VIO – A Secure Data
Exchange Platform for Maritime

1 Introduction

Data is at the core of guiding strategic business decisions that drive organizations goals, objectives and initiatives. The power of data-driven decision making however cannot be fully realized until the necessary data is collected, blended, organized and presented in the right context. In today’s world, the volume of data generated from different sources such as IoT devices and applications are increasing exponentially. To cope with this data growth and to consume meaningful data, organizations that rely on fact-based (data) business decisions should start investing in platforms that can efficiently handle huge datasets in any format ensuring fast ingestion, retrieval, and meaningful transformation of data.

Another aspect that needs consideration is how fast the decisions can be made. For this, it is very important to hook up the analytics to near real-time data warehouses or data stores. In this data-driven path involving a huge volume of data and real-time processing, it is critical to have a highly scalable and flexible system. A cloud-based data platform with cutting edge software solutions can help achieve this through its flexibility of on-demand computing/infrastructure scalability.

“Any time scientists disagree, it’s because we have insufficient data. Then we can agree on what kind of data to get; we get the data; and the data solves the problem. Either I’m right, or you’re right, or we’re both wrong. And we move on. That kind of conflict resolution does not exist in politics or religion.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

This white paper examines how companies can add value to their business by using AOT (Alpha Ori Technologies) VIO as the source of their data needs.

Acronyms and Definitions

  • AOT – Alpha Ori Technologies
  • ShipPalm – Ship management software suite
  • SMARTShip™ – An Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) based system capable of serving multiple numbers of vessels
  • ShipDC – Ship Data Center (Internet of Ships Open Platform)
  • VIO – Alpha Ori’s Secure Data Exchange Platform for Maritime
  • NAPA – A leading provider of software, services and data analysis for the maritime industry
  • API – Application Programming Interface
  • IoT – Internet of Things
  • JSON – JavaScript Object Notation


AOT VIO is a SaaS cloud-based, highly scalable, near real-time data exchange and analysis platform for the maritime business industry.It is built to support multi-tenants in a highly secured environment by storing data in customer-centric isolated storage space. It is a system that can answer “YES” to customers’ questions like – “Do I have the right meaningful data at the right time?”.

AOT VIO combines the power of data warehousing for AOT SMARTShip™ applications along with data exchange integrations from/to external vendors and major maritime data sharing platforms through APIs. It also supports structured and semi-structured data in any file format. It is an integrated solution that allows the ingestion and curation of data from various sources such as SMARTShip™, Ship ERP, Class Registry, 3rd party systems, etc.

With VIO, customers can take advantage of various data points that originate from different sources using a single data platform. With our consolidated and governed data, which includes time series and reports data originating from various sources (vessels, applications), valuable insights can be gained without any additional effort. With the planned integration of external service providers like weather, customers will be able to produce actionable insights by blending such data points from different sources. Ultimately, VIO can deliver the best insights for planning fleet operations by assessing each vessel’s performance, including total fuel oil consumption (TFOC), better clarity on port arrival times, total voyage duration and much more.

Figure 1
Figure 2

3 Maritime Data Platform – The “build vs. buy debate”

With so much information out there about the various cloud and in-house data platform options, how will you know in which direction to proceed when it’s time to take a decision and modernize your data management strategies?

Our evaluation criterias shown below can help you to better understand the power and easiness of VIO, our cloud-based data exchange platform as a service. The comparison also shows how VIO can accelerate your data analytics initiatives through its well formed infrastructure in cloud with established third party integrations.

Evaluation basisUsing VIOBuilding an in-house data platform
Improved business insight
VIO can provide a huge data set collected from
vessels operated globally through SMARTShip
applications and other third-party
applications including ShipERP.
The data provided by VIO can also be
blended with other data sources to
get better business insights.
Building a new industry standard
data exchange platform requires a
lot of time and resources.
Customers will also need to
establish integration agreements
with third-party vendors to
consume data from them.
External integrationsBy making use of VIO’s established
integrations with external vendors,
businesses can activate new datasets
and solve complex business
problems quickly:

a. NAPA integration through
Ship Data Center (ShipDC)

b. ERP Integration (ShipPalm)
Will not be able to take advantage
of VIO’s established third-party
Leverage the
analytics built by AOT-SMARTShip
With our existing bi-directional
integration of AOT VIO and AOT
SMARTShip applications, companies
can make use of advanced analytics
using predictive algorithms available
within the SMARTShip applications.
Will not be able to utilize advanced
analytics from the AOT SMARTShip
Agility in terms of
new integrations
and scalability
With our agile development
methodology, we can integrate new
data sources quickly. With the highly
scalable infrastructure and serverless
data pipelines, we are also able to
quickly adapt to changing business
data needs effortlessly. Any number
of consumers or producers can be
integrated into VIO with minimum
development time. Customers can
take advantage of these combined
datasets, just by establishing data
usage agreements with AOT. With
our infrastructure in the cloud
environment, we can scale out
quickly based on the demand.
It may be challenging for small and
medium size businesses to
integrate new data sources or data
from scattered business units
quickly and effectively to get a
combined view of data as it
requires a lot of investment in the
infrastructure that should be able
to scale out quickly based on the
changing business demands. The
data architecture will also need to
be examined and updated as the
technology evolves.
Overall cost
Our infrastructure can handle
multiple customers seamlessly, with
additional data security ensured by
keeping customer data in
independent isolated
customer-centric databases. Since
the cost of infrastructure, upgrade,
maintenance and managing data
security is shared across multiple
tenants, the customers will be able
to use the data at an affordable
Will not be able to take advantage
of easier integrations with third
parties through open APIs. The cost
associated with maintenance and
upgrade of the environment will be
much higher for individual
platforms compared to using a
multi-tenant environment.
AvailabilityOur system operates in an
infrastructure with load balancing
and auto scaling features, along with
continuous system monitoring, ensuring
high availability.
Need to manage resource
monitoring and health checks
independently to ensure high
PerformanceHigh performance in data extraction
is assured with parallel processing.
SecurityData is our business, so we have
given top priority for security in all
aspects of data handling.
Data security is ensured with
multi-level authentication and
resource level authorization. In
addition, the data resides in logically
separated virtual private cloud
networks, offering industry-standard
data protection measures.
Need to implement security

In short, it is critical to make use of an industry standard highly scalable and flexible data platform for better turnaround on business decisions. Customers who do not have access to the right data exchange platform may struggle to make quick business decisions that can be achieved easily based on insights from millions of data points generated from vessel operations and related processes.

4 AOT VIO Blueprint

Ingesting data from isolated, different systems are vital in the maritime industry for providing a consolidated and meaningful data set. VIO’s scalable, flexible and modularized design will help you to achieve your data goals with changing business needs. With its pre-built data ingress and egress path, any external system or application can be integrated with VIO easily. The blueprint of our end-to-end solution from ‘ingesting data’ to ‘data egress’ for different applications or platforms, along with operationalizing maritime analytics is depicted in figure 3.

Figure 3

5 AOT VIO – Keep your data secure

Like any other systems all the basic security measures such as preventing unauthorized users from accessing the data, providing data to the right users at the right time and keeping audit log for data access are equally applicable to data warehouses as well. In addition to these basic security requirements, it is important to enforce additional security measures for any data exchange platform.

By definition, a data platform is a central location where consolidated data from multiple sources resides; so it can be a lucrative target for any malicious individual trying to get the information. It is also important for a highly secured system to ensure data integrity by protecting the data from accidental or malicious changes such as wrong data insertion, updating or deletion. VIO provides industry standard data security by enforcing the following security measures in our system.

Figure 4

6 AOT VIO Integrations – ”Bye to data silos”

Data silos is one of the biggest issues in the maritime industry, where data is scattered across disparate systems. It is really important to bring data together for uncovering opportunities and identifying potential bottlenecks before they occur. With maritime industry data silo can occur in several ways, such as

  • Lack of consolidated data within a company for different systems
  • Lack of external integrations with third party applications which in turn can enrich the data
  • Lack of consolidated data within a company for different vessels (can be used for fleet performance benchmarking)

Figure 5 depicts scattered pieces of an organization’s information subsystems, losing out the chance to bring effective and efficient data driven decisions.

Figure 5
Figure 6

Figure 6 depicts how VIO can fit together these scattered systems into one well-coordinated, cohesive architecture creating a 360-degree view of your data.

Figure 7

In addition to breaking down data silos, by adding data from third parties, VIO provides deeper insight into its customers’ data.

AOT VIO defeats all these data access and consolidation challenges securely through its integration first strategy. With VIO’s flexible design, any data systems can be integrated quickly. Its existing integrations with third party applications like ShipERP we are able to enrich and add value to existing data. In addition, with VIO’s established integration with NAPA through ShipDC, companies can make use of NAPA maritime intelligence solutions. Along with all these integrations, with AOT SMARTShip™ application we can bring data from different IoT systems on the vessels to VIO.

In short, its flexible design foreseeing potential integration paths, makes VIO unique in the maritime data platform world.

Figure 8 depicts one of our data pipelines where data flows to third parties through VIO . In this AOT SMARTShip™ application acts as the data provider.

Figure 8

7 Open up maritime data for data science (Big data)

When it comes to data science, data models and algorithms can be trained better with huge data sets; as the volume of data increases the probability of getting false positives or negatives diminishes. With VIO’s huge dataset, companies can walk in the data science direction -the harnessing of big data, by feeding and training the models easily.

VIO enables big data platforms quickly through its power to bring 5Vs together.

Figure 9

8 AOT VIO – Features

AOT VIO is capable of supporting:

  • Ability to ingest structured and unstructured data
  • Stores up to 3 years of historical data for distribution on demand
  • VIO utilizes industry-leading features to ensure highest levels of security for data in storage as well as transit
  • All data automatically encrypted (using AES 256 strong encryption)
  • Provide a single common data model (ISO 19848:2018 ) for all time series data
  • Integration with major maritime data sharing platforms

Data ingress through:

  • Real-time data ingestion through custom connectors
  • Secured APIs

Data egress through:

  • Secured APIs for data sharing
  • Scheduled data export to third-party applications for pre-defined periods (hourly, daily, weekly)
  • Real-time data sharing through custom connectors

AOT VIO data pipelines are designed and built in such a way that we can integrate any new vendors with a minimum development cycle.

9 How can I ingest my vessel data into AOT VIO?

All our AOT SMARTShip™ customers will have their vessel data in VIO.

Non-SMARTShip™ customers can ingest data either by:

  • Using our public-facing ingest APIs for JSON payloads
  • Establishing new integrations through custom connectors or APIs
  • By purchasing AOT SMARTShip™ application package including the hardware to install in the vessels for sending data

10 How can I get my vessel data from AOT VIO?

All our AOT SMARTShip™ customers can make use of SMARTShip™ application data downloader; a well-defined portal for retrieving data from VIO, based on the contract agreement.

Non-SMARTShip™ customers can retrieve data by:

  • Using our public-facing APIs to extract data from VIO
  • Establishing new integrations through custom connectors or APIs

11 API Swagger Details

Technical information on how to access our APIs for data retrieval is available in the link provided below

About the authors

Jain Jacob is a Senior Data Engineer, who specializes in cloud-based data engineering and analytics projects at Alpha Ori Technologies.

Praveen Viswanath is one of the co-founders at Alpha Ori Technologies, and as a Principal Solution Architect he provides thought leadership for cloud-based data architecture implementations.

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