Wow! Since I wrote my last column, the entire world has changed, and every one of us has been affected in one way or another.
A complete rethink is required for all of us personally regarding how we adapt our work, business and the services we depend on. We have all been faced with a common threat to both our life and our livelihood simultaneously, which has made most of us appreciate what we have, and question how we maintain it.
Many positive things have emerged from this crisis. We have all been made aware of the large number of real heroes and heroines who have risen to the challenge, and who are putting their own lives at risk by operating the essential services for us. They have always been there in the background. They have been taken for granted, paid poorly and made to work long hours in comparison with most others in non-essential roles. As a typical example, a junior doctor in Spain, who has trained for 7 years at medical school, is now working 12-hour shifts in Urgencias (A&E) 7 days a week, caring for Covid-19 patients when required and risking exposure to the virus in the process. Did you know that these young doctors (and nurses) have a take-home pay of just a little over €1,000 net per month? Clapping every evening is a kind thing to do and it certainly boosts morale and motivation, but when this crisis is over, we all need to help get these saviours on a realistic wage to reward them properly for the sacrifices they have made, and for their professional and caring service to the community. I am aware that none of these young professionals were under any illusions about the type of salary they could expect when they chose this vocation, but I believe they still deserve a decent and permanent reward and recognition for their service
Right, got that off my chest, now on to Technology! In March I started a column within my column entitled: Managing Guest Expectations by using the Relevant Communication Solutions, and went on to discuss the provision of good connectivity for guests.
My intention this month was to write about “Making sure you’re prepared for that essential live sports event”! I was going to explain how to watch the Euros, the Olympics, Formula One, Wimbledon, but as these have all now been cancelled or postponed, I think I will also postpone my words of wisdom for at least a few months…
So, as I initially mentioned we now have to rethink. Just because we did things a certain way before this crisis, it doesn’t mean we should continue to do them that way. To survive we must adapt our services and develop new services for the situation as it changes.
This is what we have been doing at e3 Systems.
During the lockdown we have put our heads together and worked on a range of new ideas designed specifically to help anyone who needs any of our essential services in mobile communications and our other services in data management, IT and networks, airtime, TV, equipment, navcomms, AV and any other electronic systems on-board.
FREE e3 IPTV SERVICE FOR 3 MONTHS
The first idea we had was to how we could help out when news, entertainment and communications are so vital. In case you and your crew are feeling isolated, or just going a bit stir crazy, we are offering our clients and potential clients a free e3 IPTV box with 3 months subscription to UK Freeview entertainment channels and a selection of international news channels.
We can still ship to you, and it’s simple to install – we’ll provide help over the phone if required.
RENEGOTIATED 3G AND 4G SERVICES
Our second idea was to see if our 3/4G suppliers would offer any deals. As a result, we have been able to enhance some of our services. If you are locked down on the yacht, you will be in port and have a 3G or 4G signal. If there is a wi-fi service, it is probably overloaded.
For crew in Spain, France and Italy, we can now provide more data for your Smartphones at no extra cost
- If you are in Spain, we have negotiated a special free 50GB top up for our Spanish Smartphone service for the next two months.
- In France and Italy we now have Smartphone lines with NO data limits from both SFR and Vodafone Italy.
For the yacht – advice as to how to keep connected and keep your 4G costs down
- If the yacht is in lockdown, then we recommend changing from a roaming free service to a national SIM card for that country. It will be less expensive.
- Our BIG DATA national SIM for Spain service has an 800GB allowance and for France it is unlimited.
- If you have never experienced our BIG DATA services, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise, as you only pay for what you use with no commitment, wherever you are.
- If you are in need of a lot more data, perhaps because you have several crew members in lockdown on board, then contact us and we can provide you with a customised X-BIG DATA service.
- Also, if you are planning to escape to somewhere remote as soon as possible, we have added a number of new countries to our BIG DATA Global service to make sure we are covering a lot more off the beaten track destinations.
FREE REMOTE ELECTRONIC TECHNICAL SERVICES
Thirdly, if you are in a lockdown port with no access to your service techs but can receive deliveries, then we are offering the following FREE services to help you get ahead with your service schedule.
With your assistance, we can offer remote health checks of all electronic systems and provide any required software upgrades or service and spare parts. These can be shipped direct to your vessel with complete instructions and we can provide assistance over a voice or video link.
If your port is out of lockdown in a location where we have local resident techs or partners and you need on-board service, our technicians are all available for:
- TVRO & VSAT antenna systems
- 4G systems
- Navcom systems.
- Gyro servicing.
- AV systems.
- Monitoring systems.
The time could also be used to review your on-board systems. Please ask us for recommendations as to how your systems could be improved, you may be surprised.
FREE REMOTE IT SERVICES
Fourthly, with a remote connection via VSAT or 4G over your vessel network or using a local laptop, we can perform remote diagnosis and health checks of your IT and network.
If you have time on your hands, we can suggest some useful housekeeping activities that we can help you with such as:
- Changing Wireless network passwords for security purposes, so former crew and guests no longer have this information.
- Ensure that old users accounts are disabled on servers and email systems.
- Ensure that all IT documentation and networking drawings are up to date.
Have you any crew stranded away from the yacht?
We have also created a FREE File Sharing service called e3.UPLOAD to enable crew who are locked down ashore to get access to critical documents of up to 20GB in size. This means you don’t have to upgrade your file sharing subscriptions with lengthy terms and conditions.
NEW VSAT SERVICE FOR USA & CARIBBEAN AT 4G PRICES
During this period of turmoil, we have designed a radical new VSAT service that is even more flexible and cost-effective. It is particularly suitable for the Caribbean where 3G/4G is not widely available. Prices start at $499 a month for 1Mbps/512 MIR!
START YOUR PREPARATIONS FOR POST LOCKDOWN
Over the next weeks we will all gradually be unlocked, region by region. However, the ability for people to move between regions is bound to be restricted for some time. This will not only include remote service personnel, but also owners and guests.
No doubt, there will be pressure to get prepared for a late start to the season, so we suggest planning ahead to get your preparation work completed, as there will be a backlog to fill and a shortage of trained techs that are able to travel.
Please contact us for any of our services. At e3 Systems the majority of the team are working from home where possible, a few are in the office, and our techs are working in the open yards and we are strictly observing all health and safety guidelines everywhere. We have had no problem delivering to yachts by courier or in person over the last few weeks.
By Roger Horner – e3 systems