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Jan 30, 2024
2 min

Why Broadband Networks Need To Think Like Tesla—Use an Integrated Platform

A man using an integrated software platform on a laptop

Software is eating the world, as Marc Andreessen put it. And not just pure online companies like Facebook and Google, but hybrid companies like Amazon and FedEx—which can be viewed as software companies with a lot of warehouses and trucks or as physical companies with a lot of marketing, supply chain, and scheduling software. In either case, integrating software with hardware is a paradigm shift that gives a major competitive advantage because it delivers a platform that extends operational efficiencies.

 

Tesla exemplifies this trend. Tesla is a software company that has great hardware. (Or a hardware company with great software?) Either way, Tesla’s software and hardware integration delivers a platform that enables a seamless experience from purchase to maintenance. When buying a Tesla, you can choose your car, the features, and delivery options online. You don’t have to go to the dealership and wheel and deal. For maintenance, the software is automatically updated, just like a phone or computer, instead of having to book time to go to the shop. Integrating hardware and software via a single platform offers huge operational advantages.

 

For broadband service providers (BSPs), your Tesla is your network. By using a broadband platform with tightly integrated network hardware and cloud software, networks can be automatically monitored, yielding more information with less manual oversight—delivering a better subscriber experience. A platform also offers a “single pane of glass” to monitor and manage all operations so issues can be resolved faster and information can be seamlessly shared across business functions. This ultimately reduces the number of truck rolls, the mean time to repair, and the volume and length of support calls.

 

Creating tighter integration between hardware and software also introduces new risks. Hackers cracked the security on Tesla key fobs, making it easy to steal cars. Fortunately, Tesla’s platform only required a software update. Similarly, maintaining a broadband access network requires constant monitoring and mitigation of cyber threats that can be automated via a platform—shifting a BSP from reactive to proactive, capable of delivering timely updates and upgrades seamlessly.

 

What’s next? Software will continue to eat the world—shortening development times and allowing near-continuous upgrades of cars and networks. Companies must shift to hardware that supports the new software. For broadband access networks, using an integrated software and hardware platform like Tesla will enable a future-proof solution.

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