This is first in a series about Valley 365™ and the Valley technology road map. Keep following for more information in the weeks ahead!
Valley® has had its hand in technology for a number of years, from the cams™ Management System in the 1980s to Valmonitor. These initial tech offerings paved the way for true remote irrigation control with the original BaseStation product. That solution continued to evolve into what is now BaseStation3™, which today remains the only on-premises option for growers with no internet or connectivity.
More recently, Valley technology offerings grew to include solutions like AgSense®, Valley Scheduling™ and more, giving growers additional options and added value on their farms.
As Valley continued to develop new technology that meets the needs of growers, we always captured feedback on those products, as well. We speak with growers constantly at tradeshows, training sessions and at local dealerships, each part of our industry-leading dealer network.
We started to notice a theme in that feedback. The number of apps on a grower’s phone was increasing as they adopted these technology products, and we received a common message from customers in all corners of the world: “It would be nice if they were all in one easily accessible place and could be used together in a seamless fashion.”
The voice of our customers sparked new ideas to enhance the solutions we provide. Thus, the concept of Valley 365 – completely connected crop management in a single-sign-on platform –was born.
A Firm Foundation
As the development team set out to create Valley 365, we determined that reliable infrastructure was one of the most important elements. Our technology experts evaluated all our current solutions and determined that, while improvements can always be made, we already had most of what was necessary in the tried-and-true AgSense infrastructure.
Therefore, we used the cloud-based AgSense platform as the foundation for Valley 365. From there, we migrated the technology to Microsoft Azure, the industry-best services provider in cloud technology, and built it up even further to provide top-notch security and scalability (the ability to seamlessly add features in the future).
The modular, intuitive design of Valley 365 didn’t come about by chance. It is the culmination of intensive design research and incorporates elements from other platforms in an attempt to provide a holistic approach to any and all Valley technology interfaces.
We knew that we had once chance to get the design and navigation of the platform right. So who better to help us in those efforts than our customers?
Starting in late 2016, we began the design research ultimately used to determine the Valley 365 user interface. We interviewed existing customers of BaseStation3, AgSense and Valley Scheduling, as well as Valley customers who had never used those products, to quantify what is commonly known as “usability.” We learned what growers’ most-used features were, what they liked and didn’t like, and where we had opportunities to improve their existing products.
In early 2018, Valley Irrigation introduced a new line of control panels giving growers a revolutionary new experience at the pivot point. It was like “the shot heard ‘round the world” when feedback poured in about the easy-to-use screen and navigation of the ICON1, ICON5, ICON10 and ICONX panels. The Valley 365 team, which included many of the same experts that developed the ICON panels, incorporated that feedback – good and bad – into Valley 365.
At 2019 fall tradeshows, the feedback continued as we made a prototype of Valley 365 available for customers to trial with no training or prior exposure. A vast majority of the feedback was positive, with comments like “very clear to understand,” “easy to use” and “app, website, and panel are the same; makes it easier to run.”
Because Valley 365 brings together multiple applications and feature sets, we built the platform structure to be modular and flexible, so users can pick and choose the solutions they want to use. Customers have the opportunity to leverage any or all of the modules at any time for any of their fields or devices.
Again, because the structure of Valley 365 leverages AgSense, the user experience is superior. AgSense accounts and devices will seamlessly migrate to Valley 365. New customers will be able to take advantage of these devices, as well as the excellent service and support that comes along with them. We are confident that all these factors will add up to make Valley 365 the #1 choice for growers to save time, save money and be more efficient overall.
All the listening we did over the years was well worth it. We didn’t get to be The Leader in Precision Irrigation® all on our own – you, the growers, play a huge role in our continuing success. We thank you, and promise to continue listening and improving.
To Own Your Tomorrow and experience the difference that completely connected crop management can make for your operation, contact your Valley dealer. And please contact us for support if you have questions, suggestions or comments about Valley 365.