George Marinakis at the opening of the "50th International Andros Regatta"

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During the official opening of the "50th International Andros Regatta”, we met Mr. Marinakis- the Managing Director of SetelHellas, who gave us a short interview.

Q: There are a lot of discussions around "green shipping" lately, especially after the recent regulatory measures by EU and IMO.Can the maritime industryto be leader in green technology?

A:First of all, I would like to congratulate the organizers for the wonderful evening and wish them good luck.

Now- at the macro scale, the world that we are living today is simply not environmental sustainable. Well, I’m not someone who was or is environmental expert, but the facts on this are totally indisputable. Therefore, every industry needs to be an environmental friendly in one way or another. Every business needs to improve resource productivity using the natural resources as effectively as possible when producing goods or servicesin order to reduce or avoid waste and gas emissions.Unfortunately, many organizations have not yet got the message.

Thankfully, shipping industry is already doing a lot to meet that challenge. Recently, industry’skey players raise the bar of greater environmental sustainability and innovation even more higher by implementing local and international rules and legislations on ship energy efficiency, such as the EU regulation for the accurate Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions with the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport.

On the other hand, the most of our shipping professionals are aware of the inherent conditions in developing business practices for sustainable ‘shipping lanes’…and the last period, the industry has displayed a sound ability to adapt and embrace innovative technologies and green policies, in order to improve its environmental performance. It is well known that our industry's approach and its reputation for sustainable business development, driven by "highly qualified" people who always accomplish what they set out to do.

So, it is believable, it is viable, it is absolutely necessary…Moreover, greenery and growth are not polar opposites!

Q: Shipping heads to the Cloud, IoT and Analytics. Do you agree?

The new model is in the cloud. Cloud Services and other digital technologies like IoT andadvanced analytics are not a fashion trend; instead have become today a “life-time”appointmentfor a suite of vessel management, remoteperformance monitoring, safety and crew management solutions aiming to improve business processes and efficiencies.

In our digitally-connected world, new ideas and new business modelsare born when you can make instantly the best use of you data and gain a deeper insight into what your stakeholders and shifting maritime conditions want and need, unlocking a world of possibilities.

For example -regardless of device type or operating system, shipping executives can access theirdata and process information from vessels to enhance their safety awareness in terms of Hull, Machinery and Human stress and fatigue, through a secure online maritimeportal that can be accessed from anywhere via a simpleinternet connection. Well-thanks to tech enabled collaboration through the cloud, industry’sexecutives can seamlesslymonitoronline their sensitive Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and take actions earlier on emerging safety trends avoiding unnecessary issues and costly downtime.

So, it is obvious that embracing the new digital technologies andsensor-based models, shipping companies can enjoyunique visibility and real-time control into almost every aspect of their business, from operation to finance and from vesselcrew to safety status, converting the information into value.

As you can understand, developments in this connected-technology mean that almost all IT components and business applications with online access will be cloud-based. For example, SetelHellas recently developed theSeeMBox-V© on board the Hyundai Hope[HMM Smart Ship project] in order to seamlessly acquire the performance and navigation data for the vessel, store them to the onboard SeeMBox-V© environment for visualisation by the crew andat the end state, transfer the data to a cloud-based database via a satellite link, for further Big Data Analysis allowing shipping companies to pursue safe navigation, efficiency sustainability and reduction of operational costs.

Q: Is shipping prepared for cyber-attacks?

The rise of the IoT and cloud services can offer huge opportunities, but can also create huge risk. Unfortunately, cyber threats can originate from anywhere. Think that, just oneunprotectedhardware device is more than enough to leaveyourwholeon board ICT infrastructureopen to cyber-attack, with unpredictable consequences starting from the individual breach of privacy up tothe total loss of your critical vessel systems putting in danger the asset, cargo and life.

In my opinion, very few maritime organizationsare prepared for serious cyber-attacks. Really, I do not believe that the majority of shipping companiesunderstood the significance of the threat it could face from a strong and persistenthacker attack. Many in the industry feel that they are protected from hacking because they run antivirus softwareon their vessels …But really, this is not enough!

Recently, the Association of Maritime Managers in Information Technology & Communications (AMMITEC) has published cyber security guidance to increase awareness in shipping.This document provides information and guidance on cyber security to shipowners, operators and managers. It highlights also the risk to electronic navigation and radar bridge systems of cyber-attacks, and provides guidelines on how to improve security and reduce the risksof a cyber security breach.

This is truly an excellent starting point for someone who want to start thinking about a serious cyber risk management strategy.

Q: Information Visualisation is about to go mainstream. How this relates to your business and technical initiatives?

Well-let us recallthat, the main reason for which many people bought their first PC 20-25 years ago, was the spreadsheet.It allowed them to create different groups of valuesor different scenarios and explore various results. With spreadsheets, a “what if” scenario could be calculated and recalculated vary easily. If the value in one source cell was changed, the data in related cells were automatically adjusted. In other words -when it is needed,users can interconnectinstantly with their data, explore various scenarios and build strategies.

Today's our business environment has been described as one of hyper-competition environment. Maritime organizations change strategies, acquire other businesses, create new business linesor downsize others, etc., etc.Throughout these changes, companies are faced with the challenge of efficiently judgement of their data in response to their business needs and priorities. Now, to deliver data where it is needed, when it is needed and make the patterns that are hidden in the datavisible, requires more sophisticated technologies.

To cope with this demand, many companies are strengthening and more formally managing the data they have in order to reduce uncertainty and increase firm performance, through the information visualization vehicle.

Information visualisation is becoming more and more common day by day—particularly in companies which have installed and run a modern ERP system. This is for one reason; the digital plumbing technologyand business connectors is now commonly available. Take in mind that today, more and more data are stored in a corporate computer system in a structured format or can be easilyconverted from unstructured data into structured information by specialized tools. Thankfully, the spread of technologieslike XML or JSON also makes it much easier to“pin” data and integrate related information from multiple data-sources.

So- in the age of BigData, the goal of information visualisation is more obvious and widely acknowledged as a contributor to organizational competitiveness. Not to mention that, after cycles of cost cuttings and rounds of lay-offs, many companies have fewer resources to make complex decisions—a painful issue that onlythe digital technology can help to relieve.

Q: Could you tell us a few words about SetelHellasand your future plan?

Today, SetelHellas is an international provider of market leading digital solutions specially designed for the maritime businesses and our work and expertise is recognized globally.

Wecontinue to place extended emphasis in honesty, responsibility, sustainability and diversity of our approach and offering. We continue to measure our success with our customers’ and partners’ success and we commit ourselves totally to this endeavor. We seek as a company, to achieve always competitive advantages for our clients and partners, by understanding industry’smacro trends, relying always on valid market data and- of course,on independent analyses.

We are committed to create value and deliver tangible, innovative and rewarding solutions and consequently results, not simply conceptually presentations andtheoretically ideas. We deliver insightful and we change “the way to do business” so that our technologyto take up a pioneering role in industrial ICT which is currently revolutionizing the maritime sector.We stay always independent and unbiased, in order to be useful to our market and able to build truthful, strong mutually respectful and long lasting relations with our customers and partners.

Regarding our future plan… a little patience, please. We invite you and your readers at SetelHellas International Maritime Conference in Library Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation on May 10th to join us and gain insights about our latest developments in the maritime industry and discuss how the market can adapt towards a new digital era.

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