Drone technology continues to make headlines with how and where these tools are being deployed, but the drones themselves are becoming less and less of a focus. Whether we’re talking about what it means for a drone company to transition into a data company or the best approach professionals can take to avoid drowning in drone data, the discussion around what can and is being done with data captured via a drone has shifted to the forefront of many people’s minds. That’s especially apparent as we define how data just might be the new oil.

Being able to transition this data into actionable information is a key consideration for professionals in just about every industry, but the logistics of that process don’t get as much attention as they deserve. What does it mean to transfer gigabytes worth of data from a drone? How can operators ensure their data is secure during that process? Is the process to transfer big drone data as efficient as it could be?

Signiant is a company that is dedicated to making it easy to move large files quickly, securely and reliably. Their products are in use today by more than 25,000 companies worldwide and are the backbone of many complex global workflows. With Signiant, file transfers can be up to 200 times faster than traditional methods such as FTP.


Turning Drone Data Challenges into ROI

The amount and type of data that can be gathered by a drone is incredible. UAVs can be equipped with different cameras, different imaging processing devices, and LiDAR, but this is really just the beginning. This information is relevant and powerful, but issues can arise in the process to get that data back to where it needs to go. It’s an issue that Michael Fritz, Global Enterprise Sales Manager at Signiant, has heard about firsthand.

“Operators need to ingest or aggregate data from the field where they experience high latency connections,” said Fritz. “The ability to move this data quickly and easily is a daily struggle. Everyone wants the data now and nobody has the patience to be waiting for anything to upload or download. Operators must be able to expedite their workflows, because time is money.”

Questions around ROI when it comes to drone technology are a major topic of discussion, and the efficiencies that can be created by avoiding data transfer issues can mean the difference between getting the necessary info the same day versus waiting a day or more. That’s a difference that is felt when a project either wraps up early or extends beyond an allocated budget. However, this issue is not a simple one.

“There are so many hidden costs and variables associated with a workflow that we help with,” Fritz said. “You have overhead costs associated with the shipment of hard drives, IT overhead costs for people to manage and maintain legacy solutions and manage different tools in the portfolio to address data transfer needs. Our Media Shuttle solution is easy to deploy and easy to use. End users never require training and companies can be up and running in a day sending large files easily and quickly between people, between systems and to and from the cloud.”

How a file delivery process that once involved the shipment of thousands of data tapes from around the world evolved into something far more simple is a topic that Discovery Communications explored in great detail, and those efficiencies are the result of giving users the ability to control where all of their data is stored. Companies need to have full control over their workflow and their content, but the logistics of that process are important to consider.


Data Transfer Logistics

Signiant technology is designed to leverage bandwidth of any size, no matter how small or large. Their solutions utilize the whole pipeline and mitigate the affects of latency on these transfers, making it easy and more reliable to get data from remote locations where it's being surveyed or recorded. It’s not just the efficiency of the process that is important to note though, since security concerns are just as important, if not moreso, for many operators.

“Security is a huge deal for us,” Fritz explained. “A lot of our partners are some of the largest content creators in the world, so everything we do is developed with industry standard security practices from the beginning. We didn't build a product and then try to figure out how to make it secure. We built a secure product.”

“Signiant also understands that different companies have very different workflows and processes,” Fritz said. “Which is why we offer solutions for any sized company as well as developers tools so that our patented acceleration technology can be integrated into existing web applications or used right out of the box as is the case with most of our customers.”

Being able to consider what makes sense for an individual user or organization is a critical factor, since that kind of application was something a global mining company was able to realize as they took a closer look at their on-premises mining software solutions to extend and enhance their services in the ways their customers were seeking. It’s a lesson that’s especially important to highlight since these are solutions that are applicable to users and organizations of every size and scope.


Different Scales, Same User Experience

It’s easy to think about the “drone industry” as a single homogeneous market, but that’s really not the case. The variety of users that are working at countless scales, in different verticals, mean that the application of this technology can mean a variety of things. However, these complications end up being especially simple when boiled down to a focus on data.

“Our cloud native solutions allow us to scale up and down to support any size company,” Fritz mentioned. “We want the professional who has two drones for inspections to have the same experience as someone who has 10,000 drones doing a variety of projects. Regardless of the numbers, we're providing the ability for data to be efficiently moved to someone’s headquarters, storage environments, and data processing systems so they’re able to provide value for their customers. ”

Ultimately, data is data, regardless of how it’s being gathered or what needs to be done with it. Media Shuttle is designed to send any size file, anywhere quickly. Signiant’s products are designed to move large files between people, between systems and into and out of cloud object storage. These are issues operators need to sort through and solve, regardless of what they’re doing with that data or what’s ultimately being done with it.

“Signiant is and will always have a huge foothold in M&E, but we’ve seen the challenges that commercial drone operators are dealing with, and we know we can help them,” Fritz concluded. “We’re looking at industries ranging from agriculture to construction to real estate, because while the details might be different, the needs are the same. If you have a need to move large files, Signiant provides the tools for that.”