As the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, Hughes is no stranger to systems. The company is all about developing innovative systems and solutions to meet the communications needs of customers around the world.
But those networking systems and solutions must be made useful from a business perspective. In other words, a company must be able to effectively integrate them with their business processes to manage customer and vendor orders, deliver products and services, track inventories, and support customers and employees. Getting this functionality right is the job of Hughes Business Information Technology and Services, also known as BITS.
Part business systems provider and part traditional IT organization, BITS is a versatile group whose charter is to create services and solutions using state-of-the-art technology to make the systems behind the systems work, serving both external and internal customers.
On the Cutting Edge
An important BITS role is to assess new IT trends and technologies and determine how to best apply them. For example, the concept of virtualization has led to development of virtualized server and storage solutions, as well as making using of cloud-based services.
Similarly, service-oriented architecture (SOA) makes systems more flexible and provides more agility in reacting to business needs. Likewise, business process management takes a view of implementation approaches by walking through business processes step-by-step. And a wireless LAN connects two or more devices through a wireless distribution method, giving users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network.
A Day in the Life
Wearing its business services hat, BITS develops the IT systems such as ordering, provisioning, activation, billing, and customer care, which underpin service delivery by Hughes to its many enterprise, government, and consumer customers. On the internal IT side, the team operates enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for Hughes departments such as accounting, finance, HR, and manufacturing.
BITS also supports collaboration systems and applications for the company such as email, instant messaging, and document management, which are typically configured and customized from off-the-shelf products. In addition, the BITS team implements IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)-based processes such as change and incident management.
A typical day in the life of a BITS staffer has a strong customer focus. It may include learning about customer requirements, defining business processes, developing proof of concept of new technologies, testing, delivering services, and performing business intelligence activities to identify trends. BITS personnel also interact constantly with internal Hughes groups, deploying new technologies, detecting and fixing problems, and managing security compatibility and compliance to standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and Payment Card Industry (PCI).
The BITS Team
The BITS team is made up of more than 100 engineers and technicians. Some engineers focus on applications development, operating systems, and databases; others apply their expert knowledge of physical servers, storage, network, Internet, wireless, or telephony to develop services and solutions. BITS technicians handle matters such as help desk inquiries and onsite support.
“Key to our success is the quality, commitment, and deep personal integrity of our people,” said Ashok Mehta, senior vice president of BITS. “Our top-notch staff has made a significant contribution to Hughes services and solutions, particularly with the breadth of automation that BITS has put in place.”
Making It All Work—Bit by Bit
Hughes customers need timely, high-quality communications products and services. Operating quietly behind the scenes, BITS is another Hughes team of “unsung heroes” that keeps the company at the cutting edge, helping enable better, faster, and more robust communications for people around the world.