Intelsat General, a subsidiary of Intelsat Ltd., provides satellite communications services to the U.S. and allied governments worldwide. Sage Communications began working with the company in 2007, providing a range of media relations and marketing services. A key initiative of the company has been to change the overall process used by the U.S. government to procure satellite services from commercial operators.
In late 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense launched a broad “Better Buying” initiative to reform the entire process by which it acquires goods and services from the private sector. The department specifically asked for ideas from the satellite community. Sage worked with Intelsat General and a group of other satellite operators to draft a white paper entitled “Seven Ways to Make the DoD a Better Buyer of Commercial SATCOM.” In each of seven areas, the paper outlined a problem with the current acquisition process and proposed a solution that would either save the U.S. government money, or better serve the soldiers, sailors and marines depending on satellite communications.
The paper circulated widely in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, becoming a key document in the overall movement to shift support away from the status quo and toward a more efficient acquisition process. Today, the DoD is engaged in a number of initiatives to use hosted payloads on commercial satellites; enter into multi- rather than single-year contracts for capacity; engage commercial companies in the long-term planning process; and designate a single office for the acquisition of commercial space resources – all ideas proposed in the Better Buying white paper.