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2018 May June Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE auditory chatbots are breaking through. Chatbots will be central to automating the customer service side of marinas and boat clubs as Artificial Intelligence continues to develop. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning On a practical level there’s little difference between machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). As AI and ML get better at natural language processing they will be able to replace more and more complex interactions between the boater and marina. It’s hard to think of many situations in a marina that aren’t routine in nature, which is just the kind of environment where basic AI and ML thrives. It will start with the basic chatbots and evolve to replace more and more customer interactions in the marina. The second way AI and ML will be applied in a marina is by leveraging the huge amounts of data a marina produces to better understand boater preferences and behaviour. A very smart, observant, intuitive and engaged marina manager can do many of the things that AI and ML promise. AI and ML will give that ability to every marina. Mobile apps Mobile apps have been around for a while now. They have high adoption with boaters for navigation, but low adoption in the marina sector. As a customer service focused business, marinas are perfect for leveraging the power of mobile devices and the apps that run them. Currently, the mobile apps offered by marina software companies are pretty rudimentary as non-cloud based software is still the norm. The trend towards cloud based software-as-aservice tools will lead to an increase in boater facing marina apps. Autonomous boats Autonomous cars and transport trucks are going to have a significant impact on our economies very soon. Autonomous boats could have a serious impact on marinas in the future. If people are able to call up an autonomous boat like they will an autonomous car, a lot of people will forego owning a boat. As mentioned in the introduction, general automation Mobile apps are popular with boaters for navigation but are an under-used opportunity in marinas despite the fact that, as customer service focused businesses, they lend themselves to app technology. Cloud-based software is opening up greater opportunities. could lead to a big upswing in sailing so it might be a case of a little bad, but a lot of good in the long run. Marketplaces and platforms Marketplaces and platforms are technology-enabled business models that allow one group of value creators to connect with another group of value consumers. Their power comes from increased distribution (connections) between one group and another. Almost all of the powerful technology companies that have emerged in the past few decades like Apple, Google, Ebay and Facebook are marketplaces and platforms. Marketplaces like Dockwa and Snag- A-Slip are growing quickly to connect transient boaters with available berths. Boat Setter seems to be leading ‘Airbnb for boats’. There’s a huge amount of value to be created in connecting different pieces of recreational boating. Conclusion The marina industry is going through a significant period of change. We’re seeing extensive consolidation and demographic turnover in boaters and marina managers. These changes are accelerating the adoption of new technologies in marina and club management. It’s going to be fun to see how the industry adapts to and evolves with emerging and existing technologies over the next five to ten years. Iaian Archibald is the co-founder and CEO of Canadian marina software company Swell Advantage. E: iaian@swelladvantage.com +61 7 5594 8200 info@superiorjetties.com superiorjetties.com 32 www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2018

REGISTER TODAY! www.worldmarinasconference.com Noted speakers include: Stavros Katsikadis President of the Board, Greek Marinas Association Managing Director, LAMDA Flisvos Marina Donald R. Sadoway John F. Elliot Professor of Materials Chemistry Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Roberto Perocchio Chair, ICOMIA Marinas Group Udo Kleinitz Secretary General, International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) Presented by: Hosted by: Organised by: Under the auspices: With the kind support of: Lead sponsors: Main sponsor: Conference sponsors: Exclusive International Marina Media Partner: Communication sponsors:

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