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Are Drones Actually A Sector Or Just Another Layer In The Enterprise SaaS Stack 'LINK'

At AlphaPrime, we focus on two key layers in the drone innovation stack: we stay away from capital intensive craft hardware, payloads and GCS innovations, and instead focus on the software layers. We are particularly interested to ensure ground operators maintain avionics and payload data control, and can securely and efficiently transmit payload data. In addition, there is a growing body of business applications that leverage drones to improve the safety or security of individuals or assets, which we believe will be one of the core drivers of growth in this industry.

Are drones actually a sector or just another layer in the enterprise SaaS stack


Using the Elios 2, the FEDS pilot was able to inspect the inside of the flare stack in just an hour. Through the drone, the inspector was able to identify points of corrosion where the sulphur had eroded layers of the wall and caused damage. Once completed, the data from the drone was then analysed by a specialist who used it to generate detailed and accurate reports that helped:

It\u2019s not the size of the dataset, it\u2019s what you do with it. After companies use satellites (and drones, and boats, and land-anchored sensors) to acquire essential climate variable data, another layer of Earth observation companies derive signal from the noise. Space industry market analyst Aravind Ravichandran posits that this Earth intelligence layer consists of three parts:

India is a high potential market, still entrepreneurs and businessman in this sector experience oblivion. This is because a few years back drones were completely banned in India as a perceived threat and now steps have been taken in Drone regulation 1.0 to get the industry moving forward. Though there are many roadblocks for the regulations to be in full force as it tries to bring together multiple agencies, the good part of it is that government understands that they lack the necessary skills set to create regulation and is willing to take help from the existing players to contribute in making the regulation more robust and user friendly.

Going in-depth into a vertical and asking if the product, powered by satellite data, can actually \u201Cget the job done\u201D for a customer, helps one understand the trends in that specific vertical market. Is the market we are targeting actually niche and fast-growing? Do we have the opportunity to become the \u201Cstars\u201D, as referenced on the BCG matrix? More often than not, we might find that EO data is great for building lots of applications in various sectors, but some of them might be in markets where there is just not enough addressable market. If there is not enough market because of the lack of adoption of EO data, it is perhaps solvable through evangelising and education, but this can only be done for products that are actually getting a job done for customers, in which case customers might actually pause and listen to this new technology from space. Sure, there might be products worth building simply because it is just possible to build them, but it is essential to be fully aware that they might end up being pets and question marks.

Although I have focused a lot on vertical-based solutions, I have always wondered about the position of the horizontal players \u2014 the marketplaces, and the platforms in the EO ecosystem, and whether they can become stars or unicorns or just simply successful. For starters, I think they do a ridiculously, brilliant job of organising complex EO data, making processing algorithms easily available and getting the complex pricing models of data providers to be more digestible for end users. But, going back to my unproven guide, I believe the answer lies, once again, in the first step, \u201Cwhat problem do we want to solve?\u201D Making satellite data accessible and democratised is a very fair value proposition, solving a clear job-to-be-done. However, for horizontal players, an additional, \u201Cfor whom?\u201D might be pertinent given different customers in different verticals might want to access satellite data differently. So, perhaps there might be vertical marketplaces and domain-specific platforms (like the Thematic Exploitation Platforms of ESA), and therefore, they will have a role to play within the vertical-specific operating stacks? I admit I don\u2019t have the answer quite figured out yet. This is still an unproven guide!

You also know that the up-front investments in technology, including the requisite commercial drones and building the complete stack, are substantial. Operating in these sectors require significant liability insurance coverage, sometimes over $10 million face value, to get on the premises.

But drone services are not just about buying a drone and hiring a pilot. The entire service stack is much more complicated and costly than many enterprises understand. On the full accounting are in place, many will find their internal costs no better than external offers, and the private ownership a potential liability rather than a competitive advantage.

Lacking clarity on the source of profits. This happens especially when vendors compete against companies whose scope encompasses several layers of the technology stack. Profits will accrue disproportionately to certain layers, with more than three-quarters coming from cloud, applications, analytics, network, systems-integration and data services (see Figure 5). New consumer devices, such as wearables, drones and smart watches, are garnering a good deal of attention, but in the long term, a higher share of profits will come from enterprise and industrial solutions. One reason is that some major vendors are subsidizing consumer devices and capturing returns from data services and analytics instead. These plays are not always clear on the surface; companies might see a competitor delivering a smart door lock, for example, without realizing that the device is merely the entry point for a more profitable analytics model behind it. It is important to look beyond your traditional layer of the stack to identify the full competitive set. Whether in the enterprise, industrial or consumer space, vendors must have a solid plan for services and analytics solutions, either alone or with a set of partners. And for those vendors with broader scope, choosing solutions wisely and investing sufficiently in those areas are critical. 350c69d7ab


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