Christoph Kohler | WINGX | TechWeek18

Avatar Ben Fower | 21/12/2018

Christoph Kohler from WINGX joined us at TechWeek18 to discuss the aviation industry and what WINGX are doing to innovate the industry. Hosted by Will Spalding

Will: I’m very happy now to be joined by a very dapper dress gentleman, very similar style to myself actually, Christoph Kohler from WINGX. So, Christoph, you are the founder and managing director of WINGX. Tell us a little bit more about what you do, I mean people might get a little bit confused WINGX, X-Wing I did anyway, so tell us what you guys do.

Christoph: Thank you very much and I am happy to shed some light on WINGX. So, you know, what we do is we have application data background. We saw an opportunity in breaking into a market which has been completely intransparent. That is the private aviation market, private jets there are about 100,000 out there. No one knows where they fly what they do and that is an industry which is completely operating in the dark for ages. It has certain, you know, good things that come with being intransparent, but obviously from an outside point of view, especially from an investment point of view no one really had an idea on how this market shapes up. So, we saw there in 2008 a great opportunity in going into this market by providing transparency via data. So, the background and the point is that it’s a pure data driven company. It’s equipped with knowledge, a lot of domain knowledge on how certain business models work and what decision makers in the industry need to know about the market. What we do with our data is we help them by analyzing it, on behalf of the client, on what they need to focus on. So there are all sorts of various business models we can support from catering companies, satellite companies, manufacturers who rely on the information and our data mining experts to basically provide more light on what’s going.

Will: So essentially WINGX to some degree is a tracking company really. Rather than just specializing purely in aviation.

Christoph: Exactly, you know, we’re not a company which is actively tracking we have partners where we get the data from, we get the data informants.

Will: Who are those Partners?

Christoph: It is your air traffic control, its manufacturers who provide us access to their pricing data, it is satellite companies who helped us, you know understanding how the network is utilized and with partner agreements, for instance, we give our customers insights into even their data and they share it with a return to us. So, we are helping to make sense of the data that helps us grow huge data, a data lake so to say, and our core aim is getting a highly consistent dataset and then connecting the dots. So right now, we’re managing eighty five terabytes of data growing exponentially every day and with that data management and the expertise of analyzing it, we have our customers getting where they need to be.

Will: So WINGX, your customers do they go anywhere from the partner level all the way down to the low-level consumer because I believe you can get it as an app as well is that right?

Christoph: Exactly we’re planning an app and you know, here are the three stages where our customers interact with us. They get premium access to market data they haven’t seen before. So, they can see where is the demand going to be? How do they benchmark against the demand? This is where we basically tie them into the whole journey at WINGX is where they can with their data see what’s going on. They suddenly have a benchmark, something which they’ve never had before, they can see if their plane is more utilized and other planes, they can see are the selling at the right price and this is the second part of the journey where we provide basic methods, and this is where the WINGX business model applies. You get a subscription, you pay us, you get insights updated live dynamically every day or every month as per the customer requirements and the third one is the real operational metrics where we get a lot of data from our customers and combine that with our expertise and then provide decision-making tools to them. This is where the real value is created and what we have intensive relationships.

Will: I mean, it’s incredible actually because I think even say four years ago, unfortunately, due to certain disasters which happened. It really came into the forefront of people going ‘well, actually, there isn’t a huge amount of tracking over certain areas for aircraft or whatever. So, I think the fact that you’re bringing WINGX into the forefront for things such as, I don’t know as such, but there is certain cases where aircraft do have instances so are you finding It’s benefiting on a safety method or is it more for support for Pilots?

Christoph: It’s you know, it’s based on various parts, but I would say the main focus is on the business to business side. So we help the aircraft operators, we help manufacturers, airports, utilizing the infrastructure in a more convenient way because what you need to see is the industry which we’re serving the private aviation industry is operating out of any schedules. So American Airlines flight or a KLM flight is scheduled, it’s got an operating schedule every day inside out and what we then do is with our global access to the data we provide insights into a unique non-scheduled, non-patent related activity which is dynamic and this is where within our customers have an idea on actually what’s going. So, you know talking about specific cases here. You can see you know, a flight path of this specific aircraft on a route which has been most labelled as dangerous and has sanctions. We helped them navigate the right path, finding out where the risk is on a certain route so based on historic assessments.

Will: That’s very interesting, just give us a little bit of information about yourself. You set it up when was it 2008?

Christoph: Yeah, my background is in aviation. I’m coming from the business side. You know, I always wanted to get a pilot license.

Will: Are you a pilot?

Christoph: No, I’m not a pilot unfortunately not. There is some reason for that and right now it’s I think it’s more exciting sitting in the data cockpit rather than in the real cockpit, but that was where I came from. I studied aviation management and the saw an opportunity to unlock an industry with insights, myself the challenge was when writing the thesis or writing certain papers about the industry, there was no information about this existing. So, this is where I basically came into the journey exploring what’s going on with this specific industry and why we build a relationship.

Will: Right that’s real cool and what you expecting to get out of tech week 18 other than just some freebies I mean, you’re more than welcome, to the little black bear.

Christoph: Very kind. Thank you. You know, it’s a vibrant scene you have software solution providers, you have hardware providers, people really think about various aspects of data security, which is very important when you are scaling up infrastructure, you know, the data landscape is growing literally. I’ll give you one example here 90% of the data available has been created in the last two years. So, this is a massive effort is needed to store the data to make it available and there are great companies out there who will help you in a providing the front of analyzing the information but also the raw hardware where you can store the data. There’s a great audience here to exchange the views and I’m really appreciating the variety of options here.

Will: You can do a quick plug if you want as well. If you had to tell people why install still WINGX? or why go for WINGX? what would you say to them?

Christoph: You know, I would say there’s data but there’s also people and we work with very close relationships and see with data analysis a real game in making things more efficient and people have been very restrictive about sharing data. It is concerning data privacy that’s for sure but there’s also other aspects of getting more advanced than getting more efficient and especially in certain industries and this is where the personal touch at WINGX is quite high to engage with our customers.

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