TeamDev Combines Software and Agriculture for Precision Farming

By: Julie Marie Bedas
teamdev office

Mr. Andrea Cruciani on How TeamDev Fuses Electronics and Agronomics

Software and agriculture are two contrasting entities. Software is a product of new technology made to direct computers to perform specific operations. Agriculture, on the other hand, is an age-old practice developed to produce food. However, TeamDev, a European startup, managed to merge the two together to create a more effective and efficient farming method. Founder’s Guide interviewed TeamDev’s CEO and founder, Mr. Andrea Cruciani, to learn more about how this paradox works.

TeamDev’s evolution

TeamDev was founded in 2008, initially for developing software frameworks for other development companies. However, it soon evolved when the company realized its high relevance in the area of agriculture.
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%.”

teamdev members

How TeamDev works

The team is composed of professionals with over 10 years of experience in the field of geographical sciences and software development both at national and international levels.

“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)

Agricolus info

“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.”

TeamDev’s Expansion

Currently, TeamDev is working on a product within the smart city, “WISE (Web Information Stream Enhancer) Town”, which is based on the philosophy of open data issued under the Creative Commons licenses.

“”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.”

Customers first

TeamDev’s first vocation was to build smart solutions connecting software products with GIS capabilities. During the company’s evolution, they understood that another primary component, the user experience, was a critical point on most of their competitors.

“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

If you aspire to become a successful entrepreneur and create a revolutionary product, Andrea who’s been there and back, has two things to tell you.

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.”

FG Editorial Team
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