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Inmarsat Fleet Global – The Maritime Communications Solution

Fleet Broadband is the smallest, most simple high speed Internet & telephone receiver for maritime communication. It can be set up by an individual with little or no training and operates globally, also requiring no particular training to keep it functioning. A fleet broadband antenna and controller are self contained, requiring only power. Switch it on, and your entire fleet is linked at broadband speed. This appliance can be rapidly implemented across your fleet and as a standard IP service, seamlessly integrated with corporate and headquarter networks. The service is such that anybody who operates a vessel of almost any size can easily see the benefit of the technology which reaches far beyond its cost. Contact us today to discuss the benefits Fleet Broadband can bring to your company. Read on for a flavour of these benefits:

 

Flexibility and control: Fleet Broadband supports the newest IP services, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and data for your Current applications. You can choose between a standard, contended IP service and guaranteed data rates on demand – with the ability to choose the rate according to your application. 3 varieties of terminals are available, each present distinct performance capabilities.

Cost effective: With Fleet Broadband, performance and flexibility is not too pricey. Terminal costs are fairly low, with a selection of airtime pricing packages to best suit your needs. There is also no obligation to commit to a lengthy contract. Global voice and broadband data services are more accessible than ever before, enabling you to achieve better operational efficiencies and reduce the expenses of crew communications.

Worldwide coverage: Fleet Broadband ensures you’re never out of touch, wherever you sail. Voice, fax, and data connectivity in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean Regions is available immediately. Inmarsat delivers global coverage – excluding the extreme polar regions.

Easy to install and integrate: Finding a space on your vessel for your new FleetBroadband terminal shouldn’t be a problem. With the antenna set inside a neat radome cover, which ranges in diameter from 25 to 60cm, and a discrete below-decks terminal, Fleet Broadband is compact without compromising performance. As a standard IP service it can be seamlessly integrated with your shorebased systems, making your vessel a transparent link within your company network.

Inmarsat is one of the best providers of global satellite solutions in the world and Fleet Broadband is just one of those solutions. The Inmarsat solution provides global satellite communication, with multiple satellites covering the whole planet. Contact us today to discuss this or indeed any of the Inmarsat solutions which we will be blogging about in the coming weeks.

Scottish SME’s increasingly adopting the latest technology.

Nowadays, cloud computing, unified comms and virtualisation are the technologies most in demand but it would seem that the public sector will not be the sector who are most interested in them.

According to a recent Pearlfinders Index, which monitors trends and opinions in the IT world,virtualisation remained the most popular area for investment, and more customers were looking to move to the cloud.

But in terms of buyers of IT support the industry/manufacturing sector was followed by retail and financial services with public sector lagging well behind.

To meet the customer requirement the skills that these new adopters are looking for include an in-depth knowledge of software, hardware but also managed services and outsourcing capabilities.

When quizzed about what they hope IT to deliver the users had some specific aims with supporting growth and improving efficiency at the top of the wish list.

Virtualisation

The attitude towards virtualisation has changed with it no longer being seen as just a route to saving money but more as an option to introduce greater flexibility.

In just the latest few months of the year the reasons for deploying virtualisation changed with cost cutting dropping down the list of priorities.

In a recent interview, one of our customers said, “The drivers behind virtualisation work have changed massively. Cost cutting is certainly not our main reason. We are more interested in looking at virtualisation as a way to improve the flexibility of our operations and enhance storage/DR infrastructure as part of a previously planned hardware refresh. Also high priority for us are reasons of sustainability.”

Another extremely intersting development is that for the first time the data back from Pearlfinders shows a stronger demand for desktop rather than server virtualisation.

One of the benefits to this technology which is no longer being seen as the new kid on the block is that smaller firms are more willing to embrace what they now percieve as a tried and tested product. The influence of Microsoft’s Hyper-V, VMware and Citrix in driving demand is also being seen across the sector.

If we look at Unified Comms the results were surprising with the public sector remaining a strong buyer for the time being.

Unified comms

A forward thinking IT manager at one of our customers said, “The growing penetration of hosted or cloud-based VoIP and UC platforms is driving uptake among SMEs and I am starting to win the battle when it comes to convincing the business that a hosted UC solution can be both cost-effective and high quality.”

The adoption of hosted VOIP is particularly interesting with a fairly significant spike in interest in Q2 2011. Reduced telephone call and line rental costs, including free
calls between all users within an implementation, the high level of business telephony functionality for all users with absolutely no maintenance and support charges, the minimal CAPEX outlays whilst moving towards a future-proof technology in which the investment is protected with free upgrades, the seamless integration of multiple locations with improved productivity and work-life balance through flexible working and finally built in business continuity with disaster recovery solutions out of the box, all conspire to present a compelling business case.

Another of the technological developments that should start coming through is the extension of video conferencing and messaging opportunities to tablets with the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and now Dell Streak all being more widely adopted by business users. The upside is that many of these services are very quickly integrated to support each others features so expect to see tight integration between the hosted VOIP proposals and the these new messaging opportunities.

The Ubiquitous Cloud

Finally, the area of high interest in the current market which will come as little surprise is cloud. Cloud is still being hyped by numerous vendors and even some of their partners including ourselves. The technology is certainly being used and deployed more widely but a debate about the preference for private rather than public clouds exists. One could argue that there is a high degree of crossover between all three of these fields of technology and where they intersect most greatly is what we call the cloud.

Some users are perhaps a bit cynical about the cloud viewing it as another name for a virtualised data centre but overall the trend towards some sort of hosted solution seems to be gathering pace. The sector which seems to have embraced the cloud most fully is the financial services sector when some large banks made the move to the hosted environment in Q4 of 2010. For the rest of the potential user base however there are still concerns that will have to be overcome. Within enterprise organisations, concerns over the security and uptime of public cloud-based solutions remain, as does nervousness over running mission-critical applications in these environments.

Another issue is the ongoing debate surrounding the use of the word ‘cloud’. It has too many definitions and we have actually found that many of our customers are reacting negatively to the word when it’s used.

The rise of the SME sector as a user of virtualisation, cloud and UC is yet another milestone in the mainstream adoption of these technologies and we at Rustyice Solutions are sure that this trend will only increase.

Building an Enterprise Portal

As your business grows and the number of employees increases, you may want to think about establishing an enterprise portal. Put very simply, this is a Web site that assembles a wide range of content and services useful to a targeted group of people.

Typically, some of an enterprise portal’s content is originated by the organization itself, and some is acquired from third-party sources. The intent of establishing your own company’s enterprise portal is to collect the key information relevant to your business on one Web site. When considering developing an enterprise portal, remember that “portal” means different things to different people: Some will see it as an intranet, others as an e-marketplace, others as part of a customer relationship management program. Enterprise portals can be useful but are complex to develop and expensive to manage.

An enterprise portal (sometimes called an enterprise information portal) can be just a company intranet, but an effective portal offers not only internal content, but also external content useful to employees and customers. The portal can be set up to entitle (allow access) to sensitive company information only by employees, while general information is available to the public.

Software packages are available for companies desiring to develop their own portals, but it’s important to remember that, while anyone can publish on the Internet, that doesn’t mean that people will want to read their content. Few public portals have survived, because they have not been able to build a viable business case.

Some portals provide information that is organized around a vertical market sector, such as pharmaceuticals or plastics. These “vortals” and e-marketplaces are similar and in many sectors may be one and the same thing. Few of these vortals, if they haven’t evolved into e-marketplaces, may survive either.

The lessons to be drawn from a study of public portals and industry vortals include the following:

  • People are very conservative in the way they consume content
  • The majority of people favour a few trusted brands
  • Maintaining a portal is expensive, and many have not survived because they did not have a proper business model

The enterprise portal would seem to have its employees as a captive audience, but staff who use an enterprise portal demand high publishing standards. Such standards are expensive to maintain, and many enterprise portals fail because they lack enough quality content, the content is not kept up to date, and the portal is poorly organized and structured. Many organizations discover that providing a volume of relevant information is good in theory but expensive and difficult to manage in practice.

Before deciding to establish an enterprise portal, ask the following questions:

  • How are employees’ information needs currently being met?
  • Are any of these needs not fully satisfied?
  • Can our company fill this gap in a cost-effective manner?
  • Will my staff trust me to provide information?
  • Will there be a return on this investment?

The key question must be: Where is the return on investment? If employees can just as easily get this information somewhere else, why duplicate the effort? Unfortunately, organizations often don’t take the time to examine which content is of value to the business and which has little effect.