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The Beacon

February 2019

The Beacon

February 2019

From the Bullpen

The Importance of 19.1 as the First Cadence-Based Delivery Release

 

Michel Langlois

Chief Development Officer

On February 12, Calix reached a significant milestone with the posting of our 19.1 release, which offers a set of new leadership capabilities orchestrated across all software platforms - Calix Cloud, EXOS, and AXOS. For the first time at Calix, all products, systems, and Calix Services that support them, are now released quarterly and integrated, tested both individually and as an entire solution during that period of time.

This cadence model will see Calix delivering its innovative products to market, quarterly and in a predictable way (Feb 12, May 14, Aug 13, Nov 12), taking away the burden of tracking individual products, systems, cloud, and applications for our customers. At release time, all elements of a given Use Case published solution will also have been validated together, reducing the time and effort to re-validate the completeness in your labs.

There are many benefits to move the entire product portfolio to this new quarterly cadence model. For Calix, it establishes a new level of corporate alignment between our product planning, development, marketing, services, and sales teams, which allows the entire company to articulate and allocate resources in a collaborative and interlocked manner. It also creates an agile process for continuous input from the Field Operations team, as well as you, our customers, to make sure we build the right solutions to meet your business needs, complete and deployable from the first customer shipment.

 

What does it mean for you?

  • An elevated quality bar by adding several criteria to determine our feature completeness. 
  • A new release retrospective process, which will allow us to feature lessons learned to inject continuous improvements into our release cadence model moving forward. 
  • New Customer Success programs to provide us a direct perspective on the way you deploy and use our products.
  • An increase in visibility for our Field Operations into what is in development for this year and beyond, allowing you to learn of new solutions and systems at the right time. For example, some of you will benefit from our Early Adopter Programs (EAP) to get the first access to new technologies.
  • Help in your planning as each release will arrive on the second week of the second month of every quarter. 
  • Timely communications, aligned to this release schedule to provide all the information you need from webinars, videos, press releases, and technical resources in one easy-to-find web page. Please share your feedback on this approach in this brief survey.

In summary, I am excited about the actions we have taken to improve planning, roadmap transparency, and release readiness to ensure our new releases give you the advantage to be the winning service provider in your market.

As an analogy, think cadence as a train station… you plan your journey ahead of time, knowing that you can trust Calix to leave the station on time and in a secure fashion. As you onboard the release, everything you need to deploy the solution will be made available to you.

See you in May for another update.    

 

Market Spotlight

Great Wi-Fi + Great Data = Winning Service Provider

Michael Weening - NTCA 2019 RTIME Keynote

 

Michael Weening

Executive Vice President
Field Operations

Two weeks ago, Amazon acquired wi-fi systems provider Eero, validating two viewpoints that Calix has been sharing with our customers since 2016.

First, subscribers demand great Wi-fi – provide it or the home invaders will. The Amazon SVP who announced the acquisition stated, “Most ISPs have not adequately addressed the problem so consumers are now plopping down more cash for systems that can cost from $250 - $450.” The Calix team agrees. The good news is that if you are armed with the Calix Whole-Home Wi-Fi solution, which includes our 804Mesh satellites, the world’s ultimate Wi-Fi gateway the GigaSpire and Calix Support Cloud, you are well ahead of the Amazon/Eero offering. Calix customers like ALLO Communications, Bandera Electric Cooperative, and Schurz Communications have proven that a great managed Wi-Fi solution delights subscribers, reduces OPEX, and drive revenue.

Second, the company with the best data wins. Almost all news outlets acknowledged the importance of Wi-fi and then acknowledged the more important reason for Amazon’s acquisition, the Eero Acquisition is all about Data.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at NTCA’s RTIME conference and I titled my 8-minute talk “The Company with the Best Data WINS’ making the point that Wi-Fi is the starting point, but in the end the company with the best data wins. It is the reason why the home invaders, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are investing billions in data, analytics, and machine learning. It is the reason Amazon bought Eero.

I also made the point that YOU, our Calix customer, do not need to invest billions to win – YOU already have the data. You just have to unlock it – and Calix Marketing Cloud and Support Cloud can accomplish that in weeks.

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative executed their first Calix Marketing Cloud campaign a month ago, investing $441 and generating a $75,000 increase in revenue for their cooperative.

All West Communications leveraged Calix Marketing and Support Cloud data to reduce truck rolls by 30 percent while upselling 50 percent of their new customers a premium managed Wi-Fi offering.

Whether you are a cooperative or a for-profit company, the service provider with the best data wins. Data allows you to understand the subscriber so that you can improve experience. Improved experience grows revenue and reduces OPEX, enabling you to reinvest in your offerings and network, grow profits, or if you are cooperative – send your members the largest check they have ever seen at the end of the year.

The cloud allows companies of all sizes to win with data and our Success Teams are ready to help you succeed. If you are interested in learning more, please click here and join us on our March 27 Smart Home Spotlight webinar.    

 

Cloud Spotlight

Introducing Machine Learning to Calix Marketing Cloud: Churn Prediction

 

Pam Ferguson

AVP, Product Marketing Subscriber Experience,

Calix

It’s exciting times for Calix Marketing Cloud (CMC) customers as our latest Cloud product release introduced a new Churn Prediction lens that’s designed to automatically identify at-risk subscribers based on machine learning.

 

A huge leap from past churn insights

CMC has provided (until now) visibility into subscribers that had already discontinued service, when and from which service tier, and an ability to manually segment subscribers into at-risk subscribers.

Now the new lens, based on machine learning, identifies the likelihood of a subscriber leaving by automatically analyzing over 30 subscriber experience and behavioral attributes that trigger churn, and categorizing them into high, medium, and low risk.

 

Many benefits to proactively addressing churn risk

Thanks to behind-the-scenes automation, service providers can simply apply the predictive intelligence at their fingertips to proactively improve their business.

Retaining subscribers is not just about protecting revenue, but also increasing profitability. According to research, the likelihood of businesses selling new services to existing customers is 60-70 percent versus 5-10 percent to a new prospect. And every business knows that the cost of customer retention is much lower than new customer acquisition.

With the new ability to foresee churn risk, you can act quickly before business is impacted, instead of running in damage control mode. And with the added understanding of risk level, you can be smarter about how and when you proactively engage with the at-risk subscribers. For example: engage with highest risk subscribers more urgently and with the most aggressive offers, and prioritize campaigns targeting highest risk subscribers when experiencing budget constraints.

 

More than just subscriber retention

No matter how much or how little competition service providers face in their markets, maintaining a positive reputation in the community is critical to all. So even if losing subscribers is not top of mind for your business, consider churn prediction a customer satisfaction indicator. Proactively monitoring churn risk is a great way to gauge trends in overall subscriber experience.

 

The latest on Calix Cloud

Looking for more information on how Calix Cloud can enhance your subscriber’s experience? Watch our webinar replay from earlier this week, Learnings from the Early Smart Home Journey, where we shared observations, considerations, and recommendations for developing a smart home strategy based on Calix discussions with more than 50 service providers.    

 

EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business Spotlight

New! CAF Performance Testing Solution Featured in EXOS Release 19.1

 

Greg Owens

Senior Director, Premises Marketing, Calix

The FCC has set a deadline of July 1, 2019 for communications service providers (CSPs) that took advantage of Connect America Fund (CAF) funding to demonstrate their ability to deliver their committed high-speed internet rates to subscribers.

Customers deploying the EXOS-powered GigaSpire with Calix Support Cloud (CSC) will be able to ensure compliance without additional capital investment or network disruption. To achieve and maintain compliance, Calix has incorporated all FCC-published requirements for CAF performance testing into EXOS Release 19.1, as part of our recently launched Smart Home and Business solution. This latest functionality is another clear example of how quickly Calix can bring new services to market on our software platforms.

 

CAF Performance Testing solution backed by Ookla®

Calix has partnered with Ookla — the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence, testing applications, and technology — to deliver a CAF Performance Testing solution that enables CSPs to schedule tests, collect results, and generate the pre-formatted reports required by the FCC (as part of order DA 18-710).

The Calix CAF Performance Testing solution includes:

  • Calix Support Cloud
  • Calix GigaSpire, powered by EXOS; and
  • Speedtest® by Ookla, which processes more than 10 million tests daily.

This turnkey solution for an FCC-approved testing framework requires no standalone hardware or additional agents. With a simple five-step wizard, Calix Support Cloud schedules the test, collects the results, and generates a pre-formatted report, which will be ready for Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) when required.

 

More information available

Calix has been an active participant in the CAF program, providing technical input to the FCC Technical Advisory Council and participating in the USAC testing process. Consequently, CSPs can begin running tests now with the peace of mind that the Calix Performance Testing solution will be adjusted to keep pace with FCC requirements.

Reduce help desk calls with the Calix Smart Home app

The new Calix Smart Home app (available from both the Apple App Store and Google Play) allows subscribers to change their network name (SSID) and password, create guest Wi-Fi networks, see a list of devices that are connected to their home networks, and even pause connectivity to specific devices. For many of these activities, subscribers currently must call your help desk. Promoting this new app will lower the burden on your customer service representatives (CSRs) and reduce your contact center costs.

The Calix Smart Home app also allows subscribers with GigaSpires to run speed tests that confirm the bitrates coming into their home, as well as the connection speeds between two GigaSpires or between a GigaSpire and a GigaMesh. This information allows subscribers to pinpoint any in-home Wi-Fi connectivity issues they might be having and assures them that the systems are all functioning correctly.

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% 

AXOS Spotlight

The Innovation Imperative: Simplify, Automate, and Innovate

 

Kevin Kuo

Director AXOS Product Marketing, Calix

AXOS Jumpstarts the Next Wave of Innovation with New Active Ethernet Deployments and OSS/BSS Integration Capabilities

When we look across the telecom industry, it is becoming more and more evident that innovation and operational transformation go hand in hand. Service providers have already begun to remove redundant platforms, automate core processes, and consolidate and streamline operational processes.

However, just addressing the above is not enough. Innovation is really a matter of survival within in an industry where advancing next generation technologies and exceeding subscriber expectations represent the overarching drivers for change in today’s business models. When you invest in innovation today, you can secure a competitive advantage and realize the promise of new revenue streams in the world of tomorrow.

With this premise in mind, Calix has developed the innovation engine that will provide you a clear runway to future success---the software defined AXOS platform. With AXOS you can benefit from a fully abstracted service layer, hardware independence, common service models, and stateful operation—all of which will dramatically simplify operations. The AXOS platform offers you a path to a simplified, intelligent, unified access network that accelerates time-to revenue, eliminates service disruptions and reduces the total cost of ownership. AXOS accomplishes this by:

  • Enabling the ability to remotely diagnose network issues, reduce truck rolls, and simplify issue diagnosis with the built-in AXOS Diagnostics Toolbox
  • Being Always On by performing in-service upgrades without interrupting other services, thus eliminating the need for maintenance windows
  • Having common MOPs and service models across the entire network from the data center to remote locations regardless of the technology the service runs across
  • Automating and simplifying workflows with zero-touch provisioning
  • Completing OSS/BSS integrations faster with less resources and associated expenses

AXOS innovation in action

We recently worked with Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, helping FTC dramatically simplify their network operations with AXOS while reducing the time to integrate their OSS/BSS back office processes from 18 months to just 10 weeks. By deploying AXOS and the E7-2 Intelligent Modular System, FTC was able to quickly reduce their operating expenses and time-to-market by 86 percent. In addition, we recently launched the AXOS E7-2 GE-24 r2 line card, which shows the power of AXOS hardware independence and service abstraction. Now you can deploy point-to-point services right alongside PON utilizing common procedures and workflows.

If you’d like to learn more, we’re again running our wildly popular AXOS Tech Talk Webinar Series, as well as a new Market Talk Webinar series, to register go to our webinar page here.

Services Spotlight

Calix Services Additions and Updates Play Major Role in Enabling 19.1 Features

 

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

Calix Services delivers a portfolio of Professional, Education, Managed, and Success Services that uniquely enable our customers to accelerate the adoption, deployment and utilization of Calix solutions. With this latest release, Calix Services is announcing an array of updates to help you accelerate your success.

 

New and Enhanced Services for:

  • Cloud - An important Education Services update for Calix Marketing Cloud customers is to the Introduction to Calix Marketing Cloud course which features an expanded module on the new Churn Prediction capability featured in the 19.1 release.
  • EXOS and Calix Smart Home and Business - New support for our customers deploying the Calix CAF Performance Testing solution. The Introduction to Calix Support Cloud course now includes information on setting up the testing framework. There is also a new Managed Services offering to help you implement your testing framework and assist with ongoing compliance and reporting.
  • AXOS - If you are simplifying your network with AXOS, you can leverage updates from both Professional Services and Education Services to help speed up deployment and operational readiness. These include: Active Ethernet Migration Services to automate and accelerate the migration of Active Ethernet subscribers to the new AXOS E7-2 platform, and Education curricula updates to upskill your team on AXOS SMx and Active Ethernet Layer 2 voice, data, and video services.
  • Success Services - The Calix Success Services team introduced two new resources to assist customers with expert guidance for both Calix Support and Marketing Cloud. 
    • “Circles of Success” is a weekly 45-minute interactive session that features peer conversations among Calix customers facilitated by a Calix Customer Success expert. The conversations will cover topics such as solution adoption, best practices, and user tips. While space is limited, we will repeat high interest topics in upcoming sessions, so you don’t miss out. You can find the Support Cloud and Marketing Cloud Circles of Success schedules on the Calix Community. 
    • “Success At Your Fingertips,” an in-application resource providing real-time, step-by-step guidance whenever you need it, without leaving Calix Cloud. Simply log in to Calix Cloud to see “Success At Your Fingertips” in action!
  • Remote Monitoring Services - Get proactive on how to address issues impacting network performance. With this latest release, an analytics and reporting portal has been added to give your operations teams instant access to actionable information on the incidents and alarms impacting the network. Click here to see more about this new feature and set up a demo of the powerful analytics capabilities.
 

Perspectives Spotlight

Calix and Broadband Forum - Shaping the Future of Broadband ... Together

 

Bernd Hesse

Senior Director, Standards Marketing and Thought Leadership

Back in the early days of the Internet, building and operating a broadband network wasn’t for the faint of heart. There were no standards, reference architectures, or true ecosystems with interoperability and certification across all elements of broadband delivery. In 1994, an array of service providers, systems and device vendors, consultants, and testing labs formed a consortium to develop broadband network specifications and catalyze the growth of the industry. Then known as the ADSL Forum, it ultimately became the Broadband Forum (BBF) and produced the foundations of broadband mass deployment. This included the original system and core network architecture reference models over ATM and Ethernet, the PON deployment models, the groundbreaking auto-configuration server specification TR-069, and the interoperability and certification programs that have driven the adoption of technologies like Gfast and GPON.

Last fall, BBF announced that, globally, the number of broadband installations had surpassed 1 billion – almost all of which have leveraged BBF reference models and specifications – driven by the tireless work of its membership that includes a history of contributions from Calix and many Calix customers. With that milestone achieved, its time figure out how to reach the next 1 billion as well as improve the broadband experience of the already connected 1 billion households. 

 

What’s next for Calix and the Broadband Forum?

The rise of SDN and NFV, the growing opportunities and challenges within the connected home, the shift to 5G, the emergence of new access technologies and their ecosystems, and the cultivation of open source innovation and a superior end-user experience are all major initiatives within BBF with over 100 projects ongoing to drive the industry forward.

Calix continues to play a major role in these initiatives and projects at the individual and company level. I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors and as the BASe chair, while Calix colleagues Marta Seda and Martin Casey serve as work area leaders – they were recently recognized as Outstanding Contributors and members of the BBF “Circle of Excellence.” Congratulations!

At a company level, Calix is a Global Platinum sponsor of BBF – the highest level of support – and sponsors the industry-leading Broadband Acceleration Seminar (BASe) educational series. We frequently share our perspectives and best practices in the areas of advanced Wi-Fi, 5G transport, next generation PON, and Gfast. Many Calix customers and partners are also active BBF contributors – Verizon, CenturyLink, Ericsson, Broadcom, Sckipio, Radisys, Qualcomm to name a few.

 

Join us at the next BASe event

The next BASe event will take place at OFC 2019 on March 7 in San Diego, and will examine the state and future of next generation 10G PON technology and its role in tomorrow’s residential, business, wireless, and 5G networks. I hope to see you there.

 

Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Did you know you must apply a Service Provider ID (SPID) to GigaSpires to ensure they correctly check into your Calix Cloud infrastructure instance?

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. 

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. The Time is Right for Service Providers to Offer Smart Home Services, According to a Leading Analyst Firm 
  2. Perspectives in 2019 - Looking Ahead to 5G, MEC, and Network Analytics
  3. Is Internet the Same as Wi-Fi? 
  4. Cloud’s Impact on Broadband Competition – Change is Coming… 
  5. Will the Real 5G Please Stand Up? 

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

TAC TV Featured Video

 

E7 AXOS: How to add a basic GPON subscriber service in SMx

Did You Know?

 
 

Calix Academy

Courses for 19.1 Release

Enhancing Smart Home Foundation Skills

New and updated training courses to get your team upskilled in the fundamentals for planning and deploying the GigaSpire system. 

Wi-Fi Fundamentals (SP)

Wi-Fi Technician Specialist (IL)

Introduction to Calix Smart Home Solution (SP)

Introduction to GigaSpire (SP)

 

New! Mastering Calix Marketing Cloud Churn Prediction

Expanded Introduction to Calix Marketing Cloud course helps you leverage predictive analytics to reduce churn.

Introduction to Calix Marketing Cloud (SP)

 

New! AXOS Enablement Readiness

Updated courses help keep your team on top of the latest best practices in implementing your AXOS network.

Introduction to SMx (SP) 

E7-2 AXOS AE Data Services (IL)

E7-2 AXOS AE L2 Voice & Video Services (IL)


 

New! CAF Performance Testing

Looking for help implementing your CAF Performance Testing framework? Introduction to Calix Support Cloud is being updated to help you stay compliant with the upcoming performance reporting requirements.

Introduction to Calix Support Cloud EME (SP)    

 

Business Transformation Profile

FTC

 

Located in the northeast corner of Alabama, Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative (FTC) is serving 20,000 subscribers, with 12,000 of those members receiving broadband service. Offering 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps speeds to its entire subscriber base, FTC has heavily invested in fiber-to-the-home infrastructure and currently has more than 90 percent of its customers on its fiber network.

Recently, FTC began to lay the foundation for future proofing that fiber network with the move to AXOS. Adopting the E7-2 Intelligent Modular System and the Services Management Connector (SMx) into its network for service delivery over GPON, FTC was able to reduce the typical integration time of OSS/BSS systems by 86 percent, from 18 months to 10 weeks. 

With AXOS now in place as its’ platform for growth over the next 5 to 7 years, FTC can prepare for next-generation PON technologies and the support of 5G services. As a backhaul provider for the big mobile carriers in the area, FTC can sustain a valuable revenue stream while keeping its rural service area connected to the new smart technologies that are coming to market.

Learn more about FTC’s plans for AXOS, including collapsing multiple networks into one in this recent Calix Success Story video.

 

Customer Service Agent of the Month

Meet Amir Ebrahimi

Role: Technical Support Systems Engineer

Location: San Jose, CA

Years of Service: 2

Calix Expertise: E-series, P-series, Cloud, Management System,

School: IAU-TNB

Favorite Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street

Favorite Vacation Spot: Lake Tahoe

Favorite Hobby: Rock Climbing

 

Recent Software and Support Resources

Recent Software Releases

AXOS
  • AXOS 19.1.0 (E7-2, E9-2, E3-2)
  • SMx 19.1.0
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE9-2 19.1.0 (CLX3001 + NG1601)
  • AXOS Sandbox: vE7-2 19.1.0 (GPON-8r2, NGPON2-4)

Resource Page for AXOS Systems in My Calix

 

EXOS

  • EXOS 19.1.0 (Smart Home)
  • EXOS 19.1.0 (XGS-PON ONUs)
  • GigaFamily 12.2.9.0 (844GE, 844E, 800G GigaCenters; 800G GigaHubs and GigaPoints)
  • 804Mesh 3.0.0
  • 800G v2 GigaPoint 1.0.3.210

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

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.