US Industry heavyweights team up to integrate leading operations and AIS platforms, allow better data-based decision making in ship operations.

Leading ship operations software developer Helm Operations announced today that it has launched a new partnership with leading AIS data services provider ShipTracks. The partnership will integrate the two company’s platforms, allowing users of Helm CONNECT to seamlessly access ship location and route data provided by ShipTracks. The move is the first partnership between the two North American software companies.

Helm Operations is the developer behind the world’s fastest growing marine operations platform, Helm CONNECT, which provides vessel dispatch and billing, maintenance, compliance, and personnel management to some 3000 assets globally, and is used by more than 40% of the American Waterways Operators fleet, the largest shipowning organization in North America.

New Orleans-based ShipTracks, provides the maritime industry increased decision making capabilities based on real-time vessel position information through AIS mapping. Today, the company works with 7 of the top 10 inland towing companies in the US, including Foss and Enterprise, as well as major oil companies, and leading shipping companies such as Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The tie-up is an important first for Helm Operations and the first of many according to CEO, Ron deBruyne.

“With Helm CONNECT, we’ve grown from nothing to nearly 3000 assets using our software in just two years since entering the market. We’ve done that by bringing cutting-edge technology and approaches to the market. Moving forward, our goal is to work with other leading maritime technology companies to even further the pace of innovation and provide better tools for our customers. Our work with ShipTracks is a great example of that approach.”

The partnership fits clearly with the vision that ShipTracks Founder and CEO, Charles Riley had when he founded the company in 2008. 

“Our goal,” says Charles, “Has always been to help vessel operators take advantage of the data provided by AIS technology, allowing them to run their businesses and their assets more effectively and efficiently. We see great value in partnering with Helm Operations. By tying our software platforms together, it makes both products better for our users and will provide even greater business intelligence for our customers.”

Helm CONNECT Product Manager Andrew Kroesen, who leads the integration development work for Helm lays out the benefits of the partnership: 

“Working with Shiptracks, we’ve made it possible for all Helm CONNECT users to access ShipTracks functionality like vessel location and route history from within Helm CONNECT. These had previously been premium features available only to ShipTracks subscribers, that we’ve now integrated into our web-based platform for Helm CONNECT. 
While there are benefits for all Helm CONNECT subscribers, users of Helm CONNECT Jobs, our vessel dispatch and billing system, should see great value from this feature set. For dispatchers and sales personnel at these companies especially, quick access to exact ship/resource positions will allow them able to make more informed decisions around which resources to use on a job and how to best schedule their vessel operations.”

The first version of the integrated features will be available to all customers of Helm CONNECT in the company’s summer update, slated for release in early August. That is the only the first step in collaboration for the company.
“Working with ShipTracks, we’ve developed an infrastructure that will allow us to expand the capabilities of our integration going forward, and we’re actively exploring integrating more advanced ShipTracks’ features like geo-fencing and operational alarms into Helm CONNECT as we move forward,” says Kroesen.

Original article by Helm:
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