July 08, 2020
Horticulture has started to digitise. More and more companies are implementing technologies that make it possible to organise time-consuming processes more efficiently. It is of course not unimportant that this technology increasingly ensures that fewer costs are incurred and that higher output is realised. After all, the average grower looks at the returns on investments and as soon as that ROI grows to nice percentages, the investment is a success.
An undeniable part of digitisation is data. In addition to climate systems, there are increasing opportunities to get data out all kinds of components in the greenhouse. Think of crop sensors (2Grow, Sendot en Aranet), pest monitoring (Koppert, Biobest) or screen installations (Svensson). And there are many more. But what do you actually do with that data, where do you store it, how do you analyse it, and perhaps most importantly: how do you translate that data into useful insights? You need a place where you can combine these things. A platform. But what exactly is a platform?
This blog contains a striking explanation. In short, where we used to consider a platform as the underlying computer system, the world now sees a platform as something you can build upon. Your smartphone is a good example. It has its own operating system on which you can run other software (apps). That makes it a platform. You can do things that were not originally foreseen when the technology was designed. And that is a very important distinguishing point.
Why 30MHz is a platform
In essence, it works the same for the 30MHz platform. On the one hand, our platform is a software product. You can think of it as an app with which you analyse crop data. You can sign up online and use it as a web service, or you can download it to your device as a kind of native app. However, a crucial difference from all other providers on the market is that 30MHZ is also a platform for other apps. So, just like in the example of the smartphone, you can let other software ‘run’ on it. The best example of this is the Delphy Crop Profiler that we co-developed with its name giver to participate in the Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge. This application uses the data from your greenhouse. So you get specific cultivation advice based on your situation. This will not work without the permission of the grower. So no calculations are made based on data from other companies because that data is theirs. The insights that applications offer are therefore only intended for this grower and can now also only be shared with the grower’s permission.
Professor Jan van den Ende
App store for horticulture
The next step is that the 30MHz platform is slowly but surely turning into an appstore / playstore. A place where you can find apps that provide advice based on large amounts of data about, for example, your IPM strategy, irrigation, screening your greenhouse and of course the climate in all its facets. The question that remains is how this story places 30MHz in the playing field of data processing technology providers. In the Onder Glas edition of June / July, Jan van de Ende, professor at Erasmus University, says the following: “… LetsGrow of Hoogendoorn, e-Gro of Grodan and 30MHz all claim to be the data platform for horticulture. But how likely is it that one all-encompassing player will remain in the future? ”
Given this narrative, we can only draw one conclusion. And that is that 30MHz is the only platform in this list. An independent technology that offers space for data integrations and other (software) companies to build their applications upon. Because by its fruit you will get knowledge of the platform.