AgilePlans by KVH ready to disrupt the routine in offshore communications
The Software as a Service (SaaS) approach to computing dominates the virtual world today, and its overwhelming success is a testament to the key advantages of working and playing this way. It’s a hassle-free approach to connectivity that’s always relevant and accessible. Think Netflix, DropBox, Citrix GoToMeeting, Office 365, and Salesforce.
Before SaaS, anyone who bought software was taking on a lot more than software. Once the transaction took place, the buyer received some sort of physical media and had to then install the contents onto networked servers and/or the local hard drives of the population of users’ computers. And, they also owned local support, updates, training, and much more. Does anyone even remember doing this anymore?
Besides the purchase price, there were maintenance fees, updates, and upgrades. And this brings us to the next key advantage of SaaS: It’s subscription-based, so you pay a regular fee, and in exchange, the provider assumes all management of system access, security, availability, and performance.
In other words, the SaaS model is a comprehensive one that offers the ease and freedom of subscribing to services, rather than buying products.
What about for those who work in the commercial maritime industry? What happens when you take SaaS principles and apply them to offshore communications. Let’s call it “Connectivity as a Service (CaaS).” If you’ve never heard of this, you are correct. It hasn’t existed – until now.
All-inclusive, No Commitment
The AgilePlans by KVH subscription program is the first and only all-inclusive CaaS model for the maritime industry. A complete package of hardware (KVH TracPhone V7-IP or TracPhone V11-IP antenna systems) and global service, it encompasses connectivity, installation, zero maintenance, as well as training content and entertainment programming, a sure boost to crew morale – all for a monthly subscription fee as low as $499 per month.
It requires no capital expenditures or long-term commitments. KVH understands that connectivity needs are ever-changing: If you sell a vessel, need to lay up some of your fleet, or decide you don’t like the service, all you need to do is send the hardware back to KVH – that’s it.
“Connectivity is the gateway to digital transformation for shipping, but the complexity and comparative expense of satellite communications has acted as a brake for many operators,” says K D Adamson, futurist and founder of Futurenautics Group. “Connectivity as a Service makes real sense, bringing simplicity, accessibility, and scalability without the need for up front capex, so the AgilePlans service from KVH is groundbreaking in that respect. But this isn’t just about cutting costs, it’s about delivering value, which makes the inclusion of crew content and eLearning in the KVH offering really significant.”
For those directly affected, the benefit is clear.
“KVH’s VSAT subscription program provides the advanced communications solution we need for our vessels, and includes all the factors we consider critical for our operations – better performance for the satellite communications system, the data consumption we anticipate for crew welfare, and remote access to the ships’ IT systems, among other things,” says Oliver Clauser, Nautic/IT, of Reederei Köpping Gmbh & Co. KG, technical manager on behalf of a ship portfolio managed by the Ernst Russ Group, which has placed an order. “The program’s low investment cost was a deciding factor as well, given that KVH provides not only the equipment itself, but the installation and maintenance.”
As KVH, the market share leader in maritime VSAT, marks a significant milestone in the industry’s reliance on affordable VSAT, it only makes sense it sets a course to establish another.
“We are thrilled to be the first to bring the benefits of a subscription service to the maritime industry,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, CEO of KVH. “Ship operators know they can save money and drive efficiency when they bring fast and reliable broadband onboard, and with the AgilePlans program, they will be able to get the benefits from day one. As we approach the 10th anniversary of our mini-VSAT Broadband service, this is one more way we are innovating for our customers, particularly in the crucial areas of connectivity and business flexibility.”