The Beacon

December 2020

The Beacon

December 2020

From the Bullpen

Here’s To the Ones Who Inspire Us

 

Matt Collins

Chief Marketing Officer, Calix

At Calix, nothing inspires us like stories of innovation. Frankly, Calix customers have some of the best innovation stories I’ve ever come across. We work with hundreds of customers who share a vision to build the last network they’ll ever need—and enable their communities to thrive for decades.  

As you know, our success at Calix always starts with your success. We innovate so we can make your lives easier—whether that’s through operational efficiency, lowered operational costs, or an amazing customer experience. When you win, we win together.  

This year has brought unprecedented challenges for everyone. But there have been bright spots. What better moment than now to revisit some of the customer stories that inspired us throughout 2020 and kept pushing us to do better? In this issue, you’ll read about the Calix customers who inspired us this year—and get ideas about how you can explore greater success in 2021. 

  • “A Big Pivot and Network Upgrades Set Up Jade Communications for Major Wins in 2020” 
  • “All the Smart Things Silver Star Did This Year To Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience” 
  • “Here’s How STE Tapped Services To Accelerate Time-to-Market and Help Its Community Thrive” 

No one person or company ever succeeds alone. Our job at Calix is to be the partner that supports you in achieving your vision of success. If you ever have any questions about how we can help you, reach out to me at matt.collins@calix.com or anyone on the Calix team. 

 

Wishing you a restorative December and an inspiring start to the new year.  

 
 
 

Did you miss ConneXions? Don't worry.

You can still access all of the recorded sessions
in the On Demand Library

 
 

Intelligent Access EDGE Insights

A Big Pivot and Network Upgrades Set Up Jade Communications for Major Wins in 2020

Kevin Kuo

Director, Intelligent Access EDGE Product & Solution Marketing, Calix

Steve Jobs once said if you’re working on something you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. “The vision pulls you.” Alamosa, CO-based Jade Communications (Jade) shares that same simple philosophy. The team’s goal is to provide the most advanced technologies, at the most affordable prices, with the most dependable local support.  

Going from a WISP to a fiber provider.   

Even before the demand for bandwidth rose dramatically at the start of 2020, Jade Communications knew that it had to re-architect its network. Jade currently supports more than 1,200 miles of fiber, to more than 10 communities, on the San Luis Valley’s only Gig-Certified network. Subscribers needed higher bandwidth broadband services, so Jade decided to pivot from a WISP go-to-market model to one that featured a more flexible and future-proof FTTH network. In essence, Jade needed a solution that could scale as its FTTH network and subscriber base grew—while also offering high bandwidth services.  

Upgrading the network.  

Jade Communications has always operated with a relentless focus on providing the absolute best experience possible for subscribers. The team recognized the need to upgrade its network infrastructure so Jade could offer the latest technologies and broadband capabilities subscribers want. Here’s what the team did: 

  • Selected the software-defined AXOS platform for its scalability to meet future bandwidth needs while also lowering their total cost of ownership.  
  • Deployed the Intelligent Access EDGE E7-2 GPON FTTH solution (Jade now has over 900 subscribers and counting).  
  • Deployed the BLAST u6 on EXOS, which means Jade is delivering the ultimate subscriber experience—including unmatched Wi-Fi 6 connectivity that meets all bandwidth demands, now and in the future. 

Faster turnups, fewer truck rolls, and $250,000 savings.  

Jade Communications has saved nearly $250,000 of capex with its FTTH network deployment. By transitioning from hardware-centric solutions to the Intelligent Access EDGE solution, Jade can now turn up its own OLTs and activate ONTs remotely in seconds, slashing individual subscriber turn-up time from minutes to seconds. Additionally, AXOS and SMx eliminated costs by virtually eliminating truck rolls related to ONT outages, which had been about one per week. Lastly, the Revenue EDGE solution has allowed them to move faster as well. Since deploying the original GigaSpire systems, Jade has seen churn and service calls decrease considerably.  

If you’re inspired to achieve similar success in 2021, contact the Calix team any time. We’re here to help you build the last network you’ll ever need—and provide the Ultimate Wi-Fi experience that creates happy, loyal subscribers.  

 

Your Recommended Action Plan 

 

Customer Experience Insights

All the Smart Things Silver Star Did This Year To Deliver an Outstanding Customer Experience

Martha Galley

Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement and Services, Calix

Great things can come from a simple but powerful philosophy. That’s the case for Silver Star Communications (Silver Star). As Silver Star technical support supervisor Jennifer Astle explained this year at Calix ConneXions: “Silver Star sells an experience—not a service.” This guiding principle helped the Wyoming-based broadband provider deliver outstanding customer experience and achieve remarkable business results throughout this challenging year. 

Setting KPIs to measure success.  

How does Silver Star achieve success? First, the team continuously monitors six customer care Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):  

  1. First Call Resolution 
  2. Mean Time to Repair  
  3. Call Abandonment 
  4. Average Wait Time 
  5. Escalations 
  6. Total Resolution Rate 

Using Calix solutions, Silver Star has seen some amazing results around these KPIs. For example, as of November Silver Star boasts a 74 percent First Call Resolution rate—despite doubled inbound call volumes due to a dramatic increase in-home network usage. The team also leveraged data in Calix Support Cloud to see a 10 percent improvement in First Call Resolution (for Tier 1 CSR).  

Leveraging the subscriber-facing CommandIQ™ app—under the Silver Star brand.  

In addition, Silver Star provides their subscribers with the power of the CommandIQ™ app, which subscribers can use to customize their experience, run speed tests, leverage voice services, set application priorities, manage parental controls, monitor home-network security through the ProtectIQ™ app, and much more.  

At the beginning of 2020, Silver Star branded CommandIQ as the Silver Star Home Zone app. Since then, Silver Star promoted the app to subscribers with every BLAST system installation. Putting their brand first helped drive an impressive 74 percent adoption rate, and laid the groundwork for drastically reducing the most common inbound support calls, like those related to SSID and password-change requests. 

Securing 81 percent adoption of ProtectIQ.  

Part of creating happy subscribers is knowing what subscribers want most. In May, Calix conducted research with Moor Insights and discovered subscribers highly value a secure network. Our joint survey results found most consumers (67 percent) are willing to pay a modest monthly fee (between one and 10 dollars) for comprehensive security solution capabilities.  

Silver Star capitalized on these insights and bundled  ProtectIQ as a service along with its BLAST systems. This approach has helped Silver Star drive an impressive 81 percent adoption rate of ProtectIQ among subscribers who use the Silver Star Home Zone app. So far ProtectIQ has prevented more than 2,800 network intrusion attempts across more than 1,200 subscriber installations, clearly delivering the safe network service subscribers' value. 

Recognizing that continuous training and development of the team is key to its success, Silver Star took advantage of the wide range of flexible learning solutions available via Calix Education Services. Most important, its commitment to continuously calibrate its customer care operations by partnering with Calix Customer Success has helped meet business objectives year after year.  

We hope the Silver Star story inspires your team to pursue lofty customer support goals and deliver unparalleled customer experience in 2021. When you sell an experience subscribers can rely on daily, you build strong communities that stay connected—no matter what challenges might come their way.  

 

Your Recommended Action Plan 

 

Services Insights

Here’s How STE Tapped Services To Accelerate Time-to-Market and Help Its Community Thrive

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

If you’re a service provider, how can you leverage Calix Services to help your community thrive? Ask the folks at STE Communications (STE), formerly Steelville Telephone Exchange, in Missouri. Recently, STE launched a new broadband experience and made key upgrades via Calix solutions and Services—thus accelerating time-to-market and dramatically improving the quality of life for its community in multiple ways.  

Achieving a 75 percent reduction in time-to-market. 

Late last year, Kevin Ancell, general manager for STE, selected Calix Services to partner with his team to expand its network using the latest GPON and Active Ethernet-ready solutions built on AXOS®. The combined effort resulted in the upgrade being completed in record time—75 percent faster than going it alone.  

These results helped STE complete the entire project ahead of schedule and under budget. This freed up the STE Communications operations team to focus on driving new installs and delivering advanced services for subscribers.  

Attention to subscriber experience pays off through growth. 

During the buildout, maintaining an exceptional subscriber experience was paramount. Kevin said his team was able to pull this off due in large part to the attention Calix Professional Services provided during the deployment and the subscriber migrations. Ancell’s approach has yielded an unprecedented 17 percent growth rate compared to prior years. The team expects to see additional increases from the most recent expansions. In a recent webinar, “De-Risk Your Network Expansion,” (see link below to watch the replay) Ancell shared how to ensure the success of a similar large-scale network build out. The advice? Identify trusted partners to help you meet your milestones, deployment goals, and objectives.  

Helping the local community thrive.  

All these efforts reflect STE’s belief that the Internet is essential to the communities it serves. By partnering with Calix to build a future-proof network and tapping Calix Services, STE has invested in the success of the local community—the provider’s services support local business ventures, virtual learning opportunities for rural students, and access to lifesaving medical care via telehealth and distance medicine.  

Calix Services is proud to have been a part of STE’s success. As Ancell said, “Calix Services was my partner all the way.” You can watch the entire interview and find more resources in the links below. With Calix Services as your partner, you can achieve successful results in 2021 and beyond.  

 

Your Recommended Action Plan   

 

The Revenue EDGE Beacon

Supporting Service Provider Marketers and Business Leaders

The Revenue EDGE Beacon reveals today's best practices and insights for marketers. Subscribe today and learn how to leverage data to build great campaigns so you can retain, grow, and attract new subscribers.

 
 

Calix Academy

Two Great Academy Subscription Packages (and a Chance To Win)

One of the most important but overlooked aspects of great training is end-of-the-year planning. The fact is, training budgets typically expire at the end of the year. Don’t let yours go to waste. If you haven’t yet, sign up today for an annual training subscription that fits your company’s needs. Calix Education Services offers two subscription packages.  

Subscription Package 1: Individual Education  

For a low, annual fee, learners can take the courses they need, when they need them. Then they can diversify their skills with additional courses updated from all our Learning Paths and gain knowledge on other technologies, platforms, and services. 

Subscription Package 2: Revenue EDGE eLearning Enterprise  

The Revenue EDGE eLearning Enterprise subscription gives your organization access to a collection of role-based eLearning courses on Calix Cloud, Systems, business, and technology topics. We highly recommended these courses to improve for marketing, customer support, and field tech to improve competencies and skills around Revenue EDGE.  

Take our short survey, enter a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card.  

To improve our training and content, we’re asking for your feedback. Now through December 31, 2020 complete a 10-question survey and be automatically entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card.   

 

Your Recommended Action Plan  

 
 

Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts

 

Each month, we highlight the top five 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. All the Engineering Elements that Go into the Design of a Carrier Class Wi-Fi System
  2. Yes, You Can Offer Subscribers a Cool-Looking Wi-Fi System for Their Coffee Tables  
  3. Reimagining Customer Support for Modern Networks
  4. Are Products that Promise to Boost Wi-Fi Performance Really Worth It?
  5. Demystify Your Broadband Deployment Project

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

TAC TV Featured Video

How to Request a Return Material Authorization (RMA)

Experience our newly launched RMA interface within MyCalix Store—a cohesive single UX for ordering and returning Calix products.

Login required.

 

Featured Resources

Customer Resources to Help Keep You on Track

Webinars

  • Marketing Strategy for Selling Managed Wi-Fi
    Tuesday, December 15
    1:00PM – 1:45PM EST | 10:00AM PST
  • Reporting Best Practices in Calix Support Cloud
    Tuesday, December 15
    3:00PM – 3:45PM EST | 12:00PM PST
  • Success For All: Understanding your Calix Resources
    Friday, January 8
    1:00PM EST | 10:00AM PST
  • Using Data to Create Awesome Marketing Campaigns
    Thursday, January 28
    4:00PM EST | 1:00PM PST
  • Selling Revenue EDGE Application Suites to Target Personas
    Tuesday, January 19
    10:00AM EST | 7:00AM PST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for a full schedule of sessions (login required).

Release Webinars

  • Marketing Cloud 21.1 Release Update
    February 9, 2021 | 1:00PM EST
  • Support Cloud 21.1 Release Update
    February 10, 2021 | 1:00PM EST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for registration links (login required).

 

Recent Software Releases

EXOS

Mature*

  • EXOS 20.4.0.3 (BLAST u12 only)
AXOS
Early Adoption**
  • AXOS 20.4.0.2 (E9-2 ASM3001)
EXA
Mature*
  • EXA E7 3.4.20 (E7-2, E7-20)
  • EXA E5 3.4.20 (E5-48, E5-48C) 
  • EXA E3 3.4.20 (E3-48 r2, E3-48C r2, E3-48C)

Notes: 

* Mature status means the software release is the latest production version recommended for use.

** Early Adoption status means the software release is 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, please go to the Software Center (link below), select the software in question, and click the "Request Software" link.

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