As highlighted in the first of a series of blog articles detailing our approach to addressing business transformation, Compass is a suite of software solutions that focuses on operational, customer support, and revenue expansion challenges. Last week, Calix announced the latest addition to the Compass suite – Consumer Connect.
Although not the first cloud-based software application within Compass, Consumer Connect just might be the most important of the growing bunch. After all, it’s somewhat difficult to have a positive impact on OPEX, customer satisfaction, or revenue expansion if broadband service hasn’t been established or functional.
What is Consumer Connect? Consumer Connect is a cloud-based software application – commonly referred to as software-as-a service – that enables broadband service providers to attach and maintain premise based intelligent devices to their networks quickly and easily.
Consumer Connect provides quick service activation through features like automatic device discovery that streamlines the service activation process. This can be an important enabler in establishing a self-install option for consumer which can eliminate truck rolls. For operators that value the interaction with consumers at the premise, Consumer Connect also equips installation technicians with a service activation web portal that can eliminate the need for service activation calls to support centers.
Consumer Connect is also a broadband and consumer device management tool. It can be used for bulk software updates speeding up the distribution of valuable firmware patches or upgrades that add new features or functionality. With DSL modems and ONTs having 5+ year lifecycles, operators can expect to have at least one firmware upgrade per year. By automating the upgrade process, a single technician can upgrade tens of thousands of devices with a click of a button.
Clearly these capabilities help save OPEX while speeding up the service activation process. Faster time to service or issue resolution leads to happier customers.
But that’s not the only way to maintain a positive relationship with consumers. As cited in last week’s blog, recent market research shows that about 2 out of 3 customers that switch broadband providers do so because of poor customer service. Of course, many things factor into poor customer service but when issues arise, it’s certain addressing and solving issues quickly will maintain a trusted and satisfactory relationship with consumers.
Consumer Connect facilitates remote access to the consumer LAN so if a customer calls in, customer service agents can quickly log in and begin the trouble isolation process. Further, Compass applications share a common subscriber ID so customer service agents are able to quickly jump between applications during the issue resolution process. By addressing issues quickly – and in many cases without sending a technician to the premise – broadband operators can keep churn rates to a minimum.
I’ve shared how Consumer Connect can help reduce OPEX and help maintain happy customers. How can it help expand revenues? Once connected, Consumer Connect also gives operators visibility into the consumer’s premise giving them an awareness of devices and LAN settings that can be very valuable.
Wireline providers have long offered and sold inside wiring protection services. Many are now getting into the consumer IT equivalent – managed consumer networks. With Consumer Connect operators now have a tool that can turn service calls into revenue opportunities.
For example, Consumer Connect can help service agents remotely reset Wi-Fi and parental control settings to factory defaults. It’s a quick way to re-establish service for customers who’ve mistakenly locked themselves out of their own network. There’s an inherent value in helping consumers troubleshoot their home networks and perhaps with these kinds of tools, operators can extract a monetary value for this kind of assistance.
Operators can also use Consumer Connect to offer a managed home network service. For a small monthly fee, operators can maintain Wi-Fi settings, parental control settings and even add new IP STBs, printers or Wi-Fi devices without ever having to send a technician to the premise.
As established in last week’s blog, Compass aims to address three key challenges that may help operators transform their businesses. Reduced OPEX, improved customer satisfaction, and expanded revenue opportunities. Consumer Connect addresses each of these.
And it is the foundation for the complementary functions of the Compass suite of software applications. Keep an eye out for the next blog post in this series as we discuss the role of Compass Flow Analyze.