1) Tell us a bit about the history of your company
Penta Technology was born as a consulting company in the ICT area engaged as a solution and system integrator, gaining considerable experience in the activities of digital & cloud transformation and in the use of systems based on neural networks to support the processes of automatic detection and classification on images. The company’s activities have always been complemented by continuous investment in research and development activities to increase the level of expertise of its team and to find new solutions to the problems of its customers. Three years ago, the shareholders decided to progressively transform the company from a consulting company to a product/solution company, identifying the earth observation sector as a great opportunity, leveraging the more than ten years of experience of some of them on projects in the field of space and earth observation. The idea behind the transformation of the business model was to combine technological expertise in cloud technologies and artificial intelligence sectors with the experience in space-based solutions. At the moment this is a bet on which the company aims to scale quickly in the national and international market in the next years.
2) Describe your services and products
The company’s research and development activities have led to the creation of the EarthAlytics platform, with the paradigm “analytics as a service”, able to offer integrated geoinformation services based on the complete control of the service value chain, from the acquisition and processing of images, in virtual multi-constellation logic and merging together information from optical and radar sensors, then moving on to the extraction of information of interest through the use of a system of convolutional neural networks, capable of recognizing objects, classifying phenomena and creating data fusion with information from IOT sensors or external data streams (for example weather forecasts or data from the customer’s information systems) and finally offering a representation of the information collected through graphical interfaces that are easy to consult or through the use of a cartographic system.
The basic technological solution, the EarthAlytics cloud platform, is then completed with a series of vertical applications, which combine the different internal service blocks, creating solutions for specific business needs of our customers from monitoring water pipes (and critical infrastructure in general) to urban planning, up to innovative solutions to support marketing planning in the retail sector. The last solution in order of time is that relating to new algorithms to support the insurance sector based on the analysis of satellite images.
The application of artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data analysis solutions have allowed us to explore a number of markets not yet fully reached by solutions based on earth observation (not space users) and provide an innovative solution, minimally invasive and quickly usable to solve some problems that customers encounter in their daily activities.
Finally, our position as a solution of analytics allows us to make the customer independent from the knowledge of the problems involved in the processing of satellite images, leaving it to focus on the business application and automatically managing the provisioning of the image with providers in relation to the vertical application needed.
3) What makes you different from other EO companies?
The downstream sector of the earth observation market is showing a strong competitive push, the sector’s startups are rapidly gaining positions compared to traditional players in the same market, still very focused on an image-oriented business model. Our marketing team analyses the competitive scenario on a daily basis and always discovers new competitors with interesting solutions and innovative business models.
Penta Technology has decided to compete in the market segment of Analytics-based solutions, where technology and the ability to provide a vertical solution represent one of the keys to market success. In this segment, we believe that we have a high-performance solution that can adapt very accurately to the needs of our customers. The unique selling proposition of Penta Technology is based on the ability to integrate solutions, which leverages on our background as system integrator, and on the level of service that will always have a specialist, with experience on the technology domain, able to support the customer in the analysis of data and understanding of phenomena.
4) What are your future projects?
Penta Technology has launched a three-year investment programme on the EarthAlytics platform with the aim of making the provisioning of services and the use of vertical applications even easier. The investments will make the platform an open system able to allow customers to build vertical applications independently from the building blocks of the system, combining them dynamically with a system based on rules, to build the solution that best suits the specific needs of the business model. Our goal is to become in the next three years a reference point for geoinformation services based on analytics at European level.
In the near future we will invest heavily in the international development of the business to consolidate the investments in technology, we want to attract the best talent in the field of geoinformation and put them at the service of solutions for our customers.
5) What would be your advice to someone who wants to start their own EO company?
The challenge to enter this market is increasingly complex, with an increasing number of competitors. The suggestion for new entrants is to focus on problem/solution fit, then start from the problems of a specific market segment and build a solution around these problems and, finally, to adopt a lean startup approach, which allows you to constantly validate your solutions with an audience of early adopters. Learning from errors is the best way to succeed in this market.
For more information about Penta Technology visit their website: http://www.pentatechnology.it/