As we all experienced, the pandemic spotlighted how critical connectivity is. Our installers on the front lines — who were acknowledged as essential personnel — enabled thousands to continue to work, study, stay informed, seek services, and connect with family and friends. While the world was locked down, Hughes installers were road warriors, traveling to and entering customer’s homes and offices, and observing strict protocols designed to keep everyone safe.
After four long years, the Hughes Installer Team Seminar (HITS) took place in late March in Reston, Virginia. HITS brings together 150 representatives from the Hughes ecosystem, including enterprise distributors, installers and their staff, as well as our HughesNet® consumer service dealers, distributors and installers. The 2 ½ day event, typically held every two years (except for in 2020), is a forum for open communication — sharing experiences from the field and offering ideas that stimulate creative thinking and lead to new and improved processes. We’re able to generate some of our best ideas and gather valuable feedback when we have so many of our ‘boots on the ground’ installer teams together under one roof.
HITS is broken down into training tracks, presentations, lessons learned, ABCs for installers, and new technologies being released, along with opportunities to meet with Hughes call center representatives, networking engineers, field support teams and others. This year’s sessions and roundtables covered a range of topics, including scheduling, routing and logistics; inventory management; field support tech tips; customer tools and settings; and selling in a post-pandemic digital world. Ample time was dedicated to exploring all of the features, functionality and enhancements to our Oasis app for installers. This app provides installers with real-time feedback during installations and improves service quality, enabling them to take images of a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) for example to document and validate placement. Field technicians who may troubleshoot an issue in the future, can also reference those same images.
Additionally, HITS provided an opportunity for Hughes leadership to share updates on the company’s latest innovations, products and services. There was great excitement about what’s on the horizon, including the upcoming launch of our JUPITER 3 satellite and the expanding OneWeb Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation that offers a low-latency broadband option to complement GEO satellite services to meet our customers’ needs.
Meeting together again in a group setting for the first time, everyone was eager to engage, ask questions, listen and learn. We were also eager to applaud our installers’ efforts in person. We can’t thank our installers enough for all they have done to support the business and our customers over the last two years and always.