Skyguide and Skysoft: One sky, One System, One team

SkySoft was created in 2001 as a joint venture between skyguide and AirSoft, an innovating ATM software company. Its core business is to produce software for air traffic management (ATM). Roughly, one third of SkySoft’s income is generated from exports projects, currently in 27 countries. SkySoft is driven like a start-up with its 50 employees. Heading the company since 2004, Pierre Henri Guisan has more than 25 years of business experience in managing IT projects and software organizations. Being the holder of a commercial pilot license with instrument rating (CPL /IR), Pierre Henri Guisan is experiencing regularly the SkySoft ATM solution from an airspace user perspective.

SKYGUIDE SkySoft is a daughter company of skyguide. In what way does SkySoft contribute to the future

of its parent company?

Pierre Henri Guisan SkySoft considers itself as being a major contributor to skyguide’s objectives, which means mastering the current legacy systems under our responsibility while at the same time building the next generation of ATM systems. We are not only aiming to meet specifications, but to ensure that the specifications meet the needs of our customers. With skyguide we want to go through all the projects up to the operational implementation of the new systems. We are partners, not suppliers; if something goes wrong, it is part of our responsibility.


In which framework are SkySoft and skyguide collaborating?

PHG:  EVen if the companies keep their reponsability a new and innovative collaboration model has to be put in place. We create cross functional teams, in which all competencies are available and dispatched to accomplish the common goals. The target is to set up self-organized teams, still with strong leadership. Most of all, we would like to create a unique team spirit, where people enjoy working together and support each other.


What are SkySoft’s contributions to VCT2?

PHG SkySoft has accumulated expertise in the development of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). To setup this expertise, SkySoft has hired new people with key SOA knowledge and has invested in the training of existing staff. With these new core team members, new tools and processes and a completely new development platform with a full Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration process in place, we are a key contributor to VCT2.


You were talking about your export strategy. Can a small company like SkySoft compete in the international market and if yes, what is the purpose of this strategy?

PHG The export strategy is part of our growth strategy stipulated in our new business plan. Our idea is to break down ATM monolithic software into services and then sell such services in the export markets. Now, we act as niche players and as a partner in bigger projects: We are the worldwide leader for controller working position software recording systems. Abroad we work with local partners and train them. Research and development however are done in Switzerland.


Are your strategies successful?

PHG For skyguide we already have an important record of accomplishment. The implementation of the Stripless System for example was a big success. With this project, we launched for the first time an identical application for both centres (ZRH and GVA) – a major step towards harmonizing operations. Another success was the implementation of the new Trace System for lower levels inbound and outbound of Zurich Lower Airspace.

On the export market, we could achieve an outstanding commercial success with our recording solutions. With its current worldwide implementation, we could gain a strong leading position.


In the context of VCT2, what kind of constraints does SkySoft encounter?

PHG We have to mix an Agile approach, different organizations with their own responsibilities and commitments and a cultural change. Regulatory requirements demand extensive documentary evidence. For Operations, the diversity of scenarios implies that solutions can only be confirmed with confidence after extensive validation and exposure to real-life situations. On the technical side, we moved from separated legacy equipment towards a transversal approach which requires much more collaboration and integration activities. In all cases, the change management is a key topic.