I think this is the most exciting time in the history of Inmarsat. We’re on a transformational journey which has seen us reinvent our organisation and make multi-billion dollar investments covering every aspect of our business. Here, in our new blog, we’re going to share different perspectives of this journey, bringing to life the changes taking place right across the organisation.
Business is like an iceberg; the vast majority of work goes on below the surface. And that is equally true of the transformational changes we’re implementing across Inmarsat. I thought I’d take the opportunity here, with my first blog post, to discuss some of the most significant activities that have taken place so far this year and to look ahead at what’s still to come.
Earlier in the year we found ourselves responding to an event which was far removed from our everyday work. The disappearance of MH370 was felt by everyone in the company, both because of the human tragedy and because of our connection as the providers of the aircraft’s satcoms. It also represented one of the most difficult challenges we have ever faced and I was very proud of how the organisation came together and performed calmly and professionally under such pressure. That experience demonstrated the incredible engineering expertise we have and showed that, even in an extremely difficult situation, our first desire was to do the right thing. As we continue to collaborate with organisations from around the world and support the search, I think we can all take pride in how our engineers ‘stepped-up’ to this unique challenge.
Several months later, and more closely linked to our day jobs, a hugely significant moment for us all was the announcement that Inmarsat 5 (I-5) F1 had entered commercial service. To be able to say that we now have commercial customers using Global Xpress (GX) was personally a landmark moment. That this first customer had put the service through its paces with extensive trials and told us that it exceeded their expectations was even more gratifying. We’re now selling capacity to other eager customers.
Continuing with GX, this autumn we will be finalising our preparations for the shipping of I-5 F2 following the successful return-to-flight mission of the Proton-M on Sunday 28th September. This was very good news for the launch schedule of the remaining GX satellites (I-5 F2 and F3) and reinforces our confidence that the GX service will be commercially available on a global basis by the end of the first half of 2015.
While we continue to prioritise the global rollout of GX, we are also maintaining our pace of innovation across the markets we serve with our core L-band services. For the remainder of 2014 we will be focused on gaining further traction for our latest product innovations; IsatPhone 2, IsatHub, Fleet One and Fleet Media.
IsatHub is nothing less than a revolution. This can be an overused term but in the case of IsatHub, I believe it’s justified. Taking our market-leading BGAN and making it accessible to a much broader audience is a very significant step. We talk about empowering global connectivity; IsatHub is bringing sophisticated broadband connectivity to the widest ever audience, including the general consumer. Fleet Media is also bringing the benefits of global connectivity to a wider audience and takes our offering in the Maritime sector to a new level, giving mariners the type of entertainment experience they would previously have only enjoyed onshore. And, with Fleet One, as with IsatHub, we’re dramatically broadening the market that can benefit from our unique services.
To conclude, looking ahead to 2015, we are investing significantly in our people. For Inmarsat, next year will be about enhanced empowerment as we bring to fruition the work in relation to training, development and our systems and processes. This has been going on in the background for some time now but will, I hope, have an equally dramatic impact on our organisation. The creation of our corporate blog is one example of this work, providing a platform to share experiences from across every part of the company and from our people across the world.
About the author
Rupert Pearce joined Inmarsat in January 2005 as Group General Counsel and, from January 2009, additionally held the position of Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. He became Chief Executive Officer in January 2012. Previously, Rupert worked for Atlas Venture, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and US investment teams. He was previously also a partner at the international law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, M&A and private equity transactions. Rupert received an MA (First Class) in Modern History from Oxford University and won the 1995 Fullbright Fellowship in US securities law, studying at the Georgetown Law Center. He has been a visiting fellow of the Imperial College Business School, London, lecturing on the school’s Entrepreneurship programme, and is the co-author of Raising Venture Capital (Wiley).