How Vision is Driving Innovation – Real Life Example from InterVenture’s Product Portfolio

Posted by Marko Djuric on December 19, 2017

“How vision is driving innovation” – real life example by InterVenture COO M. Djuric, keynote panel participant of this year technology and innovation conference organised by the Swiss-Serbian chamber of commerce.

Despite being comparably small in the group of leading innovation countries Switzerland has earned great respect as role model within the global innovation ecosystem and holding first ranks of innovation lists worldwide for several past consecutive years.

The topic of this year’s tech and innovation conference was focused on initiatives fostering synergies, re-using key learnings and spreading technical innovation also trough Serbia. As a Swiss-Serbian tech company, InterVenture contributed to the flavour of the discussion by sharing experiences of synergies on different levels between this two countries as well as its approach towards product development while focusing on the crucial aspect of a strong, consistent vision and belief each software product should have.

The traditionally high technology and innovation rate of Switzerland providing easy access to new insights around technology, innovation-concepts and market on one hand as well as well-established financial models on the other hand supporting start-up companies to grow their ideas along with a strong network-connection of industry and education are ideal conditions to grow plants called “innovation”. As usual for such a fruitful ecosystem where resources are utilised to its full extent the only limiting factor nowadays represents a decent shortage of talent, hitting heavily the Start-up’s and SME scene which are suffering a lack of reputation required to attract talent. Looking on the other side to Serbia, which has a traditionally strong natural science-based education system paired with a talented and hands-on mindset of engineers while suffering on the other side comparably low innovation budgets – it becomes pretty fast obvious that Switzerland and Serbia have excellent mutual matching criteria, where the challenge of one country is being resolved by the advantage of the other and vice versa.

However, having a healthy innovation ecosystem is only one important precondition of materialising in economy and being successful. Innovation has to be practiced consistently and marketed cleverly to keep pace with the needs of users and market which then can lead to a break-through.

Particular attention when it comes to Innovation as key element of the product portfolio at InterVenutre is a deep, consistent and strong vision, that is associated with each single of our products. How vision in that context is driving innovation becomes best visible by picking one example out of our software products from the aircraft industry “gogoair” illustrated in a short history review as follows:

  1. Product generation (manual operation): in the 1st generation at the beginning of civil aviation pilots used to carry physical approx. 10kg heavy “Flight Bags” containing all the relevant documentation required for flying and operating a plane. This early stage was referred to as the “product era”.
  2. Smart Product generation (digital operation): in the 2nd generation during 1960/70’s Flight Bags were replaced by laptops “Electronic Flight Bag” representing a shift from analogue to digital data processing. This stage is referred to as “smart product era” that was in essence able to store and display documents when needed.
  3. Smart Connected Product (SCP) generation: in the 3rd generation during 1980/90’s the so-called “Smart Connected Electronic Flight Book” was introduced combining automation with the internet to integrate these activities. It contains the ability of real-time bi-directional data flow which was considered as a big revolutionary innovation step forward – most of the airlines today are in this phase. This stage allows automatic monitoring, control, optimization, analysis of data and allowing automatic recommendations that improve operations and autonomy of a single plane.
  4. Product System generation (Connected Aircraft): within the 4th and ongoing era (“Product System”) Internet of Things as well as Artificial Intelligence come into perspective and help optimizing operational performance, risk management, reduce product and service costs and enable new revenue streams for airlines. The underlying idea/vision here is to allow multiple airplane systems to communicate with each other, to allow application of procedures, policies and to selectively share information while allowing human and auto-decision making. This system should allow to replace major manual work and interventions which are required nowadays. Connected aircraft is deemed to significantly improve operational effectiveness through application of flight-path tracking and optimization, predictive and preventative aircraft maintenance and optimization of aircraft systems. Only a few airplanes are profiting from this wave innovation at this stage.
  5. System of System generation (Connected Airline): the 5th and most futuristic wave is referred to as “System of Systems” where the underlying idea/vision is to unify data from internal and external surrounding system and to form a data lake – real connected aviation is not only in the aircraft but affects the whole fleet resulting in the nice assumption that “data is the currency of IoT”.

Last two waves combine Cloud-based data processing enhancing the ability to analyse events and trends driving proactive and predictive insights. IoT – sensors, real-time data aggregation, analysis, and actionable insights. With our Belgrade team heavily involved in developing platform giving data-driven insights into our in-flight connectivity network and services, enabling better decision making while providing transparency into Gogo services, as well as self-service apps for airline partners, we are moving in the right direction one step at the time.

Looking back to our question on how vision was affecting the development pattern of gogoair the underlying idea/vision was creating “unstuffed more secure and more efficient planes” – changing as such fundamentally the traditional paradigm and the way of flying and running aircraft operations. Only this long-term vision allowed to jump from one to another innovation curve (generation) and to come product stage by product stage closer to the realisation of the vision.

Drawing a parallel to the industry w/o a consistent and strong vision, one would have only been focused on a single product stage. Focusing on the product itself would have never allowed us to move forward to the next generation of products. The same applies if we would have only focused on the product of the 2nd generation, optimising manual operations of one single airplane we would never have the ability to look beyond and expand the view to the whole industry and its operations management.

However, such dynamic and futuristic visions are not only limited to product development strategies, but are instead manifested in the whole process of our organisation. Modern visions require modern procedures from attracting right talents, sharing the vision to maintaining an adequate an innovative work ambient and leadership which is fostering further the growth of knowledge, innovation and technology.

Only a harmonised interplay between a fruitful innovation ecosystem, strong vision and modern organisation and leadership can nowadays lead to real breakthroughs.

M. Djuric, COO, InterVenture