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The Beacon

April 2019

The Beacon

April 2019

Beacon Contents

From the Bullpen

Continuously Learning

 

Matt Collins

Chief Marketing Officer

 

In our efforts to develop deeper partnerships and contribute to your ongoing success as Calix customers, we are always learning. In the spirit of finding ways to continually improve how we learn from the industry, share our learning with you, and how you can share this learning with your subscribers, you will find this April edition of the Beacon full of examples.

A few highlights:

  • Learning from the industry - One example is the Broadband Multimedia Marketing Association (BMMA), a non-profit organization that is focused on the marketing of broadband and smart home services. Calix has been involved with the BMMA for many years and, recently, Greg Owens (a Calix Product Marketing Director) was re-elected to a second consecutive one-year term on the BMMA Board of Directors. This provides us with a wonderful opportunity to share, gather, and adopt best practices from across the industry. You can read more in this blog about our recent ‘Best in Class” award for the campaign we designed to enable customers like you to market Smart Home & Business Solutions.
  • Learning together – Back in early February, we announced the market’s first and fully operational CAF Performance Testing solution. The response has been extremely positive. This is providing us with an opportunity to share what we are learning from you, and address some of your questions in our second EXOS/Smart Home and Business Spotlight. 
  • Learning for you – You should ask yourself, “Is my team ready with the foundational skills to help us take advantage of new opportunities?” Calix Education Services has developed several self-paced and instructor led courses to help you accelerate your team’s readiness to deliver value added Smart Home services. Want to explore additional topics? Each month in our Perspectives Spotlight we regularly share our insights on the latest market trends. In this edition, we cover Mobile Edge Computing.
  • Learning for your subscribers – You will see in our EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight the power of educating your subscribers. When done well, this can elevate your brand, drive new demand, create amazing advocates, remove subscriber concerns, and reduce your support calls.

As we gear up for our next quarterly release in May, you will see more examples of how we continue to deliver offerings and learnings to help you grow your business and to help your subscribers take full advantage of the innovative services you provide.

 
 

Cloud Spotlight

Two is Better than One. Here’s the Proof.

 

Pam Ferguson

AVP, Product Marketing Subscriber Experience,

Calix

Realizing the Synergies of Marketing and Support Cloud

It’s no surprise that many service providers have chosen to take advantage of both the solutions Calix Cloud has to offer. While Calix Support Cloud was engineered for customer care operations and Calix Marketing Cloud for marketing organizations, it is always fascinating to see how service providers are finding ways to capitalize on the synergies between the deep visibility and aggregate intelligence they have to offer.

One specific example is SCTelcom. Carla Shearer, CEO/General Manager of the Kansas-based broadband provider, explains during a recent Subscriber Experience Spotlight series webinar that one of their early realizations about delivering the best possible subscriber experience was that it meant empowering every person in the organization that interacts with subscribers. But it was costly and difficult to find and retain the right talent with the expertise and skill set to leverage the data that would empower them, which did not align with their operational goals.

After investing in Calix Cloud, they quickly identified all subscribers with poor service experience using Calix Marketing Cloud and ran a campaign targeting streamers and gamers with a tailored message and offer. In addition to their usual direct mail and email marketing, they included outbound calling with their Customer Service Representatives (CSRs).

These CSRs were already taking advantage of the visibility and intelligence Calix Support Cloud had to offer. Features like Self Check and advanced troubleshooting were allowing for meaningful conversations with subscribers to resolve issues faster. According to Carla, they turned on Self Heal network wide after hearing about it at ConneXions. For those new to Self Heal, it is the ability to proactively find and fix Wi-Fi issues.

This collaboration between the customer care and marketing teams amplified the power of investing in both the Calix Cloud solutions. CSRs were now looking closely at what was compromising the experience of the subscribers on the marketing list before calling them to offer the right service to meet their needs.

The results of this strategy speaks for itself:

  • 51.7 percent take rate on the campaign
  • 32 percent reduction in trouble tickets
  • Less than 4 months to recover the investment in Calix Cloud

For more, check out the replay of webinar with SCTelcom. If you are a Calix Support Cloud customer, to take a look at how Calix Marketing Cloud can supplement your efforts to deliver the best possible subscriber experience. And don’t be shy about sharing your experience with your marketing colleagues and leadership!     

 

EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight

Top 5 Reasons to Educate Your Subscribers

 

Bridget Watkins

Product Marketing Director

New Markets/Premises, Calix 

As subscribers experiment with the connected home or begin to transition into the smart home, the learning curve can be steep. It may be tempting to skip some steps and jump straight into services your subscribers may not understand or be ready for.

You have a compelling opportunity to position yourself as the provider of choice to deliver the solutions for the smart home of the future. And the best place to start is by educating your subscribers.

Reason #1: Educating your subscribers allows you to elevate and differentiate your brand.

Explain the benefits of complicated technology to your subscribers in a simple, meaningful way to alleviate their concerns. It also builds a relationship based on trust, resulting in them viewing your relationship in a new light and increasing their loyalty to your brand.

Reason #2: Educated subscribers drive demand.

Become the trusted advisor. Subscribers are more likely to contact someone they trust when they are looking at new solutions to make their lives easier. We’ve all heard of the “nephew of my brother-in-law who helps with my IT stuff.” But your relationship with subscribers gives you a great opportunity to serve as that trusted advisor who recommends the latest smart home solutions that blend seamlessly with their network without making things complicated.

Reason #3: Education creates advocates.

Subscribers who trust you, and embrace new solutions you provide, are also more likely to recommend you to others. Word of mouth advertising is invaluable. When subscribers are your advocates, they will speak up on your behalf and share how their experience has improved by using your solutions.

Reason #4: Educated responses remove concerns.

When service providers take the time to anticipate subscriber questions and ensure that answers are readily available for both subscribers and staff, it results in an atmosphere of stability and trust.

Reason #5: Educating your customers reduces support calls.

Providing your subscribers with a basic understanding of how the Internet and Wi-Fi works can also result in reduced support calls. With continuing education, a helpful app, and a little bit of understanding, your subscribers will feel more confident taking control of their home network.

So where do you start?

  • Start with a managed foundational layer of Wi-Fi in the subscriber home.
  • Look for ways to enhance the subscriber experience by utilizing data, available in Calix Cloud, to enable self-healing, quick resolution of common issues, and relevant service recommendations.
  • Define what the next layer of services looks like for your subscribers: demonstrating the value of Wi-Fi 6, or helping them expand from a few connected devices to a complete smart home, or enabling interaction through voice commands and user-friendly apps.
  • Position your brand with the ability to layer on new value-added services in the future by utilizing EXOS and the GigaSpire family.

The opportunity is now, and Calix is here to help. We continue to add new resources for educating and marketing to your subscribers to our library of resources here. Check out our new Digital Dilemmas social media campaign assets.

 

EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight

CAF Performance Testing – Answers to your questions

 

Bridget Watkins

Product Marketing Director

New Markets/Premises, Calix 

Back in early February, we announced the market’s first and fully operational CAF Performance Testing solution. The response has been extremely positive, and service providers have jumped on the opportunity to begin their early pre-testing. This is providing us with an opportunity to share what we are learning from you, and address some of your questions.

Common Questions:

  1. Is Broadband Forum TR-143 required for testing? No. There are three standards recommended by the FCC and this is only one of them. Further, the currently published TR-143 specification does not meet the entire scope of the FCC order.
  2. Do I need a separate “box” for testing? No. One of the FCC approved frameworks allows testing with existing network management systems and tools. We are hearing that some installed residential gateways and systems are not capable of supporting the required testing speeds, so it’s essential to start pre-testing now.
  3. Why is Ookla so important as the Calix test server? Ookla is the global leader in internet testing and processes over 10 million tests every single day using more than 8,000 servers and covers all 16 FCC designated IXP cities. It provides the most robust testing platform and is used by many service providers today.  Based on early testing results we’ve seen there have been no issues getting accurate results from Ookla servers, particularly when routing and peering have been verified to ensure traffic is directed correctly.  For those considering running all testing traffic to a single server we would advise caution in ensuring that the full solution is robust enough to handle the traffic.

The Calix CAF Performance Testing solution, with the EXOS-powered GigaSpire and Calix Support Cloud service complies with the FCC required testing. The solution also utilizes built-in intelligence and tools to continuously improve the subscriber experience and build a foundation to deliver revenue generating services in the future. We encourage service providers to try this embedded solution first, before spending significant resources looking at alternatives.

Enhancements Coming in May!

To stay current with our quarterly release cycle, click below for regular access to the latest insights and updates to our CAF Performance Testing solution.

AXOS Spotlight

Think We’re Done? We’re Just Getting Started…

 

Teresa McGaughey

Senior Director, Solutions Marketing, Calix

We will never be done innovating on AXOS

We have made significant advancements in our AXOS portfolio and you all are taking notice. Q1 2019 was our largest AXOS quarter ever. We didn’t just exceed previous quarters; we blew right past them. I’m not excited about this for the reason you think, I’m excited because that means we share a common vision. A vision where software simplifies the operations and architecture of networks and helps ensure your businesses can accelerate to meet the demands of your subscribers. 

Speaking of acceleration, were you aware that the AXOS E-Series portfolio now has NG-PON2, XGS-PON, 10G EPON, GPON, Active Ethernet, and Gfast all available and shipping? With this breadth of technologies across the E-Series portfolio, along with AXOS platform hardware independence and common service models, you can easily deploy the services you subscribers want while simplifying your operations. Whatever the technology or the system, provisioning a service is the same. 

In addition, with all the new applications available to your subscribers, I’ve recently heard some of you say that you’ve exceeded your ring capacity on your access network. The AXOS E7-2 10GE-12 Aggregation line card, which has been deployed in networks since 2018, enables you to bring 10G or 40G uplinks to your access network and aggregate your downstream systems using 10G or multiple 10G links. You may not be ready to upgrade that GPON to 10G PON yet, because your subscribers aren’t exceeding their GPON connections. However, if you put all their traffic together, they may already be exceeding your existing aggregation solution. Adding an E7-2 10GE-12 aggregation line card could be a very simple solution to improving your subscribers’ experience.

So what's next?

With all the new applications accelerating the need for bandwidth, standards groups such as ITU, FSAN, BBF, and IEEE are working on several new technologies to help you keep up with the demands on your network. Have you heard of G.hsp? Probably not. Just know that it has a few flavors and could get you symmetric bandwidth as high as 800G sometime in the future.

Whatever technologies the standards groups ultimately decide on for the next big thing, it’s important to remember that AXOS hardware independence and common service models will ensure you can easily integrate them into your network. If you’d like to learn more about some of the potential new technologies and figure out which ones might be of most interest to you, join me in my upcoming webinar with Broadband World News titled 5G, WiFi6, 10G, 50G PON: The Alphabet Soup Continues.

 

Services Spotlight

Is Your Team Prepared to Deliver a Superior Smart Home Experience?

 

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

Did you know that 78 percent of IoT and Smart Home experts agree that the real monetization of connected devices will lie in the “creation, deployment, and maintenance of value-added services”? This was confirmed in a recent study of the investments, skills, and security needs for the IoT and Smart Home space, conducted by Canonical. Interestingly, this same study discovered that providers are struggling to prepare their teams with the right skills to effectively manage the growing wave of smart devices connecting to today’s networks. Developing deeper skills around analytics and security tools were two of several areas highlighted for existing employees and for recruiting new talent.

Does your team have the foundational skills to help you take advantage of these opportunities? Are they trained to:

  • Support managed Wi-Fi as the underlying connectivity layer?
  • Set up and troubleshoot conversational voice interfaces?
  • Deliver an exceptional smart home experience to your subscribers?

Calix Education Services has developed both self-paced and instructor-led courses to help you accelerate your team’s readiness to deploy value added services, with curricula focused on: 

  • Wi-Fi Fundamentals
  • Wi-Fi Technician Specialist
  • GigaSpire Overview
  • Introduction to the Smart Home
  • Using Calix Support Cloud

Our Education Subscription Program is a great way to get started. For one low annual fee, a learner gets unlimited access to all eLearning and remote instructor-led courses in the Calix Academy. This program provides end-to-end education on the latest technologies, premises, cloud, and access platforms. As new and updated courses come out, subscribers are automatically notified.

We covered all of this in detail during our webinar “Foundational Education Courses to Monetize the Smart Home." Click the link below to view the webinar replay. You can also set up a free consultation on Education Services training and certification options by clicking below.

 

It’s Your Time to Lead...

Let us help. Join a Calix Regional Summit coming to a city in your region this spring.

The time has come when you can define a new reality for your subscribers. Your subscribers are asking for new services, and now you can exceed their expectations. Calix is excited to partner with you on how to make new innovations a reality for all of your subscribers.  To accelerate our partnership, we are pleased to announce the launch of our Regional Summit series.   

During the summit, we will share how our customers have:

  • Increased subscriber retention by up to 94% 
  • Reduced truck rolls by up to 50% 
  • Simplified their operations and reduce back office integration time by 80% 
  • Leveraged remote monitoring services to slash issue resolution time by up to 50% 
 

Perspectives Spotlight

Living on the Edge: Why Multi-Access Edge Computing Will Make a Profound Impact on Networks

 

Alan DiCicco

Senior Director, Thought Leadership Marketing, Calix

It’s an exciting time for our industry, with advances in optical networking like NG-PON2 and coherent optics, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G wireless technologies, plus a steady move toward automating service creation leveraging open standard APIs.

New revenue opportunities are on the way in the form of remote medicine, industrial automation, and augmented reality, to name a few. But to deliver the low latency and high bandwidth that these applications require, the network architecture needs to change. We need to move the applications from the Cloud data center to a regional data center, and in some cases, right into the local market for network “edge computing.” Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), formerly Mobile Edge Computing, is not a new concept, but advances in software platforms and virtualization have made MEC a critical investment for many network operators.

The impact of MEC on the broadband access network will be profound. Almost by definition, edge compute occurs at the application level within a network. In the broadband networks we’ve been building since the dawn of DSL, we’ve backhauled layer 2 connections – first ATM and now Ethernet – deep into the regional network to a centralized BNG router. That’s where we terminate Layer 2 transport and begin to have visibility to the applications inside.

We can’t continue backhauling application-blind Layer 2 traffic any longer when we implement edge computing. Rather, we must distribute the IP edge out to the broadband serving offices and terminate layer 2 VLAN tunnels at that point. Then we can steer IP application flows to their targeted resources – be that the Internet, locally cached OTT video, or local edge compute-based services. In other words, the BNG needs to be closer to the subscriber than the MEC applications that we are pushing to the network edge.

Data center inspired edge computing is moving to the very farthest reaches of the service provider network. Service provider-owned premises systems, with an embedded software platform capable of running microservices, will quickly become the sought-after edge computing resource for a host of new applications. On-premises edge computing could extend the capabilities of low-cost IoT sensors by providing local, low latency compute resources that will greatly expand the market for facial recognition security, healthcare monitoring, and other industrial applications.

So, stay tuned. Software platforms, application layer intelligence, and edge computing are coming to the local broadband network and will revolutionize this already exciting industry.

 

What’s your perspective?

And of course, there’s plenty more to read and share on the Calix Perspectives page blogs. I look forward to hearing your perspective.

 

Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

New! Circles of Success

Success for All: Circles Rule!

Sign up for an upcoming Circles of Success!  Circles of Success are small, interactive peer conversations among Calix customers, facilitated by a Calix Customer Success expert, talking about solution adoption, best practices, and user tips.

 

Rules of Engagement:

  • These are interactive sessions, be prepared to have open discussions with other attendees.
  • Sessions will not be recorded, to drive live participation, but Thought Starter slides will be posted in the Communiy.
  • We cap registration to keep the conversations productive… if you can’t get into a session, don’t worry, we will repeat topics in upcoming sessions. 

TAC TV Featured Video

 

TR-069 ‘0 BOOTSTRAP’ Event Code    

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts

Each month, we highlight the top 5 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. Are Data Analytics Just Hype? Three Reasons to Unlock the Power of Your Data 
  2. 5G and Rural America 
  3. You Had Me at Hello… New Digital Dilemma Series Provides the Easy Answers to Wi-Fi’s Toughest Questions 
  4. Three Ways to Ensure Success on Your Next Network Infrastructure Project
  5. 5G and OSS/BSS Transformation: Enabler or Inhibitor? 

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

 

Calix Academy

Choose Your Path - Getting Started in Calix Academy

AXOS Learning Path

The AXOS Learning Path covers E9-2, E3-2, E7-2 and Gfast hardware and software, the latest NG-PON technology and how to deliver layer 2 and 3-based services.

GPON Basics

Introduction to SMx 

Introduction to L3 in the Access Network

 

Managed home and business Learning Path

The Managed home and business Learning Path covers GigaFamily devices and the array of Support Cloud and Marketing Cloud capabilities.

Calix 804Mesh Satellite Overview

Wi-Fi Technician Specialist (IL)

Introduction to Calix Smart Home Solution (SP)

 

Calix traditional access platforms Learning Path

The Calix Traditional Platforms Learning Path prepares your team to implement, maintain, and troubleshoot our E7, E5 and E3 hardware and software products.

Ethernet Access Network Design and Best Practices

E7 GPON Optical Monitoring and Troubleshooting

Introduction to E7 EXA

 

Business Transformation Profile

Range Companies

 

Serving an expansive area in both Southeast Montana and Northeast Wyoming, the Range Companies (Range) consist of four service providers with more than 18,000 voice and 12,000 broadband subscribers.

With a strategic goal of delivering a great experience to each subscriber, no matter where they may be located, Range turned to Calix Support Cloud to enable remote Wi-Fi troubleshooting and a more proactive approach to Wi-Fi service management with features like Self-Heal.

After working with the Calix Customer Success Services team, Range saw incredible results from its Calix Support Cloud implementation. In just one month, Range was able to reduce the number of Wi-Fi related support calls that required a truck roll from one out of every three calls, to one out of every six calls. That is a 42 percent reduction in only 30 days.

Range’s rural territory also makes those truck rolls quite expensive and that reduction resulted in $15,000 in savings in that 30-day period.

Hear more about the impact Calix Support Cloud, as well as Calix Marketing Cloud, is having on Range’s business as they strive to be the trusted technology partner to their subscribers in this video interview with CMO Jason Wille.

 

Customer Service Agent of the Month

Meet Travis Coleman

Role: Systems Support Specialist

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Years of Service: 2.5 years

Calix Expertise: Salesforce

School: Biola University

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride

Favorite Vacation Spot: Moab Utah

Favorite Author: C.S. Lewis

Fun Fact: I have climbed Mount Fuji

 

Recent Software and Support Resources

Recent Software Releases

AXOS
  • AXOS 19.1.0.2 (E7-2)
  • SMx 19.1.1

Resource Page for AXOS Systems in My Calix

 

EXOS

  • EXOS 19.1.0.1 (GigaSpires, GigaMesh)

Resource Page for EXOS/Smart Home and Business in My Calix

 

EXA and GigaFamily

  • EXA 3.3.20
  • GigaFamily 12.2.9.1 (844GE, 844E, 800G GigaCenters; 800G GigaHubs and GigaPoints)  
  • 804Mesh 3.0.1
  • 800G v2 GigaHubs 1.5.2 (812Gv2, 813Gv2, 814G, 819G, 822G, 823G)

Updated Shipping Address for RMA Returns (US only)

Effective August 2018, please use the following shipping address for all Calix RMA product returns to our US warehouse:

                    Attn: Calix RMA #________

                    C/O Choice Logistics - US Pack

                    1613 Hutton Drive, Suite 100

                    Carrollton, TX 75006

 

Please update your internal systems with this address.