A cloud with a silver lining for Angelicoussis group

Angelicoussis group is building crew competence with remote courses using KDI’s cloud-based simulation training solutions

  • Text:Anne Voith, Marketing and Communications Manager, Kongsberg Digital

Founded in 1948, Angelicoussis group (ASGL) is one of the most successful shipping companies in Greece. A long-term KONGSBERG customer, ASGL prides itself on a workforce comprising only the most skilled and best-educated crew. An integral strategy for maintaining such a high standard of personnel is to regularly run competence-building courses, and to this end the company has been using Kongsberg Digital’s cutting-edge simulator suite on its premises for many years.

However, in a challenging scenario which is familiar to training institutes the world over, pandemic-related restrictions have made classroom-based tuition effectively impossible for the time being. ASGL has turned to KDI for assistance, and this has led to the company starting to use the K-Sim Connect digital platform and ecosystem – a portal through which trainees and instructors can access KONGSBERG’s newly-launched cloud-based simulation solutions.

Since signing up to K-Sim Connect, ASGL has heavily used the platform to run courses with the K-Sim Engine and K-Sim Cargo simulation modules.  As pioneer in cloud-based training, ASGL has already notched up 46 engine courses and 16 cargo programs to date. Each cloud-simulation course has lasted between four and five days with an average of six course participants, situated in locations ranging from Greece to Manila and Eastern Europe.

Here to stay

ASGL reports that, all in all, the deployment of the K-Sim Engine and K-Sim Cargo cloud-simulation solutions via K-Sim Connect has been working out very well. “We’re generally happy and believe the use of cloud-based simulation for training and tuition is definitely here to stay,” says Dimitris Fokas, Training Manager, ASGL. “There are many benefits attached to this way of working, not least the flexibility of being able to run courses which can be completed from literally anywhere with an internet connection. This means that participants from all over the world can virtually attend the same course without incurring any travelling costs and without contributing to carbon emissions. They can also carry out homework at any time and repeat exercises if necessary, until the required competence standards are met.”

Customer support the key to success

As one of the first customers to use the K-Sim Connect solutions to such an extent, ASGL has naturally run into a few initial start-up challenges in their digital journey, for example in checking participants’ connections prior to course commencement and in ensuring that instructors were sufficiently prepared. “We required some support from our own IT department and from KONGSBERG with this, as well as registering participants and installing K-Sim Connect into our system, but the KDI team solved any issues well and reacted very positively to our suggestions,” Dimitris Fokas adds. “KDI’s hands-on support is very reassuring, because when an instructor is remotely running a four-day course over the cloud with six or seven participants from all over the world, he has enough on his mind regarding connectivity issues, local hardware and/or firewalls and should not worry about delays or problems with the K-Sim software itself.”

Susanne Roth, KDI’s newly appointed Customer Support Manager, welcomes this feedback from ASGL. “I’m very happy to know that everything is now running smoothly and that ASGL is pleased with our solutions. My role is a new one within KDI Maritime Simulation, and it has been established specifically to ensure that our client focus is maintained unstintingly, round-the-clock. Cloud-based solutions are still relatively new to us as well, so we depend on customers’ comments to help us sort out any issues and improve our products and services. Contributions from K-Sim Connect users will be a key factor in deciding the future direction of this digital ecosystem.”

BLENDED LEARNING - the future of maritime simulation training?

Kongsberg Digital is delivering the cloud-based simulation services as a complete training package and include ready-made simulation exercises. However, ASGL has chosen to upload their own pre-made exercises to carry out the online training. Seamless integration with school-based simulators allows for highly effective learning, combining cloud-based and classroom instruction with the benefits of full flexibility and availability for the instructors and students.

As regards the future for ASGL, Dimitris Fokas foresees blended learning as an efficient and effective way forward. “Running some higher-level exercises with the actual physical presence of instructors and students in the same room definitely pays dividends, but so does allowing participants to practice at home via the cloud with for example no instructor present, enabling them to study in their own time and at their own pace. Combining these approaches is a good solution.” - Dimitris Fokas, Training Manager, Angelicoussis Group