Chief Marketing Officer
ConneXions 2018 was our largest conference yet and judging by the response from attendees it was the best ever. In fact, an astounding 97 percent of attendees indicated that they would recommend the conference to a colleague. That is right – 97 percent! I want to thank all of the attendees who helped us make ConneXions the preeminent innovator’s conference of our industry. For those of you who were not able to attend or would like to review the content, all of the videos and presentations are available here.
Every year at ConneXions, our mission is to bring together leaders from every corner of our industry to share their stories of innovation and success. This year was a particularly special year as these leaders demonstrated how many of the things that were only imaged, are now real. Some of my favorite customer and partner highlights include:
Of course, I can’t forget the announcements by Michael Weening, EVP of Field Operations for Calix, that EXOS and the Calix Smart Home and Business Solution are in market and ready to help every service provider elevate their brand, their services, and their revenue by delivering an unrivalled Smart Home experience for their subscribers.
Thank you again to those who joined us at Calix ConneXions 2018. We created ConneXions to help you chart a clear path for growth and success. Please enjoy all of the news and insights from the event that we are sharing in this addition of the Beacon. I look forward to seeing many of you next year at ConneXions, set for October 27-29, 2019.
As more and more service providers eye a move toward smart home offerings, we continue to be impressed by the legion of service providers that are embracing the first, essential step; Managed Wi-Fi.
Managed Wi-Fi presents a real opportunity for service providers to offer a differentiated service, but it’s not sufficient to deploy Calix GigaCenters only for new subscribers—or to drop-ship 804Mesh satellites when existing subscribers call to complain about poor Wi-Fi coverage.
Instead, clearly communicating the benefits of a managed, carrier-class, Whole Home Wi-Fi service offering — which costs just a few dollars a month — seems to be the secret to a number of service providers’ successes. As we’ve been saying for a while now; it all starts with Managed Wi-Fi.
Celebrating Marketing Excellence
At ConneXions 2018, we launched the inaugural edition of our Innovations in Marketing Award. I am pleased to report that the initiative was a great success, with many excellent submissions.
All of the entries were reviewed by members of the Calix marketing team. We assembled a panel and selected a winner based on criteria approach and subscriber engagement, breadth and mix of the campaigns, and ultimately creativity.
Montana-based service provider Triangle Communications was recognized on stage at ConneXions, highlighting the success of their personalized, targeted marketing campaigns. Bethany Chinadle, VP of Customer Operations at Triangle, then joined Matt Collins (our CMO), Terry O’Reilly (renowned author and radio host), and Sal Fuentes (President and CEO, Decision Counsel) for a panel discussion on some recent marketing trends in our industry. (Triangle will also receive a complimentary off-site marketing workshop with Decision Counsel; producers of the Miller videos.)
Seven companies received honorable mentions: Chariton Valley, Citizens Fiber, Duo County, Mobily, Nex-Tech, Silo Wireless, and Tbaytel. Samples from these campaigns, as well as videos from some of the submissions, can be found on the Calix Marketing and Educational Materials page, under ‘Service Provider Samples’. This page also contains a variety of marketing and educational pieces that can be used in your own marketing campaigns.
If you’re looking to breathe new life into your marketing campaigns, we’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation and let’s discuss how we can work together to drive the success of your Managed Wi-Fi offering. This will provide you with a solid foundation as you move toward establishing yourself as a key player in the smart home of the future.
At ConneXions 2018, Calix launched an end-to-end solution designed specifically to help service providers deliver the ultimate smart home experience for subscribers. Armed with the Calix Smart Home and Business solution, service providers can now turn the potential confusion, disorder, and chaos associated with the smart home into an open, managed, and secure ecosystem.
The Calix Smart Home and Business solution allows service providers of every size and type to tap into new revenue streams by delivering smart home services with unprecedented speed, flexibility, and simplicity. The solution components — not available direct to consumers — are designed to:
To help service providers accelerate their deployment of smart home offerings, Calix Smart Home Professional Services provide readiness assessments, setup, training, and consulting on deployment best practices.
Market innovators embrace the Early Adoption Program
Aggressive market innovators, such as Nebraska-based ALLO Communications, have already started their journey, as participants in the Calix Early Adopter Program (EAP):
“We’ve seen success with Calix’s Carrier Class Wi-Fi solutions that have enabled us to provide our subscribers with new offerings such as Managed Wi-Fi and whole home Wi-Fi,” said Brad Moline, president and CEO of ALLO Communications. “We’re now excited to capitalize on that adoption by delivering smart home solutions in the near future. Partnering with Calix gives us access to the software, hardware, services, and marketing insight needed to anticipate subscriber needs and quickly bundle offerings that enhance their smart home experience.”
Positive feedback from media and analysts
Media and industry analysts alike are equally excited, as demonstrated by the coverage that the Calix Smart Home and Business solution announcement received in various trade publications, including Broadband World News, TeleCompetitor, Venturebeat, and Amazon Developer Blog.
We all have our favorite ConneXions moments. Mine was standing on the top floor of our Smart Home showcase feeling the buzz around me – the excitement of new opportunities here and now.
While visualizing the endless possibilities of placing a GigaSpire in the heart of a subscribers’ home is easy, realizing what Calix Cloud brings to the smart home table is more of an “aha!” moment.
Empower your internal operations
Before you even get your smart home business going, your customer care and technical operations teams need to be armed with the intelligence to deploy and manage the new smart home systems, as well as the ability to tackle whatever new issues the connected gadgets may create.
With Calix Support Cloud, managing the new GigaSpires powered by EXOS is effortless. And, as always, you can proactively find and fix issues before they impact your subscribers to deliver an elevated smart home experience.
Think low-risk, high-reward
When your smart home offering is ready for primetime, who you roll it out to first makes all the difference in how efficiently you grow the business. Instead of blanketing your entire subscriber base, consider isolating subscribers who are most likely to buy. Obviously, that means you will not only be lowering your marketing spend, but also increasing take rates and maximizing your return on investment.
The Smart Home lens in Calix Marketing Cloud is designed to automatically scrub through your entire subscriber base to find the ideal targets. It’s about finding subscribers with more connected devices than the industry average along with high usage. This segment can be further sliced and diced by their Wi-Fi experience and behavioral insights to put more of a strategic view behind the launch of your new smart home offers.
To learn about the complete ecosystem of products and services needed to build and sustain a successful smart home business, don’t miss the upcoming webinar on December 4.
And for a closer look at the other newly introduced Calix Cloud capabilities, check our recent press release.
Solutions Marketing Senior Director, Calix
Calix Perspectives pages are a place where distinguished service providers, analysts, industry executives, and solution providers share their ideas and inspiration. This month we’re excited to have the editors at WIRED Brand Labs add their voices to the conversation. We invited WIRED to provide their perspective on the smart home in a three-part exploration of the issues, opportunities, and solutions for service providers as they enter the brave new world of the smart home.
Why the Typical Smart Home Has Some Growing Up to Do
“The smart home enthusiast dreams of a day when her health tracker, reading high stress levels, instructs her speakers to pipe a soothing tune at low volume. Her security system, sensing the approach of her phone on a winter night, illuminates the front porch and cranks up the heat.”
As WIRED argues, the demand for smart home solutions is strong, but the setup complexity, connectivity issues, and security concerns are throwing a wet blanket on the enthusiasm of all but the most die-hard smart home enthusiast. There are seemingly more problems than benefits for most people and someone needs to lend a helping hand. Find our who WIRED thinks will come to the aid of their customers.
Return of the ISP
Remember when ISPs ruled the high-tech world? The ability to connect a desktop computer to the internet over ‘exotic’ always-on ADSL technology made ISPs the leaders of the tech universe at the turn of the 21st century. It didn’t last, and we can all tell story of how big box retailers and OTT streaming media companies became the darlings of the tech world and the apple in the consumer’s eye.
But there’s hope yet for ISPs, WIRED says. “In the age of IoT and AI, reliable Internet service is even more important. But a number of savvy ISPs today see bigger possibilities for themselves and are winning back customers in new ways. The common thread in all their strategies? Putting their customers at the center of their universe once again.” Wouldn’t you like to know how?
Do You Know the Tenets of a Truly Smart Home?
“What aspiring smart home enthusiast wouldn’t enjoy a permanent break from troubleshooting inconsistent Wi-Fi, patching inefficiencies in energy use, or keeping dozens of connected devices and apps shielded from malware?” Sign me up. Please!
In their third thought-provoking perspective piece, WIRED looks at the tenets (and tenants) of a truly smart home. You might be surprised to learn that the final ingredient of success is you. Spoiler alert! WIRED argues to their consumer audience that the successful path to providing an exceptional smart home subscriber experience is, “choosing the right service provider, one that offers not just a reliable broadband connection, but an array of smart-home support services, including the setup and management of all of the above.” I thought you might want to know you are the solution.
What’s your perspective?
We want to know your thoughts on Smart Home Opportunities. Are you ready to be the key ingredient in the smart home revolution?
There’s plenty more to read and share on the Calix Perspectives pages. Spend some time and let us know your thoughts. Who knows. Maybe you’ll be the next featured Perspectives author.
Every once in a while, something comes along that alters the status quo. A disruption that, while not always obvious, will have a long-term impact and change the future. An example from the past would be the iPhone. Who would have thought that putting a mobile phone in an MP3 player, like the iPod would have such an impact on the future? But now we carry our music, videos, social media, calendar, and really, our life around in a handheld device.
If you think about it, having everything in that handheld device also simplifies your life. All your contacts, appointments, emails, reminders, and notes all in one place. What if you could do the same thing in your network? What if you could consolidate all of the details related to delivering, managing, and provisioning services to your subscribers into a single place? How would that change the operation of your network?
Last month at the Calix ConneXions Innovation and User Conference, the AXOS Intelligent Access Edge was announced. The solution enables you to collapse all the functions required to deliver, provision, and manage your services and subscribers into a single system in the access network. It also incorporates the functions of the edge router, including MPLS, to significantly reduce the number of systems and separate functions in your network.
Prior to this announcement, the E9-2 Intelligent Edge System enabled you to consolidate all of the subscriber and service related functions simplifying the network, but it also required you to use the E9-2 as the OLT. This works great if you’re building a new network. But if you already have an existing access network or want to distribute your OLTs into remote locations, how do you take advantage of the network simplification? As part of last month’s announcement, the AXOS Intelligent Access Edge enables you to deploy the E9-2 with distributed OLTs and DSLAMs as shown in the diagram. Now you can simplify your network and operations without immediately impacting your access systems. Then, when you are ready in the future, you can upgrade those access systems and take advantage of the many additional benefits of AXOS, like common service models and MOPs across all of your subscribers in the network. If you’d like to learn more about the AXOS Intelligent Access Edge, please join me on the upcoming AXOS Tech Talk on November 27.
Join Calix on the third Wednesday of every month for our AXOS Tech Talk Series. Each Tech Talk webinar will go into topics to help you further understand AXOS and how it can benefit your business. The sessions will enable you to ask questions about capabilities within AXOS of Calix experts as well as service providers deploying AXOS. You can register below for notification of future webinars topics as they are announced.
Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix
Who has more time than they need? I don’t think one person I spoke with at the recent ConneXions said they had time to spare in their busy day. And the one thing that resonated the most was the need to make their lives simpler. Calix Services had the opportunity of showcasing several of our advanced service offerings including Professional Services, Managed Services, Education Services, and Success Services.The conversations Calix Sevices team members had with attendees reinforced that need and answered questions on how to make their jobs simpler and help get things done faster.
A big topic of interest in the Innovation Showcase was Calix Managed Services’ Remote Monitoroing and Notificaition which is included in the Vantage support tier. Both offerings are designed to help service providers transform their traditional break-fix approach to addressing service-affecting issues to a process that’s real-time, proactive, and preventative. Customers liked the idea that you could improve your average network incident resolution time by up to 90 percent!
Speeding time-to-market and providing assistance in helping deploy new technology also came up quite often at the Professonal Services kiosk. Areas of interest for customers included:
Customers also liked the simplicity of being able to get their employees up to speed on the latest in AXOS and managed Wi-Fi using the Education Subsription Program which gives learners access to the entire Calix education catalog at one low annual price.
You can find out more about Calix Services and what we cand do to accelerate your network transformation by visiting our web page.
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A September 2017 IDC study showed that “without an ongoing investment in updating skills, organizations lose approximately 60 percent of their capabilities in just three years.” So, whether you are using Calix platforms to build next generation networks, deploy new services, or optimize the subscriber experience, the demand for new skills and knowledge is constant.
An annual Calix Education Subscription with unlimited access to online eLearning and virtual instructor-led training, complete with hands-on labs, helps you meet this demand. Whether you are onboarding new employees or training existing employees on new technologies, an annual subscription allows you to consume learning quickly without transacting a course at a time. All-you-can-consume access means your team can increase knowledge deeply to achieve mastery or broaden knowledge across multiple technologies. Take advantage of this offer to deliver the critical skills your team needs today!
ALLO Communications capitalizes on the benefits of Calix Support Cloud, becoming one of six award winners.
With a rapidly expanding business that has seen as many as 900 new subscriber installations in a week, Nebraska’s ALLO Communications (ALLO) has remained committed to delivering the ultimate subscriber experience. It’s all-fiber network and growing base of Calix GigaCenters has allowed ALLO to provide gigabit speeds and superior Wi-Fi performance within its subscribers’ homes.
Yet with so many new subscribers, there are bound to be service calls flooding ALLO’s customer support team, as ALLO has found 30 percent of its trouble calls come within the first 45 days of service. With that in mind, ALLO turned to Calix Support Cloud to reduce first-call resolution and allow its support team to be proactive, instead of reactive. It has resulted in impressive metrics for the entire business, including a dramatic improvement in Net Promoter Score.
Get the in-depth story of the success ALLO has seen with Calix Support Cloud in its Calix Innovation Award winner video and learn about all six of our 2018 winners in this recent press release.
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