5 Questions to Jeppe Nielsen, CEO, EIVA - 09/01/2018
Jeppe Nielsen has been the CEO at EIVA since 2011. Prior to his position there, he was senior vice president at the software engineering company Systematic. Jeppe Nielsen has a master’s degree in computer science from Aalborg University, Denmark. 'Hydro International' asked him 5 questions about the hydrographic market and the strategy of his company.
Technology and societal needs are changing rapidly. How is your company adapting to these changes?
Being a software provider, it is vital to us that we are in the forefront of applying and making new technologies available to our customers. Nowadays, this entails a particular focus on deep learning, cloud services, autonomous vehicles and virtual reality. We have already implemented some of these in our NaviSuite software products, and we’re just getting started.
We want to make sure that we join, and as far as possible lead, the ride, consequently allowing our customers to adapt to the changes in technology before they’re outpaced by their competitors. In addition, an increasing number of our customers are involved in projects centred on meeting the changing societal needs. This includes shallow-water construction operations for expansion of harbour and urban infrastructure; offshore operations for the expanding demand for energy; seabed mapping operations to accommodate the shipping industry; and environmental surveys; just to mention a few – all of which can be made far more efficient through the possibilities brought by the changes we see with the technological development.
Which applications does your company focus its research and development activities on?
The short answer is automation throughout the survey data workflow. Automation in acquisition, i.e. control and behaviour adjustment of autonomous platforms (from mission planning and runline creation to complete automation during operations). Automation in processing, i.e. providing software that is able to automatically process data in only minutes, which otherwise would have required numerous man-hours to process. Automation in interpretation: in 2017, we established a new team which is solely focused on harvesting the benefits from machine vision, machine learning and deep learning. This focus on automation has already led to a number of new features in the NaviSuite products, and many more will come in the future.
What is your company’s growth strategy?
EIVA offers high-end software products in all the segments we are active in – software and complete solutions that enable our customers to operate more effectively and efficiently. Our product strategy and development roadmap are closely aligned with our key customers’ strategies. This means that they can depend on EIVA continuously being a key partner, also in the future. We reinvest a large portion of our install base revenue in R&D and are continually increasing our R&D team size as our install base increases. The team has been increased by 60% in 2017 alone.
EIVA is currently experiencing strong growth, which is coming from all segments, including oil and gas, offshore wind, construction and dredging, ocean research and hydrography. We have in recent years focused on segments such as shallow water, dredging and related segments, and we will continue to expand into other segments where we believe we can be a significant player.
Moreover, EIVA operates through many channels – direct, sales partners, OEM / private label – and are increasing our presence on social media and digital media in general, where we can see a lot of our customers also are active.
How would you describe the hydrographic market these days?
The commercial parties are eager to adapt to new technology, seeing the benefits it brings in terms of moving towards a far more cost-efficient operation setup, where the software is doing the hard work, saving the human touch for the last details. It seems that the commercial parties in the industry have been more eager than the official actors, although we’re now seeing a growing interest from their side as well in exploiting what new technology can bring to the table.
What is your golden advice for doing business in hydrography and offshore surveying?
Always keep in mind that your customers work with mission critical operations and often on a 24/7 basis, and structure your organisation and offerings accordingly. Be prepared to be available to assist regardless of time zone differences and normal work hours, whether it be with support or other services that will keep downtime to a minimum. Strive to constantly build on and strengthen the relation to your customers. Working closely together with them means that you will understand the challenges they face better, allowing you to ensure that the delivered solution matches their needs and helps them create the most value from their assets.Last updated: 13/12/2018