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.

Digital and Air Cargo: Seldom related to standards

by Alex Labonne

Why does digital matter?

At the risk of defining digital for a world that is already confused by the hype itself, one must understand why the digital evolution is occurring to begin with.

  • There is more data available about many more things.
  • Access to infrastructure and devices that consume and render data is more commoditised than ever thanks to the Cloud.
  • People communicate more and more digitally through social networks.

These social networks are accessible through many means, but mobile is by far the medium of choice, centring on the individual.

Where does that leave the air cargo industry? What could all these digital angles bring or disrupt?

Cargo produces a lot of events and data. From airlines to consolidators, forwarders and handlers are all constantly creating events that are rarely surfaced or shared.

One could think that the lack of standards would be reason enough, but this cannot be true, as other industries are sharing data constantly with very little standards.

Beyond the obvious benefits to the e-commerce industry in terms of refined, more precise accounting and tracking, there are other more interesting aspects of the digital trend for the cargo industry.

Automation of the warehouse, with constant feedback on the best performing configuration from AI, traffic estimation and loss prevention, shipment repurposing, exceptional shipment handling and planning (e.g. disaster relief cargo), linking to external events (weather, conflicts, etc.), insurance claim handling, predictive maintenance, the list goes on and on, and for everyone along the logistic chain.

In terms of human interaction, the ability to surface data in the Cloud on commoditised and serverless applications opens the gate to inter-agent communications, fast and simpler contract exchanges (AWB, Manifests) between service suppliers and government agencies, with little infrastructure requirements

The future is looking extremely bright, and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

What are the blockers?

Digital is happening fast primarily in the retail world, but health, energy and banking are also coming in hot. Giants, such as Amazon, are showing the world how it is done in the world of logistics, and air cargo is taking notes.

The costs are certainly a factor when it comes to digital transformation, but one of the biggest blockers is the move to the Cloud. There are still concerns about data regulations and security, sometimes unfounded, but deeply rooted in past beliefs than if one can see the database server from one’s desk, it is surely safer than out there in the ether.

The reticence is not unfounded and the new GDPR regulations certainly put the sting in data sharing. Add the hacking scandals currently all over the press into the mix and all this is enough to kick the adoption of digital transformation right into touch.

What is HLT doing about it?

The Hermes Logistics Technologies roadmap is angling for full digital transformation and towards a full Software as a Service (SaaS) platform running in the Cloud.

We believe that a platform that is open and well controlled with minimal friction in terms of infrastructure and setup is the way to help our customers fulfil their digital potential.

The ability for both ourselves and our customers to share data and events should trigger many more applications and feed AIs with what is needed for greater insights.

Over the coming weeks, we will talk about our digital roadmap, its technology components and how they could help air cargo operators and our customers.

Digital and Air Cargo: Seldom related to standards

Why does digital matter?

At the risk of defining digital for a world that is already confused by the hype itself, one must understand why the digital evolution is occurring to begin with.

  • There is more data available about many more things.
  • Access to infrastructure and devices that consume and render data is more commoditised than ever thanks to the Cloud.
  • People communicate more and more digitally through social networks.

These social networks are accessible through many means, but mobile is by far the medium of choice, centring on the individual.

Where does that leave the air cargo industry? What could all these digital angles bring or disrupt?

Cargo produces a lot of events and data. From airlines to consolidators, forwarders and handlers are all constantly creating events that are rarely surfaced or shared.

One could think that the lack of standards would be reason enough, but this cannot be true, as other industries are sharing data constantly with very little standards.

Beyond the obvious benefits to the e-commerce industry in terms of refined, more precise accounting and tracking, there are other more interesting aspects of the digital trend for the cargo industry.

Automation of the warehouse, with constant feedback on the best performing configuration from AI, traffic estimation and loss prevention, shipment repurposing, exceptional shipment handling and planning (e.g. disaster relief cargo), linking to external events (weather, conflicts, etc.), insurance claim handling, predictive maintenance, the list goes on and on, and for everyone along the logistic chain.

In terms of human interaction, the ability to surface data in the Cloud on commoditised and serverless applications opens the gate to inter-agent communications, fast and simpler contract exchanges (AWB, Manifests) between service suppliers and government agencies, with little infrastructure requirements

The future is looking extremely bright, and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

What are the blockers?

Digital is happening fast primarily in the retail world, but health, energy and banking are also coming in hot. Giants, such as Amazon, are showing the world how it is done in the world of logistics, and air cargo is taking notes.

The costs are certainly a factor when it comes to digital transformation, but one of the biggest blockers is the move to the Cloud. There are still concerns about data regulations and security, sometimes unfounded, but deeply rooted in past beliefs than if one can see the database server from one’s desk, it is surely safer than out there in the ether.

The reticence is not unfounded and the new GDPR regulations certainly put the sting in data sharing. Add the hacking scandals currently all over the press into the mix and all this is enough to kick the adoption of digital transformation right into touch.

What is HLT doing about it?

The Hermes Logistics Technologies roadmap is angling for full digital transformation and towards a full Software as a Service (SaaS) platform running in the Cloud.

We believe that a platform that is open and well controlled with minimal friction in terms of infrastructure and setup is the way to help our customers fulfil their digital potential.

The ability for both ourselves and our customers to share data and events should trigger many more applications and feed AIs with what is needed for greater insights.

Over the coming weeks, we will talk about our digital roadmap, its technology components and how they could help air cargo operators and our customers.

Welcome to the Newsletter

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

Welcome to our Hermes Logistics Technologies Newsletter, where we will be regularly updating you on what’s new at HLT involving technological innovation, and offer views and insight from ourselves and our customers.

The first few months of 2018 have been quite exciting for HLT, with the new version of our Cargo Management System (CMS), called Hermes 5 (H5) going live at ALS Cargo Terminal Co., Ltd (ALSC) in Hanoi, Vietnam, as part of a global rollout.

Earlier in the year, we welcomed a new Chief Technology Officer, Alex Labonne, who will oversee the H5 rollout and together with the HLT team of air cargo experts will continue to optimise our digital roadmap. You can read more from Alex below.

Page 1 of 41234