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Remote office a reality for Simon Møkster vessels

Simon Møkster Shipping has completed a ‘remote office’ project that has resulted in the company’s 23-strong fleet of offshore supply and specialist vessels becoming fully connected to the Microsoft Lync platform via its installed VSAT systems.

The Norwegian offshore vessel operator is using Marlink’s customised VSAT service Sealink to roll-out Microsoft’s standardised business collaboration and communication platform across its organisation, on land and at sea.

The company expects that the project will offer a number of operational benefits, in addition to creating substantial savings in the cost of crew calling.

Using Lync via VSAT will enable Simon Møkster bridge and engine room teams to access telephony, video conferencing, instant messaging and data sharing capabilities.

Custom dynamic allocation of dedicated bandwidth has also been agreed as part of the Sealink VSAT package for the company to enhance reliability, particularly for bandwidth hungry applications.

“Standardised software enables significant IT efficiencies and through the use of Lync we can collaborate across our whole organisation to a greater degree than before, making every one of our vessels into a remote office,” explains Terje Gjerde, ICT manager at Simon Møkster Shipping.

“The file and document sharing, and communication aspects, have provided tangible improvements in ship operations but in order for them to function fully we need a secure and reliable communication network. Sealink provides this with the added benefit that we can work closely with Marlink people to ensure availability and compatibility with our IT infrastructure.”

The Lync platform has been fully integrated with Simon Møkster’s own corporate telephone system, so calls from terrestrial and mobile networks, or from other Lync users, can be made to the vessels and received via Lync.

A specific VoIP solution has also been implemented for crew members from the Faroe Islands, which reduces their calling costs by at least 50 per cent.

“With on-going antenna testing collaboration aboard the Stril Myster, we already have a strong working relationship which gives us insight on Simon Møkster’s, and other operators’ communication needs,” said Tore Morten Olsen, head of Maritime Services at Astrium Services.

“Simon Møkster’s IT standardisation introduces operational, management and crew welfare improvements. Marlink is well positioned to support operators wishing to explore the possibilities of this approach to vessel and fleet management.”

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