Applied Satellite Technology Group with Harvest Technology Group


Applied Satellite Technology Group with Harvest Technology Group

From left to right: Harvest Technology Group COO Linda Shields, Vice President AST – Asia Pacific James De Vroome, Harvest Technology Group CEO Paul Guilfoyle, and AST Group CEO Andrew Peters. 

Applied Satellite Technology (AST) is one of Harvest’s key partners. Providing end-to-end remote communication and satellite solutions, AST services maritime and land-based sectors. We spoke to James De Vroome, Vice President of AST – Asia Pacific, about the partnership between the two organisations and what he thinks it can offer AST’s customers.

Tell us about your company…what does AST do?

Applied Satellite Technology (AST) is an independent provider of end-to-end remote communications and managed services. We’ve got over 30 years of experience in delivering solutions in both the maritime and land-based sectors.  AST prides itself on its heritage, ability to stay ahead of ever-changing technology and understanding the complex connectivity challenges faced by our customers.

What does AST hope to achieve through partnering with Harvest?

AST selects partners that can add value and improve the capabilities of our end-to-end solutions. Partnering with Harvest means we can better serve our customers through software applications and products. Harvest’s technology improves our customers’ operational effectiveness and allows them to transfer encrypted and high-definition data content via their own communications hardware.

What value does Harvest’s technology add?

Harvest’s Nodestream™ technology gives our customers the capability to process critical data and communications regardless of throughput limitations, enabling real-time high-quality video to be delivered where normal terrestrial and radio mediums are not available. Partnering with Harvest also means AST can look at providing solutions for new customers in the agriculture, environmental and offshore industries. These markets require remote operations and control of sensors and machinery, enabling data retrieval of telematics and critical information to be sent efficiently via satellite paths. Partners like Harvest reinforce the fact that Australian companies and small businesses have the capability to lead software development and technologies, locally rather than outsourcing them overseas.

What drives your commitment to giving people more than connectivity?

AST understands the challenges our customers face when travelling outside local terrestrial cellular and radio networks. Australia is characterised by vast distances between populated areas meaning communication gaps is a common challenge faced by operators. When natural disasters or events occur, remote workers need to stay connected with their organisation so they can communicate reliably and effectively during an emergency. AST is driven to solve this challenge for people, no matter their location.

What was your first impression of Harvest?

My first impression was that their technology and vision for improving connectivity had a real synergy with the needs of many of our customers – customers struggling to transfer and communicate with their remote field staff and assets due to bandwidth limitations. I felt Harvest’s solutions could solve the challenges they were facing around data retrieval and the high operational costs of onsite visits and maintenance. The possibility of remote access from an operational control centre or head office control room is another factor AST believes will be attractive to our customers.

Tell us about your passion for high-performance cars.

I am old school lover of V8s and participate in track days and drives with fellow Mustang and BMW fanatics in Queensland. I like to tinker and modify a little to improve the kilowatt output, but nothing too extreme. And I enjoy a Sunday drive in my “Big Red Car” through the many wonderful hills and beachside suburbs of BrisVegas!

What is the most remote place you have ever worked?

I have travelled throughout the Pacific and did some trips to the Torres Strait Islands. I had a posting at Thursday Island for 18 months – that was an experience! 

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