In the realm of satellite technology, it takes exceptional leadership to bridge the gap between a rich legacy and future demands. With more than 20 years’ industry experience, Guy Ferraro drives NPC SYSTEM’s journey into the next era of innovation.
Guy Ferraro’s journey with NPC SYSTEM began with a significant achievement – leading the management buy out of General Electric’s STM (Satellite Thermal and Marine) business. With unwavering determination, he not only successfully negotiated this crucial transition but also secured financing from banks and private investors. His vision took form in the creation of NPC SYSTEM in 2018, whilst still being an employee of GE.
Here, Business Worldwide Magazine talks to award-winning Guy Ferraro, CEO of Montbonnot-Saint-Martin, France based NPC SYSTEM, delving into the historical roots of NPC SYSTEM, its unique approach in the satellite tracking industry, and its plans for the future.
Guy, could you briefly summarise the history of the NEYRPIC brand, its acquisition by Alstom, and how this rich legacy has driven NPC SYSTEM forward?
NEYRPIC, with a history dating back to the 1960s, began as part of a French industrial group specialising in hydro power plants. It played a vital role in early satellite communication, participating in the TELSTAR project, which marked the first transatlantic satellite communication. Alstom Group acquired NEYRPIC in 1967 and managed the satellite tracking business for over 45 years. In 2015, when General Electric acquired Alstom’s energy division, an opportunity arose for a management buy out. This historical legacy laid the foundation for NPC SYSTEMS’ journey.
NPC SYSTEM is described as ‘developers who work closely with end-users rather than integrators.’ Why is this approach successful and what advantages does it bring to your technology?
This approach does offer several advantages, but in the main it enables us to maintain a deep connection with our customers, who provide invaluable qualitative feedback. This feedback is critical for improving our products and ensuring they align perfectly with our clients’ operational needs.
Can you share some qualitative feedback from your customers about NPC SYSTEM’s technology and services?
Customer feedback has been instrumental in our continuous improvement. Our clients praise the versatility and adaptability of our systems, which can accommodate various antenna models, sizes, frequencies, and applications. Reliability in various tracking situations, including GEO and LEO satellite tracking for critical missions, is also a notable highlight.
What sets NPC SYSTEM apart from its competitors in the satellite tracking industry?
It’s a combination of three key elements: our products, our expertise, and our company size and operation.
- Products: Rooted in the 1960s, our products have been rigorously tested and refined in collaboration with renowned satellite operators such as Thales Alenia Space, Airbus Defense and Space, Eutelsat, Yahsat, and Arabsat. Our presence with such high-performance operators has established our credibility and reliability.
- Expertise: The NEYRPIC technology, developed in the 1970s, represents our most significant asset. We possess five decades of expertise in satellite tracking systems and this substantial value proposition distinguishes us from competitors.
- Company Size and Operation: In terms of both company size and operational approach, we maintain a unique position. Unlike many competitors with multiple layers and hierarchies, our streamlined decision-making channels ensure speed and accessibility from project initiation to after-sales service. Our customers directly engage with our team members, fostering a deep understanding of their needs.
These three pillars collectively provide us with an advantage which we are dedicated to maintain. Our wealth of expertise continually informs the enhancement of our products and drives the development of our company. We also have the unique ability to upgrade systems installed on any antenna brand, a feature which again sets us apart from competitors.
We also benefit from a unique advantage that our American competitors cannot replicate – our ability to upgrade systems installed on antennas from any brand. In contrast, these American competitors typically offer complete ground station packages, encompassing not only the antenna but also the tracking system, ground station management software, and more. Their comprehensive product portfolio often secures them contracts for the installation of multiple ground stations, which we cannot directly compete for due to the absence of an all-encompassing system proposal.
However, when these systems require renovation, the satellite operators who own these stations have two primary options: they can either turn to the original manufacturer or enlist the services of NPC SYSTEM. Notably, manufacturer B cannot claim the capacity to renovate a tracking system installed on an antenna from manufacturer A. Each full-system manufacturer can only renovate systems of their own brand.
Herein lies our unique strength: we can upgrade systems from all manufacturers by installing our integrated NEYRPIC product solution, tailored for any type of application. This flexibility positions us as a dependable choice for satellite operators seeking to revitalise their ground stations. We eagerly anticipate each announcement of substantial contracts awarded to our competitors for the installation of multiple ground stations because, in the long term, it provides us with the opportunity to compete with the original manufacturers when it comes to system renovations.
What can we expect from NPC SYSTEM in the future, and how do you plan to continue evolving in the satellite tracking industry?
NPC SYSTEM plans to set new standards for innovation and service in the satellite tracking industry while continuing its legacy of excellence. We’re expanding our reach by collaborating with local universities to develop ground stations for nanosatellites and continuously enhancing our systems.
There are approximately 27,000 antennas installed worldwide, with a significant portion dedicated to critical missions. While our focus is on these critical systems, there is also a substantial market which has been established over many decades.
Our future development is territorial, identifying critical systems which could benefit from our solutions. We have a strong presence in Europe with prominent clients such as Eutelsat, Globecast, Orange, Altice, Telespazio, and Telenor. We have had contacts with the United Arab Emirates, which we have turned into projects. We have several system rehabilitations underway with Yahsat in Abu Dhabi. With Arabsat, we already have systems installed in Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, remaining in contact for future upgrades. We are preparing a mission in Japan, a country which is concerned about high-end system performances and have also been approached by clients in South Korea. We would like to participate in tenders in India, where we already have systems installed in Bangladesh. We have some systems installed in South America, and are currently working with an American company to install an additional TT&C system in Mexico. And of course, Africa is a continent where NEYRPIC has installed many antennas in the past, and has strong potential.
How do you propose to attract talent for the future?
We are fortunate to work in a very promising and current industry, and our products utilise high-end and complex technologies, both in hardware and software. In addition, NPC SYSTEM operates in a high-tech environment but far from the inherent processes of multinational corporations. Our decision-making channels are rapid. This combination of strategic stakes in the space industry and the use of high technology makes NPC SYSTEM a highly attractive company for young talent.
As NPC SYSTEM charts its course into the future, it stands as a beacon of innovation, expertise, and customer-centric values in the satellite tracking industry. With a legacy dating back to the 1960s and a commitment to excellence, this company is poised to continue its journey of success for decades to come.
For further information on NPC SYSTEM’s products, up to date global case studies and missions together with an impressive array of clients and partners, please visit the company website – https://npcsystem.com/