By: Julie Marie Bedas
Mr. Andrea Cruciani on How TeamDev Fuses Electronics and Agronomics
It was during the olive seasons, when there was a lack of dissemination of alerts and the available data did not allow a timely securing of olive trees. Consequently it led to a tragic harvest for most producers in central Italy.
This event prompted Andrea to collaborate with major producer groups and with the region of Umbria, to develop TeamDev into a product that would help farmers to avoid unpredictable and harmful situations like this from happening again.
“In 2013 we got interested in the use of drones for survey operations and carrying out researches in agriculture with multi-spectral analysis in order to optimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides,” Andrea shared. In Italy, TeamDev is among the first companies, which has thought about precision farming.
“In our small country, the adoption of computer technology in agriculture is around 7-8%,” Andrea revealed. “In Europe, there are some “spearheads” but not more than 20% while in North America this indicator reaches up to 80%.”
How TeamDev works
“The contribution to the creation of complex systems for geospatial information management for both procedural and organizational aspects for software development, IT consulting and geographical modeling was essential for TeamDev’s development,” Andrea said.
The operation of the warning system provides precise sampling in accordance with procedures defined by the Umbria region and a group of agronomists with which TeamDev has been cooperating for a long time. Captures of insects and data on drupes are collected and shared in real time. Warning bulletins are generated based on the results in order to allow farmers to fix problems in time using the methods available at their disposal.
“For this moment, this type of product is a unique new weapon that can be used to fight against olive fruit fly,” Andrea shared. From this, they developed a new product, OLIWES (Olive Warning Enterprise Suite) which became the component of their Agricolus Suite agriculture applications and which has the potential to be used for diverse types of crops.
Integration of Geographic Information System (GIS)
“GIS (Geographic Information System) is much more than a technology,” Andrea asserted. “GIS is the methodology which is used to measure the various components of reality.”
He further explained it as a set of human and intellectual components, both hardware and software, used to capture, store, calculate, analyze and display graphically and alphanumerically the data with geographic content/space.
GIS is present in various numbers of applications, from utilities to transport, environment, education, emergency management, agriculture — to geostatistics and more. This has allowed TeamDev to enable collaborations in other areas like non-profit, tourism, Smart City as well as the public administrations and international organizations outside Italy.
“In 2011, in fact, we have given support to the Albanian Government to implement the population census thanks to the application of GIS,” Andrea revealed. “And in 2014 we supported our work with the United Nations to fight AIDS.”
“”WISE Town” is a cross-platform product, which aims to collect and catalog the information about the city using social networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), consisting of an APP-specific and mobile portal,” Andrea explained. “It will operate in the following contexts: urban quality, waste management, public and private mobility, environmental monitoring, public safety, and urban green spaces.”
This product enables citizens and other actors to make geo-referenced reports that are directly sent to a relevant facility that takes over and manages to resolve them as quickly as possible.
“The next challenge will lead us to confront a new sector called the “3D” printers for experiments in agriculture,” he also hinted. “But, it is still too early to speak about it.”
“We used to follow or anticipate the adoption of new technologies and new architectural paradigms in our products,” Andrea shared. “That is why during the last 5 years we are working on cloud systems with a full-stack experience. We switch from one technology to another based on customers’ needs.”
Andrea believes that the interests of customers play a crucial role in developing TeamDev’s new products. “This is the reason why we start with a proper internal incubation period for each new product, which can last for even more than a year,” he explained. “We carry out researches, create academic and industrial connections and then develop an MVP for our early adopter.”
This methodology, supported by agile processes, helped TeamDev to be focused on customer needs and eventually became successful in the market.
Words of wisdom for entrepreneurs
First, even if the project you have in mind seems too huge, start working on it, spend your energy on it and focus on the final target, always keeping in mind the future customers. “You will arrive to the finish line and you will not be able to explain to yourself how you have reached it, but you will be there,” Andrea said.
Second, search for good travel companions. They should not only be great experts or technicians, but most importantly, truly good persons. He reasoned, “When the problems will come, and they will come for sure, you will need people that will work with you to solve them having not only their own but also the team’s best interests at heart.”