Tidewater upgrades digitalization strategy with new Inmarsat feature




Inmarsat has secured a fleet-wide agreement with offshore support vessel major Tidewater to advance its digitalization strategy by upgrading the majority of its active fleet to Fleet Express. Inmarsat has developed a product roadmap of advanced vessel technology efficiencies solutions and enhanced and reliable communications for crews, which bring competitive advantages for Tidewater, Inmarsat officials said.

Tidewater was one of the largest users of Inmarsat’s legacy iFusion service, which was scheduled for network shutdown on Dec. 31, 2020. Tidewater and Inmarsat created a joint project team and comprehensive plan to fast track vessel installations and upgrades to deliver the project in six months, with a scope of 60 active vessels, across 15 countries and involving a team of 75 from the combined organizations.

The project was highly complex due to its scope and number of vessels, managing activities through the middle of a pandemic and requiring expert precision to achieve installations and upgrades on time and plan. All 60 vessels in the project were successfully transitioned before year-end and vessels experienced no disruptions during the iFusion shutdown events. By January, Tidewater had 56 active vessels with Fleet Xpress providing new capabilities for their vessels, crews and customers.

“This transformational project advanced Tidewater to a new level of vessel communications with Fleet Xpress’s combination of high-speed Ka-band and continuous back-up using L-band creating an always on bandwidth for our vessels,” Cherise Brooks, the IT program manager for this project, said in a prepared statement. “Tidewater has deployed this new technology to provide internet demands for crews and customers, a capability previously not available for these vessels. The project success of achieving an aggressive six-month schedule and significantly upgrading our fleet with advanced technology was only made possible by the exceptional efforts of the Tidewater shore-based teams, Tidewater crew members, Inmarsat and their partners.”

“Tidewater will be the first beneficiary of new investments Inmarsat has made in reporting capabilities and a new addition to Inmarsat’s product portfolio,” said Inmarsat’s sales director for offshore and fishing, Chuck Moseley. “Once again, a big-name brand in the offshore space has confirmed the compelling case Fleet Xpress presents as the platform for flexible digital solutions that meet operator needs on vessel efficiency, crew welfare and client demands. The combined Tidewater and Inmarsat project teams delivered amazing results and commissioned a significant ramp-up of Fleet Xpress installations in record times. Inmarsat is looking forward to continuing the partnership and delivering the 2021 product roadmap to further advance the Tidewater fleet.”