We met up with Emma Park to find out more about her first 10 months at the company, as well as her plans for a go-to-market and growth strategy.
How have you found your first 10 months at ST Engineering iDirect?
Before joining ST Engineering iDirect, I was working in the IoT space – an industry renowned for innovation and disruptive technologies. Over the past few months, I’ve seen many parallels between the IoT and satcom industry, and ST Engineering iDirect is certainly at an exciting time in its existence.
Having welcomed a new CEO, Don Claussen, at the start of this year, the company is organizing itself around a vision that is focused on satellite operators, partnerships and collaboration – and that’s going to influence how we position ourselves in the market moving forward.
How is the industry evolving?
It’s a great time for the satellite industry, with a lot of innovation and disruption taking place. It’s no secret that this is driving some fierce competition, and the technical innovation we are seeing in response to that really is amazing. The new players are shaking things up and this is forcing everyone to add more creativity to their go-to-market strategies.
I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing our own strategy, looking at how we can work more closely with partners and key customers to build that next generation of software-defined satellites, modems and ground stations. We are seeing a convergence of networks, integrating different access technologies and preparing the ground for 5G. There’s also the impact of virtualization and the cloud to take into consideration – these new technologies will be significant and will reach far beyond just the satcom industry. Everything is gearing up for the next generation of communications and this will involve integration between the satcom and telco industries, in order to ensure a completely seamless journey for the end-user.
This is all happening against a backdrop of an increased amount of multi-domain security threats, especially cyber and electronic warfare, and a lack of Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP). All of this needs to factor into our plans to ensure we can not only meet, but exceed our customers’ requirements.
What has surprised you about the industry?
I’m still very surprised at the lack of standards across the industry, as there’s a lot of vertically integrated proprietary technology out there. Having come from the IoT industry where there is a lot of proprietary technology that ultimately has hindered adoption and delayed massive IoT, I’m a big believer in standards – that’s how you hit mass markets and enable seamless integration and switching between different technologies.
As a business that has standards-based products in its DNA, we’ll continue working with the likes of the Digital Intermediate Frequency Interoperability (DiFi) Consortium, 3GPP and MEF and other industry bodies to set these standards as new technologies are developed and integrated within the network.
At SATELLITE this year, we announced a proof of concept with DiFi standard and, over the next 12 months, we will continue to keep the market updated on the progress we are making. Check out our recent blog on our participation in the DIFI Plug Fest of October 2023.
We’ve also been actively collaborating in other Proof of Concepts.
We have a history of working with standards groups such as Satis5 and Sat5G to ensure that satellite’s place in 5G is secured. In a recent demonstration with industry partners, the ST Engineering iDirect 5G-enabled ground system provided the satellite backhaul connectivity for the IoT devices to connect to the cloud. This was an important Proof of Concept that demonstrates our advances in 5G and capabilities in terms of the integration of our hub and modem into a 5G core network. Watch the full demonstration video to discover how the different pieces fit together.
The Proof of concept with Microsoft Azure Space was focused on virtualizing essential modem and baseband ground segment functions. In May 2023, we successfully showcased the virtualization of the modem’s modulator capability to run on Azure, marking a complete proof of concept for fully virtualizing a satellite modem. Read more about our collaboration with Microsoft Azure here.
What can we expect to see from ST Engineering iDirect over the next 12 months?
One of the things that’s become clear from our conversations with customers is that they want to know more about not only who we are, but also what we will be doing moving forward.
Today, our customers can already leverage our cutting-edge technology for seizing market opportunities and achieving growth across a wide array of applications and contexts.
In our readily available product portfolio, you’ll find:
- Our fastest modem, the MDM5010, seamlessly combines speed and advanced capabilities to elevate the user’s Quality of Experience while simultaneously reducing the service provider’s total cost of ownership. Its high-speed and efficiency are tailor-made for meeting the demands of complex traffic profiles and SLAs.
- Our latest mid-range modem, the MDM3315, designed for compatibility with all three of our VSAT platforms: Dialog, Velocity, and Evolution. This ensures comprehensive multi-platform support and a clear pathway to the future.
- Our IoT solutions cater to a wide spectrum of use cases, spanning from transportation and cargo management to precision farming, disaster prevention, and energy solutions.
- The new MCX8000, our state-of-the-art 3-in-1 multi carrier satellite gateway that seamlessly fuses broadcast and IP technologies to deliver unrivaled reliability, lower capital expenditures, and full Native IP compliance.
Moving forward, The biggest focus for us needs to be how we can provide the service required, taking into account the network management systems, orchestration and operations, and how all of this will tie into the other networks. This point is of crucial importance, as without the capability to roam across networks, customers will simply find an alternative.
Meet Emma Park at Africacom 2023
The ST Engineering iDirect team will be located at stand C63 showcasing our comprehensive suite of products and solutions. We’ll also be taking delegates through our very latest innovations that are preparing the ground for its next great adventure.
More info on Africacom 2023 here.