There are several advantages to partnering with a Solutions Integrator instead of working directly with the Satellite Operator. Rather than being driven by selling corporate solutions, Integrators can focus on the best solution for the requirement. Integrators have the advantage of greater resource flexibility, better end-to-end solution awareness and overall solution support.
Advantages of Integrator
Satellite communications can be a complex and expensive acquisition and a customer needs to have full trust that the solution provider has the end users best interest in mind. Integrators provide much deeper value to the customer than does a commissioned bandwidth salesman.
The Integrator has the expertise to:
- conduct the site survey
- gather the customer requirements
- design the best technical solution
- support the customer after the sale
The Integrator has the resources to discuss the overall requirement with the customer to develop a detailed overall solution that best fits the customer’s needs. Understanding HOW to deploy the solution is often more important than solution itself. What good is a solution that isn’t practical, deployable and supportable? The Integrator has the logistics experience to actually field a solution rather than dumping that burden back onto the customer.
An Integrator has a holistic market view and is not handcuffed to a corporate mandated solution, either in satellite fleet or hardware profile. The Integrator has relationships with all Operators and can consider all options when selecting a satellite solution to meet the customer requirements. There are several niche market satellites that can be a better solution than mainstream operators, especially in under-served markets. Instead of force feeding a solution to a customer, the integrator can survey all solutions and present the best for the specific requirement. Operators often have invested large capital money in hub solution technology and are mandated by their management to present solutions that offset that investment, regardless if it is the best fit for the application. The Integrator does not have that mandate and can focus instead on finding the best technology and infrastructure solution for the customer mission.
Best Value. Best Price.
One might assume that working directly with the Satellite Operator will result in the best price. That is not always the case. The Integrator maintains a comprehensive market view and can procure solutions that are unavailable to Operators. As technology changes, hardware is becoming more efficient. Advancements in modem technology have resulted in less bandwidth needed to transmit data. What once took a full transponder of satellite bandwidth can now be achieved with less.
What happens to all that excess capacity? In many cases, the customers are left with long term satellite bandwidth contracts and capacity that they no longer need. Long-term contract holders are often happy to get any financial relief for this unused capacity and are willing to sell it below-market value. This capacity is not available to the Operators. An Integrator is aware of these circumstances and can negotiate the third-party sale of excess capacity that benefits both the customer and the company locked up in a long-term contract. This exchange is not advantageous to the Operator as they would rather sell uncommitted capacity and is therefore never presented as an option to the customer.
The role of the Satellite Operator will never go away, but it is the Integrator that will provide the best overall value to the customer for years to come.