UltraMAP Shona Connelly

UltraMAP Inside Out. Part 2 of 3.

‘UltraMAP Inside Out’ is a raw, fly-on-the-wall look at UltraMAP in early 2021. An insightful and honest three-part story, ‘UltraMAP Inside Out’ is a revealing first-person view of this globally category-leading brand as seen through the eyes of Shona, UltraMAP’s young Commercial Officer.

In a business world filled with over-honed marketing messages, chest-beating and grand claims, how refreshing it is to read about a brand filtered only by the fresh mind of a relatively new team member.

Here’s how Shona Connelly, Commercial officer at UltraMAP diarised a period of her time with the global category-leading UltraMAP team early in 2021.

UltraMAP – A Truly Global Business.

How Many Global Miles Have Des and Martin Actually Travelled to Meet Customers?

This is a question that I raised, just out of interest really. I was intrigued about the actual reach of this global brand – and particularly by the brand’s founders.

We worked out that in total, Des and Martin have attended 49 international conferences since the start of 2010 through to early 2021. So about 5 each year. And that doesn’t include meetings with current customers. There have been over a hundred of those special customer trips on-top.

UltraMAP is dedicated to maintaining a personal, positive relationship with customers. It’s important to invest in important relationships, especially in (let’s call them) the COVID-19 months and years. The whole world was affected, changed and slowed. But our world can’t slow down. Protecting mission-critical connectivity is what we do.

To attend these meetings, UltraMAP has travelled well over 250,000 miles in around 10 years. That’s the equivalent of walking the Great Wall of China 18 times. Or swimming the English Channel 12,000 times. Or flying to the moon. Blimey. Commitment!

Customers as Friends.

But seriously, conferences are an amazing opportunity to catch up with customers from around the world, the Subsea Cables industry as a whole is a tight-knit community. There are many individuals that have become friends of Martin, Des and UltraMAP.

I would still consider myself as a newbie to the industry, and as such, for me the travel aspect is very exciting. The first year being employed at UltraMAP I went to 3 different conferences in 3 different countries. Singapore was first, then came Copenhagen, and finished off with London before COVID-19.

We had a few conferences planned for 2020 which didn’t go ahead. This didn’t create any business difficulties for UltraMAP, but we weren’t able to meet our customers, and I myself was unable to see the faces behind the company. We’ll rectify that.


UltraMAP exhibits at conferences … but what actually goes on at a conference? That was something I didn’t know.
As a company, we’ve been exhibiting at conferences since 2010, travelling nearly a quarter of a million miles to attend them.

I’ve travelled 7,581 miles for 3 different conferences. And each conference was quite different.

Attending my first one, I had no idea how big the Subsea Cable industry was. Seeing all the different companies and businesses under one umbrella industry was a WOW moment for me.

Despite working for a cable protection company, I didn’t even know what a cable looked like. And I’m not joking here… it was mind blowing. The multiple layers involved in one single cable is incredible.

As well as the cable owners attending these exhibitions, you’re able to meet companies who plan the cable route, make the cables, lay the cables, maintain and recycle the cables.

The cables get recycled, does that mean they have an expiration date? Maybe I’ll have to research that and get back to you.
As someone who had just completed a degree in Cross-Cultural Communication, I was in my element. I can observe and experience first-hand all of the things I’d learned on my course.

I met lots of fascinating people from so many interesting companies at my first conference. I tried to collect as many business cards as I possibly could to put into perspective how many new people I’d met. In my pockets I had 20+ business cards. Not bad for a rookie.

Climate Change.

Will the whole world start using renewable energy to combat climate change?

As a collective, I think we’d like to hope so.

It appears as though everyone is striving for the world to become renewable.

As a non-member of the maritime industry (that was me before I joined UltraMAP), you often don’t think about how power even gets to you, you just use it. So, you don’t even think about how big the renewable industry is and could be.

There’s a lot more to it than you think.

Before working at UltraMAP, my general knowledge of Renewable Energy came from learning about it at school. From what I can remember, it was mainly about where the energy came from such as, wind turbines and wave power.

But you never think of how they’re made and how many components it takes for these things to work. The infrastructure I mean.

Offshore wind turbines are much bigger than the ones on land.

On average, they’re the same height as 44 double decker busses stacked on top of each other – 200m to be exact. Big, right?
Imagine how much wind is ‘collected’ by these turbines? The average wind turbine generates between 6 and 12 megawatts of power each year. That’s enough for one turbine to power between 9,000 to 16,000 homes a year.

Energy is not just the only thing they do; they’re also changing the ecosystem in the ocean. Wind farms in the North Sea provide homes for new colonies of blue mussels.

These colonies of blue mussels support other ecosystems in the ocean by just existing. Their shells can be habitats for other sea creatures. Plus, the way they filter feed produces cleaner water.

Pretty neat!

But how will the platforms change the ecosystems around the world? That’s something we don’t know yet. As the world is becoming more renewable there’s more research to be done on how offshore platforms can impact the ocean.

PREVIOUS: Part 1 / NEXT: Part 3

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