How do you avoid a ‘one size fits all service’ for your customers? How do you ensure services meet demanding and changing operational requirements? Hear from our resident expert Mark McLauchlan on what it takes to deliver customer focused services over the long term.
Effective planning and implementation of service delivery are key factors of Service Management and are vital to its success. Whilst each service contract may be different, one of the most important questions to be able to answer in the affirmative is ‘does the service deliver the outcomes for which it has been designed?’
Since 2007, Mark McLauchlan has worked in the Customer Support Centre and the Order Handling teams here at Airbus Secure Communications. Now a Service Manager since 2017, he is using his expert knowledge of service delivery and requirements for our customers.
Service Management: an integrated approach
Service Management is the term used to describe a complete, integrated approach for providing a service across its full lifecycle, using industry standards such as IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) to incorporate strategy, design, transition, operation and continual service improvement.
Effective, high quality Service Management provides many benefits to both the customer and supplier. It is used as a way to deliver value to customers by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve, without the ownership of specific costs and risks. It empowers the customer to get the best from a service or product, making it as easy to access and use as possible. Service Management can also provide other positive outcomes, from reduced costs, to increased availability of efficient communications, to improved service quality and better customer experience.
SatCom Services: focusing on military customer requirements
At Airbus, we provide a wide range of military communications services to our customers around the globe, each with their own requirements. Our experience in satellite communications services allows us to tailor and optimise the service to each customer, taking into consideration their equipment, objectives and budgets.
There are various types of SatCom services available depending on customer need. For example, some customers have their own satellite ground station, which is sometimes just a large terminal and antenna, and sometimes a full satellite ground station. This allows them to anchor the satellite airtime themselves while Airbus provides power and bandwidth. For customers without their own anchor terminal or satellite ground station, Airbus can provide all of the satellite ground station equipment in order to provide a service to them, either providing space in our ground stations to host their equipment, or by providing the ground station equipment as well, e.g. modems, routers, switches, cabling, etc.
Flexibility and speed in SatCom Service Delivery
Flexibility and speed are understandably of high importance to our customers. Within the military domain, requests for satellite capacity often require a quick response. Once our services are set up, we are able to rapidly make new connections or changes to provide the right level of connectivity when and where it is needed. This underpins our customers operations and is a, capability which calls on our experience and understanding of customer requirements that Airbus has built up over the 50 years in the military satellite communications market.
Effective Service Management enables this quick response. It ensures that the customer’s concept of operations is understood from the outset so the service is designed where their objectives are achievable and the outcomes predictable; whilst allowing room to accommodate changes and upgrades to the service as required.
The first four stages of the ITIL Service Life Cycle Process: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation, help us to design the type of service each customer requires. This then provides direction on required equipment and terminals to be deployed and how we can build it into our ground stations. Throughout all of this it is important to take into account the many different requirements, including capacity, availability level, satellite coverage, data rates, type of backhaul, expansion or future changes, and so on, in order to ensure effective service management.
But it doesn’t stop at deployment; Continual Service Improvement is an important part to the process. Through regular service reviews, we can ensure that the service continues to provide the desired outcomes and also offer improvements where possible.