Concrete Satcom

Backup satellite solutions are being increasingly implemented, to prepare for a landline network failure. Yesterday, cement manufacturer/distributor ESSROC inked a deal with HughesNet:

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) today announced that it is providing ESSROC, a leading North American cement producer, with HughesNet Access Continuity, a diverse path backup solution that ensures communications continuity. By the end of the year, Hughes will have equipped all thirty-three North American ESSROC offices with the backup satellite broadband service.

ESSROC’s entire business relies on broadband connectivity to efficiently manufacture, package, and distribute cement throughout North America, connecting manufacturing plants, corporate offices, shipping terminals, and almost 1000 employees. ESSROC turned to Hughes to provide a back-up satellite broadband solution after realizing that the redundant landline network purchased from its primary network provider also went down if the provider’s central office had problems.

"When you back up a landline network with another landline network, it is vulnerable to the same problems as the primary network," said Ted Fritchlee, senior network engineer, ESSROC. "We previously used an ISDN to backup our MPLS wide area network, but after the local phone company had an outage at its central office, we approached Hughes and went non-terrestrial."

ESSROC runs all accounting, processing, email, bulk loading, time and attendance, safety, and compliance data over its network. HughesNet Access Continuity uses satellite broadband technology to create a truly diverse path to the primary landline network, ensuring that all ESSROC’s mission-critical applications stay up and running on the network if the primary MPLS network fails.

"Without an access continuity solution, we have to turn to manual processes to keep our business moving," explains Fritchlee. "We can get by, but we’re not as effective or efficient. In short, without HughesNet, a landline network outage can seriously disrupt our business."

In case you were wondering, ESSROC is the number one cement producer in North America. In other words, if their network goes down, its bad news for a lot of people. Also, they are developing some pretty cool cements:

Essroc’s TX Active technology will impact concrete construction in several ways. Through photocatalysis, TX Arca reduces the maintenance requirements for concrete structures or buildings by destoying most organic and inorganic pollutants that come into contact with the concrete surface and cause discoloration. In addition to this self-cleaning benefit, TX Aria effectively destroys airborne pollutants, which are responsible for urban organic pollution.

While we’re discussing satellite backup, Cabela’s, the world’s largest mail order, retail and Internet outdoor outfitter, also signed-up for HughesNet Access Continuity Service:

“At Cabela’s, the availability of information is an important part of our successful relationship with our customers,” said Nick Stafford, Enterprise Infrastructure project manager, Cabela’s. “Our customers depend on us to provide them with up-to-date product information, accurate inventory, and field expertise that is second to none. The HughesNet Access Continuity Service completes a critical link in the technology infrastructure that we depend on to provide our customers with an industry leading customer service experience. With the HughesNet Access Continuity Service, each retail store can service several million customers a year, comfortable with the knowledge that critical information remains available, even during terrestrial outages.”

Cabela’s selected HughesNet Access Continuity Service to ensure that they could continue to serve in-store customers, fulfill online and catalog orders, and transport goods within the organization without having to rely solely on terrestrial providers for connectivity. Without the communications diversity provided by HughesNet, Cabela’s critical business applications, such as point-of-sale and inventory management, could be rendered unavailable in the event of a terrestrial network outage.

Just in time for hunting season (or to buy a GPS device as a holiday gift).