An effective operations strategy has never been more important for broadband service providers (BSPs). In a world where subscribers are demanding an “always on” experience, the ability to understand how network performance impacts subscriber experience is key to success.
The responsibility for delivering an amazing subscriber experience therefore falls on the shoulders of your broadband operations teams. It’s not like they need the extra stress. They’re already fully stretched whether it’s with new systems, port expansions, deploying new technology, or the day-to-day operations of these increasingly complex networks. Do they have the time or the tools to understand the subscriber experience, also?
From Reactive to Proactive to Predictive
The solution to this conundrum rests on the ability to move away from a reactive approach to network operations tools. In a reactive situation, the issue has already occurred and is already impacting the subscriber. Diagnostics must be run, root cause determined, and maintenance or a customer visit scheduled. The cost of servicing your subscriber has gone up, and the subscriber has suffered a frustrating experience that erodes customer satisfaction. No one wins.
In fact, in most cases, by the time a subscriber contacts customer support with a problem, they’ve had the issue for some length of time, have tried to fix it and are looking for an immediate fix or else. They’ve likely been suffering with the issue for days or weeks, but they haven’t yet reached the point of calling customer support to effectively complain about it. Operations teams often therefore have a window to proactively reach out to the subscriber before the subscriber escalates. A customer service representative (CSR) proactively calling a subscriber regarding an issue is better than the other way around. It will end up being a satisfying experience for the subscriber if the problem is resolved quickly.
But do you know what's even better than being proactive? Using predictive analytics.
Powerful Predictive Intelligence at Your Fingertips
By leveraging the power of predictive analytics, you can identify and address network issues before a subscriber is aware and proactively resolve those issues. Ideally, even before the problem becomes visible to the subscriber. In the past, your operations team was limited to interpreting alarms and reacting. Now you just need a little help from Calix.
The combination of the Calix Intelligent Access EDGE and Revenue EDGE platforms both integrated with the Calix Cloud provides operations teams with everything they need to know about both the end-to-end service delivery and network health, plus the actual subscriber experience. Calix Operations Cloud (Operations Cloud), for example, combines network health indicators, traffic analytics, and network and subscriber premises events and alarms. It means no more “swivel chairing” between different tools and screens—everything is available from a single pane of glass. More importantly, it gives teams a proactive tool to quickly identify, prioritize, predict, and fix network problems before they impact subscribers.
By embracing this proactive approach, operations teams unlock a number of benefits. Firstly, it eases pressure on their stressed workforce. Personnel are no longer reacting to the latest problem. This frees them up to address more strategic tasks. Then there’s the cost savings. Service providers using Calix Cloud are reducing OPEX by up to 80 percent—and reducing costly truck rolls by 40 percent.
Transforming Operations, Delighting Subscribers
But the greatest benefit could be the positive impact on the subscriber experience. In the old model, subscribers escalated a problem to the customer support organization, which then escalated the problem to the operations teams to try and resolve. But by using proactive capabilities and predictive intelligence, this model is turned on its head. It positions operations teams as a BSP’s greatest asset, ensuring your subscribers enjoy a network that is “always on” and always working. The end result is higher subscriber satisfaction, higher loyalty, and lower churn.
In this edition of the Broadband Operations Beacon, we’ll be focusing on how to make the leap from reactive to proactive to predictive—and hear from BSPs of all sizes that are working with Calix to transform their broadband operations. Enjoy!
By Ryan Johnson, COO, Chariton Valley
Ensuring the consistency and quality of new fiber broadband installations is critical. Down the line, issues can arise that cause major headaches for broadband operations teams. So, it all begins right at the first touchpoint with initial provisioning and installation at the customer premises. We needed a better way to monitor and understand what makes an installation successful. The only way to do that was to capture data about our installations straight from our technicians, right at the site. But how could we do that?
Kevin Kuo, Director, Product and Solution Marketing, Calix
Every live critical network upgrade is a risk. Service interruptions can cause major headaches and drive increased subscriber dissatisfaction levels, but upgrades have to be performed. But what if you could perform a live access network upgrade in mere minutes, rather than in hours or days? With zero downtime and no subscriber interruptions during work hours, rather than performing it overnight? That’s just what Antietam Broadband (Antietam) did—their system upgrade took less than 10 minutes to complete.
Lyle Ungar, Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
Broadband operations teams of all sizes face increasing workloads and complexity. Unexpected outages and too many network alarms can drain resources. At the same time, teams must constantly “swivel chair” between different systems to get a full picture of what’s happening in the network. In this scenario, inefficiencies creep in and operational performance suffers—and so does your network.
Alan Marks, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Calix
Broadband operations teams have a long and growing list of responsibilities. One minute you’re overseeing a network upgrade, the next you’re investigating a network alarm or addressing a security incident. Network and service-affecting issues can arrive—sometimes simultaneously—from multiple sources: the network operations center (NOC), customer support, field operations, and more. Teams can become overwhelmed by too many problems, too many tools, and too much “swivel chairing” between different screens and systems.