Alexey Zimin 7 Red Lines

Fast 5: Implementing Emerging Technologies, Data Analytics in Russia

Alexey Zimin is the aviation practice leader of 7 Red Lines, a Russian company that creates and implements custom IT solutions. He formerly was employed at Volga-Dnepr Technics for about a decade, lastly as business development director. Lee Ann Shay talked with him about data analytics and IT during MRO BEER in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

What are you doing with 7 Red Lines?

I concentrate on data analytics and business intelligence software for aviation processes used by airlines, MROs, airports and OEMs. In some industries like retail and banking, there are lots of implemented solutions that show efficiencies and results. The cost of implementation is way lower than the effect on the revenue or KPIs (key performance indicators). We’re promoting the idea that the aviation industry should look at the early birds of these implementations to see the results.

We worked with one airport to use business analytics to merge its data with the retail data from passengers. Eventually the airport was able to give hints to retail shops so they could change goods on the shelves, depending on departure schedule. By that solution, they were able to increase retail revenue and eventually, the airport’s revenue. So hopefully we’ll be able to promote that case at airports in Russia and the CIS.

We also are exploring different opportunities with blockchain. There’s a huge buzz around blockchain but not many use cases showing results. It’s more talks and discussions than actions and results.

We are promoting data analytics that will help in reliability analysis—close to predictive analysis. We don’t have anything in production yet but we are discussing implementing business intelligence (BI) solutions with MROs. From my point of view, BI solutions are really good when you have good data sets. And in MRO, you have plenty of data available.

What are good examples you’ve seen to accelerate ideas?

Airbus BizLab is a great idea. If there are more companies in the aviation industry that join this movement and have a call for start-up ideas and open discussions with the market, that would be good. 

What is your opinion of the adoption pace of emerging technologies in Russia?

Hopefully the adoption pace will get faster. There is a lot of potential for both commercial and government structures. If we are talking about MRO, Russia is well known for mathematics, statisticians and all kinds of scientists and coders, so we have all the potential to build those forces together to create new solutions for predictive analysis. Aeroflot showed the case for using neural networks to do something with flight safety. Neural networks are all about mathematics. In my opinion, the top IT influencer in MRO is Lufthansa Technik, with its Aviatar. Hopefully some day we’ll have Russian-made apps on the Aviatar platform.

What do you see having the most potential in the aviation aftermarket—something that could really make a difference?

Everything related to predictivity. Secondly, blockchain solutions. Blockchain should help fight fraud, provide some kind of transparency, and more open discussions and communication between market players.

Do you agree with Oliver Wyman’s cybersecurity assessment presented at MRO BEER?

Cybersecurity has been among the industry’s top five challenges for at least two years. It’s always discussed and yes, I agree that cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues. As soon as you have a piece of digital or analog information, you’ll have someone trying to grab it. Information is a great asset and you always have to protect it. It’s just an old story of having an asset and protecting it. We’ll always have this problem, but it’s manageable and the industry has all of the tools. There will be work to be done but the aviation industry is so regulated that we’ll never have an application implemented before it has gone through hundreds and thousands of checks, which includes cybersecurity functionality. Regulation is one reason why the industry isn’t adopting IT as fast, but that keeps us on the safe side.

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