Looking ahead – Next Generation FlightPRO® Vision: Connected working and ’’smart’ assistance

 The Next Generation of FlightPRO®

Ocean has recently released its Next Generation Vision for the future of Military software experiences, focusing on scheduling and planning flying activities.  This vision looks explicitly at how allied air forces will likely need to adapt to new global trends and how Ocean’s long-standing product, FlightPRO®, is evolving to meet those trends.

Stronger together

Among the 7 global trends outlined in Ocean’s vision, ‘Increasing global volatility’ coupled with ‘stretched military budgets’ will place extra focus for Australia and our allies to maximise the efficiency, effectiveness and readiness of forces.  Doing more with less – or better phrased as doing significantly more with what’s available.  Collaboration, a concept now profoundly ingrained in private sector efficiency and innovation, is an obvious pathway to increased gains. 

Military command structures and spending can be highly siloed and partitioned, often deliberately – so achieving meaningful, productive collaboration in a military context can be hard won.  However, the upside to sharing controlled visibility and insights with trusted parties is immense. For example, the nine allied air forces independently scheduling and optimising training programs for their individual F-35 training programs are unlikely to outperform a collaboration of training groups that share scheduling insights and optimisation tips with each other. Moreover, the benefits of learning from the collective is particularly high for those starting a new program – helping them avoid obvious early mistakes others have made and evolved beyond.

Even accounting for each nation’s unique climate, geography and culture, the value that tools like FlightPRO® can bring from enabling controlled insight sharing between trusted parties is unquestioned.  By enabling controlled insight sharing between trusted parties, this technology offers unprecedented benefits for collaboration across national borders and within organisations.  In addition to supporting collaboration between allied nations, FlightPRO® also provides a unique opportunity to enhance operational efficiency through controlled collaboration between multiple flight training units on a single base, across different bases, or even between different forces within a nation’s Defence Force.

Trust and flexibility become key attributes to successfully controlling the practicality of collaboration in a military context.  The ability of each military stakeholder to control which partners easily and accountably can access exactly what sensitive military insights at any point in time is vital.  For FlightPRO®, de-identifying data to remove extraneous, sensitive detail yet preserve insight quality will be imperative.  FlightPRO® tooling will enable extensive permissions control and audibility to ensure that collaboration is transparent and easily tuned when circumstances change.

Decision intelligence and Smart Optimisation 

‘User in control’ has always been and remains the defining principle of FlightPRO®. Providing flight training programmers, schedulers, and force leaders with a richer context in which to make better informed decisions can coexist seamlessly with this principle.  For example, modelling a set of highly efficient options with clearly articulated trade-offs for a programmer based on learnt behaviour – such as how to efficiently reflow a complex schedule disrupted by unexpected weather, mechanical failure or illness further empowers users without diminishing their expertise or control.

Ocean is investing significant resources in data analytics as well as algorithmic and assisted AI/Machine learning to enhance FlightPRO®’s ability to support users in making higher quality, more informed and faster decisions to minimise scheduling waste.  This change continues apace and will become the cornerstone of next generation FlightPRO® and the Ocean suite of connected products, including SmartBase®.

In order to truly empower flight training and scheduling professionals, more than technical capabilities is needed.  The value of the FlightPRO® toolset lies in its ability to provide actionable insights and interlligent decision support, delivered in a clear and intuitive manner via the user interface.  Over the past three years, Ocean has invested in an expert team of User Experience (UX) Designers to conduct extensive research with real users in order to identify the unique challenges and opportunities faced by those in the field.

Intuitive data visualisation, greater usability and accessibility under real-world conditions ensure that the benefits of decision intelligence are not theoretical – but actually reach real users and materially drive improvement and efficiency.  The art and science of understanding how humans and advanced technology work together to drive real outcomes.

When will this happen?

At Ocean, the work that will realise this Next Generation vision for the future of Military software experiences is well underway.  FlightPRO® celebrates its 30th year of delivering value in the field this year, but it is only getting started.  The next generation of FlightPRO® and its suite of integrated products, such as SmartBase®,  are set to transform the flight training and operations scheduling and planning landscape.  For a demonstration of our current and emerging technologies, please contact FlightPRO® Product Manager Chris Gould at [email protected].

About Ocean Software

For 30 years, Ocean Software has helped Defence and Aviation organisations simplify their complex operations.  Our mission is to help unlock workforce potential in real-time to enable better decisions today, plan for tomorrow, and prepare for the future.  Established in Melbourne, Australia, in 1993, Ocean now exports its products and services to 15 nations across Europe and the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia Pacific regions.

Our flagship product, FlightPRO®, has transformed flight training management and operations across the globe, increasing safety and de-risking pilot training through its extensive scheduling, currencies, and qualifications management engine. Ocean’s portfolio continues to grow with SmartBase®, a next-generation base management and collaboration platform, and TAMS®, an airspace booking and deconfliction tool that maximises the use of shared assets within b airspace.

Ocean holds ISO 9001:2015 accreditation for Quality processes, procedures, and security, utilises the NIST Cyber Security Framework, has obtained UK Cyber Essentials certification, and its products are independently security tested.