Man using laptop with vector icon of cloud software

Software playing critical role in the future of communications firm

22/9/2022

The company’s services are critical for customers, staff and assets in harsh environments – whether on land, including mountains, deserts and polar regions, or anywhere at sea, where having reliable connectivity with a base could be lifesaving.

AST Team

The company’s services are critical for customers, staff and assets in harsh environments – whether on land, including mountains, deserts and polar regions, or anywhere at sea, where having reliable connectivity with a base could be lifesaving.

Andrew Peters, CEO of the AST Group, said: “We already offer telemetry and engine management in our software portfolio, but our customers also want other added-value, data-based services. So, we are developing a single integrated platform to enhance their operations and help with improved efficiency, leading to cost savings, in such areas as crew welfare and energy usage.

“We are spending focussed time with existing and new customers to ensure that what we are developing is meeting their aspirations, which will open up significant opportunities for us in the land and maritime markets. These conversations are essential to our future and will continue alongside the development of our software solutions.”

Andrew added that AST’s software can also be used in partnership with hardware and broadband service providers, as well as suppliers of complementary software services. “

If new customers have existing hardware and airtime contracts, they can still buy the software from us,” he said. “At some point in time, they'll probably bring the whole hardware and airtime package to us because more companies are looking to consolidate their supply chain and work with just one provider for a full service, rather than manage four or five service relationships.”

Growing the software side of the business is central to the company’s ambitious growth strategy, with the AST team targeting £25m in software revenue within the next five years. “We think we can probably do that slightly quicker,” Andrew added. “To fulfil our ambitious plan, we need to continue to recruit motivated people with a wide variety of skills.”

Louise Hawkins, chief HR officer, said: “Four of AST’s newest recruits have joined on apprenticeship schemes. They will receive training in software development and satellite technology, highlighting AST’s commitment to recruit, develop and retain local talent.

“The other part of our development strategy is partnering with software houses that understand we need bespoke solutions,” she added. “They create the solutions, and then they train our people. Knowledge transfer is a key for any business but particularly where cutting-edge technology within a fast-changing environment such as ours is concerned.”

“Our customers trust us; in fact our customer churn rate is amongst the lowest in the industry,” said Andrew. “Our software capability will just strengthen those relationships and is already doing so.”

The company is also expanding its infrastructure to support the growth of the software division and lay the foundations for an exciting future.

“We're building the business for longevity,” said Andrew. “That will mean that by years three, five and beyond, we'll be bigger in terms of our profit, our revenue, and certainly bigger in terms of staff numbers and our global footprint.

“The future of space-based communications solutions is entering a new and exciting phase, and we will continue to be at the forefront.”

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