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The definition of “innovation” is to make new. To innovate or to be innovative does not necessarily mean to be revolutionary or to change the world. Often the simplest idea leads to the most useful innovation.
Having a passion for innovation is in the Hughes DNA. With a workforce boasting a diverse background and a wide range of skills, the company’s culture is all about promoting new ideas and spans the entire organization.
The Internet has fundamentally changed our world, creating a new information economy that everyone on the planet can personally participate in. Whether in a coffee shop, on an airplane, in a hotel lobby, on a ship, or at home, people expect nothing less than reliable, high-speed access to online services wherever they go.
“This presents challenges; and challenges always present opportunities for innovation,” said John Kenyon, senior vice president at Hughes. “At Hughes, we are very much an integral part of the global Internet delivery system and understand that we have to continuously adapt to the market. We know that in order for us to be successful, we need everybody thinking ‘What If?’ not just 10 or 20 people thinking that way. We need 2000 people thinking about ‘What if?’”
The Hughes corporate culture promotes innovative thinking at all levels and in all areas, across the full scope of its businesses as both a technology and service provider. As a recent case in point, its JUPITER™ System was named Technology Innovation of the Year at VSAT 2014, which recognized that it enhances the delivery of satellite services to the wider community and evolves the industry beyond its current limits.
Powered by an advanced System-on-a-Chip (SoC) technology which enables speeds up to 100 Mbps, the innovative JUPITER System is the cornerstone of HughesNet® high-speed satellite Internet service in North America—which recently crossed the milestone of 1 million active users—the world’s largest satellite Internet service. On its own merits, HughesNet Gen4 was a winner of the third annual Consumer World Awards program, which honors excellence in every facet of the consumer industry, including products, the people behind successes, and the best companies from around the world. Besides high-speed surfing, customers enjoy HughesNet Voice, an affordable Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service along with a host of premium features, such as call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, and enhanced voice mail.
While many Hughes innovations have involved groundbreaking technologies, some have been small yet significant ideas for product or service improvements. In one example, customer care people noticed that while there were high rates of customers choosing to add HughesNet Voice Service to their orders, many who had ordered it never activated it. That led to a series of a focus groups and some important insights. According to Nick Isoldi, service manager for HughesNet Voice Services, “We discovered how intimidating some of the activation steps can be.” To solve the problem, the team developed a one-page Quick Start Guide. “Today, the new activation process requires the user only to confirm their information and click one button. With the team’s diverse backgrounds and active involvement we were able to quickly pinpoint the problem and solve it,” Isoldi said.
Often, customers have specific requests that require solving real world challenges, triggering innovations. Recently, one of Hughes biggest international customers, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company or Yahsat, approached the Hughes team with a specific request: to double the capacity of their IP gateway, essentially overnight, to achieve speeds of 100 Mbps. Amit Arora, a Hughes engineer, analyzed traffic patterns and identified a way to make the compression software more productive in order to achieve the desired results.
Such outcomes are not uncommon. From big ideas to small, across all departments and at every level, Hughes promotes and supports this passion for innovation—and in myriad ways around the world, customers reap the benefits each day