By Ruben Marentes, Director, Intelsat Network Operations Center
When all is going smoothly, the job of making sure Intelsat customers are able to transmit and receive voice, video and data through our global satellite and ground network doesn’t draw much attention. Thinking about it probably conjures an image of Intelsat engineers sipping coffee as they sit at long desks in a big room, watching weather patterns, images and data flash across a wall of large video monitors.
But of course, as we all know, technology–especially one involving complex networks spanning multiple continents–doesn’t always go smoothly! That is why the mission of our Network Operations Center (NOC) is to respond to technical issues and to ensure our customers have the uninterrupted connectivity and service performance when and where they need it.
To improve our customer service, Intelsat has just invested millions in upgrading and consolidating our operations centers in Ellenwood, GA. In addition to new equipment, we have completely reorganized how we handle customer calls and inquiries coming into the NOC. These changes are necessary because the nature of satellite communications and the service we provide have changed dramatically in just the past few years.
As customers use more end-to-end service models, we are implementing a work environment that streamlines the workflow, improving the customer experience.
Our new NOC model provides our team with a face-to-face workspace spanning all of the major customer operational interaction points. Further, our new operations center can scale easily in different directions, allowing us to bring on new services and keep up with the ever-shifting needs of our customers. Intelsat’s new NOC went on-line on December 1, 2016.
By having people with different skill sets, knowledge and experience working side by side, we can now offer a single point of contact, funneling the customer call or inquiry exactly where it needs to go, accelerating the customer response and resolving their service task efficiently.
We began working on the reorganization about 18 months ago based on ideas, suggestions and feedback from our customers. About six months ago, we had finalized our plan and began renovating our facility to put it into action. The result is a brand new NOC, built from scratch, with a massive wall of 72, 55-inch monitors that provides everyone full awareness of how the Intelsat Globalized Network is performing at any given moment.
We have 103 staff members at the new NOC, the same number as before. But now they are working together in one room, 30 people per shift, 24 hours a day, standing by to provide the highest level of service we possibly can for our valued customers.