The "Easy" Button

Posted February 7th, 2012 in Industry News

Thank you to Staples for introducing the world to the “Easy” button. Obviously, their objective as a company is to be the first choice for office supplies; effectively to become a “one stop shop” for your stationary needs. Since its debut in Staples commercials, the “Easy” button has evolved into a term used in everyday conversations in any industry, not just for ordering office supplies.

Staples created the Easy button as method of achieving and communicating their goal, which is quite simple and clear – Why overcomplicate seemingly simple tasks such as buying paper and pens? This is a great question that we can all apply to our respective businesses.

One of the biggest hurdles within the ag industry to date has been the movement of data from the machines in the field, to the office where many key decisions are made. Slingshot hardware has gone through several iterations to become a highly robust and reliable solution to move agricultural specific data from the field to the cloud. Our 3G+ capable data transfer speeds and refined data transfer algorithms developed over years of real-world experience has resulted in the best connectivity solution available in the agricultural industry today.

Not wanting to rest on our laurels, we have now shifted our focus from the technical aspects of moving the data, to creating solutions for the owner of that data that allow them to move it more efficiently and productively, ultimately allowing them to make better agronomic decisions. Much like Staples who have developed the correct product mix of paper, pens and toner, Slingshot hardware is now the correct solution for connectivity to farm equipment, and the Slingshot API is our “Easy” button for Growers, Retailers, Agronomists and Independent Software Vendors alike to share that data, in a secure, controlled manner.

Rather than develop a competing agronomic software solution, Raven chose to allow Slingshot users the ability to work with any software they felt was best for their operation. To accomplish that, we developed a device known in the software world as an API (Application Programming Interface). What this means to the grower is the ability to utilize any software program of their choice to upload/download agronomic data from the tractor to the office using Slingshot. For example, today a grower can upload a prescription map to their Raven ViperPro or EnvizioPro from within the software program on their desktop computer. It is much like sending an email. Likewise, a completed field can have the ‘as-applied’ data returned automatically to the desktop computer for record-keeping. Gone are the days of USB hard drives or Compact Flash cards.

Currently, Slingshot has over 20 Independent software vendors signed up to participate in the Slingshot API. I highly encourage you to contact your current software provider to see if they are an API partner, and when you might be able to take advantage of Slingshot’s version of the “easy” button.