Each week, we produce articles about technology, the cruise industry and the activities our team engages in. We also sometimes cover the various IT services provided by theICEway. With such a large offering, it can sometimes come as a surprise to our following that we are adept at software testing (for example). It is therefore prudent for us to issue the odd reminder that we don’t just have fun as a team! On that note, here we explore how we’ve become known to many as the Cruise Technology Specialists. We’ll include notes on our more cruise-centric products and services, plus recap how it all began.
Read more about our story and the history of theICEway ecosystem.
Technology Challenges At Sea
These are diverse and often complex due to the harsh and dynamic maritime environment. Some of the key challenges include the following:
Navigation and Positioning: Maintaining accurate GPS signals and developing robust navigation systems that can withstand signal interference or loss is a constant challenge.
Communication: Reliable communication at sea is vital for both safety and operational purposes. Achieving seamless, long-distance communication in remote areas, especially in rough weather, remains a challenge.
Data Connectivity: Maritime vessels and offshore platforms require data connectivity for various applications, such as remote monitoring, weather forecasting and crew communication. Therefore, ensuring high-speed, reliable and cost-effective connectivity is crucial.
All these challenges and more mean that a particularly robust IT infrastructure must be in place. This must then be supported and maintained around-the-clock.
Working In IT For Cruise Since The 1990s
A title such as ‘the cruise technology specialists’ is not easy to come by. In fact, any title containing the word ‘specialists’ is typically earned over a long period of time. Notable work with recognised members of an industry is another key ingredient. We are therefore very fortunate to count amongst our team a lot of people who have ‘ticked’ those particular boxes. We can also say the same as a unit, having plied our trade together since 2007 and collaborating with cruise industry stalwarts including:- MSC Cruises
- Virgin Voyages
Our IT professionals have also helped many clients in healthcare and the wider travel industry, but it is cruise where we have really made a mark. Our Co-Founder and CEO, Ian Richardson, began his ‘IT-in-cruise’ life as a Manager in the 1990’s. Most in the industry know him as ‘Richie’, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences all around the world. Sharing his views on how technology can best be leveraged within the cruise industry has also led to him becoming the Seatrade Cruise Technology Ambassador. Indeed, many of theICEway’s core team have worked on cruise projects for the past two decades. During this time, they have gained tremendous experience and learnings which have in turn allowed our clients to save time and money.
Leveraging Our Experience In The Name Of Innovation
Our IT services are hugely varied and include:- Application managed services (24 x 7 ITIL-based service desk, after hours support and more)
- Cloud strategy (Cloud migration design & implementation, vendor agnostic cloud architecture & design and more)
- Technology projects (Technology consultancy, full IT support and more)
Our people are adept at providing these services to cruise lines because they have experience with the challenges described above. Whilst many tech companies are familiar with AWS, Seaware and other platforms, we know exactly how they fit best within cruise. Seaware certainly requires a specific level of knowledge to implement with the minimum of fuss. Another unique element of working in cruise is the necessity to react to certain situations. We all aim to be as proactive as possible but being able to react can often be of critical importance too.
As with most tech organisations, theICEway is one that places a huge emphasis on innovation. One key element in this is our desire to constantly apply new learnings into existing practices. We’re also always seeking to develop new products and solutions that will benefit others. Our core product is tzChromar®, of which our avid readers will most likely be aware. An IT solution for cruise, it was designed to address an issue that has long plagued the cruise industry. Namely, the problem of efficiently managing time zone changes.
Without spending so many years working in this fantastic industry, we could not have produced tzChromar®. This unique solution is already helping cruise lines to make 500,000 device changes per year, across 18 ships and for 10,000 devices. This is one more reason why theICEway is today being described as the cruise technology specialists.