Intuit Technologies' ocean link transforms salmon feeding

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Intuit Technologies' ocean link transforms salmon feeding

Intuit Technologies has many big customers, but one, in particular, has made headlines more than once.

Intuit Technologies' work with Tassal, the biggest producer of Tasmanian salmon, has gone from strength to strength. Tassal has not only trusted the provider to manage its day to day IT operations, but that relationship has grown to see Intuit Technologies technologically evolve Tassal’s business more than once.

The partnership highlighted during CRN’s 2017 Impact Awards, when Intuit Technologies was praised delivering a unique IoT stock monitoring solution, since then things have ramped up.

Tassal sought to improve the processes surrounding the feeding of salmon in its offshore pens, including more efficient feeding, waste reduction, staff safety and better business results. The company had an idea of what it wanted to do, which included a centralised feed centre in Hobart with video monitoring of the fish, data from the pens, and remote control over feeders.

With little to no infrastructure in place and the inaccessible and remote nature of Tasmania’s landscape, Tassal was unsure how they would connect to their remote feeding pens and barges, many of which operate more than 20 km from dry land. The company put the challenge to its trusted IT partner, Intuit Technologies, who accepted the task.

Intuit Technologies founder and executive director Dane Bignell said there was no network infrastructure in the majority of areas it was working in, and the company had to work from the ground-up.

“A major advantage of this project has been the requirement to implement backbone ICT infrastructure in regional areas, which not only benefits Tassal but potentially other businesses and the broader community,” he said.

Intuit Technologies worked with their partners to build a high-speed fibre optic and wireless network capable of the throughput required.

By partnering with key partner Jettech Networks, Intuit Technologies built a data network capable of transmitting up to 10Gb of high definition video data for almost 300 remote pan and zoom cameras.

Working with BATS Wireless, a US company specialising in broadband antennas and wireless technology for near-port communication, the fish pens were equipped with a gyroscopically stabilised wireless connections to the shore which utilises microwave technology to transmit the data back to the feeding centre located in Hobart, Tasmania.

Long-time Intuit Technologies partner Dell EMC would support the distributed data centre that underpinned the network operations centre.

The solution also measures dissolved oxygen levels, water temperature, currents and salinity levels. Previously, feed technicians were required to be onsite to feed fish and gather measurements, duties which are now remotely controlled from the central feeding centre.

The work has been conducted as part of an initial five-year, $20 million contract.
Bignell noted that Intuit Technologies was about a quarter of the way through the project.

“We have worked closely with Tassal for over ten years and are proud of the innovation and teamwork surrounding this project. Through cutting edge thinking and collaboration, we have been able to facilitate significant efficiencies to their business along with important environmental benefits,” Bignell said.

The solution has solved a key issue for Tassal: feeding, which has been one of the largest costs to the company.

The new, remote feed centre has improved growth yield and less feed waste, and also had a well-being impact on both technicians and fish. Technicians no longer need to venture out to feed and monitor the fish in rough seas, and fish health and welfare is under constant monitoring thanks to the video link.

It’s a marked impact for the customer, and the project has also proven a learning experience for Intuit Technologies as well.

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