efficiency of their volume calculations and pit surveys, not to mention to boost the safety of their surveying teams by allowing them to monitor these sites remotely,” Celette told Commercial UAV News. “Of course, we can always do more to improve our reach into, and exposure within, a market, and this new distribution agreement with Airware – and of course its strong Caterpillar link – will be a great boost for senseFly in that respect.”
The creation of a complete drone solution is a concept we’ve heard about in many different industries, and this partnership has given senseFly the ability to offer that kind of solution to specific professionals. Not having to piece together the drone itself or the context around how it can best be utilized is a critical element of the agreement.
“We know from our experience operating in multiple sectors around the world that professionals are looking for a true end-to-end solution offer that provides them a significant ROI (Return on Investment) – not just the reliable, accurate hardware with which to collect their geospatial data, but a seamless workflow with which to then process, analyse, and act upon that data,” Celette continued. “At the end of the day, it’s our job to bring the benefits of our solutions to professionals in a form and a way that makes their working lives easier, not more complicated.”
Jonathan Downey, the founder and CEO of Airware, mentioned that the pairing allows the organizations to offer their customers a product that can lead to better decision making, but it’s the context around how those decisions are being made that’s key to highlight here. Making things simpler for professional users is a critical consideration and something that will continue to be a priority in the short and long term.
That outlook is one both companies have in mind as the commercial drone industry continues to develop and mature. That being the case, how will this impact what senseFly has in store for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
“It is simply in line with our strategy,” Celette mentioned. “It is the latest in a line of carefully considered partnerships that senseFly has made, including for example with Agribotix in the agricultural field, which have seen industry leaders adopting the eBee platform as their large-coverage data collection solution of choice.”
We’ve already seen a number of shake-ups and shake-outs in 2017, and agreements like this showcase what else the year will have in store for people on every side of the industry. Enterprise users are more focused than ever on quantifying and qualifying how drones can make an impact on their project, and solutions designed to make that process easier make adoption that much easier for operators and stakeholders.