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2021 September October Marina World

The magazine for the marina industry

MANAGEMENT

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE/INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS Cross-border communications A first for Italy, Navis3 marina management software was developed by Vittorio Impallomeni of Vis Srl, an architect with a passion for informatics. It is currently the most popular system in the country and is in operation at many sites including the Monaco Ports facility of Marina Cala del Forte. Hopes run high for an eventual global roll out. Donatella Zucca reports Mobile web application to monitor the operational aspects of the quay and yard activity via tablet; the YachtPass. com portal to provide companies with commercial support; a web-engine to interface Navis3 in bidirectional mode with the web and create an intranet with customers and nautical portals via API-XML for online booking; and a port app, interfaced with the management system that facilitates interaction and communication with customers. Navis3, in use for at least three years, is a renewed version of Navis, which started life as an electronic invoicing system. It evolved to cater for all aspects of port and shipyard management but is increasingly to be found in leisure marinas and standalone yards having been enriched along the way with new developments and improvements, such as the MyMarina app. MyMarina delivers port information direct to customer mobile phones, along with invoices, mooring contracts, quotes and all else necessary for the billing relationship. This is a particularly important tool if the system is to have international reach – and the Navis team is eager to follow this path. Vis Srl, an acronym for Vittorio Impallomeni Software and a word that means ‘strength’ in Latin, boasts Marina di Loano (above) and Marina del Cavalino both use Navis3. programmers, designers and system analysts, web designers, process consultants, a team of five engineers and Impallomeni himself. All work together to create IT solutions for the nautical sector and adapt them to suit specific requirements and business models. Together, they have pioneered computerisation of many yachting operations and, in so doing, made them more competitive. In essence, Navis3 is a suite of IT services and products; the result of 20 years’ experience in applying the most advanced technologies. Installations have been adapted to take advantage of the Cloud, connected with customers in RDP mode or the corporate LAN network, and utilised the web for marketing, reservations and valueadded services. Access to the software is in Software as a Service (Saas) mode, which does not require high initial investment but just an all-inclusive bi-monthly fee, which is fully amortised during each year of operation. The key to the success of Navis3, however, and the factor that differentiates it from other products, is its simplicity of use; a major and ongoing focus of the product development. As such, it comprises five main elements: software with client-server architecture; a Navis The system is currently operational at over 90 sites, most of which are marinas. Many are key hubs in their regions or in the Mediterranean landscape as a whole. Examples include Porto Mirabello, Marina di Varazze and Marina di Loano in Liguria, Marina di Portisco in Sardinia, Marina di Rimini in Emilia-Romagna, Marina del Cavallino between Jesolo and Venice, and Marina Cala del Forte in Ventimiglia. Marco Cornacchia, current director of Marina Cala del Forte and previous Vittorio Impallomeni (second from left, top row) and the Vis team. director of Marina di Loano, is one of many to have tracked the development of the product. “I have been using the Navis system for many years and I’ve followed the development of the updates of the different versions with interest,” he says. “Navis3 is a complete tool for managing a tourist port and is characterised by immediate and easyto-understand functionalities for staff. The after-sales assistance service is also prompt and professional.” Vittorio Impallomeni provides more specific detail: Q: How did you begin? A: It all started in our family-owned marina in Caorle in the province 28 www.marinaworld.com – September/October 2021

MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE/INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS Installation of Navis3 at Marina Cala del Forte could lead to other opportunities with Monaco Ports. of Venezia. I was a graduate in architecture and passionate about IT. It was the 1990s and we needed to equip the marina with a software system. The only one on the market, if we assume that the few small marinas in the area at the time constituted a market, was the Israeli Marinet. This couldn’t be supplied in Italy but it inspired local software designers. This didn’t go well, however, so I decided in the early 2000s to develop a system myself with a view to spreading it nationwide. We started with Ravenna Marinara, which purchased it almost blindly, and then a slow spread throughout Italy began. Q: Who are your main competitors in Italy and overseas? A: In Italy, some software was developed in Ferrara but hasn’t reached our following in terms of numbers, and another appeared in Rome but hasn’t got much of a foothold. These are our competitors at the moment but they don’t worry us as, although this is a niche market, there is always room to find customers. Overseas, each country has its own reference system. In Spain, for example, there is Pandore. As we are now working with Monaco Ports’ Marina Cala del Forte in Ventimiglia, it could give us an opportunity to expand into the Principality. I have already had more than one overseas client but, alas, it was in the Caribbean. I say alas as things were going well until Hurricane Irma blew the marina away! Q: Is it harder to move into foreign markets and how keen are you to expand? A: All companies start by creating a path in their own country, and marinas prefer software from their own country. This is also because there are different rules from place to place. When we go to trade shows, people tell us that we are unique because we have a monopoly in Italy. Other companies have a bit here and a bit there – in various states or regions. A couple of years ago we started to reach out overseas but COVID mostly stopped us. We will start again as this will give our product added value now that it is integrated with the MyMarina app. This is, in many cases, considered the back office and database of the Navis management system. It has already been selected by over ten marinas to enable them to offer their services in a more integrated way, better accommodate new boaters and automate the management of the most costly processes. Q: Why do you think Navis3 was adopted so rapidly and is so widespread in Italy? A: Its ease of use. Even if the younger generation navigates easily through information technology, the simplest system will still win through. We need, therefore, to develop a better and better user interface so as to appeal more to those who are not familiar with new technologies. For this reason, we liaise with three operators in Italy of a certain age who do not shine for their familiarity with IT. If they succeed with the system, we have scored because it means that everyone can do it. Another idiosyncrasy of ours is that we’ve brought a minimum level of computerisation to the sector. When we started out, the only tool was Excel; there were no ‘systems’ and everyone got by as best they could. Q: Who manages the software in the marina? A: There are two levels of operators. Staff in the front office, who operate the system and manage the direct relationship with the customer, recording payments, mooring contracts, invoices etc., and those in the back office, who deal with general accounting. MyMarina – at a glance The MyMarina app can be downloaded with or without registering. Without registration, it is accessible to anyone for free enabling them to learn about all marina services, such as hotels, restaurants, bike rides, weather forecasts etc. In addition, it gives access to the webcam and a bulletin board with public notices, a map of the marina and highlighted points of interest, yard facilities and details of any special promotions. By registering, the app collects personal data on boats, various bookings, services etc., and allows the user to take advantage of maximum integration with the marina, through a major communication between customers and the port. The marina, in turn, can manage orders, reservations and contract renewals, upsell services, meet requests for updated documents and issue deadlines and notices. Using the MyMarina app (above) and operating Navis3 at Marina di Varazze. www.marinaworld.com – September/October 2021 29

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