Hughes Customers Forge Relationships and Drive Innovation
The annual meeting of the Hughes Users Group, affectionately known as the HUG, is always a lively one, and the scene at HUG 2009 just outside Las Vegas in May was no exception. The HUG is all about leveraging customer knowledge, ideas, and experience to help Hughes better meet their needs and in turn to help customers get the most out of Hughes products and services.
Among many stimulating topics and activities, this year’s meeting included a tour of the Hughes Las Vegas network operations center and presentations on distance learning and the customer gateway. A special highlight was learning how America’s Emergency Network uses the advanced capabilities of Hughes’ SPACEWAY® 3 satellite system, including bandwidth on demand. But, as in prior years, the real heart of the HUG lies in the roundtable sessions where members discuss common issues and successes.
According to Tom Peake, president of HUG and director of Data Center Services for American General Finance, “The partnerships that we build with the other attendees who come year after year are invaluable. We often share mutual problems and we’re able to trade insights back and forth as to how we fixed particular problems.”
Ian Hyatt, senior director for the National Response Centers of GTECH Corporation agreed, “One of the most beneficial aspects of the HUG is resolving issues before they become issues. We talk to companies that are facing challenges we’ve not yet experienced, and we can make adjustments to the way we operate to ensure we don’t trip over the obstacles that others have found for us.”
Solving Issues and Driving Innovation
An integral part of the annual HUG meeting is the “issues list,” a report of common issues coupled with the direction that the team recommends Hughes takes during the coming year. The list may include topics such as installation and maintenance, operations support, and engineering. The Hughes team takes that list back to the office and the lab, addresses each topic, and communicates updates and activities to all members.
“The bottom line is that the Hughes executive team really listens to what customers have to say and acts on it,” said Hyatt. “The theme of HUG is Talk, Listen, Learn, and all three are right on the money. There are no barriers to communication with Hughes executives, and it’s a great way to stay abreast of what’s happening in the industry.”
Not Yet a Member?
Being active in the HUG is the best way for enterprises to exchange information, prepare for network upgrades, and explore service expansion.
“For any customer who has not attended this event, I would strongly recommend that they attend to stay in touch—not only with Hughes, but with other customers,” urged Hyatt. Added Peake, “The more participants we have, the more issues are raised, the more relationships are bonded, and that benefits the entire group.”
The next HUG meeting is scheduled for April 25-28, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. For more information about participating in the HUG, contact your Hughes program manager.