On behalf of Dell EMC OEM, I was delighted to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Smart Maritime Council earlier this month. As the maritime industry continues its digital transformation journey, advances in connectivity and digitization are taking seafarers into deep, uncharted waters with deep automation, deep analytics, deep learning, deep artificial intelligence and deep trust with the blockchain!New industry forum provides knowledge sharing platformThe shipping industry is desperate for trusted navigators to chart a course for these technology enablers, all of which will deliver real transformational power. And so, when the industry’s ecosystem comes together to ensure that shipping companies’ real-world operational requirements are driving the development of big data, the Industrial Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, and secured ledgers, we transform into real shipmates. Actually, I think “shipmates” is a great analogy to describe the work being carried out by the Smart Maritime Network. Together, we are exploring common goals and the standardization of IT systems for the shipping sector. In this endeavor, we’re all guided by the same compass, working to support both shipowners and operators.Simplifying the route to customer value and sustainable competitive advantageWhether it’s using the blockchain to secure customs transactions, data management tools for logistics and scheduling planning, real-time equipment monitoring for predictive maintenance, video surveillance for safety and risk management or IoT analytics to ensure cold chain reefer managements, as an industry, we are working together to make it smooth sailing, simplifying the route to customer value and sustainable competitive advantage.Looking to the horizonIn my book, it’s critically important that shipping companies’ benefit from the new opportunities afforded by technology. This collaboration is exactly why Dell EMC OEM is proud to be one of the founding partners of the Smart Maritime Network and Council. We plan to hold a further five meetings during 2019 in different global maritime centers. The outcomes from these meetings will be shared with the wider maritime industry through a series of four regional conferences to be held throughout the year, beginning in Athens on May 9. Watch this space – it’s all hands now on deck!For further information on the Smart Maritime Council, visit www.smartmaritimenetwork.com or follow the team on LinkedIn or Twitter MaritimeSmart.To learn more about Dell EMC OEM Solutions, visit: www.dellemc.com/en-us/oem/maritime.htmKeep in touch with Dell EMC OEM. Follow us on Twitter @DellEMCOEM or @etienne_maryJoin our LinkedIn Dell EMC OEM & IoT Solutions Showcase page here.