Software plays an essential role in the future of AST Group

Published:
8:00 a.m. September 14, 2022



AST Group, a global satellite communications company based in Great Yarmouth, is embarking on ambitious expansion plans after 30 years of success.

Since 1992, the AST Group has provided land and sea communications solutions around the world – partnering with satellite companies such as Inmarsat and Iridium to connect their equipment to customers.

The company’s services are essential for customers, staff and assets in harsh environments – whether on land, including mountains, deserts and polar regions, or anywhere at sea, where a reliable connectivity with a base can save lives.

Andrew Peters, AST Group CEO, said: “We already offer telemetry and engine management in our software portfolio, but our customers also want other value-added data-driven services. We are therefore developing a unique integrated platform to improve their operations and help them improve their efficiency, leading to cost savings, in areas such as crew welfare and energy consumption.

“We spend time with our existing and new customers to ensure that what we develop meets their aspirations, which will open up significant opportunities for us in land and sea markets. These conversations are essential for our future and will continue alongside the development of our software solutions.

Andrew added that AST’s software can also be used in partnership with broadband hardware and service providers, as well as complementary software service providers. ”

If new customers have existing hardware and airtime contracts, they can still buy the software from us,” he said. “At some point, they will likely bring all of the hardware and airtime to us, as more and more companies look to consolidate their supply chain and work with a single vendor for complete service, rather than managing four or five service relationships.”


AST’s enhanced asset management software helps improve efficiency in areas such as crew welfare and energy consumption
– Credit: AST Group

Growth on the software side of the business is central to the company’s ambitious growth strategy, with the AST team targeting £25m in software revenue over the next five years. “We think we can probably do it a little faster,” added Andrew. “To achieve our ambitious plan, we must continue to recruit motivated people with a wide range of skills.”

Louise Hawkins, Director of Human Resources, said, “Four of AST’s new hires have joined apprenticeship programs. They will receive training in software development and satellite technology, underscoring AST’s commitment to recruiting, developing and retaining local talent.

“The other part of our development strategy is to partner with software vendors who understand that we need tailored solutions,” she added. “They create the solutions, then they train our people. Knowledge transfer is essential for any business, but especially when it comes to cutting-edge technologies in a rapidly changing environment like ours. »

“Our customers trust us; in fact, our customer churn rate is among the lowest in the industry,” said Andrew. “Our software capability will only strengthen these relationships and is already doing so.”

The company is also expanding its infrastructure to support the software division’s growth and lay the foundation for an exciting future.

“We are building the business for longevity,” Andrew said. “This means that by year three, year five and beyond, we will be bigger in terms of profits, revenue, and certainly bigger in terms of headcount and global footprint.

“The future of space communication solutions is entering a new and exciting phase, and we will continue to be at the forefront.”

For more information about AST Group, visit www.theastgroup.com. To inquire about any of the company’s services, email [email protected] or call 01493 440 011.