Time flies when you’re having fun!

Introduction from Yuval Baruch, CEO, Hermes Logistics Technologies

It is hard to believe that six months of 2022 are already behind us. However, when looking at what was achieved and what is still to come it looks like 2022 will be a year of much activity and many achievements. In parallel to having some projects and implementations that are still running through the year, HLT can proudly mark a few important milestones.

The start of the year saw HLT release our NG BI & Datalakes version 2: a state-of-the-art reporting tool that enables our customers access to the wealth of data the Hermes system generates, to monitor, analyse, and make informed decisions. With the enhanced depth and breadth of data lakes and newly defined foundation reports, V2 brought improvements to the way the data is collected, extracted, and modelled for data-driven cargo handlers, allowing for improved decision making that will bring operational efficiencies.

Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hermes Logistics Technologies

Following meticulous multi-year planning, in March HLT held our company wide town hall meeting, where we had our international teams attend from various cities across the globe. The meeting covered our achievements in 2021 and HLT planning for 2022, with major focus on sharing HLT’s 2022 to 26 strategic plan with the team, covering areas such as technology roadmap, product roadmap, restructuring and recruitment planning, and financial forecasting. The highlight of the meeting was HLT awarding employees that have been with us for more than ten years, with some special individuals that have been with HLT more than 20 years.

Another very important achievement was the successful Hermes NG Ecosystem go-live with dnata Singapore in April. This implementation was kicked off during the Covid pandemic which presented us with unique challenges forcing collaboration in different ways from usual to be able to push the project through the implementation cycle. This was also the first time that a number of solutions have gone live simultaneously: Hermes 5 CMS, NG BI & Datalakes, NG Track&Trace, and a brand new integration with SpeedCargo’s CargoEye.

During this time, our HR professionals did not have a dull moment. HLT has an aggressive recruitment plan in 2022, and despite competitive markets with limited talent, we were able to fulfil a number of leadership positions as well as enhance existing teams with new high-quality members.

Finally, at the end of June, our Solutions Architect, Max Kaluza, will be travelling to the TIACA Regional Summit on 28th June in Amsterdam. If you are attending, please make sure to look him up for a chat as he will be glad to share with you additional information on digital trends and where HLT is headed.

What awaits us in the second half of 2022? More conferences, more implementations, more product releases, more recruitment and hopefully fewer challenges linked to external factors.

Story edited by meantime.global

Hermes NG goes live with dnata Singapore

Hermes Logistics Technologies has completed phase one of its digitalisation collaboration with ground handler dnata Singapore, with the successful implementation of its Hermes NG Ecosystem at Changi Airport.

Now live, Hermes NG is steering all cargo-related operations at the handler’s Singapore base as the first phase of a digitisation programme, with the second phase soon to follow.

“Since implementation, the Hermes NG Ecosystem has already successfully processed more than fifty million kilogrammes of cargo, more than 3,000 flights, 20,000 unit load devices, and 50,000 air waybills at the airport,” said Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer, HLT.

Phase one of the project included implementation of the latest versions of the Hermes 5 Cargo Management System, the Hermes NG Business Intelligence & Datalakes solution, as well as NG Track&Trace, and seamless integration with technology partner SpeedCargo’s CargoEye solution.

These combined modules manage all processes related to physical cargo handling, documentation, special product governance, security, mail, messaging, revenue accounting, and business intelligence.

This allows the handler to build up and break down cargo in real time, perform more efficient mail handling with less data input, and to automate myriad repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

The rapid uptake of the Hermes NG ecosystem at Singapore Airport has been the result of a strong partnership, setting a benchmark for collaboration during challenging times.

“Going live following a complex project delivered during the Covid pandemic is an unprecedented success and our on-site implementation was the culmination of careful planning and strong collaboration,” said Baruch.

Travel to Singapore was not possible until October 2021, resulting in initial analysis and design sessions being carried out remotely, which made the successful implementation a true testament to both project teams.

Building on this strong foundation, phase two of the digitalisation programme will include the addition of other NG products, such as NG Landside Management powered by Nallian, integration with SpeedCargo’s CargoMind, and the implementation of modern best practices.

Story edited by meantime.global

Voice of NextGen

Maja Holda, Junior Product Specialist, HLT

I am a Junior Product Specialist, mostly focused on exports, and I started my adventure with Hermes in January 2021. I have always liked computers, but I was interested in travel and logistics from young age, too, and worked at Heathrow Airport for three years before joining Hermes.

Before I came here, I had never worked in a warehouse environment before, so not only did I have to learn how the system works, but also how the processes would work in real life. I also joined Hermes with no knowledge on air cargo and processes used.

Maja Holda

Since then, I have learned a lot from my colleagues and interacting with customers through the support system. The job with Hermes has allowed me to improve my knowledge of both air cargo and IT, and in my opinion, Hermes gives young talent opportunities to grow and put their ideas in place.

I have learned a lot in a past 17 months. My role mostly consists of day-to-day support, but for the last few months I have tried to get more involved with projects. I recently visited our customer site in Singapore to see the operation and help with preparations before the go-live, and that experience enabled me to not only see the warehouse operation in real life but also Hermes’ technology being used. I really enjoyed the experience there; we had to be able to fix issues in a fast-paced environment, making sure that the operation ran as smoothly as possible during the transition.

I know I still have lot to learn when it comes to Hermes and processes used, but in the future, I would like to be a Product Specialist, where I can make sure that customers receive the support they need. I hope I would be able to get more involved in projects, where I can visit customer sites and provide them with solutions that are best for them and make their work easier and more efficient. There is currently a lack of female representation in the air cargo and IT sectors, but I hope this will change over time and women will be more visible in a male-orientated environment.

Story edited by meantime.global

Getting on board with Hermes

Jacek Lechocki, Head of Products and Services, Hermes Logistics Technologies

Getting on board with Hermes

 There is a myriad of reasons why cargo handlers and airports across the world adopt Hermes systems, from a desire to decrease handling times and increase reliability, to automating and consolidating processes, to providing operational reporting and insights that improve a company’s management and overall business performance.

Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) strongly recommends that each implementation begins with an in-depth business study, conducted by HLT’s team of cargo experts.  This is to understand existing key operational processes and to determine how the Hermes system should be set up and configured for optimal cargo handling performance.

These business studies document the proposed processes but also provide recommendations on specific areas of customisation which may be required, such as links to local customs systems.

Once the business study has been signed off, implementation is not just about technical knowhow and upgrades, a large part of a Hermes implementation is about the staff who will be using the system once it’s in place.

One of the key aspects of a successful implementation is developing a strong cargo key users’ team to support the implementation, and to own and manage the system once it is installed and working.

This team plays a key role, not only in understanding the Hermes system, but in preparing the user communities for change which a new system inevitably brings.  This can be done via roadshows, posters, handouts as well as dedicated classrooms or project offices.

HLT strongly advocates a “train the trainer” approach, to ensure that training capabilities reside with the customer, particularly where Hermes is being installed across multiple sites.

We work together with the key users to not only train and upskill staff members, so they can pass on the knowledge to the whole team, but also to ensure that they can take full advantage of Hermes’ advanced features and are in position to provide first level support to their users.

Following implementation, Hermes provides continued customer support and can provide refresher training to customers, so they can stay on top of updates and developments in their business.

This close relationship we have with our customers means that our communication is mutually beneficial and the feedback and questions that they provide means we can continuously work on upgrading and developing our software to meet their and overall industry needs.

The logistics industry is still evolving, and customer support and training is key in bringing new ideas into a community which can sometimes be resistant to change and adds a personal dimension to implementing new technologies.

 

 

Hermes leading growth

Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hermes Logistics Technologies

This year’s IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Singapore created a productive opportunity to speak to some of you, gain feedback and expert insights into the air cargo industry.

It was particularly interesting to attend talks about e-commerce and the shifts in volume from traditional large air cargo shipments to small airmail packages.

It appears that the shift in consumer behaviour will continue to drive the need for highly efficient air cargo handling as incumbents like Alibaba and Amazon continue to redefine the fulfilment standards.

As the air cargo industry evolves, Hermes evolves with it, continuing to develop new technologies and solutions, and growing our company.

We are approaching the test date of our first Hermes NG apps with a European customer later this month and will be releasing news about LUG Hamburg’s adoption of Hermes 5 in the near future.

In January’s newsletter we mentioned some of the new members of staff who joined our UK office to work on Hermes NG, and now we are pleased to announce that our India office has grown in size and continues to do so.

To find out more about all of Hermes’ newest team members, click here.

In this month’s newsletter, Jacek Lechocki, Head of Products and Services, writes about how training a good champions team is vital in the implementation process, and provides some insights into key considerations that have to be taken into account when moving to Hermes’ cargo management systems.

Click here to read.

Hermes Logistics Technologies grows India and UK teams as global demand accelerates for H5 system

Hermes recruits new staff for its India and UK offices to enhance tech and business development following growing global demand for H5 cargo management system

London, UK, Monday 25 February 2019 – Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) continues to expand its teams in India and the UK as their flagship cargo management system (CMS), Hermes 5 (H5) is adopted by cargo ground handlers, airlines and airports across the globe.

Specialised staff in the Development, Cargo and Quality Assurance teams, will build on Hermes’ all-round capabilities in creating new technologies, applications and business analysis with the Customer Service team providing support.

“We are growing our teams in India and the UK to allow us to continue the development of new applications as part of our Hermes NG suite which will complement H5’s software as a service (SaaS) Cloud offering,” said Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer, Hermes Logistics Technologies.

“By growing our presence in India, we will be able to strengthen quality assurance and quality control, and in addition, provide a more tailored response to our Asian customers.”

Atul Kumbhare joins the team bringing 20 years’ industry experience to Hermes’ India office in Pune, where he will lead the development team and work with Manager and Head of Quality Control, Sachin Gokhale whose career in project management and process implementations also spans nearly two decades.

The UK office has welcomed Nishant Singh and Steve Palmer who will contribute a combined experience of 43 years in global digital system architecture to work on the development of Hermes NG, with the support of new staff set to join later this year.

“As Hermes continues to develop its core products to meet the demands of a growing customer base, we are pleased to welcome new members to our global team to provide support and innovation to our digital solution portfolio,” said Alexis Labonne, Chief Technology Officer, Hermes Logistics Technologies.

Hermes NG, a modular, pay-as-you-go cargo management system which gives functionality across devices began development in 2018 and goes to trial later next month.

The latest implementation of H5 took place at Luxembourg Airport for LuxairCARGO when the first phase of the CMS was completed at the end of 2018, and the second phase is set for deployment in Q2 this year.

H5 has a fast-growing presence in Asia following the success of its first implementation at Hanoi Airport, Vietnam in April 2018, it will soon go-live at Dubai World Central with RSA National and Hyderabad Airport, India, where HLT signed a five-year contract with GMR Group to provide rolling upgrades to the system.

H5 has also been adopted by UASL (Ultramar Group) at Santiago Airport in Chile, and by LUG at their newly acquired Hamburg terminal.

 

Atul Kumbhare (left) joins the team at the India office in Pune, where he will lead the development team and work with Manager and Head of Quality Control, Sachin Gokhale (right) with Dipali Zinjad, Domain Expert, pictured centre.

 

First phase of H5 goes live at Luxembourg Airport

We are delighted to announce that phase one of Hermes 5 (H5) has been implemented successfully for LuxairCARGO at Luxembourg Airport.

This bespoke version of Hermes 5 provides additional trucking functionality for use at the airport, where LuxairCARGO process more than one million tonnes of air cargo a year.

In this edition of H5 we also added features such as a new Customs interface, designed to help speed up cross-border Customs clearance, as well as real-time tracking functionality and data analysis, which reduces delays and backlogs.

The H5 CMS provides further flexibility in key areas in both management and operations, improving service management, revenue accounting, automation of processes, and avoiding Service Level Agreement (SLA) failures.

“We successfully migrated to the Hermes 5 Cargo System in October 2018,” said Laurent Jossart, Executive Vice President, LuxairCARGO.

“Hermes 5 not only provides the level of automation we require, but also guarantees the possibility to interface with all our other existing operational systems.

Hermes has also allowed us to enhance our quality and has contributed to a standardisation of our processes.

“During the implementation, the Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) team of cargo and technical experts provided on-site support to LuxairCARGO, which meant the system went live successfully and in very good timing.”

 

Laurent Jossart, Executive Vice-President, LuxairCARGO

Insights into Hermes NG Tech: Looking outside the warehouse

Alexis Labonne as Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Hermes’ digital transformation started in earnest in the beginning of 2018. Hermes 5, the current GHA software application is strongly focussed on cargo operations within the GHA premises, and its ongoing modernisation has taken it to the Cloud, providing a shift from the current licence-based proposal to a PUPM or transactional (pay per AWB/tonnes) OPEX model.

Whilst this provides fantastic flexibility and control for our customers, we have started moving our gaze towards the serverless world, and a new range of apps are destined for the wider cargo world such as agents, authorities, transporters, third parties, other ground handling agent (GHA) systems etc.

The opportunities are ripe, the technologies are here, but the pitfalls are many.

How can we protect Hermes’ core proposition and provide external digital apps but with minimal friction and hassle for our customers?

 

Separation of concerns

Hermes 5, the core GHA operating software provides exceptional functionality for its users, but the focus must remain inside the warehouse.

We followed several architectural principles, from de-coupling to separation of concerns in order to allow the Hermes platform to receive varied content and events from the outside world as well as inputting of non-Hermes data.

Despite the soundness of these principles, they are incumbent on the business goals:

  • Next to zero friction and disruption for existing Hermes systems
  • Pay as you go and easy access

Developing apps capable of evolving and running independently whilst limiting the impact on our core product Hermes 5, required the acceptance of something most organisations still struggle to recognise.

Data cannot be true, immediate and partitioned in a single place and at a single moment (Brewer’s theorem or CAP theorem for the aficionados).

It is okay to replicate it, it is okay to accept eventual consistency and it always makes business sense to scale and grow piecemeal.

So now, code can deal only with the data it is given, and only the data that it needs.

The interfaces by which Hermes acquires its data are then testable, manageable, measurable, and secured for a given purpose only.

 

Leveraging serverless Cloud

 HLT opted for two solutions to minimise workload and disruption:

  1. Getting rid of concerns by using Azure serverless technologies; Azure services bus, Eventgrid, Functions, Cosmos DB etc. This means no more operating systems, no more network routing, no more patching, no more backups and security is taken care of (B2C), leaving us with only the apps and what they bring to our customers.
  2. Complete loose coupling from the Hermes Core GHA application (Hermes 5), through secure integration (Azure Service Bus) and patterns (Command Query Responsibility Segregation or Micro-services).

Not only will our new and existing customers be able to adopt and thrive with our new Cloud applications (Hermes NG), enriched by the events and data provided by the Hermes 5 application, but non-Hermes users will also be able to join the Hermes NG ecosystem as Hermes NG apps create further benefits by using data from other sources such as internal message and application programming interfaces (API).

It is likely that future NG Apps may be stand-alone, and function without a GHA application.

 

HERMES NG APPS

HLT has a multitude of Cloud applications in the pipeline, all multi device, user-centric and with great value add for our customers.

HLT’s development plan has been kicked-started with the successful trialling of E-Checkin and Track&Trace and 2019 will see additional apps such as Ramp Management being developed, trailed and deployed.

  1. E-Checkin: Provides our customer with online services that their clients need to check shipments for drop-off/pickups and in addition request Vehicle Control Tickets pre-arrival or at arrival electronically. A supplemental option will be released later this year providing online slot booking and management functionality.
  1. Track&Trace: Allows full status and real-time notifications to customers handling AWBs, and in future, Track&Trace will allow the AWBs to be completed by other APIs such as FlightAware.

Future versions of Track&Trace will also permit authorities (Customs/police) to interact with shipment statuses.

 

Nishant Singh, Lead Developer, Hermes NG

Steve Palmer, Developer, Hermes NG

 

Growing Momentum

Yuval Baruch — Chief Executive Officer, Hermes Logistics Technologies

In 2019, we at Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) will continue the momentum from 2018 to expand our business partnerships, develop our technologies and grow as a company.

Last year culminated in December with the implementation of the first phase of a custom version of Hermes 5 (H5) for LuxairCARGO at Luxembourg Airport, we expect to complete phase two in the coming months.

You can read more about the phase one implementation here.

Full implementation of a Cloud H5 version at RSA in Dubai, UAE, as well as on-premise H5 in LUG HAM and dnata Brussels are also projected for quarter one, 2019, so stay tuned for updates.

Considering both growth and planned investment, HLT will continue the recruitment effort of additional resources in all domains in 2019.

The plan includes expert recruitment in the UK and significantly increasing HLT’s footprint in India.

To maintain HLT’s technical edge, we continue to move forward with developments and updates to our cargo management systems, and development of the cloud-based Hermes NG is proceeding rapidly.

As part of Hermes NG, we will be launching two new applications, E-Checkin and Track&Trace.

This month’s newsletter looks in-depth at the design and the technology behind Hermes NG and these two applications as an example of how HLT intends to maintain its technical and functional leadership.

Stay tuned for our next newsletter this March.

 

Unleashing the Power of SaaS: Serverless Cloud

by Alex Labonne

What and Why

In our last newsletter, we touched on digital and why this new era has come along. One catalyst of the digital era is the commoditisation of infrastructure resources from the big Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers.

This in turn creates a wonderful ecosystem for the proliferation of applications that are also commoditized; not only our hardware financing can switch to almost full Operating Expense (OPEX), but so can our software, per hour, per tonne, per throughput etc.

One would think the financial aspect (not always cheaper but certainly more manageable) would be reason enough for the adoption trend of Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for varied industries, but there are many more.

Elasticity and the ability to respond on demand to large flux of data and usage to then scale back during quieter periods allows the small guys to play with the big ones, provided they convert that traffic into business of course.

Many Cloud providers also provide SaaS components and the ability to create many additional components over and over, with de facto backup, horizontal scale, security, deployment processes, usage tracking etc., reducing development, test and deployment times to allow businesses to focus on what matters most: innovation and their market.

Finally, the flexibility, the ability to run many components and applications in a networked and loose coupled way underlines the need for SaaS adoption. Running several component versions side by side to remove older ones smoothly, deploying updates seamlessly to provide the best upgrade experience. The list goes on…

Hermes offers SaaS today

Hermes provides a version of its software fully hosted and handled in the Cloud (Azure or Amazon). Whilst it provides exactly the same functionality for a slightly cheaper overall cost, it is still deployed as a “tenant” for any given customer.

This takes away many concerns about data safety, whilst removing most infrastructure headaches for customers. It also allows us to support our customers more efficiently.

But we feel that the software commoditisation aspects, savings and dynamism, are not at their real potential by using virtual machines or containers. We still need to manage Operating Systems, patches etc., spending time we can dedicate to developing better cargo apps.

True SaaS power

The Hermes application is moving towards becoming a much more open platform, with all the trimmings one might imagine. But as the components of Hermes are broken apart, grown significantly, scaled, opened and moved to the Cloud, core system and business aspects become more complex; security, scalability, OS patching, system upgrades, RDBMS tuning, etc.

To accelerate software development, Hermes needs to leverage existing SaaS technologies to stand upon. Enter Serverless components.

Rather than deploying the Hermes stack within containers such as VMs in the Cloud, HLT will leverage existing SaaS/PaaS facilities in the Cloud to accelerate its productivity, giving our customers more innovative applications and services. No hardware, no VMs, no OS, just pure business logic and good design patterns focus.

Hermes to rendezvous with the future

As we highlighted the Digital Trend show stoppers in our previous article, one would be forgiven to see the HLT strategy as a risky move. After all some markets are not ready, nor permitting the use of public Cloud. I say public with a pinch of salt, as much of the business logic and data can actually be hidden and VPNed solely to a customer’s network.

We know that customers in different countries will adopt these technologies at different rates, depending on their government regulations, financial practices or competitive appetite. Hermes will be ready to bring great advantage to those who adopt Hermes SaaS with more granular purchase schemes and/or pay-as-you-go full OPEX financing.

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