The Beacon

September 2020

The Beacon

September 2020

Beacon Contents

Looking for more content? Check out the Revenue EDGE Beacon here

Our Plan of Action

Deliver Innovation at the Speed Subscribers Need

 

Carl Russo

President and Chief Executive Officer, Calix

The best businesses constantly innovate so they can meet customer needs. 

But innovation alone is not enough … it must arrive at a pace that satisfies your subscribers.

Moving at the pace of the subscriber is a challenge for many CSPs, because the foundational layer of success is the network—and networks evolve over decades.

At the same time, subscribers are being trained by over-the-top players to expect new things every day!

Calix Platforms have been architected from scratch to address this innovation-cycle difference. How? Our platforms are fully abstracted from the hardware, componentized, and stateful, which allows us to develop new features and services at a DevOps pace and deliver them to our customers routinely on a 91-day cadence. The reliability and quality of these features and services allow our CSP customers to bring new offerings to their subscribers as market demands shift.

In the past six months alone, the needs of subscribers have changed quickly and dramatically. What’s your plan to meet those needs? Is your network designed to help you rapidly innovate? Can you deliver a data-driven subscriber experience that lowers churn, increases your revenue-generating opportunities, and secures a competitive foothold in your market? 

At Calix, we’re helping CSPs invest in their future and build the last network they’ll ever need—one that’s fiber-based and flexible, with the lowest operating expense, per bit, per mile. 

The smarter you are about building a platform-based network, the better you’ll be able to deliver innovation at the pace subscribers want, now and for decades to come. Forward-thinking CSPs are already embracing this philosophy. Next month at ConneXions, we’ll showcase many compelling examples of how Calix customers are using the AXOS platform and the simplicity of Calix Intelligent Access EDGE to innovate, lower costs, and deliver at lightning speed. 

  • Cumberland Connect has been able to embark on an ambitious and accelerated timeline to deliver fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services to 80,000 cooperative members in six months. Cumberland Connect completed its end-to-end network integration in a few weeks and is currently turning up services to more than 130 members weekly. 
  • Eurofiber is expanding its fiber-access network in several European countries while also simplifying its network and operations, and minimizing operational costs. Its everyPON strategy will allow it to select the best PON technology based on subscriber needs. 
  • Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) has delivered symmetrical Gigabit service since 2013 (PCMag recently named CFU the fastest Internet Service Provider in the country). Cedar Falls Utilities has deployed the future-proof AXOS platform to minimize annual operating expenses while ensuring scalability that will meet subscriber bandwidth needs as the market evolves. 

Whether you’re evolving your current network or building a new one, play the long game and set yourself up to innovate and respond with agility to your subscriber needs. With an everyPON strategy that includes AXOS, we can help you stay agile and innovate with differentiated services over the long haul. 

This issue of The Beacon offers stories and action items to build a future-proof network. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to seeing you virtually at ConneXions on October 26–29

 
 

MAIN CONFERENCE l OCTOBER 26–29, 2020
CUSTOMER SUCCESS ENABLEMENT AND TRAINING l NOVEMBER 4–5, 2020

MAIN CONFERENCE l OCTOBER 26–29, 2020
CUSTOMER SUCCESS ENABLEMENT AND TRAINING l NOVEMBER 4–5, 2020

 

Network Operation Actions

Why Agile, Future-Proof Networks Win Every Time

Kevin Kuo

Director, AXOS Product Marketing, Calix

Obsolescence is a risk for any technology system. That’s why we talk so much about “future-proofing” your network. “Future-proofing” is the process of trying to anticipate future developments that might impact your ability to maintain your competitive edge and grow over time. We think about the future in two ways. One, we want to minimize the negative effects associated with change. Two, we want to help you proactively capitalize on any positive opportunities associated with change. 

Develop agile responses to change. 

The COVID-19 era is changing everything. It would have been difficult for any communications service provider (CSP) to foresee the “new normal.” And there’s no way we could have predicted the enormous impact the pandemic has created on demand and the need for network resiliency so CSPs can: 

  • Deliver reliable connectivity
  • Serve communities with high broadband internet services
  • Troubleshoot subscriber services quickly and remotely

All these mandates will be compounded as the demand for cloud and mobile applications grows and 5G networks emerge. Networks that evolve to support those emerging technologies and offer greater functionality and scalability will thrive. Rigid, monolithic architectures will become obsolete.  

The best CSPs will build networks that allow them to effectively and efficiently manage a distributed design. To do so, they need a modular architecture that supports a common service model, in which the hardware and services abstraction layers are independent from one another. This allows CSPs to incorporate future technologies into the networks they’re using today.  

Consistent service models and workflows allow CSPs to simplify operational tasks, build end-to-end orchestration and management, and integrate workflows to further reduce operating expenses. Therefore, it’s imperative you build a flexible network infrastructure—one that will support future applications and technologies without the need for costly upgrades or impacts to subscriber services.

Automation is the cornerstone of network agility.

For tomorrow’s CSPs, automation is the cornerstone strategy that will increase their network agility and reliability while controlling operational and capital expenses. With that in mind, the AXOS platform delivers a radically simplified, automated framework that enables CSPs to future proof their fiber networks and deploy the right technology, at the right time, to optimize their capital investments. 

The unified AXOS platform simplifies your architecture and automates your service provisioning and operational processes, while the AXOS systems deliver unparalleled scalability and differentiated services over everyPON to your subscribers. All of which sets up you—and your subscribers—for a brighter future. 

 

Your Recommended Action Plan

Customer Awards

Submissions are Open for Our 2020 “Innovations” Awards!

 

Awards submission deadline: October 1, 2020

Innovations in Revenue EDGE

Are you a data-driven marketer? Are you using Calix Marketing Cloud to uncover new and creative ways to reach subscribers with the Revenue EDGE? We want to hear your story. Record a brief video (fewer than three minutes) and submit it by October 1 via WeTransfer (enter the email address award.submissions@calix.com to send). Your video should outline three elements:

  1. A brief overview of your company and the objectives of your marketing campaign.
  2. A description of how you’re using data from Calix Marketing Cloud to drive creative marketing campaigns to deploy the Revenue EDGE
  3. Your marketing campaign results (including any compelling metrics)

The winning video will be showcased during ConneXions, and the team will receive a complimentary marketing workshop with Decision Counsel (the producers of “The Millers” and “InyComm” videos). Good luck! If you have questions, please email Lisa.Gschwandtner@Calix.com.

Innovations in Intelligent Access EDGE

Are you actively innovating and optimizing your network operations? Are you embracing software-defined architecture with the Intelligent Access EDGE and AXOS? We want to hear your story. Record a brief video (fewer than three minutes) and submit it by October 1 via WeTransfer (enter the email address award.submissions@calix.com to send). Your video should outline three elements:

  1. A brief overview of your company and the latest innovations of your network
  2. Description of how the Intelligent Access EDGE is enabling these innovations
  3. Specific examples of business value (improved remote diagnostics, reduced integration times, faster service deployments, reduced truck rolls, etc.)
  4. Fun shots (think “MTV Cribs”) of your teams, office, and facility that convey the personality of your team

The winning video will be showcased during ConneXions, and up to five members of the winning team will be awarded new Apple iPads. Good luck! If you have questions, please email Lisa.Gschwandtner@Calix.com.

Regulatory Insight

A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Finally Bridge the Rural Digital Divide

Greg Bathrick

Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

We’re living in challenging times—and the need for high-speed broadband service at home is now apparent to everyone, including our lawmakers. 

Through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is making $20 billion available to get rural subscribers connected and build a better future. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for service providers to help rural communities get the broadband access they need to thrive and grow. 

If you’ve applied for this federal funding, kudos. You’ve joined over 800 applicants, representing a community of electric cooperatives, regional telecommunications companies, municipalities, cable operators, and satellite internet providers (some of which are also working with consortiums). By getting involved with RDOF, you’re helping execute the leadership vision of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has said his number-one priority is "closing the digital divide and bringing the benefits of the internet age to all Americans.” 

Calix supports your RDOF journey. 

Next month, you will start the RDOF, Phase 1 auction, which will allocate $16 billion over the next 10 years to serve roughly six million homes and businesses in census blocks that the FCC found entirely unserved. 

The RDOF framework encourages smaller service providers to participate by using a smaller bidding area; this ensures all interested bidders, including small entities, have the flexibility to design a network that matches their business model. Based on the RDOF weighting system, the auction will fund the superior internet access performance at the budget clearing round.

What’s next for RDOF? 

Since the fund was approved in early 2020, Calix has launched online educational webinars, informative regulatory blogs, office hours, and one-on-one technical consults—all to help keep you informed about RDOF. 

We invite you to join us virtually at ConneXions for our next educational RDOF session, “You've Got Funding for Broadband Deployment: What's Next?” During this session, experts will share how you can meet your deployment obligations to build a new network (not a trivial task for any service provider, let alone a new entrant such as an electric cooperative or municipality that may not have the staff, capability, and resources to build a physical broadband network). 

Join us on October 29, and we’ll help you keep your continued commitment to close the rural digital divide. 

 

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.

 
 

Customer Support Actions

Tap the Peak Potential of Your Customer Care Team

Martha Galley

VP, Customer Engagement, Calix

When it comes to providing the best subscriber experience, your frontline support is the first and critical point of contact. They’re best suited to answer subscriber questions and resolve problems quickly and cost effectively—when they get it right frequently and quickly, your subscribers get the best experience, and you can apply expert resources to more complex and high-value activities.

But how do you ensure your frontline is performing at peak potential?

First, make sure your customer care teams are using Calix Support Cloud. Communication service providers (CSPs) like Arvig Communications are leveraging Calix Support Cloud to improve their customer care team’s troubleshooting capabilities. As a result, they have improved First Call Resolution (FCR) to 72 percent, and cut truck roll rate by 8.5 percent. They have improved the subscriber experience and reduced costs significantly.

With the new Calix Support Cloud: Dashboard for Interactive Reports, now you can proactively analyze your customer care operations to ensure they are running at maximum efficiency, whether your frontline team is in-house or outsourced to a third party. Here are some tips to help you achieve optimal results using data and insights in Calix Support Cloud. 

  • Understand what information is being utilized to resolve issues. Uncover what information is being used, when, and how often—all based on usage patterns. Improve troubleshooting by analyzing the rich visibility into the home Wi-Fi experience, and fix any training gaps.
  • Identify and enforce best practices. Identify the most effective workflows for problem resolution based on top performer usage patterns.
  • Benchmark team performance. Track call outcomes and analyze individual contributions to Key Performance Indicators. Discover trends in escalations, truck rolls, and FCR per team member; and set personalized goals for improvement.

What results can you expect? Union Wireless used call outcome insights to determine 30 percent of its truck rolls are avoidable with the right training for customer care representatives. 

There are many more ways to leverage data, uncover insights, and run a better customer care organization. Taking these steps will help you provide the ultimate subscriber experience and build your brand. Join us at ConneXions to hear directly from your peers about how they’re using data to optimize operations and develop best practices.

 

Your Recommended Action Plan

 
 

Network Operation and Field Technician Actions

How Early Revenue EDGE Innovators Deliver Exceptional Subscriber Experiences

Greg Owens

Senior Director, Product Marketing, Calix

Back in October 2018, Calix was among the first to offer Wi-Fi 6 technology in our EDGE Systems that your subscribers couldn’t get in a big box store. 

Fast forward two years, and Wi-Fi 6 (also referred to as 802.11ax) is now found in most new consumer electronics and is expected to power 95 percent of Wi-Fi systems by 2023. Clearly, we’re at the precipice of widespread adoption. 

To support your efforts to deliver the best technology solutions possible to your subscribers, Calix recently launched a second EXOS-powered Wi-Fi 6 EDGE System—the BLAST u4. This means you now have more options to deliver the BLAST ultimate Wi-Fi experience (and keep subscribers from going to big box stores). 

The ultimate carrier-class Wi-Fi experience, with consumer design appeal.

When we launched the BLAST u6 last year, we gave you the most powerful Wi-Fi 6 system around. The new BLAST u4 is also powerful. So, what’s the benefit of adding the new BLAST u4 system to the mix? 

In a nutshell, the system offers an amazing balance of great consumer design and carrier-class capabilities. That makes it an ideal fit for the subscriber who wants to display the system prominently in the home—meanwhile, you still get the reliability, management, and insight necessary to ensure you deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience at the lower possible opex. 

All this means you have new flexibility around deployment options. The BLAST u4 enables you to offer subscribers a system that is: 

  • Equipped with carrier-class capabilities: By eschewing technical design choices that can reduce reliability, such as internal fans, the u4 ensures carrier-class reliability while delivering capabilities such as TR-069, IPTV support via multiple LAN ports, and cloud analytics.
  • Wi-Fi 6-certified: Better network coverage and improved throughput to meet the enormous demand subscribers now have for in-home bandwidth.  
  • Secure from online threats: All BLAST systems include both WPA-3 and physically unclonable functions (PuF)—which aren’t available in most consumer-grade gateways—to ensure subscribers are less susceptible to system attacks.
  • Built for optimal performance: Unlike plug-in Wi-Fi extenders, subscribers can place the BLAST u4 (which has a separate power cord and can be wall-mounted) anywhere in the home and get optimal coverage and performance. 

Here’s more good news. If LAN ports are still important to some of your subscribers (for example, those with devices that require Ethernet connectivity or anyone who subscribes to IPTV services with hard-wired set top boxes), then you’re all set. The BLAST u4 features two Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. It can also be configured as a Mesh Wi-Fi system, connected to a either a BLAST u12, BLAST u6, or another BLAST u4 system.

Reduce integration times and elevate your revenue. 

Of course, the BLAST u4 is powered by EXOS and compatible with the Revenue EDGE. This sets you up to win in several ways:

  • Provide subscribers with additional apps, including ProtectIQ™ and ExperienceIQ™, all under the CommandIQ™ mobile app (which you can customize with your brand).
  • Support Ookla-powered, FCC-compliant performance tests.
  • Reduce the time required for evaluation, testing, integration, and deployment of new systems. (Here are some great examples of providers that have launched new systems very quickly.)

You can’t do any of these things if your subscribers purchase their gateways at big-box stores.

 

Your Recommended Action Plan

 

Business Transformation Profile

Building a Future-Proof Network in Rural Tennessee

 

Dale Legaspi

External Communications Manager, Calix 

Rural Tennesseans along the state’s northern border have long gone without internet connectivity. All that is changing now, thanks to the leadership vision of Cumberland Connect, the broadband subsidiary of the Cumberland Electric Member Corporation (CEMC). 

Why broadband is the new electricity.

One of the largest electric cooperatives in the country, CEMC was founded in 1938 and today serves more than 80,000 members. For nearly a century, the company has delivered electricity to member communities, placing an unwavering emphasis on providing the best technology available. 

In 2017, that meant establishing a subsidiary organization, Cumberland Connect, to deliver broadband service. The innovation curve at Cumberland has begun once again, as it deploys symmetrical Gigabit broadband service via a next-generation fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

Turning up service at record-breaking speed. 

Partnering with Calix to adopt the Intelligent Access EDGE platform, Cumberland Connect went from having not a single fiber connection to turning up an average of 200 broadband subscribers a week—handily working toward its goal of having its entire membership covered with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband service in the next six years. 

As it grows and expands into new markets, Cumberland Connect will inevitably face new competitors, but it’s further differentiating its service offerings with the Revenue EDGE. The advanced analytics and data-driven insights about subscribers give the Cumberland team deep visibility into usage and network activity—setting them up to meet and exceed subscriber needs in a way no other provider can. 

To learn more, join us virtually at ConneXions on October 27 to hear CEMC general manager Chris Davis share his team’s success story. 

 

Your Recommended Action Plan 

Calix Academy

Training and Enablement Week at ConneXions on November 4 and 5

This year at ConneXions we’ll offer more than a dozen sessions designed to provide you with engaging, fun, and interactive learning experiences. Each session will be customized based on roles such as marketing, network operations, network engineering, and customer experience.  

In addition to sessions that cover content in our most popular classes, we’re including training on topics requested by you, our attendees. And this year we are excited to debut our new E9-2 AXOS certification exam. All registered attendees will receive a coupon code, valued at $295, to take the new E9-2 AXOS exam at no charge (valid through December 31, 2020). 

Some examples of training sessions this year:

  • E9-2 AXOS Turn up and Transport
  • E9-2 AXOS Data and Voice Services
  • Wi-Fi Technical Basics
  • AXOS Network Elements

Register for ConneXions today. 

 

Customer Team Member of the Month

 

Meet Jungmin Lee

Role:  Senior Systems Engineer

Location: Carrollton, Texas

Years of Service: 1 year

Calix Expertise: DPx SME

School: Namseoul University in Cheonan, South Korea

Favorite Movie: Mission Impossible series

Favorite Vacation Spot: Hawaii

Fun Fact: My dream house would be having big swimming pool with lots of fun slides.

What keeps you busy outside of work: Mostly, lawn care during the weekend. My lawn keeps growing so fast and if I don’t take care of it, I’ll get fined by my HOA.

 

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. Delivering Broadband in a Pandemic: Answers to All Your Regulatory Questions 
  2. Bringing Your OSS Up to Speed for Tackling Today’s Complexity
  3. Does your Back-to-School Plan Include Parental Controls?
  4. Help Subscribers Manage Online Experiences for Their Children
  5. 30 Percent of Truck Rolls are Avoidable With the Right Data Insights

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

TAC TV Featured Video

EXOS Support User Credentials (20.3 Update)

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Featured Resources

Customer Resources to Help Keep You on Track

Webinars

New Revenue EDGE Success Enablement Webinar

NEW! CommandIQ Success Enablement Webinars

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

Office Hours

Customer Success Office Hours: Support Cloud EME Questions

Wednesdays: 10:00AM ET

Register Now

 

Recent Software Releases

AXOS
Early Adoption*
  • AXOS 20.3.1.1 (E9-2 ASM3001)   
Mature Release**
  • AXOS 20.3.0.2 (E9-2 CLX/OLT)
  • SMx 20.3.0.1  
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE9-2 ASM3001 20.3.0.1
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE7-2/vE3-2/vE9-2 OLT 20.3.0.1 
EXOS
Early Adoption*
  • EXOS 20.3.0.4 (GigaSpire BLAST u4) 
  • EXOS 20.3.0.4 (GigaSpire mesh BLAST u4m)

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

*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.

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