The daily operation of the global economy depends heavily on the aviation sector. Not only does it help get the world’s population from A to B, but it is also a massive component of global logistics for the trade of goods.
Safety is always put first to ensure the well-being of both passengers and flight crew. Because every time an airplane operates, lives are at stake. For this reason, the safety of the flight becomes paramount. Maintenance of the flight plays a direct role in aviation safety, and companies like Swiss-AS are trying their best to develop software that caters to the needs of the industry.
Fabiano Faccoli, CEO of Swiss Aviation, was with the CEOViews team to share details on how they are trying to address the safety concerns of the aviation industry.
CEOViews: Swiss Aviation Software (Swiss-AS) is one of the leading suppliers of aviation maintenance management software (MRO software) worldwide. How did it all begin? What was your mission at the outset?
Fabiano Faccoli: The history of AMOS goes back to 1989 when Crossair (predecessor of Swiss International Air Lines) decided to develop its own MRO software, which laid the foundation for AMOS.
In 2004, Swiss AviationSoftware was founded, a spin-off from Swiss International Air Lines. The newly built company was given the ideal set-up to develop its own strengths as an MRO software provider in this highly specialized niche market while still being embedded in a strong and successful aviation context.
To continue its story of success, Swiss-AS can draw on decades of experience as well as on a large customer community which contributes to the longevity and competitiveness of the product.
CEOViews: Swiss Aviation Software has been recognized as the “Best companies of the year.” How was your journey so far?
Fabiano Faccoli: After two challenging however always with positive results years through the covid pandemic, we are on the right track to reach the pre-covid financial figures. We have used 2020 and partially 2021 to work a lot on the core of the product and additional offerings. We can now capitalize on these efforts as we have exited the pandemic with a very competitive product, probably even more competitive and stronger than before.
The pandemic has also triggered a push in the industry to become leaner, more efficient, and fast-track digitalization. We now observe an increased demand for AMOS to help airlines and MROs achieve these objectives. We have a good number of digitalization projects ongoing with our existing customer base, have signed 15 new contracts so far, and have also been able to increase the workforce by 55 employees.
CEOViews: Swiss-AS has been successfully developing, marketing, and selling the MRO software solution AMOS for over three decades. How do you manage the whole system?
Fabiano Faccoli: With an outstanding team of almost 300 staff motivated to go the extra mile every day with passion! Despite the company’s fast growth, the Swiss-AS core team has been stable one of the company’s biggest assets. The low employee turnover combined with a steady acquisition of new talents has allowed us to continuously increase the Swiss-AS know how pool regarding MRO business processes and system technology which is reflected in the product.
Common values have always been very important to us, and the following four guiding principles serve our staff as north stars in whatever they do.
CEOViews: What does it take to be a 100% subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines and thereby embedded in the Lufthansa Group, one of the biggest airline groups in the world?
Fabiano Faccoli: We have had aviation in our DNA since the beginning, and being part of one of the biggest airline groups in the world gives us access to first-hand experience and knowledge. Having all Lufthansa Group airlines using AMOS provides us as well with credibility in the market.
We have always been given full entrepreneurial freedom and were not restricted in choosing with whom we partner for the benefit of our customers. Neutrality and openness of the system have always been key pillars of Swiss AviationSoftware and Swiss International Air Lines, and the Lufthansa Group has supported us in collaborating with any industry player, even when some were competing with other companies of the Lufthansa Group.
CEOViews: Swiss-AS has developed the comprehensive, fully-integrated software package AMOS. Can you explicate in brief about this innovative software of your firm?
Fabiano Faccoli: We provide intelligent, best-in-class, highly secure, and enjoyable-to-use software solutions and added-value services that allow our customers to run their MRO and Technical Operations processes safely, efficiently, and effectively with state-of-the-art technology in an increasingly connected world.
AMOS allows our customers to manage their maintenance, engineering, and logistics needs successfully and to assure their compliance with a complex system of aviation regulations. The M&E software solution AMOS consists of eight modules that build the heart of the system, while two additional functional sets (Human Resources, Financial Management) complete the system. The many functions that go beyond the limits of module boundaries, like workflow management, reporting, and interfaces are worth mentioning.
CEOViews: More than 170 customers all over the world run AMOS applications of your firm. How does it help in the further development of the software and contributes to its growth?
Fabiano Faccoli: We have followed a customer-centric approach to software development since the beginning. Over time it has become increasingly challenging to include all customers in this process, but we have found ways of allowing all customers to point us toward what they see as a priority.
We are very aware of the chasm in the technology adoption life cycle and hence are keen to work closely with early adopters, which will eventually support us later in winning the early majority. We always try to identify a few launch customers that have the capacity to get tightly involved in the development of new features or modules. We are very fortunate to have a good number of innovators and early adopters among our customers.
Last but not least, a satisfied customer base is a powerful sales and marketing channel.
CEOViews: According to you, what are the upcoming market trends of your firm?
Fabiano Faccoli: The majority of the airlines’ and MROs’ processes are still paper-based. This means data quality (timeless, completeness, accuracy, consistency, integrity, and validity) is not at a level that truly allows companies to capitalize on the data they produce.
On the other side everybody wants to exploit the potential of new technology like big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation etc. However, unless data quality increases through moving away from paper, these technologies will not be able to deliver what they can.
But digitalization doesn’t stop at the entrance door of a company. To truly benefit from all the data that is continuously produced, software vendors need to ensure together with their clients that data can be exchanged safely and fast through smartly connected IT systems.
Through the AMOS suite of desktop and mobile applications we are focusing on providing our clients the tools to fast-track their digitalization and through AMOScentral, an innovative data routing platform, we simplify the data exchange between different AMOS systems as well with 3rd party software products used by market players. It will be for Swiss-AS a gateway for opening our technological achievement(s) to a larger circle of market players.
Since this year, many airlines are now actively looking into replacing their paper technical logbook on aircraft with a digital solution. Probably less than 5% of all airlines rely on electronic technical logbook today. Swiss-AS develops an electronic technical logbook with ten launch customers, and by mid-2023, the first parallel runs besides paper will take place on scheduled flights. After 30 years of focusing on maintenance, engineering, repair, and overhaul, we started one year ago our journey towards providing intelligent solutions for flight operation as well.