B2B (Business-to-Business) is a situation where businesses do business with each other, as opposed to businesses doing business with the final consumer. Worldwide, the growth of B2B has been tremendous – research and advisory firm Frost & Sullivan projects B2B and retail e-commerce will hit $12 trillion worldwide by 2020 – up from m$5.5 trillion in 2012 – and says it was tops among up-and-coming industries in innovation and market attractiveness.
If the march toward a digital future for B2B is a given, it is also true that the march is slow, unsteady and stumbling at times. Especially in South Africa, where the technology has many times been found wanting in delivering a seamless experience up and down the supply chain. Adoption of the B2B principles of operation has been a slow burning process in South Africa; and this plodding along can lead to loss of actual and potential revenues. Millions in sales can be lost due to systems that are less than optimal for the customer experience.
At the inaugural event in November 2016, delegates to the Drones Conference organised by Vukani Communications had their eyes opened to a wealth of opportunities where they can use drones to lessen the heavy physical burden of work at their premises.
Robust discussion centred on how drones have provided the agricultural sector with a smart way of inspecting the health of their crop without farmers having to resort to physical means of traversing the great lengths of their farms; how municipal authorities can map out whole cities and towns from the comfort of their offices; how medicine can be delivered to remote areas that are very difficult or impossible to access via conventional transport means; how you could measure stock piles on mines without exposing physical manpower to the dangers of climbing unstable piles – among many other uses that delegates got to learn of.
This year the conference will go deeper. To be held at the Emperors Palace Convention Centre, the Drones Conference 2017 edition will comprise breakaway sessions where professionals in various industries – Mining, Agriculture, GIS, Land Surveying, Recreation included – will get ample time to explore and go deeper into how UAVs can be put to optimal use in their field of expertise. The conference will also tackle the technical aspect of drone use; there will be expert analysis of how data is gathered and processed and how it will be interpreted in the overall context of an organisation. The presentations will be accompanied by live demonstrations of drones at work, as well as an exhibition place where a comprehensive variety of UAVs will be on show.
And since the issue of drones occupying our airspace ultimately rests with regulation from SACAA, there will be an in-depth presentation from the regulating authority, where delegates will learn the requirements for getting an operator’s licence and answers to their questions.