A survey conducted by VT iDirect (News - Alert) (iDirect), a provider of satellite-based IP communications technology, in association with Stark Moore Macmillan, a specialist maritime marketing agency, shows that up to 30 percent of current non-VSAT users planned to conduct trials of VSAT within the next 24 months.
The survey also indicates that establishing a clear business case for VSAT would encourage greater adoption among shipping operators.
According to the survey, the demand for VSAT services in the commercial maritime sector has increased significantly in the last five years, and this trend is likely to continue for several years.
"With nearly 30 percent of the market considering, or are ready to implement VSAT, the survey results indicate an immediate opportunity for VSAT in the commercial shipping sector," said Christian Bergan, director, Verticals Marketing, Maritime, iDirect, in a statement.
Nearly 80 percent of the survey participants are of the opinion that VSAT enables access to new enterprise software applications that improve operational efficiency and business processes. These applications being implemented include enterprise resource planning (ERP), remote IT solutions, Sharepoint/Citrix collaboration tools, weather routing and video conferencing.
Companies that do not opt for VSAT cite cost as their primary concern. To address this concern, the survey provides insight into ship owners and operators' weaknesses in quantifying the cross-business benefits that VSAT has brought, and can bring, to their organizations.
The survey claims that a business case for VSAT can clearly be found if companies are provided with the necessary tools and methodology to accurately evaluate cost savings and efficiencies derived from improved communications.
The results are derived from interviewing IT Managers, Fleet and Technical Managers, CIOs, and CTOs at 60 shipping companies, representing approximately 5,500 vessels, or 13 percent of the world's commercial trading fleet of 1,000GT or over, survey officials said.
“The survey overwhelmingly demonstrates that ship owners and operators have begun to understand that their communications must be considered in the context of a strategic business investment, but that in many cases neither they, nor the VSAT suppliers, are able to easily produce the necessary business case,” said Roger Adamson, director of Martitime, Stark Moore Macmillan. “Were they equipped with the right methodology, VSAT adoption could easily accelerate beyond our predicted levels.”
iDirect, a company of VT Systems, also announced a whitepaper on the survey, “VSAT: Present & Future A comprehensive survey of maritime VSAT” is available on their Web site.
Recently, iDirect announced that Iridium (News - Alert) Communications, a mobile satellite service provider, will use the iDirect VSAT platform to help enhance and upgrade the ground-control infrastructure for its satellite constellation, TMCnet reported.
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Edited by John Lahtinen