Home >> March 2022 Edition >> Back-Up Systems Now Taking Center Stage
Back-Up Systems Now Taking Center Stage
Nabil Ben Soussia, Chief Commercial Officer and President — Asia, Middle East and CIS, IEC Telecom Group

Reliance on connectivity increases 

As digitalization becomes the norm across many business sectors, fast-tracked by digital solutions identified during the pandemic, IEC Telecom advises that business continuity is critical to ongoing success. 

“Digital systems need to be capable of operating seamlessly over satcom and back-up solutions. With the amount of data that needs to be recorded and transferred seamlessly, for example between a ship and shore, and often in real-time, it isn’t possible to just drop down to email-only mode if the primary network goes down,” said Nabil Ben Soussia, CCO and President — Asia, Middle East & CIS, IEC Telecom Group. 

According to a 2021 survey, 95% of operations and IT leaders are revising and implementing business continuity measures as a result of the pandemic. Prior to the global Covid-19 outbreak, only 49% of senior managers said they were continuously improving their business continuity management (BCM) processes (2011 figures), while 18% revealed they did not have a BCM program. 

According to Gartner, while the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, these can be as much as $540,000 per hour at the higher end of the market. A recent survey of IT decision makers regarding their action plans post-pandemic found that 50% planned to improve their IT infrastructure, 45% aimed to improve IT operational efficiency, and 34% were working to improve their business continuity plan. A further 29% planned to implement edge computing while 43% intended to deploy hybrid solutions. 

Mr. Ben Soussia said, “Back-up systems are essential in today’s business environment. The challenge now is to ensure that they are able to be used to their fullest potential to form a crucial part of business operations without adversely impacting critical operations or costs.” 

He foresees a greater expansion in the development of specialist applications that enable customization throughout 2022 and beyond. It’s an area where IEC Telecom has focused on particularly over the past five years to develop a series of specialist applications which can operate on VSAT and even L-Band. Its comprehensive suite of applications, OptiConnect, offers a range of communication services optimized for low bandwidth environments. Applications previously only possible via GSM are now available via lower bandwidth systems and back-up services. 

Not only are a greater range of users across multiple industry sectors now able to access business tools such as videoconferencing, real-time online maintenance, and remote surveillance, but they are also able to ensure business continuity because the services can continue to operate via back-up systems if the main link goes down. 

According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, organizations that are able to leverage design thinking into their offerings post the Covid-19 crisis have seen significant first-mover advantage. The top economic performers have invested into digitalization, acquired new digital technologies for profitability, and outperformed their competitors in total returns to shareholders. 

Moreover, digital solutions are increasingly being used for remote maintenance, resulting in an increase in operational efficiency, optimized capital investment in hardware, and saving the cost and complex logistics involved in sending technicians to far-flung sites. 


OneAssist is the perfect example of a digital solution used for remote collaboration in the utility, oil & gas, and humanitarian sectors. It is easily accessible over a high-resolution display on a rugged head-mounted device that is attached to a helmet. This hands-free approach frees up the time that field workers or technicians spend looking at a paper manual and almost 80% of concerns can be resolved quickly with such remote access. 

Such benefits of seamless connectivity have also been extended to first responders, who are now empowered with better situational awareness due to advanced photo and video data transfers. Enabled by special integrated protocols and tools for a low bandwidth environment, interactive solutions by IEC Telecom allow users to quickly share images and video clips from a remote mission in real-time. Decision-makers can then easily select the visual areas of interest to be transferred in high resolution, thereby increasing the efficiency of the bandwidth while maintaining the quality of data transferred. 

In the maritime sector, ensuring these cost and time efficiencies as well as the authenticity of data that is transferred is just as crucial, with more than 90% of global trade carried through the sea network. With the increased demand for security in ports and coastal areas, tracking vessels, and protecting them from any hostile attacks, surveillance and tracking systems that are optimized for operations at sea are actively being developed. 

“High tech ships are now offices at sea and the associated requirements for managing large volumes of critical data via reliable connectivity are increasing exponentially,” said Mr. Ben Soussia. IEC Telecom’s multi-layer cyber security package safeguards onboard systems, helps customers cover a large part of the recommendations of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code — which has been in effect since January 1, 2021 — and supports the business continuity of customer operations by enabling IT personnel to retrieve data following an interruption. 

Keeping pace with the rapidly evolving global business environment is critical to staying relevant and meeting customer needs in real-time. Having a back-up system is not a new concept – what is new is the ability to use these systems for important operational functions. Digital solutions that ensure continuous connectivity represent the future. 

Nabil Ben Soussia

Author Nabil Ben Soussia is the Chief Commercial Officer and President — Asia, Middle East and CIS, IEC Telecom Group.