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Case study on US Navy

Distance Support, Sailor to Engineer program – Connecting Sailors to expert technicians on shore.

iOra’s Geo-Replicator technology provides the bandwidth optimization that makes the updating of the “Distance Support” portal possible across the entire fleet via satellite, enabling the Navy to run an up-todate portal on all of its ships and substantially reducing demand on the Navy’s satellite network, as well as the cost of transporting experts to ships.

Background
The United States Navy performs the bulk of its vessel maintenance at its naval bases. Between those scheduled overhauls however, there remains periodic maintenance that must be performed at sea to keep the ships and equipment ready for deployment.

While the Navy trains its on-board technicians to handle most of these maintenance scenarios, there are inevitably some tasks that are beyond what the onboard technicians can manage. They would typically complete these more complex tasks with the advice of a land based expert or, in some more complex cases, an expert will be flown to the ship to complete the work required. These maintenance issues and the delays they can cause are a significant burden on Navy resources. Ferrying experts to ships is expensive and the downtime is detrimental to fleet operations.

The Challenge
To enhance the efficiency of its on board technicians, the Navy has created the “Distance Support” web portal, which gives personnel on ships instant access to full and up-to-date maintenance documentation. Through the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s (NSWC) “Sailor to Engineer” initiative, this portal also gives Sailors instant access to engineering and logistics experts at the NSWC in Port Hueneme. The Sailor to Engineer page of the portal enables sailors to get expert answers to questions regarding the maintenance of weapons, hull, mechanical, and electrical systems by putting fleet technicians in contact with knowledgeable experts at any time, anywhere. The effectiveness of the portal was, however, limited by bandwidth availability over the Navy’s satellite network. With enormous fleet demand for bandwidth, it was impossible to update the portal effectively over the network. Therefore updates to maintenance documentation had to be sent out to the ships on CDs and then manually uploaded into the portal. This process was cumbersome and unreliable.

The Geo-Replicator® Solution
iOra’s Geo-Replicator technology provides the bandwidth optimization that makes the updating of the “Distance Support” portal possible across the entire fleet via satellite, enabling the Navy to run an up-to-date portal on all of its ships and substantially reducing demand on the Navy’s satellite network, as well as the cost of transporting experts to ships. Having the ability to contact an expert immediately when the need arises, allows the fleet to remedy problems rapidly and keep their operations running smoothly. Only iOra Geo-Replicator offered the efficient server to server replication that the Navy required to provide a LAN speed portal experience to its on-ship users. iOra’s unique software allows the Navy to efficiently provide data to its users, wherever they are in the world and delivers efficient replication of content both ways between ship and shore by dramatically reducing the size of the data being sent.

The Result
The Navy’s objective was to provide up-to-date portal information on-board each of its vessels. Through using iOra’s unique Epsilon differencing technology, the maintenance manuals in the Navy’s “Distance Support” portal are now updated every few hours instead of every few months.

Geo-Replicator® Benefits
Faster access to SharePoint in very remote areas of the world can result in a dramatic reduction in the cost of data transmission, as well as ensuring satellite bandwidth is left available for other mission critical purposes. This enables improved at-sea access to maintenance manuals and documentation, more effective and efficient collaboration between on-ship technicians and land based experts, and the availability of more up-to-date portal content.

“iOra continues to be an integral part of the Ministry of Defence, delivering essential software across the organisation. Their software delivers a one stop strategy, saving time, money and resources.”

“In terms of the benefits to the Australian Department of Defence, they now have access to the full SharePoint platform capability – any time, anywhere – literally!”

“The Regs4ships system with iOra Geo-Replicator® allows shore managers and ships’ crews to refer to integrated data in near real time.”

“The introduction of Geo-Replicator® has enabled us to work with much improved efficiency and has now been deployed across the fleet to transforming the way we operate.”

“Providing timely updates to tankers around the world’s oceans have presented logistical problems. iOra’s solution is designed to allow us to deliver updated information quickly and efficiently.”

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