Dwight Hunsicker brings nearly three decades of telecommunications and GovCon experience to his role as senior vice president and general manager of government solutions at Globecomm.
His background also includes time at WorldLinks, a communications services firm he co-founded and served as chief operating officer at, and a business development leadership role at Westinghouse.
In this conversation with ExecutiveBiz, Hunsicker describes what he called the “three pillars” Globecomm focused on as it built its U.S. government business, his keys to manage satellite bandwidth and data and collaboration between industry and government.
ExecutiveBiz: What are some of the biggest changes you've seen in the SATCOM market during your career?
Dwight Hunsicker: Using the telecommunications industry as a starting point, we've seen a tremendous demand for more bandwidth associated with the increase of usage over the years.
A big part of that was the adoption of the Internet, along with the need for mobility, portability and transportability. People want to be connected in and out of the office, on the road or in the field so wireless devices are a large driver for increased services in bandwidth, which relates to various forms of telecommunications including satellite communications.
The next big change technology-wise is that we've gone from circuit-based mentality to IP-based mentality. Instead of dedicated circuits over satellites or the public switched telephone network, TCP/IP has brought in the concept of sharing bandwidth and putting multiple users on the same bandwidth regardless of the type of domain. Big technology drivers in the satellite market space include different modem technologies, efficient utilization and sharing of bandwidth in either the frequency, time or code domains.
Also within the SATCOM space, the whole concept of increasing power on orbit has been a driver to the other end of the equation regarding the ground-based equipmentin the form of smaller antennas and terminal sizes for the end users, and portability of hand-held devices.
Lastly the increase in bandwidth across the board meant the use of more different frequencies, which is important from the technology and product perspectives. Historically we've gone from C-band to Ku-band and now we're migrating Ka-band.
ExecutiveBiz: What are some key aspects Globecomm focused on to build its government business?
Dwight Hunsicker: Globecomm has been focused on three points in building its government business over the past 14 years.
First, our desire and ability to have good customer or account diversity across the entire federal market space including the DoD, civilian, and foreign affairs sectors as well as foreign government and military customers on a select basis, has provided great stability within Globecomm.
Second, our ability to provide a complete turn-key solution has been a real value to our customers. We've been able to build our customer base by being a systems integrator of infrastructure and providing global networks services and lifecycle engineering services.
Third, our ability to focus on off-net communications has been a key aspect of our business. We go to remote locations around the world and provide communications where the associated infrastructure and offered services are lacking.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you foresee Globecomm as giving customers value?
Dwight Hunsicker: Providing value to our customers in the future boils down to a handful of topics.
First is the whole concept of bandwidth management. Globecomm is in the business of managing bandwidth optimally and efficiently regardless of its source whether it be from satellites, cellular networks, microwave towers or a strand of fiber. Maximizing the bandwidth per unit of cost to the customers is the key value driver for us.
Second is the broader management of data. We see ourselves evolving into a company that provides security, storage and analytical applications associated with the management of all forms of data whether that be voice, video, Internet content and streaming content. We will develop and drive specific applications that add value to customers like hosting infrastructure.
Lastly is the involvement with a hybrid of technologies across the board. Our legacy is satellite communications, but as we evolved, we have gotten involved in wireless technologies and fiber connectivity. It is very important to provide a mixture of communication technologies to the customers.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you believe industry can best work with government to provide for their communications requirements?
Dwight Hunsicker: First and foremost anyone doing business with the government has to understand the full spectrum of what's involved ““ from the discreet needs and requirements of the end user (e.g. warfighter level) to the larger enterprise element of the customer organization. Understanding the full spectrum is the key to giving the customer a useful product or service. If you just focus on having a great enterprise solution, that solution may end up as a 200-pound widget.
Conversely if you just look at the end user without taking the enterprise in consideration, you might not gain the efficiencies and economies of scale needed for the total business case related to the solution to close. Although the government is a unique customer, it is a series of large enterprises and has a lot of the same problems and issues of commercial customers such as employee turnover, aging of the workforce, knowledge transfer and the need for large-scale organizational-wide training and communications.
ExecutiveBiz: What experiences from WorldLinks do you draw on the most at Globecomm?
Dwight Hunsicker: As a principal owner and chief operating officer at WorldLinks during the early days of the Internet at the close of the 20th Century, I oversaw the growth of the business during one of the most robust, dynamic and fascinating times in the telecom industry.
I highly recommend anybody in the business space at some point in their career to start up their own company as it gives you an appreciation for the most basic and raw aspects of business in terms of managing cash flow, defining a product or service offering and thinking about customer focus and relationships.
Living and breathing business within the construct of your own company teaches a lot of lessons in terms of key organizational management, financial management and the importance of having a clearly defined product and customer group.