September 23, 2020 by Michael Weening

Eliminating the Integration Nightmare: Empowering CSPs to Innovate Faster Than Even the Best Consumer Companies


Recently I reminisced with a colleague from a large communications service provider (CSP) about the years (and millions of dollars) it had taken to integrate any new solution into our billing system and processes. We discussed how the cost and slow time-to-market were barriers that needed to be overcome if CSPs were going to compete with the consumer companies invading the home and attempting to own home Wi-fi and the subscriber.

Is it possible for CSPs to integrate innovative new products, services, and solutions quickly—without seeing their rapid go-to-market aspirations get crushed by a complex project plan riddled with OSS/BSS integration investments and details?   

The answer is yes.

The Calix development team has spent the past five years tackling this go-to-market conundrum; incorporating many of the lessons we learned as we built the world’s only Software Defined Access platform—AXOS and the Intelligent Access EDGE solution. We abstracted the hardware, built an operating system (OS), and connected them all to the cloud. This innovation allowed us to deliver a second ground-breaking platform CSPs can deploy to launch new products and services faster than the best consumer competitor—the EXOS platform, which is the foundation of the Revenue EDGE solution.  

Many CSPs are already harnessing the incredible power of the Revenue Edge and EXOS and proving how fast they can innovate with the platform. Consider the following:

  • The unifying EXOS platform makes system upgrades seamless for Jade Communications—this rural CSP reduced its average new gateway integration time from four weeks to just one day with the BLAST u6.  

  • Pineland Telephone Cooperative is leveraging the EXOS platform to make seamless upgrades, cutting 15-20 minutes from each installation while enabling Pineland technicians to turn up more subscribers every day to meet growing demand among subscribers for the ultimate Wi-Fi experience. 

  • Ringgold Telephone Company (RTC) is using solutions within Revenue EDGE (Calix Support Cloud and ExperienceIQ™, for example) to deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience to subscribers—all under its own brand exclusively, thereby maintaining ownership of subscriber relationships without ceding personal data to a third-party vendor that might otherwise become a competitor.  

This is the power of a platform—the power of EXOS and the Revenue Edge. Together, they offer a unique set of benefits that will supercharge your business. 

1. Streamlined back-office integration   

Once integrated with your OSS/BSS, the communication between all components of the Revenue EDGE (e.g., Calix Marketing Cloud, Support Cloud, EDGE Suites and EDGE Systems) remain in place as Calix releases new capabilities and new systems. You will still undertake nominal tasks (such as adding a new piece of hardware to your product catalogue), but EXOS eliminates the painful process of a new end-to-end integration and process implementation every time a new piece of hardware or a new solution is introduced. 

2. Operational simplicity  

For most CSPs, integrating new hardware is a huge project which can take months or even years. The BLAST u12 was the first carrier-class Wi-Fi 6 system on the market. This was followed by the BLAST u6 system, and, most recently, the BLAST u4 and Mesh BLAST u4m systems. Each system runs the same EXOS software. They are pre-integrated into the platform. And the best part? All BLAST systems work with all other BLAST systems. They are interchangeable. Adding a new system requires days, not months or years. 

3. No new call center process projects (just updates and enhancements) 

Whenever we release a new EDGE System or new application in EDGE Suites, CSPs can maintain all existing operating procedures. Furthermore, Support Cloud is automatically updated so CSRs maintain visibility into the subscriber's home network, while adding the new systems. And they have visibility into the configuration of the EDGE Suites so they can quickly identify and correct problems—all remotely. We also provide knowledge articles and training for your teams, and Calix Customer Success is always available to ensure a successful launch, with minimal effort from you.  

4. Seamless integration of new applications and revenue streams  

Calix Marketing Cloud and Support Cloud are tested to ensure they work with all systems from their launch allowing you to appropriately target the right subscribers and ensure you can support them seamlessly from day one. The EDGE Suites (ProtectIQ™ and ExperienceIQ™) will run on all systems. Adding a new application on EDGE Systems to sell takes days, not years— allowing your marketing team to focus on building killer marketing campaigns to sell the product, not on integration issues. 

5. Marketing ROI to seize the market opportunity  

If you spend 12-18 months integrating a new solution, it will likely be outdated before it even launches. By deploying pre-integrated solutions (updated quarterly) from Calix, your marketing teams benefit from the ability to get to market quickly and fast iterate. Thanks to the insights from Calix Marketing Cloud—which will help the marketing team target based on propensity to buy while reaching clients in the most efficient way—and the Customer Success team, which continually shares best practices on how to successfully launch and sell the suites, the marketing team will increase the likelihood that the suite succeeds. For example, Calix Marketing Cloud will stop the marketing team from campaigning parental controls to the university student, and instead allow the team to target the learn-from-home family by advertising to them on the social channels they frequent. This will drive the highest ROI on each marketing campaign.

The power of a pre-integrated platform supported by the best customer success team in the industry is a far cry from the “build it all from scratch and hope that we can sell it 18 months from now” approach that we’ve always endured.  

Our goal with the Revenue EDGE is to allow you to harness the power of a flexible, dynamic platform. Once you’ve embraced the Revenue EDGE and integrated EXOS into your back office and operations systems, adding new Wi-Fi systems and value-added applications is a breeze because they all share the same platform. 

By significantly reducing the time required for evaluation, testing, integration, and deployment, you’ll be in market faster and be able to keep your subscribers/members loyal through new and exciting experiences. You’ll also simplify support and marketing activities, reduce costs, and improve your ROI.  

So, no, integration and innovation don’t need to be mutually exclusive; they can live harmoniously after all.