As the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) increasingly turns to commercial providers for SATCOM services, the questions of resiliency, efficiency and flexibility cannot be ignored. Multi-orbit, multi-transport systems are a DoD priority, yet the risk of equipment and service obsolescence in the fast-changing SATCOM sector is very real. This is one reason why SATCOM-as-a-Managed-Service (SaaMS) procurements are so attractive.
But what exactly is SaaMS?
SATCOM-as-a-Managed Service is an end-to-end turnkey service for high-throughput connectivity that can support the demands of users on base, at varied tactical locations and during critical missions — anytime and anywhere. SaaMS is particularly well suited for defense agencies, military commands and warfighters that need to be connected in all types of environments: on land, in the air, and at sea.
Here are five reasons SaaMS is a better option than acquiring traditional MILSATCOM services:
Always on connectivity everywhere – For the Department of Defense (DoD), SATCOM has long been the only option for acquiring connectivity in areas that lack traditional telecom infrastructure. Now, with automated network management capabilities, software defined techniques, and multi-orbit and multi-transport options, commercial SaaMS provides the most efficient connectivity in more places around the world, ensuring access to the best transport type to serve each mission (including GEO, MEO, LEO, wireless, and 5G). In short, SaaMS delivers communications capabilities to warfighters whenever they need it.
With managed services, users can access data within minutes – When SATCOM-as-a-Service is delivered by a Managed Services Provider (MSP), every part of the service is included – from setting up and managing hardware, like terminals and ground stations, to troubleshooting and maintaining much-needed security. For the DoD, SaaMS makes everything simpler and less technical; eliminating the need for DoD’s services to design, plan, fund and deploy individual SATCOM systems. Additionally, an MSP is responsible for delivering a consistent standard of service, avoiding disruptions and outages (common with single-threaded systems), and ensuring sufficient bandwidth and lower latency for mission critical applications.
Pay only for what you need — SaaMS offers a viable way for DoD agencies to pay only for the services they use, rather than making large up-front investments in satellites, physical assets and capital expenditures. Because services are available at a much lower recurring cost and there are no infrastructure charges, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is greatly reduced.
Easy to get connected – and stay connected – Service can be complex to deploy, repair and upgrade. Plus, each change involves more money, time and people to support the network. With SaaMS, uninterrupted service is easy to establish and can even support critical surge capacity requirements when the mission is moving at the speed of war. Since outages and repairs can also be corrected remotely, SaaMS delivers greater resiliency across the enterprise no matter where military operations take place.
Next generation technologies delivered – MSPs that deliver SaaMS are continually innovating and advancing their SATCOM capabilities. That means the DoD no longer needs to worry about owning technology that may become obsolete or insufficient for the mission. Instead, defense agencies can keep pace with innovation and benefit from tomorrow’s technology advancements and emerging capabilities, while having the MSP handle all the nitty gritty development and details. Upgrades can be delivered autonomously from the agile, software-defined network.
More than any other “As a Service” offering, SaaMS offers a clear path for the DoD to leverage commercial technologies to upgrade its MILSATCOM capabilities, reduce its capital expenditures and reliance on single threaded networks, and meet the agency’s goals for a resilient and efficient enterprise-wide network to support commands and troops on the ground, in the air and at sea, around the world.