In 2017 Consortiq launched CQNet, a single-solution to the endless number of different platforms (or pieces of paper) for collecting information to help make drone operations safe.
CQNet was born from problems we experienced while operating drones. When we worked on Criminal (the movie starring Kevin Costner) in 2015 we were managing drone flights in the City of London (a first for any drone operator), dealing with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, production managers and even the Diplomatic Protection Group. We knew that there had to be a better way to manage a drone operation than spreadsheets and paper.
So we built CQNet, with live airspace data and mission planning capabilities, checklists, user and asset management. It was built as a system for enterprises, using IBM’s Cloud (Bluemix as it was then) and single tenant architecture (one customer per server / database). It was great, it was exactly what we thought the market needed.
Over the 3 years since it was built the software has been frequently updated with both new features and improvements of existing ones. We added risk assessments, better pilot currency reporting, DJI log synchronisation, we moved from IBM services to Amazon and added LAANC requests, to name a few. We also broadened the scope from an enterprise-only product to one available to every commercial drone operator globally.
However, CQNet suffered from trying to be all things to all people, which meant it did most things ok, but none of them excellently. Also, when a product does that much, it’s going to be inherently complex, so if you weren't looking for the depth or complexity of operations the system was designed for, finding simple features was tricky. This made it frustrating for users who just wanted to get on and fly their missions.
We had some great engagement with our customers, and weren’t short of things to build or refine within the system, so we thank you for that feedback and in helping us to make CQNet better.
We learned that no two organisations operate in the same way, what worked for us would work for some customers, and not others, and because of this most customers also had things they wanted to be added to the system to make it right for them and their operation.
Unfortunately, the list of things to build got longer and longer, and we started to realise that we couldn’t get CQNet where it needed to be for all our customers whilst meeting our own internal standards.
It was at this point we decided to look at options for shutting the software down, and with heavy hearts the decision was made that from April 30th CQNet would be no more.
What happens next?
- CQNet users will have full access until the 29th of February 2020, when all data feeds will stop and you will no longer be able to plan missions or view airspace information.
- Users will be able to login to CQNet and download Aircraft and Pilot reports only until 30th of April 2020, when CQNet will be shut down fully.
What should I do?
- We recommend that you download any data that you may need for your pilot currency or aircraft reports from CQNet before the 30th of April 2020.
- To generate and download your Pilot Currency or Aircraft report, please refer to the "How-to" blog HERE.
What’s next for Consortiq?
Consortiq (and our sister brand UAVAir) are well known for our training and consultancy services, we know that is where our expertise lies. We are passionate about making it easier for organisations to put drones in the sky safely by analysing their needs and presenting them with a solution they can deploy, and by training their staff to the highest standards to help them maintain the safety of their operations.
In the USA we're expanding our operation to meet the demand we're facing from new and existing customers, all while applying our expertise to addtional industries.
Over in the UK we’re really excited about our transition from an NQE to an RAE to continue offering training to our current and future enterprise customers, and using that pedigree to continue our expansion into new regions and industries.
Finally, we're adding new services like Data Acquisition (Drone-as-a-Service) to enable customers to see the immediate value drones can bring to them across the globe.
We believe we can help any company, in any country and that’s what we want to focus on.