Navigating the Pandemic | LARA

19th May 2022

This article was originally published in the April/May 2022 edition of LARA Magazine


by Bernie Baldwin


Crisis? What Crisis?


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, public figures have continually reached for certain stock words and phrases to describe the situation. One of those used the most has been "Never let a good crisis go to waste" - the provenance of which is disputed but which is most often attributed to former UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.


While the pandemic could hardly be described as "good", a crisis it certainly has been. The aviation industry has certainly put in the effort to live up to Churchill's maxim, particularly the providers of maintenance software.


There has been much product enhancement by these companies. For example, David Purfurst, Global Pre-Sales Director at Rusada, reports that while there was a dip in productivity in the first two to three months while home working began, the company was back to previous productivity levels by the end of summer 2020.


"With some customers choosing to delay their implementation projects, it meant we could apply more resources to the development of ENVISION and step back and analyse our internal processes, which in turn further improved the quality of our software," says Purfurst.


Making Software 'Evergreen'


As companies made their product enhancements, the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) has been much discussed, especially the advantages it can bring end users.


Rusada believes AI can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of forecasts in many areas of its software. "Of particular interest is using AI to assist with prescriptive maintenance," says Purfurst. "This will not only tell planners when components are likely to fail, but recommend when and where maintenance should be undertaken - taking into account all other maintenance events."


Benefitting from synergies


Maintenance software is a very competitive sector and, as with other well-populated sectors, consolidation is always a possibility.


Rusada's Purfurst has little doubt. "In our market, as in most markets, consolidation is inevitable," he says. "Software providers are able to develop deeper and richer functionality with a larger user base, and with operators now starting to come round to the idea of sharing data with other users, consolidation benefits all in the industry.


"There hasn't been much M&A activity over the past two years for obvious reasons, but we expect this to increase as the industry gets back on its feet. In the meantime, any consolidations are likely to be more strategic - filling a gap in functionality rather than absorbing a direct competitor."