Last week’s news about the fledgling MRO Blockchain Alliance illustrated that minds in the aftermarket are turning towards better data collaboration.

This is clearly what needs to happen if blockchain is to become an effective solution for functions like parts monitoring and tracking.

For only if organizations throughout the supply chain are on the same distributed ledger can the benefits of the decentralized database technology be fully realized.

David Havera, blockchain leader for GE Aviation, agrees.

“We feel that the primary benefit to blockchain is collaboration and a shared ledger across businesses,” he tells Inside MRO.

“We have seen many failed blockchain efforts because they felt that blockchain solutions are a zero-sum game with limited openness or no openness at all. Consortium creators failed to understand that collaboration is the guiding principle to success.”

GE is developing a suite of blockchain solutions in partnership with Microsoft Azure and while some companies are wary about giving third parties responsibility for their data, Havera points out the difficulties of developing an end-to-end solution in house.

“Blockchain is greatly misunderstood because it covers all the traditional software engineering stacks plus data science plus blockchain coding. 

“Once I understood the true flow of blockchain, I realized that I could not build solutions that would scale and have the required security necessary to meet our customers’ expectations.”

All of the blockchain platform and related AI/ML, integrations, and other components are developed and managed by Microsoft Azure. GE Aviation’s Digital Group focuses on what it does best, developing solutions for the aviation industry.

Accordingly, he has contracted Microsoft to develop and manage all of the blockchain platform and related machine learning and artificial intelligence, while GE Aviation focuses on developing the best solutions for the aviation industry.

For a full analysis of how blockchain can be applied to MRO, see the forthcoming Inside MRO.