■ Preparing for Disaster: How long would your company survive during and after a natural or manmade catastrophe? What plans have you made to get your business up and running again in a short period of time? These were some of the provocative questions that were raised at the “Continuity of Business (via satellite) Summit,” sponsored by the Satellite Industry Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Space Enterprise Council, and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration in Washington, D.C. in September. Subtitled “Acquiring Robust Communications Capability to Prepare for Natural and Manmade Disasters,” the event featured a keynote address by the Honorable David Sampson, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, and a panel discussion on “Satellite Communications for the Continuity of Business.” Panelists included Mike Cook, senior vice president, North America for Hughes, and other executives drawn from the business community.
■ Keeping Information Secure: Hughes announced in September that it has received Protection of Cardholder Information (PCI) Data Security certification. The PCI standard was developed by VISA and MasterCard in 2004 to provide assurance that when customers offer a bankcard at the point of sale, over the Internet, on the phone, or through the mail, their account information will be safe. Though complete end-to-end compliance is the responsibility of individual merchants, Hughes’ certification ensures that a retailer’s wide area network meets PCI standards. “Our customers expect a network that carries personal financial information and transaction data to meet the highest security standards,” said Mike Cook, senior vice president, Hughes. “Hughes has always made security a top priority and has taken every measure to keep private information safe. PCI certification gives our customers the added peace of mind that Hughes complies with the industry standard for network security.”
■ Hughes CEO Delivers Keynote at COMSYS VSAT 2006: COMSYS VSAT 2006, an event focused solely on VSAT technologies, products, services, and applications, was held on September 13–15, 2006 at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London. Pradman Kaul, chairman and CEO of Hughes, delivered the keynote address on “Network Unification Management.” K. Krishna, senior director at Hughes Communications India Ltd., gave a talk on “Value-added Service Strategies.”
■ Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) Launches New Hughes Call Center in 30 Days:
Hughes recently contracted with ACS to provide call center services—and the complete transition, including staff training and developing an interface to access the Hughes ordering system, was completed in a breakneck 30 days. Today, the Hughes call center receives more than 100,000 calls each month. Inquiries are answered by trained ACS personnel who make sure that Hughes customers receive accurate and up-to-date information. And the system’s reporting function provides information that helps Hughes make important business decisions. Overall, the system lowers costs and improves efficiency— and gives Hughes customers a better customer service experience.
■ Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Hughes Exec to Broadband Task Force: In November 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Peter Pardee, vice president of business development, North America for Hughes, to a California Broadband Task Force. The group brings together public and private stakeholders to remove barriers to broadband access, identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies. “Broadband will help build California so we can grow our economy, create great jobs and stay ahead in the global marketplace,” said Schwarzenegger.
■ Slekys Elected to Global VSAT Forum Board: Dr. Arunas Slekys, vice president of corporate marketing and GM Russia/NIS Business for Hughes, was elected to the board of the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) in November 2006. An independent, non-profit forum, the GVF is an association of key companies involved in delivering satellite systems and services worldwide. Slekys replaces Andrew Werth, an original founder and longtime senior executive of Hughes who stepped down. An early satellite pioneer, Werth helped launch the GVF in 1998.