Silver Arrow 2023

Meet Florin and Victor

Close customer collaboration is key when developing and integrating solutions in Defence

Armed forces across the world are digitalising at high pace, and in this high-stakes environment, the success of software solutions’ integrations hinges on close collaboration with customers. Florin Preda, Senior Solution Engineer, and Victor Emil Iancu, Senior Systems Test Engineer, share insights into their experiences working with defence customers, highlighting the importance of strong relationships and seamless communication.


Insights from Latvia, Silver Arrow Exercise 2023

Both Florin and Victor have played a significant part in the implementation of SitaWare Headquarters for the Latvian defence forces, particularly during the Silver Arrow 23 exercise. This particular exercise brought together more than 4000 soldiers from Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United States alongside NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Latvia, NATO Force Integration Unit Latvia and the Canadian-helmed Task Force Latvia, and it proved to be a strong showcase for the practical application of the SitaWare software in a complex, hyper-realistic, multinational setting. Florin explains, "As a Solution Engineer, I assisted our customer both in the execution and preparation phases of the exercise. We discussed and agreed upon the architecture of the C4I solution, performing extensive configuration and testing."

This hands-on involvement ensured that the software met the specific needs of the Latvian forces, even when deployed on ruggedised hardware in challenging environments. Florin emphasises the importance of feedback: "The key to success is to always gather feedback from our end users and share it with our development teams. This coordination was crucial in adjusting system settings, ensuring our customers could fully utilise our C4I software."


Testing for Excellence: The Systematic Approach

Victor brings a critical perspective from his role as a Senior Systems Test Engineer. His work involves rigorous testing to ensure the highest quality and reliability of defence software. "When testing mission-critical software, quality is paramount," Victor states. His approach integrates testing at every level, from the conception of a new feature to the final deliverable. The complexity of designing tests for various customer setups underscores the importance of communication across teams and with the customer.

The Agile methodology, adapted to fit their specific needs, allows for quick cycles of development and testing, ensuring that issues are identified and addressed promptly. Victor recalls an instance during the Silver Arrow exercise, where on-site testing proved invaluable: "Our software exhibited some unwanted behavior during an installation. Being present on-site, we could directly address and resolve the issue, which would have been much harder remotely."

Florin Preda

“The key to success is to always gather feedback from our end users and share it with our development teams.”

Florin Preda, Senior Solution Engineer

Adapting to Technological Advancements

The rapid evolution of technology presents both challenges and opportunities. Florin notes that while military IT hardware may not evolve as quickly as software, guiding customers on how to maximise existing hardware through scalable solutions is crucial. This approach ensures that defence customers can stay at the forefront of innovation without frequent, costly hardware upgrades.


Building Strong Customer Relationships

Both Florin and Victor highlight the significance of building strong relationships with customers. Florin has cultivated a close relationship with the Latvian customer over the years, providing consistent support and ensuring they confidently use the latest software versions. This relationship has been key to their readiness and success in multinational exercises.

For Victor, engaging with the Latvian customer on-site provided deep insights into how the software is used in real-world scenarios. "This experience helped me broaden my view of our systems and how they integrate," he notes. Direct interactions with soldiers and commanders informed improvements in testing methodologies and the development of new features.

Florin and Victor's experiences underscore the importance of strong relationships, effective communication, and adaptability. Their dedication to understanding and addressing customer needs ensures that software solutions not only meet but exceed the expectations of defence customers, contributing to safer and more effective defence operations globally.