Connectivity, COVID, and Chapter 11s: What we’ve learned from 2020

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Connectivity, COVID, and Chapter 11s: What we’ve learned from 2020

2020 has been a year like no other. But whilst COVID-19 has stolen our time and attention, at Orion we have achieved a lot in the last 12 months. From award-winning customer deployments, network upgrades and new solutions, when it comes to connectivity, 2020 has had many highlights.

A fiery start to the year 

Australia’s start to 2020 was tough. With major bushfires ravaging the country, Orion sought to support firefighters by deploying free satellite connectivity to evacuation centres.  

This was not Orion’s only focus on fires this year. One of the many projects of 2020, Orion worked with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in WA to provide an innovative, geo-remote and critical connectivity solution to improve communications and access to information during the peak fire season.  

“The solution we implemented for the department has significantly improved their connectivity experience. Because they can now scale their bandwidth in response to usage peaks, the critical connectivity is more reliable and also provides a cost saving to the DBCA,” notes Shannon Fisher, Managing Director, Orion.  

Orion also delivered a satellite on the move solution to the iconic Spirit of Tasmania ships to enable connectivity whilst crossing the tumultuous Bass StraitThe solution provided staff and customers onboard with a smooth connectivity regardless of how high the waves were outside. It also generated an additional revenue stream for the organisation.  

The work undertaken with the famed red and white ships was recognised for its innovation and ability to meet the customer needs when it was awarded the 2020 CRN Impact Award for Network Evolution.  

“We are honoured to be recognised with this award. This is a result of our focus on innovation, our technical capability and by placing our customer at the centre of everything we do. This flexible solution for the Spirit of Tasmania utilised both our own satellite and our satellite on the move technology,” says Shannon 

Game-changing new solutions 

Demand for improved connectivity in 2020 was driven by the pandemic and a shrinking industry. Whilst some major players faced major business threats, Orion focused on network resilience and ensuring our customers understood the importance of both their resilience and that of their suppliers.  

Due to being an infrastructure owner-operator, and also having established relationship with other satellite providers, Orion is able to offer solutions with robust network resilience 

Orion also officially launched On-Demand Critical Connectivity, a solution that enables customers to quickly scale their solution up or down to cater to changes in activity.  

This flexibility is due entirely to our unique position as an infrastructure owner and operator. The team is currently working on an extension of this product, Dynamic Bandwidth, which will allow customers to scale their own connectivity via an online portal,” says Shannon. 

Orion also expanded the customer base for both voice services and SD-WAN solutions, which were launched at the end of 2019.  

The latter is the result of our strong partnership with SD-WAN specialists, Fusion Broadband. Many of our customers are now benefitting from the advanced capability of SD-WAN, which is arguably the strongest line of defence when establishing a resilient network,” adds Shannon. 

What does 2021 hold? 

In August, Orion completed a major network upgrade and UHP migration which delivers new capabilities, products and flexibility to all Orion customers.  

To pick annual highlights is a hard task as 2020 has focused on growing our offering and ensuring we have our finger on the pulse when it comes to innovation and emerging technology. Some of the activity this year has been laying the foundations for new products to enter the market next year. These include On Demand Dynamic Bandwidth, continued development of our NBN Business Services Solution and partnerships relating to LEO satellite technology,” says Shannon.  

For now, Orion would like to thank customers, partners, and staff.  

We faced a lot of challenges in 2020, but our focus on delivering greater experiences and more solutions has only intensified and we are excited to see what 2021 brings,” concludes Shannon. 

Are you ready for 2021? Orion is offering a complementary end of year audit to satellite users to ensure your solution is fit for purpose. Find out more.

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