Vizada Exec Says New Platform “Unifies” Service Offering
[Satellite TODAY Insider 05-27-11] Vizada is stepping up its efforts in the maritime market, launching Vizada XChange — a new platform for providing a secure and controlled communications environment that integrates voice and broadband data for ship operations and crew. It hopes to have the first commercial deployments of Vizada XChange next month.
Patrick Decool, Director of New Products, Vizada, told Satellite Today Insider that the launch was a “significant” one for the company. “It finally unifies our maritime offering and simplifies the complex telecommunications environments onboard vessels. The development was really a logical next step and demand from the market. We already have some really innovative services and XChange is able to bring them together in a simple format. We’ve been studying the existing solutions on the market and we made the decision to develop our very own platform. By extending the offer beyond the typical ‘box’, we are able to provide our end-users with a complete all-in-one service,” he says.
The company is confident that it will be signing commercial deals very soon for Vizada Xchange. “We have started trial programs and have some pilot customers using this service already. Within six weeks, we had almost a dozen pilot customers in different regions of the world signing up to test the service. The service will be commercially available from June and we’re expecting to have many of our current customers adding XChange to their offering as well as attracting new customers over the coming months,” Decool says. “We expect to generate strong interest in the transportation (/merchant) segment, but we know this solution can also easily be integrated into the fishing, cruise and ferries, etc. Our pilot programs will continue with some targeted customers. However, Vizada is now ready to provide full support to end users interested in integrating Vizada XChange. We expect to deploy the first commercial units by the end of June 2011.”
The platform supports data, voice, VoIP and local networks. Ships can become virtual mobile offices complete with local area networks and their own dynamic intranets for administration and crew. Ship administrators can keep an eye on communication costs by setting access authorizations for phones and Internet connections, and by determining their re-billing options.
Decool says Vizada believes the platform offers flexible options for shipping operators that want to cut costs. “Vizada XChange is a platform that requires no real ‘investment’. The complete offering is available for a single monthly fee, which includes all components: hardware, maintenance, onboard and onshore features. It really simplifies the complex IT environment onboard by bringing together a variety of features for a very low monthly rate. One of the great features in Vizada XChange is the ability to control communication costs onboard. It measures in real-time the connectivity usage of each user or machine onboard so administrators and crew members can keep tabs on their consumption and how much it will cost them. Controls and monitors can be configured in such a way that the costs can be cut back compared to average monthly usage. Firewalls, web compression and filters are also available to squeeze the maximum usage out the ships’ comms budget,” he says.