For the March 2022 edition of MRO Business Today, our CEO Julian Stourton sat down with Swati.k. for this exclusive interview…

Congratulations on the new app ENVISION Flights which provides users with live flight details. Can you tell our readers what you like most about this app?

What I like most about the new app, is what I like about all our apps – they save people time. In the case of our Flights app this means removing the need to get updates via phone calls or third-party agents, as all the information is there on the app, with any changes immediately pulling through. Key actions can also be conducted straight from the cockpit rather than being recorded on paper and then someone else re-recording on a PC.

Although the time saved per action is relatively small, when you multiply this across all your flights over the course of a year, this can add up to thousands of hours saved in this area alone.

ENVISION Flights becomes the third new app released in the last 10 months after ENVISION Tasks and ENVISION Stock, what is next in line for Rusada?

There a several areas on which we are currently focusing. Mobility is still a key area for us, and we are in the planning and development phase on a number of news apps.

We are also looking at a number of emerging technologies, such as Blockchain and AI, to understand how these can be integrated into ENVISION, and also if it makes sense to. Too often providers will force the use of these hot-topic technologies just so they can say it’s something they have, but in reality, the way they implement them is of little use to the user. Our mindset is to only use them when and where it makes sense to.

On top of this we continue to deepen ENVISION’s functionality, improve its processes, and streamline the user experience wherever possible.

Last year Spirit AeroSystems signed up for 8 of ENVISION’s modules along with ENVISION Tasks expanding Rusada’s presence in North America, any further expansion plans on the cards?

This is a contract we were incredibly excited to get, and the implementation is progressing well. It further cements our position in this region, and we are talking to more and more prospective clients here with each passing month. But we are always looking to expand our presence wherever we can, whether that be in our more established customer bases like Europe and Asia, or in the likes of Africa and Latin America where we are still growing.

Aviation is a global industry, and as such most of our customers operate across multiple countries, so as a provider, having a global presence only adds more benefits to our user base.

Recently Falcon Aviation signed a deal with Rusada for ENVISION software to manage their airworthiness, maintenance planning, maintenance execution, and inventory. After Chrono Aviation of Canada, this is Rusada’s second charter deal for ENVISION in recent months. How does the diversity of your customer base affect the development of your software? Can ENVISION be used in defense applications?

What you learn very quickly in aviation is that no two operators are the same. You’ll find that even two commercial operators flying in the same region will likely have very different ways of doing things. Therefore, flexibility is a key pillar of ENVISION and how we approach development.

As a result, we have a wide array of businesses using our software. Aircraft operators of all disciplines. Base, line and component maintenance providers. Both aircraft and engine manufacturers. We have them all. And yes, that also includes a host of military operations, who use ENVISION for the airworthiness and maintenance of their aircraft.

We continuously work alongside all our customers from every area of the industry to assess and add functionality, so that ENVISION meets their needs, for the way they operate.

ENVISION software aims to meet the aviation sector’s complex digital needs, are we currently experiencing a digital revolution in MRO sector?

We are definitely experiencing a revolution, but it is a sustained period of change rather than an overnight transition. It has been going on for a number of years now, and because of that people can see the overwhelming benefits for those that have made the switch.

Fully digital operations are where everyone wants to be, but these projects require time and resources, so it’s understandable that some haven’t been able to make the change as of yet. Unfortunately, Covid caused further delay for many looking to adopt systems like ENVISION, but it also highlighted how important it is to have high levels of efficiency and adaptability. These can only be achieved through digitisation, so we expect Covid to ultimately be a positive catalyst for change.

Can you tell our readers the importance of data automation in years to come and how it will benefit the aviation industry?

The number of aircraft data sources has grown exponentially over the last decade. So much data is being produced and fed to operators, but this is all for nothing if you can’t make sense of it and gain actionable insights. ENVISION’s UI uses dashboards, graphical displays, and smart filters to provide users with clear and concise information so that they can manage by exception, and not get lost in the weeds.

With the advancement of AI, the processing of data will become even more sophisticated in the coming years. Software will not only be able to highlight important events and occurrences, but also advise how and when they should be remedied, making operations even more efficient.

The success of your ENVISION software is clearly visible by its global acceptance in over 40 countries. However, how did you deal with regional regulatory challenges?

I spoke earlier about the need for flexibility. If you have a software that’s not locked into one way of doing things, then it’s easy to adapt to the variations in processes that different regional regulations can throw up.

At the start of implementation projects, we sit down with the customer and understand how they operate and what rules they have had to adhere to. We then configure the system to take this into account allowing them to continue to operate in compliance whilst still gaining the efficiency of a modern system. For the majority of new customers, we already have experience working with their regulations, so can take what we’ve done with previous customers and adapt, rather than start again from scratch.