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Monday, November 1, 2004

MIRO Technologies

MIRO Technologies Targets Commercial and Government Markets with GOLD Software

Based in La Jolla, California, MIRO Technologies (www.mirotechnologies.com) "is known for setting the GOLD standard for aviation maintenance software," said Mark Ogren, MIRO's vice president of commercial sales and marketing. (Spirent recently sold its MRO software division, and the new owners renamed the company MIRO Technologies.)

MIRO's GOLD suite is a package of aftermarket software tools designed to help government and military contractors track and manage all aspects of their MRO processes. A case in point: GOLD allows the user to define the terms by which their inventory is logged and monitored and to set different price ranges to reflect alternative pricing arrangements for different contracts. GOLD even makes it possible to track the progress of components sent to third-party operators for repair, both to recapture these costs from clients and to measure and manage each aspect of the repair process to reduce cycle times.

With such functionality built in, it is not surprising that GOLD is being used by Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman to service their government customers. "GOLD manages all aspects of the MRO process for our customers," said John Hayes, director of business development for GOLD sales. "It is really the cornerstone of the government/military MRO software sector."

Not surprisingly, MIRO saw opportunities in the commercial aviation space for GOLD and reconfigured it to meet this sector's needs. Branded as AuRA, the software can be customized to an MRO's specific preferences and ways of doing business. "AuRA also takes into account that airlines do business differently than government [operators]," said Ogren. "For instance, it is common for a commercial aircraft to spend 12 to 14 hours in the air, while a military aircraft will fly for an hour or so. We redesigned the interface to make AuRA very user-friendly and easy to operate."

Since being released a few years ago, AuRA has been adopted by Boeing for its commercial aircraft division and by airlines such as ExpressJet, Frontier and TNT Express. At ExpressJet, AuRA is being accessed by more than 1,000 users for servicing the airline's 168 aircraft. "ExpressJet has made a commitment to give our maintenance organization the best available tools for the job, and our goal was to find the most advanced and proven `live' MRO technology available," said John Prestifilippo, ExpressJet's vice president of maintenance and tech support. AuRA has all the functionality we were looking for, and we're confident MIRO Technologies has the innovation and commitment to the aviation market to support Continental Express well into the future."

Meanwhile, TNT Express is using AuRA to service its European fleet of 23 BAe146s and Airbus A300 freighters, with access for more than 150 users at various locations. "In our search for a new fully integrated MRO system, said Alastair MacArthur, TNT's maintenance and engineering director, "we were not just looking for a modern IT system to replace our existing set of discrete legacy applications, but a total business solution that would deliver real business benefit in terms of service, quality, and cost improvements. The selection of MIRO Technologies reflects our belief that they have the right product, culture, business vision, and approach to work in partnership with TNT to deliver the business benefits that we are looking for," MacArthur said. "AuRA has all the range of functionality we need and it uses the latest software technology. We're confident MIRO has the innovation and commitment to the aviation market in Europe to support TNT well into the future."

To help MROs save money, MIRO is also packaging AuRA as a rental ASP (applications solution provider) product via T-Systems. This means that MROs only pay a monthly fee to have access to AuRA's capabilities online via MIRO's servers, without having to purchase the software or the hardware to run it in their own offices. To date, five regional airlines and third-party MROs have selected AuRA's ASP product to improve their MRO operations. The first, the Netherlands's EQM Airlines, is already implementing the system.

"We want to get AuRA's functionality out into the commercial MRO sector," said Ogren, "because we believe it can really make a difference for MROs and their customers. This is why we are offering AuRA both as a purchase and an ASP/rental; we want MROs at all budget levels to have access to our software." -- By James Careless

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