Waypoint

senseFly & Skyward Explained – A Q&A with senseFly’s CEO Jean-Christophe Zufferey

This summer, senseFly and Skyward announced they were joining forces to deliver custom operations management software and consulting packages for senseFly drones. Why did this partnership come about and what benefits can it offer senseFly users? We spoke with senseFly’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Zufferey, to learn more­.

Hi Jean-Christophe. Let’s kick off with why senseFly and Skyward have joined forces. What is the reason for this partnership?

Hi there. Well, both I and Jonathan (Evans, Skyward’s CEO) feel that senseFly and Skyward make a perfect team. Our products and services go hand-in-hand.

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Jean-Christophe Zufferey is the co-founder and CEO of senseFly.

Both of our companies focus on serving professional drone operators, only in different ways­: senseFly manufactures proven professional drone technology, such as our eBee mapping UAVs, while Skyward has created an immensely impressive operations management platform, twinned with expert professional advice, which organisations big and small can use to run their drone operations and divisions effectively and in full compliance.

Not to mention that Jonathan and I are both helicopter pilots, so we naturally find ourselves on the same wavelength!

What does this partnership mean for senseFly customers?

Our collaboration is about seamless integration between our platforms, the aim being to help senseFly operators to fly more easily, more safely and more efficiently than ever before. So we are working very closely with Skyward to streamline the senseFly operator’s workflow and optimise the synchronisation of data between our two platforms.

So what form does this partnership take today? What do senseFly operators gain that is different?

In this first initial phase of our partnership, senseFly customers benefit from pre-configured accounts, meaning they don’t need add their drones and drone documents—all their aircraft details, specifications, operating manuals and so on are already there, in Skyward, ready to go. You just add your team’s personnel info and start planning your flight operations.

senseFly operators also receive a free one-hour account set-up meeting—which is normally priced extra—in which Skyward’s staff will walk you through your Skyward set-up, help you configure your account (a huge time saver) and give you all kinds of workflow-related and efficiency-boosting tips, as well as regulatory guidance.

What excites you most about this partnership?

Combined, our two companies’ offerings comprise a full commercial drone operation package—a package that spans all the way from hardware and professional flight planning to georeferenced drone data, operational planning and compliance.

That is pretty unique. We think that this end-to-end solution will lead more and more leading corporations to embrace UAV use, since it gives them a clear route forwards that removes the stress and complexity of adopting drone technology. Ours is a partnership that really decreases the barriers to entry for organisations that are interested in operating drones professionally.

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Will this new offering cost extra?

Yes, Skyward will become an option that our customers can purchase alongside their senseFly drones. But the return on investment in terms of running more efficient, compliant drone operations is clear.

What about existing senseFly operators, how can they get started?

senseFly operators can pre-order their optimised Skyward packages today by speaking with their local senseFly distributor.

Phase 1 delivery of their senseFly-optimised Skyward versions will then begin on September 5th this year. And as I mentioned, the sychronisation between our platforms will only grow and become stronger and more efficient over time.

To sign-up for further updates about the senseFly/Skyward partnership, register for free here.

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3 Comments

  1. Justin

    08.02.2017 - 19:10
    Reply

    I fly the ebee fixed wing aircraft. It’s primary use is for topography mapping. My company has had the plane for about two years now. I currently have 75 flight with the plane. So I feel very comfortable with assessing sites and with the plane in the air. We have flown acreage from 20 all the way to 1000 acres. I’ve noticed that the accuracy will vary. And I’ve played with moving GCP’s from flight to flight, to change the accuracy, and with that achieving a level I am pleased with. So my question is really about the camera. My current camera is the Sony RGB. I’m wondering if we can adjust the settings to get better resolutions, to achieve that CM accuracy every time. Some times the flight data, in a wide open area is off a foot. That’s right beside a shot taken with field survey. We’ve spent lots of time checking and learning, changing the way we do things for better results. Any advice on the subject would be appreciated.

    • Jessica

      08.02.2017 - 19:17
      Reply

      Hi, Justin. We suggest reaching out to our customer support and satisfaction team via my.sensefly.com. They’ll be able to offer advice on this.

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