This completes the technology company’s growing portfolio, which sees each location in which the company is present boast a second office. Not only a big step for Bond IT, however, the office opening reflects the efforts being made by Barcelona’s Nautical Cluster and, amidst the developments at Marina Port Vell and MB’92, is the latest step in establishing Barcelona as the latest superyacht hub of the Mediterranean. “We’ve grown each office. We all start small and grow or don’t grow depending on the needs,” Bond IT director Will Faimatea told SuperyachtNews.com. “The efforts that MB’92 are putting into make this marina a significant refit base – it’s pretty obvious what they’ve done in the last three years. The amount of vendors coming here and the ability to take the large yachts is one of the reasons we really focused on being here, and we were very lucky to get this particular office.”
“A lot is changing in Barcelona,” added Vladimir Cintula, Bond IT service supervisor and head of the Barcelona office. “Port Vell is being renovated and a lot of investment is coming there. There are going to be a lot of bigger yachts to service and support – 50m plus in general – and we’re getting this organised now. From that perspective, Barcelona is becoming stronger and stronger.”
While not so significant in distance, the move from across the road has been key to the company’s public profile, explained Faimatea. “We had two smaller offices out of sight in MB’92. There was no exposure. Right now we’re between two docks – right in the middle.” And with 162.5m Eclipse one side of the office, and 70m Amadeus on the other, the office is manifestly closer to its clients, to the point where even in the first month of opening the company has had walk-ins from crewmembers based at the yard.
Closer to the yachts means being more visible to the crew, and Bond IT is hoping this will aid its evolution in the education sector. Already running six courses, Bond IT is one live dish roof installation away from launching its VSAT and TVRO course, and is already in discussions with the MB’92-based Nautical Academy about collaboration. “A big factor when you’re crew is accessibility to the course. You don’t always have the luxury of being able to fly to another country – it adds to expenses and can be classed as time away. Here, you’re sleeping on board and in the day you can do the course,” explained Faimatea.
But amidst the plethora of changes taking place in Barcelona, what is changing specifically in the technology world? “Our support service has grown, and that reflects the complexity and importance of the systems. We started the support five years ago, quietly doing it under the radar, and we’ve seen most companies who have been traditional integrators now offering support. There is a demand." And for Faimatea, it’s likely the demand for support will increase, not solely due to the complexity of systems but to an emerging trend that he believes is causing confusion in the sector. “I am seeing a trend of products and services being heavily promoted when they’re not even established, which everyone is entitled to do, but there are a lot of people running on the back of that, planning that things are coming when, who knows? A lot of facts aren’t known yet in the industry.” "It makes someone else look silly,” added Cintula. “It introduces a lot of confusion with our clients. Let’s concentrate on something we know works well and implement the new technologies as they become available and are well tested.”
So what’s next for Bond? Faimatea revealed the company has a number of projects on the horizon but, in his words, “they need a little more time to bake”. In the context of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA’s) recently improved training paths for Electro-Technical Officers (ETOs), as well as the new availability of Certificates of Competency for ETOs, the industry’s technology sector, like Barcelona and Bond IT, is moving.