Lifecycle of Service Delivery
Service delivery is the cornerstone of supporting the customer. With a customer base ranging from large enterprises to government agencies to smaller companies and consumers, it’s worth taking a look at what that means and how market and technology changes influence the services that Hughes delivers.
A Changing Market
We’ve seen tremendous changes over the years, particularly in the enterprise market. Businesses have gone from needing simple connectivity to requiring 100 percent availability and real-time information. In today’s environment, one kind of transport no longer fits all customers, many of whom want to take advantage of alternative technologies such as terrestrial wireless and multi-transport capabilities that link satellite with DSL, T1, and other landline services.
Meanwhile, the complexity of services has gone well beyond the installation of a satellite terminal, with primary considerations that include multi-transport designs and deployment, security, legacy protocol conversion appliances, and firewall management. A direct result of these changes was the launch several years ago of HughesNet Managed Services, a portfolio of services that combines the best of landline and satellite broadband technologies to deliver turnkey solutions to businesses in all industries.
Key Aspects of Service Delivery
So, just what is service delivery? At Hughes, we think of it as a lifecycle process that encompasses the entire customer relationship—from the time they’re a potential customer, to when they sign a contract, all the way through engineering, design, installation, and operations, to the time they upgrade to each new generation of products and services. Wide-ranging in its responsibilities, service delivery also incorporates customer care, planning, field support, and billing.
Also important to Hughes service delivery are support groups such as Application Services, which works with major companies like Microsoft and Cisco to ensure that Hughes satellite technology works well with their products, and Professional Services, which works with customers to ensure their applications perform in all technology environments, whether satellite or terrestrial.
Day-to-day network operations for North America take place in our facilities in Germantown, Maryland; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Detroit, Michigan. We maintain a national network management center in Germantown, which acts as the brains behind the services and technologies that we provide to our customers. The Detroit facility also supports a center of excellence for our digital media and video services. From these facilities collectively we serve over 500,000 terminals for HughesNet consumer and enterprise customers throughout North America.
Choosing a Direction
Given the breadth of customers that we serve and the diverse suite of products and services that we provide, how do we determine the direction for Hughes service delivery? The simple answer is to listen to our customers. Our Executive Advisory Council (EAC) is made up of customer CIOs and top-level managers who help us set strategic direction. And advising us on how to implement that direction is the Hughes Users Group (HUG), which comprises middle management and technical professionals. Our suppliers, consumer call centers, and enterprise service center also provide important feedback that is used by our operations and engineering organizations to continually improve our products and services.
We measure our success through independent quality surveys and an annual customer survey that measures aspects of our service according to how important they are to customers and how we’re executing against expectations. We strive for continual improvement, and survey results from each of the past three years show consistently higher rates of satisfaction. I’m also pleased to report that the Wyndham Hotel Group recently presented Hughes with its Outstanding Service Award.
The Outlook Ahead
As I look towards the future, I don’t think Hughes has ever been better positioned to grow our customer base so substantially. The launch of SPACEWAY 3—and HughesNet broadband services operating over it— represent the most significant initiative in our company’s history. The world’s first satellite with onboard switching and routing, SPACEWAY 3 gives us capabilities that exist nowhere else in the marketplace and will bring even more efficiencies to our delivery of service. But the most important part of our success formula has and will continue to be our top-notch service delivery team, which combines seasoned industry veterans with energetic, young professionals who together create a world-class organization. In the end, it’s all about delivering the best set of network and relationship services so that our customers can access the applications they need, whether that means providing digital signage at a gas pump, relying on a high-availability network, applying for a driver’s license, or buying a pizza.