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It was an enthusiastic crowd that gathered at the 2012 Hughes Installer Team Seminar, also known as HITS. Held in June in Baltimore’s scenic Inner Harbor, the conference drew more than 200 attendees, including installers, distributors, dealers, and Hughes delegates and presenters. True to the HITS theme, attendees came prepared to to Hear, Interact, Talk, and Share.
Leading this year’s hot topics was the launch of the Hughes EchoStar XVII satellite with JUPITER high-throughput technology. Boasting over 100 Gbps of Ka-band capacity, EchoStar XVII sets the stage for HughesNet Gen4 services, which will further expand Hughes leadership in satellite broadband and make a significant positive impact on the installer business.
A new and exciting capability was introduced called OASIS (Onsite Accelerated Service Installation System), a mobile app that eliminates the need for a laptop and streamlines the installation process. OASIS enables installers to use their PDAs, tablets, or smartphones to manage schedules, commission service, and update the Hughes system remotely. Using OASIS, installers will save an estimated 40 minutes to an hour on a typical job.
For enterprise installers, the conference included a landline refresher as well as training in the latest Hughes products and services for rich media installations, such as Digital Signage, Guest Wi-Fi, VoIP, and Breakroom TV, which are enabling the “Branch of the Future” for today’s distributed businesses.
The Engineering Forum, always a popular feature of the conference, brought installers together with senior Hughes staff representing operations, product line management, program management, and quality in an open forum to share experiences, discuss issues, and brainstorm ideas.
Rounding out the event, the Awards Dinner and Reception honored top installers—always a difficult choice among so many superior candidates. This year, Brad's Electronics in Pontotoc, Mississippi was selected as the consumer Dealer of the Year for consistent outstanding performance and willingness to go the extra mile to maintain the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
Hughes distributor CITS, Inc. in Gibson City, Illinois was chosen as the Distributor of the Year for outstanding service to Hughes enterprise customers. Selected for consistent outstanding performance, CITS, Inc. is one of the many companies working with Hughes that go out of their way to make sure the job is done right and to the customer's satisfaction.
Feedback after the event was overwhelmingly positive. According to Ron Maddox of Professional Technical Services in Clanton, Alabama, “The information exchanged between dealers offered different perspectives on how to market HughesNet, providing others the ability to capitalize on best practices. I have already applied some new marketing tactics that I learned at the conference to start making our phones ring.”
“Hughes has always been a great business partner,” added Maddox. “With the changes occurring in the satellite-delivered Internet environment today, HughesNet is definitely the brand where dealers can achieve their greatest financial potential.”
“Because the installer is a key component in a customer’s relationship with Hughes, it’s critical that there be a strong first impression and demonstrated professional quality of service, along with the knowledge and expertise to quickly resolve any issues,” said Cliff Rees, senior director of Field Services for Hughes.
The annual HITS conference is an important opportunity to forge strong relationships between Hughes and its installers, ultimately helping to ensure the highest quality of service to Hughes customers.