The Beacon

August 2019

The Beacon

August 2019

From the Bullpen

On Time and On Schedule

 

Shane Eleniak

SVP Platforms, Calix

On August 13, we rolled out the latest releases from across our portfolio. This marks the third of our four planning release cycles for 2019. As expected, this latest release train arrived on time and on schedule. Being predictable for you, our customers, is paramount. Our goal is to eliminate the burden of tracking timelines for individual products and systems.

In this month’s edition of the Beacon, you will find a recap of all the latest news from the past two weeks. Here are the highlights:

  • Enhanced 10G Solutions – These major enhancements to our everyPON strategy, provides the ability to deploy and run a variety of PON technologies (NG-PON2, XGS-PON, 10G EPON) for 10G services and beyond.
  • Enhanced Broadband Performance Testing Service – Part of the Calix Managed Services portfolio, this enhanced service helps you to remain up to date with the latest FCC requirements and proactively analyze broadband performance through actionable reports and direct consultation.
  • Active Ethernet Reimagined with AXOS – Now, you have the flexibility with AXOS to adopt new architectures without changing your operating system.
  • New Remote Monitoring Service Success Manager – This addition to the Customer Success Services portfolio provides you with a complementary and dedicated resource to accelerate your time to value from the service.

Last quarter, we asked for your feedback on ways to improve your Beacon experience, and we listened. As a result, I am happy to share a new space on MyCalix (see button below) dedicated to collecting all of the latest release notes, datasheets, product planning guides, etc. in one place for quick and easy access to dive right into the details. I know you’ll find this valuable.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. And enjoy the August edition of the Beacon.

 

ConneXions Spotlight

Marketers, It's Your Time to Lead

 

Matt Collins

Chief Marketing Officer, Calix

How do you identify the services you want to develop? How do you determine whether or not they will be successful? How do you see which subscribers are at risk for churn?

Answering these questions are core to the success of your business. To answer them, it starts with a data-driven marketing plan. Calix is committed to being a true a marketing partner for you, our customers. In addition to the 100's of marketing consultations we provide and the award-winning marketing materials for you to use, we are expanding our curriculum and content for marketers at this year’s ConneXions.

ConneXions has always been a phenomenal venue for marketers to exchange ideas and best practices in various settings. Now we are adding a half-day Marketer's Summit hosted by Pivot Group.

Whether you are senior marketing executive, a new member to marketing at your company, or a general manager exploring how data-driven marketing can help drive revenue, ConneXions offers the perfect opportunity to network and learn from your peers and industry experts.

Here are the top 10 reasons to for marketers to attend ConneXions:

  1. Hear directly from your peers who are already seeing double digit growth in their campaign take rates
  2. Discover best-practices for building wildly successful targeted marketing campaigns
  3. Participate in the New Marketers Summit, hosted by Pivot
  4. Choose from 11 sessions dedicated to marketing best practices
  5. Hear from industry experts like Terry O’Reilly, a celebrated marketing guru
  6. Sign-up for a marketing consultation with a Calix marketing expert
  7. Discover the free marketing resources and content to jump start your campaigns
  8. Demo the latest break-through marketing technology to helps you acquire, retain and delight your subscribers
  9. Network with your peers over four days of interactive content and activities
  10. Last but certainly not least, submit your campaigns to the 2019 Innovations in Marketing Award and earn a chance to win a complimentary off-site marketing workshop with Decision Counsel (the producers of “The Millers”). See below to find out more.

Don’t miss this chance to jump-start your marketing strategy for 2020. Register for ConneXions today to lock-in the early bird rate.

 

Apply for the 2019 Innovations in Marketing Award

Last year we announced this new award for marketers, and the excitement was overwhelming. So it’s back for a second year. How can you apply? Record a brief video (under 3 mins) describing your marketing campaign and send it via WeTransfer to award.submissions@calix.com. Be sure to include the following in your video:

  • The objectives of your campaign
  • A description of the creative approaches you took
  • Your results to date

What is the award? The winning video will be featured at ConneXions 2019 in Las Vegas during the Main Stage General Session, and the winning team will receive a complimentary marketing workshop with Decision Counsel (the producers of “The Millers”).

What is the deadline? Monday, October 14, 2019

 

Cloud Spotlight

From Facebook Posts to Profits: NCC’s Social Media Success

 

Pam Ferguson

AVP, Product Marketing Subscriber Experience, Calix

In last month’s Beacon, I introduced Northwest Communications Cooperative (NCC) as one of the many Calix Cloud customers on a quest to maximize profits from their fiber investment, while delivering a differentiated subscriber experience.

NCC, serving rural communities in northwestern North Dakota, is almost 100 percent fiber. The recent oil industry boom has been steadily transforming their communities by driving more businesses and apartment living.  

During a live webinar later that month, Angela Schepp, Business Development Manager at NCC, gave us a closer look at how they are serving their evolving subscriber base, particularly by leveraging social media. Their recent Facebook campaigns generated a 9x increase in response rate, thanks to targeted advertising. Here are just a few of the many tips from the webinar on how to crack the social media code.

  • Try new engaging and educational content. According to recent studies, the most shared types of content are: breaking news, heartwarming stories, practical advice, and behind the scenes insights. Leveraging the Social Media heatmap on Calix Marketing Cloud, NCC has been successfully scheduling Facebook Live demos to educate its subscribers.
  • Go beyond the usual social engagement. In addition to just posting outage alerts and PR announcements, leap into paid social. Partnering with Calix Customer Success Services and a creative agency, NCC ran gamer and #imastreamer Facebook campaigns to drive upgrades. Calix Marketing Cloud helped identify gamers and streamers on lower service tiers that were most likely to upgrade to higher tiers for a better experience. From there, Facebook made it easy to upload those targeted subscriber lists and further customize the campaign with the right budget and format.
  • Amplify social with outbound calling. Social media advertising delivers the best ROI for several reasons. It allows you to focus your resources for short periods of time at specific groups and leverage your marketing dollars much more efficiently than traditional methods. Add in outbound calling in collaboration with customer care reps, and you could be doubling take rates like NCC.

For more best practices and lessons learned from NCC’s savvy social media marketing, check out the webinar recording. And, for the latest on new features and discussions around Calix Cloud, visit the Calix Community.         

 

10G PON Solution Spotlight

Are You Ready to go to 10G and Beyond?

 

Teresa McGaughey

Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

It’s rapidly becoming an all-video world. Video is likely driving the majority of your subscribers’ bandwidth consumption. So, if you are still deploying GPON, it must be running out of steam by now, right?

Well, for some subscribers it is, but for the majority of subscribers, there is still plenty of bandwidth left. We recently took a look at aggregate data from Calix Marketing Cloud, specifically focused on subscribers with fiber GPON service. The dataset included 290,000 subscribers. We found: 

  • Over a 28-day period, subscribers with a 10 Mbps service hit their downstream speed tier limit an average of 54 times. 
  • However, those subscribers whose service tier was 100 Mbps, only hit the downstream limit three times in the same period. 
  • Subscribers with 1 Gbps service never hit their speed tier limit. 
  • This would indicate that the 10 Mbps service tier is too low for most people. 
  • This makes sense when you realize that Netflix requires 5 Mbps for HD streaming. 
  • So, with one TV streaming and the kids watching YouTube videos, you can quickly see how the 10 Mbps limit can be hit periodically.

But this doesn’t explain the hype around this “GPON is running out of steam” concept. We did find in our data that there are a few subscribers that regularly use close to 500 Mbps. It is not clear what applications they are using to consume that much data consistently. For example, 4k UHD on Netflix only requires 25 Mbps. So that would require 20 4K TVs all streaming at the same time. But, regardless of the applications they are using, these few subscribers could be impacting the rest of your GPON subscribers’ experience. 

So, what should you do? 

The easiest thing to do is move those few very high-bandwidth users to a higher bandwidth PON technology, like XGS-PON, 10G EPON, or NG-PON2. This maintains your investment in GPON, which still meets the needs of the majority of your subscribers. 

With Calix AXOS and EXOS platforms, you don’t need to be concerned about whether you’ll have a solution that meets your needs. The physical layer technology in AXOS and EXOS is fully abstracted from the software above enabling everyPON technology to be deployed with common operating procedures across the network. This means when you turn up a gigabit service on GPON and XGS-PON, for example, your network operations team doesn’t need to know they are physically different PON types. This greatly simplifies your operations, while elevating your subscribers’ experience.

Calix recently announced our full line everyPON AXOS and EXOS systems. This ensures that you have the right technology to deploy at the right time to meet your subscribers’ needs in the right location of the network from the data center, central office, street cabinet, or nodal locations to the premises.    

 

AXOS Spotlight

Active Ethernet Steps into the Future with AXOS

 

Kevin Kuo

Director, Product & Solution Marketing, Calix

The Active Ethernet (AE) market has been looking for a growth catalyst. An innovative market differentiator that would simplify the way service providers have been deploying and managing ONTs related to their AE deployments. Well, I have great news on that front. With AXOS R19.3, Calix is introducing and delivering software-defined ONT management and service provisioning functionalities onto the E7-2 GE-24 r2 line card. The combination of AXOS and the ONT management capabilities delivered by the GE-24 r2 line card provides the optimal AE service delivery solution---one that delivers simplicity, a “just like PON” service management and provisioning experience and true differentiation to the marketplace.

Reimagining Active Ethernet

From an AXOS and card perspective, we envisioned a clean sheet of paper and imagined a “just like PON” experience with the ONT management capabilities being managed by a line card solution. We took into consideration that a historical problem with AE has been how radically different it is from our GPON management model. However, the amount of information required to provision an AE ONT is essentially the same as GPON. If we applied the same logic to the OLT, but from an AE standpoint, there would be no need for remote servers to manage the devices. This would result in enhancing the value of the OLT and positioning it as a key value contributor to the overall solution. By coupling the OLT and the ONT more tightly, we would drastically reduce the complexity level and frustration in managing and deploying Gigabit Ethernet services today.

This future proofing of AE is driven by abstracting AE services from the ONTs and associated servers into the AXOS platform, removing dependence on the hardware. As is the case with GPON, 10G PON, or Gfast, by abstracting services for AE into AXOS, service providers create a common operation, service management, and provisioning model, dramatically simplifying service deployments. The new AXOS Gigabit Ethernet GE-24 r2 line card future proofs Active Ethernet with:

  • Rapid deployment of high-density business and residential services
  • Simplified network operations through consolidation of back-office servers
  • Optimized service delivery with enhanced diagnostic capabilities such as VCA and Local/Remote Packet Capture
  • DHCP and TFTP server functionalities performed by the line card

If you would like to learn more, please see our related press release for additional details. Also, if you missed our AXOS GE-24 r2 “Active Ethernet Reimagined” solution webinar earlier this week, you can watch the replay here.    

 

Services Spotlight

Remote Monitoring Service Hits the Accelerator by Adding a Customer Success Manager

 

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

In speaking with customers, its clear that many are striving for a proactive approach to incident management. The challenge lies in how to reach that end goal. In a recent webinar, we shared ways to begin that journey and become more proactive in addressing subscriber impacting problems. In addition, we surveyed the webinar attendees on what Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) they wanted to track to be more operationally successful. The top selections were:

  • Number of truck rolls
  • Number of customer trouble reports
  • Mean time to repair

To help customers improve these operational KPIs, a new Customer Success offering was announced in 19.3, the Remote Monitoring Service Success Manager. The Success Manager, which is provided complementary with the service, helps customers accelerate time to value of the Remote Monitoring Service through better integration of trouble notifications, alarm analytics, and reporting into their incident management processes. The Success Team is already helping customers become more proactive, and customers are seeing the benefits.

Another Managed Service helping customers become more proactive is the Broadband Performance Testing Service. The Broadband Performance Testing Service leverages the Calix CAF Performance Testing Solution and helps you accelerate the set up of your broadband testing framework for reporting performance compliance of your CAF-related infrastructure. Calix Managed Services enables this by:

  • Educating your team on the FCC testing requirements
  • Assisting in establishing the end-to-end testing framework
  • Providing regular pre-tests with reporting and performance analysis to prepare for the formal FCC compliance reporting

WesTel Systems started the implementation of its FCC broadband testing framework with the assistance of the Calix Managed Services Team. Robin Jenness, Operations Manager at WesTel Systems, summed up her experience in this way,

“I feel the support you guys have been providing is amazing and how you are going to the FCC and asking these questions for us and getting these answers is great. I can just rely on you and I don’t have to dig into it. That’s one of the biggest takeaways.”

 

Other additions and enhancements to the Calix Services portfolio in 19.3 include:

  • AXOS Active Ethernet Migration Service – Updated for 19.3, this comprehensive design, turn up, and testing service for your AXOS E7-2 Active Ethernet system includes automated ONT management and subscriber migration, all at a fraction of the cost and time as compared to when performed by an internal team.
  • Smart Home Mobile App Customization Service – Calix Professional Services can develop differentiated features and capabilities for your Smart Home Mobile App, including branding modifications, integration with subscriber specific information, billing and product catalogs, and single sign-on capability. 
  • AXOS E7-2 Certification – The AXOS E7-2 Learning Path allows your team to demonstrate mastery of the system with this certification exam and badge combination. The exam can be completed at ConneXions at no charge, or a complementary coupon (a $295 value) will be provided upon purchase of an Education Subscription before the end of the year.
 

Perspectives Spotlight

Is your Fixed Wireless Network a Broadband Network?

 

Alan DiCicco

Senior Director, Thought Leadership Marketing, Calix

Talk of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is literally and figuratively all over the air these days and it is easier than ever to create a high-speed wireless connection to homes and businesses over a variety of spectrum choices. Fixed wireless technologies are evolving rapidly, incorporating many aspects of the 5G Mobile network, but also self-organizing mesh Wi-Fi products. Just connect the neighborhood radios to the internet gateway router and you have yourself a wireless broadband access network. Right?

As we all know, the real answer is an emphatic, “NO!” There is much more to a broadband service than a connection from the home to the gateway router. Consider the mighty subscriber, which is all of us. What do we want from our broadband service? 

  • Contracted Speed - Start with a contracted speed for download and upload of our favorite streaming media and video conferencing tools. Unlike mobile networks, broadband network performance is not a “try it and see” performance contract. If we pay for 100 Mbps; we demand 100 Mbps. But speed is not enough. 
  • Consistency and Reliability - Next on our list of demands comes consistency of performance and reliability of the connection. Broadband is critical to my professional and personal life. It can’t come and go with changes in the weather or other temporary factors.
  • Privacy and Security - Most subscribers today don’t think about privacy and security as core components of the broadband service because we take it for granted. If our broadband service worked like party line telephones of the early 20th century, we wouldn’t be happy knowing that our neighbors could “listen in” on our internet habits and print their homework on our printers. The last thing we want a fixed wireless access network to do is work like a wireless LAN.

The wireless connection to the home is easier and more reliable than ever, but like other physical layer technologies, the profitable business of broadband is still enabled by the software that manages the connection. Subscriber policy, QoS, security, authentication, automated service provisioning, zero-touch configuration, performance monitoring, diagnostics, resource orchestration… they all combine with the radio network to create an end-to-end fixed wireless access network that delights the subscriber and gives a service provider a winning market solution. While the radio technology is the flashy new thing, do your homework to make sure your wireless network is truly a broadband network.

 

What’s your perspective? 

There’s plenty more to read and share on the Calix Perspectives pages. I look forward to hearing your perspective.

Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Circles of Success

Success for All: Circles Rule!

Sign up for an upcoming Circles of Success!  Circles of Success are small, interactive peer conversations among Calix customers, facilitated by a Calix Customer Success expert, talking about solution adoption, best practices, and user tips.

 

Rules of Engagement:

  • These are interactive sessions, be prepared to have open discussions with other attendees.
  • Sessions will not be recorded, to drive live participation, but Thought Starter slides will be posted in the Communiy.
  • We cap registration to keep the conversations productive… if you can’t get into a session, don’t worry, we will repeat topics in upcoming sessions. 

TAC TV Featured Video

How to Upgrade SMx

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Top 5 Recent Blog Posts

Each month, we highlight the top 5 recent Calix Blog posts to make sure you don't miss out on the latest news and insights from Calix experts and industry guests.

  1. Feedback from the Frontline: Outbound Calling Tips from Customer Service Representatives 
  2. How the GigaSpire Smart Home System is Like your New Smart TV  
  3. Resolve Subscriber Impacting DSL Issues Proactively  
  4. Why Spend When you can Save Through the Power of AXOS Aggregation
  5. Pivoting to FTTH Costs Cable Operators Less Than Deploying Fiber Deep    

And don't forget to follow us and check out other insightful articles.

 

Calix Academy

Take Advantage of a Complementary AXOS Certification Exam at This Year’s ConneXions

Calix ConneXions is right around the corner, and Calix Education Services is making it easier to get your AXOS E7-2 certification. Qualified attendees coming to ConneXions can register to take the new AXOS E7-2 Certification exam on-site at no charge. That’s a $295 value and another reason to attend ConneXions!

The concepts and material in the exam questions are based on course material in the AXOS Learning Path. So, to get certified, prior to attending ConneXions, you will need to complete the AXOS E7-2 Learning Path focusing either on Active Ethernet or GPON. If you can’t make it to this year’s ConneXions, don’t worry. We are still offering the exam at no charge for anyone purchasing an Education Subscription between now and the end of the year. 

Are you looking for training in our other premises and network platforms? Check out the updated Education Services and Course Catalog page as well as My Calix where you can get access to:

  • Course suggestions by product and platform
  • Downloadable course descriptions
  • Direct links to course registrations in Calix Academy where you can also pay online
  • Information on Certification

As always, you can reach out to a Calix Education Services expert to learn more or to set up a consultation to ensure your team is ready for the task of transforming your network.  

 

Business Transformation Profile

Great Lakes Energy/Truestream

In northern and western Michigan, electric cooperative Great Lakes Energy (GLE) recognized a need in their community for advanced broadband service as much of its electric membership was suffering from inadequate connectivity options. After working with the GLE Board, the cooperative launched its Truestream subsidiary to begin a broadband pilot project in the Petoskey area.

The team at Truestream turned to Calix to help go from concept to service availability within 300 days. With the Calix Services team assisting throughout the process, Truestream built its network to support gigabit services with the Calix AXOS E9-2 and deliver a Managed and Whole Home Wi-Fi service built on Calix Support Cloud, GigaCenters, and 804Mesh satellites.

To date, Truestream’s entrance into broadband service has been quite successful. More than 16,000 GLE members have pre-registered for Truestream’s broadband service packages, including 4,500 members who reside in the pilot service area. 

Learn more about Truestream’s broadband journey and how this electric cooperative is now delivering “life-changing” service to its membership.

 

Customer Team Member of the Month

 

Meet Lauren Rozzi

Role: Network Systems Engineer II

Location: Petaluma, CA

Years of Service: 3

Calix Expertise: E7 EXA/ AXOS

School: Long Beach State University

Favorite Movie: The Replacements

Favorite Vacation Spot: Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Fun Fact: I have moved 8 times and lived in 3 states

What is one thing on your bucket list? I want to visit every continent, 3 down and 4 to go

 

Recent Software and Support Resources

Recent Software Releases

AXOS
Early Adoption*
  • AXOS 19.3.0 (E9-2, E7-2, E3-2)
  • SMx 19.3.0

Mature Release**

  • AXOS Sandbox: vE9-2 19.3.0 (CLX3001 + NG1601)
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE7-2 19.3.0 (GPON-8r2, NGPON2-4)
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE3-2 19.3.0 (EPON)
EXOS
Early Adoption*
  • EXOS 19.3.0 (Smart Home) (GigaSpire, GigaMesh)
Mature Release**
  • EXOS 19.3.0 (10G PON)
EXA and GigaFamily
Mature Release**
  • GigaFamily 12.2.9.8 (844GE, 844E, 800G GigaCenters; 800G v1 GigaHubs & GigaPoints)

*Note: This software is at Early Adoption status with select customers conducting field tests and providing feedback. This program requires Calix pre-approval. If you are interesting in joining an Early Adopter group for a specific software release, please go to the Software Center (below), select the software in question and click the "Request Software" link.

**Note: Mature Release means the latest production software is current and recommended for use.