March 2021


March 2021

From the Bullpen

Top Five Reasons Smart GMs Like You Are Branding and Launching CommandIQ


Matt Collins

Chief Marketing Officer, Calix

If you’re a general manager and you don’t yet have a branded mobile app, now is the time to get one. Why do I say that? Calix has spent the last several months investing in a complete redesign of our CommandIQ® mobile app—combining a stunning new look with carrier-class capabilities—all to help leaders like you harness the incredible popularity of mobile applications and place your brand into the hands of your subscribers.  

Data Shows Usage of Mobile Apps Is Increasing by Leaps and Bounds 

This popularity is a critical opportunity for broadband businesses. The data shows a staggering rise in trends related to usage of mobile applications.  

  1. More than 285 million people in the U.S. are expected to have a smartphone by 2023 (Pew Research Center).  
  2. Demand for new mobile apps is growing around the world, up seven percent year-over-year, to 218 billion downloads (“State of Mobile 2021,” App Annie). 
  3. In 2019, people across the globe spent an average of 3.1 hours per day—one-fourth of their waking lives—using apps on their phones (“Mobile App Evolution 2020,” App Annie).  
  4.  In 2020, the above number increased to 4.2 hours per day (“Mobile App Evolution 2021,” App Annie). 
  5. In 2020, app installs climbed to 36.5 billion across Apple’s App Store and Google Play in the third quarter alone (Sensor Tower). 

Your broadband subscribers are not exceptions to these trends. Our experience with innovative customers like Bascom Mutual Telephone, Jade Communications, and Norvado, shows that broadband subscribers will happily download and use a mobile app that’s attached to their GigaSpire® BLAST Wi-Fi system. Consider also that your most tech-savvy subscribers are often your most active and profitable subscribers. They will leap at the chance to download and use a mobile app if you make one available.

A Branded Mobile App Should Be the Face of Your Brand 

In a recent Calix Blog post, “Come Fly With Me: How To Embrace New Thinking,” marketing luminary Terry O’Reilly talked about why it’s a smart move for broadband businesses to embrace mobile apps. In this issue of the Beacon, Calix’s own Naylor Gray builds on that point. In his article (below), “Why Both You and Your Subscribers Will Love Your Branded Mobile App,” he explains that mobile applications are increasingly becoming the face of a company’s brand. To stay relevant with your subscribers today and grow the value of your business, you need to have a beautiful, mobile application. To build subscriber loyalty that lasts for lifetimes, that app needs to be branded with your brand—and only your brand. 

With our 21.1 redesign of CommandIQ, we’ve made it simple and easy for you to embrace mobile and create a new, indispensable communication channel between you and your subscribers. In fact, you can brand your mobile app in minutes thanks to out-of-the-box personalization capabilities. Our top-to-bottom UX/UI redesign means your brand will be front and center in a stunning mobile experience that combines the best of consumer design and carrier-class reliability. At its heart, CommandIQ enables you to deploy managed services that will set you apart from your competition.   

The Result of Embracing Innovation: Amazing Net Promoter Scores 

I’m happy to report a massive success story that proves the value of investing in mobile applications. Calix customer, GVTC, has branded the CommandIQ mobile app as “GVTC Wi-Fi" and made it a core component of their premium managed Wi-Fi offering. With CommandIQ activated in each home, GVTC is now easily delivering value-added services like home network security to create new revenue streams. The result? GVTC has achieved an incredible overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +28, and a score of +44 for subscribers using GVTC’s premium managed Wi-Fi service. Meanwhile, many giants in the telecommunications industry have Net Promoter Scores in the single or even negative digits.   

A Net Promoter Score of +44 is the ultimate payoff for delivering a great subscriber experience supported by a great mobile app. I invite you to share with me your success stories around mobile experiences—or get in touch to discuss this incredible opportunity to grow the value of your business. Email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn.  


Revenue EDGE Insights

Why Both You and Your Subscribers Will Love Your Branded Mobile App

Naylor Gray

Area Vice President, Product Marketing, Calix

People love mobile apps. As Matt pointed out in his article, "Top Five Reasons Smart GMs Like You Are Branding and Launching CommandIQ®," App Annie research shows that mobile app usage grew last year by 20 percent to 4.2 hours per day.  And the popularity of mobile apps poses some critical business opportunities for broadband service providers like you. Here are the top three to consider.  

1) Subscriber  Self-Service  on Mobile Apps  Saves  You  Money and Reduces Truck Rolls  

Some Calix customers report that up to 50 percent of their inbound calls are for password resets and guest network Wi-Fi setups. These are easy problems for a customer service rep to solve, but the cost adds up.  

The even bigger challenge occurs when something goes wrong with a device the subscriber purchased at a big-box store or retailer. Most of the consumer giants producing these devices don’t even bother with live customer support. So, who gets the service call? You, the broadband service provider.  

But what if you had a mobile app that provides subscriber self-service? Your subscribers could reset their own passwords and set up guest networks. This would reduce inbound service calls. And a customer service rep who can actively show a subscriber how to manage Quality-of-Service (QoS) within their home network would reduce truck rolls.  

2) A Branded Mobile App  Will Help You Build Relationships  With  Subscribers  

You want to stay connected to subscribers. What better way to ensure they see your alerts, updates, and offers than by delivering them to the palm of your subscriber’s hand, via a mobile app—all under your own brand? In-app mobile communications enjoy some of the highest conversion rates for marketers which make this a valuable communication channel.  

3) A  Mobile App Enables You To Offer New Services and Increase Revenue 

Today, simply providing internet to the home means you’re competing with the consumer giants and the deep pockets of Tier 1 service providers. To halt churn and increase ARPU you need to add value and services. Mobile-app marketing can drive new services via cross-sell and upsell offerings while promoting loyalty and retention, which grows revenue. Meanwhile, subscriber self-service reduces costs and drives margins.  

How STRATA Networks Uses the  CommandIQ  Mobile App  

Broadband service providers like STRATA Networks are already using CommandIQ—a stunning mobile app that offers a unique combination of consumer design and carrier-class capabilities—to grow their value. When the Utah-based provider rolled out GigaSpire®  BLAST systems to their subscribers, they maximized the value of the offering by running a two-part marketing campaign. First, they asked subscribers to download the CommandIQ app. Second, they encouraged subscribers to adopt ProtectIQ™  and ExperienceIQ™ (both upsell opportunities for STRATA).  

Bruce Todd, CEO for STRATA Networks, summed up the value they realized in a recent Calix press release. As he said, “With the simplicity of the mobile app and value-adds of full network security and management offerings, Calix delivers everything we need to continue to excite our members and grow our business.”  

Your Recommended Action Plan   


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Intelligent Access EDGE Insights

The Easy Way To Simplify Your Network and Reduce Recurring Fees by 95 Percent

Teresa McGaughey

AVP, Intelligent Access EDGE Marketing, Calix

Why do people love ready-to-bake cookies? The answer is in the name: they’re  “ready to bake.” They simplify the baking process. And it takes you less time and money to get to the same, delicious result as if you’d made those cookies from scratch.  

Here’s how ready-to-bake cookies relate to your network. The conventional network is complex and has many subscriber-facing functions—in addition to the traditional access system. Those functions include aggregation transport, lawful intercept, subscriber management (including authentication, authorization, and accounting [AAA]), IP address pool management, and policy. These functions often span multiple systems and require a lot of coordination. In fact because of the interactions required among multiple vendors and systems, can take years to add a new service or capability to the network. 


Reduce Your Network Ingredients To One (Like Ready-to-Bake Cookies) 

Now, what if I told you there was a way to consolidate the functions related to provisioning, managing, and maintaining subscribers and their services so you can—much like ready-to-bake cookies—simplify the process, and save time and money?   

These are the exact benefits you get with the E9-2 Intelligent Edge System and the Aggregation Services Manager line card (ASM3001). The E9-2 with the ASM3001 enables you to consolidate subscriber management functions, aggregation, and routing, and lawful intercept into a single system. By moving these functions closer to the subscriber in the network, you can reduce failure groups and latency as well as improve security.  

Three Steps HTC Followed To Simplify Its Network  

Recently Highland Telephone Cooperative (HTC) began the journey to a simplified network.

Here are the steps they took.  

  1. Replace Layer 2 aggregation switches with the E9-2 ASM3001 to provide the needed 100G capacity and aggregation  
  2. Add Layer 3 routing to E9-2 ASM3001 with the AXOS Advanced Routing Protocol Module (ARm) to improve network security and reduce failure groups and latency  
  3. Add subscriber management functions like policy and IP address pool management to the E9-2 ASM3001 using the AXOS Subscriber Management Module (SMm), which allowed them to eliminate systems like the DHCP server and lawful intercept server 

This step-by-step process increases access network capacity and simplifies functions so much that you can eliminate as much as 87 percent of the systems required in traditional subscriber-facing networks. In addition, this process can help you eliminate as much as 95 percent of the recurring fees associated with the software currently required to operate the network.

The E9-2 Intelligent System and Aggregation Services Manager line card aren’t delicious like ready-to-bake cookies—but to any network engineer, they’re just as appealing.  

Your Recommended Action Plan 


Services Insights

Wittenberg Improves FCC Performance Testing Results by 20 Percent—Here’s How You Can, Too

Tom Schroer

Senior Director, Services Marketing, Calix

If you thought Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband testing was just about running some tests and filing a report by a certain date, think again. If you are not successful in providing pre-test results, your funding can be adversely impacted—so it’s in your best interest to adopt processes that will yield the best testing performance possible.  

Scott Nyman, CEO and general manager of Wittenberg Telephone-Cirrinity, wanted to make sure his team got the FCC testing requirements right. So he signed up for the Calix Broadband Performance Testing Service. For existing Calix Support Cloud customers, the Broadband Performance Testing Service offers implementation expertise to set up your FCC-related testing framework and establish your ongoing proactive testing processes. These processes can help you improve testing performance for your different broadband speed tiers. 

Actionable Test Reports and Analysis Improve Performance Results up To 20 Percent 

Calix Professional Services saved the company considerable time and effort by leading his team through a series of key steps in a journey that ensured performance testing success, including High Cost Universal Broadband (HUBB) portal readiness, test endpoint setup, test server vetting, pre-testing, actionable reporting, and analysis. 

The detailed customized reporting and analysis enabled proactive problem resolution. Nyman’s team and Calix leveraged this reporting and the broadband framework to achieve some impressive results. They were able to:  

  • Uncover provisioning issues, along with test server problems that had been dragging down test results.  
  • Cut through the noise from hundreds of thousands of test results—enabling the team to identify and correct poor performing test endpoints and test servers which improved results by almost 20 percent on their 4Mbps service tests and eight percent on their 25Mbps service tests!  
  • Gain additional visibility into broadband QoS delivered to the various regions of his network—highlighting areas where his team can improve the great subscriber experience they’re already getting with managed Wi-Fi. 

Who Needs to Be Prepared to Conduct Performance Tests?  

The April 7 deadline to report broadband performance pre-testing results to the USAC is fast approaching for service providers that have participated in certain funding programs. And RDOF participants will have similar performance-testing requirements.  

If you are just starting to get ready for upcoming performance testing requirements, we have everything you need in one comprehensive Broadband Performance Testing solution. It will help you address the concerns you have with staying compliant with broadband testing both now and in the future, and includes a cloud-based test controller, unobtrusive Wi-Fi 6-enabled test clients (that can also support your managed Wi-Fi services needs), the Broadband Performance Testing Service, and software maintenance and support. 

Your Recommended Action Plan 


Build Your Business

The Very Best Way To Build Your Talent Pipeline Strategy

Cheryl Rodness

Sales Enablement Senior Director, Calix

Every company needs a talent pipeline strategy. For most companies, that includes a mix of hiring experienced workers as well as talent fresh out of school. For many companies, the fresh, young talent starts with creating internships for college students and creating a pipeline for future hires.  

When COVID-19 struck last year, many companies had to rethink how they hire interns and manage them remotely. In the summer of 2020, 30 percent of students saw their internships get cancelled, while 83 percent shifted to creating an online internship program. Some succeeded, while others were not as successful.  

Here at Calix, we doubled our intern program from 2019 to 2020. In 2021 we are almost tripling our intern group. This summer we will hire 41 interns from across North America to support us across almost every department of our rapidly-growing organization. 

Use Our Success To Build Your Own Talent Pipeline  

We’re eager to help you learn from our successful internship program so you can build your own talent pipeline. Here are the high-value features of our internship program.  

  • Executive Series: Interns meet our senior leaders and have an opportunity to ask them questions and learn how to develop their career(s). 
  • Weekly “Lunch & Learn” Sessions: Interns receive regular instruction on other functions and capabilities across the organization.  
  • Subscriptions: Audible and Blinkist subscriptions help interns continue to learn.  
  • LinkedIn Learning: Interns can explore additional learning opportunities.  
  • Mentorship: Interns can learn directly from our internship program leader. 
  • Resume Support: Our HR team helps interns write great resumes.  

A Great Internship Program Can Increase the Value of Your Business  

Want to learn more? Watch the replay of our March 31 webinar, “Five Best Practices for Building a Successful Intern Program” (see link below) and find out how you can create a program for your company that will help build your future talent pipeline. 

Internships (and interns) are our future. Internship programs fuel our talent pipeline, enable students to get real-world experience, and help students earn money. We will continue to build our program and look forward to sharing insights.  

At Calix, we’re looking for bright, energetic individuals, so encourage students you know to search our Careers page on for our summer internship postings (see link below).  

If you need additional assistance or wish to collaborate, contact me at and I would be glad to assist your efforts as you invest in your community and the students who will make it great.  

Your Recommended Action Plan 

Sponsor Spotlight

Alianza Partners With Calix To Power Cloud Communications Revenue for Fiber Broadband

Alianza, a leading cloud communications platform for service providers, is partnering with Calix to deliver a powerful cloud communications solution for telcos, MSOs, rural electric cooperatives, WISPs, and fiber broadband ISPs.

Building on shared market success based on proven deployments of Alianza’s best-of-breed solution, the partnership encompasses: 

  • Coordinated sales and marketing.
  • Product interoperability for easy deployment and streamlined operations.
  • Coordinated technical support for faster problem resolution.
  • A regular governance cadence to ensure the partnership remains both efficient and effective.

The partnership addresses a range of Calix broadband devices, including the GigaSpire® and GigaCenter, with integrated analog telephone adopters supporting the massive rollout of fiber broadband. It also includes the C7 Multiservice Access System to help traditional telcos retire copper and legacy voice and move to fiber and cloud communications.

The use cases for service providers include: 

  • Launch phone service for new ISPs (rural electric cooperative, municipalities, independent ISPs).
  • Launch new business cloud communication services or expand into new areas.
  • Replace obsolete softswitch and white-label reseller programs.

Calix customers will benefit from: 

  • Easy-to-use operations via web portal and APIs for integration.
  • Revenue growth with an innovative and always-improving business cloud communications product suite.
  • Rich margins from Alianza’s compelling business model and flat-rate pricing.
  • Happy customers on a resilient and high-quality platform.
  • Easy launch and migration from Alianza’s experienced team.

Visit or email to learn more.

Calix Academy

Calix Academy Brings You Updated Courses for the 21.1 Release

Ensure your teams are trained on the new Revenue EDGE 21.1 release. The following courses have been updated to reflect the new functionality in our latest release. If you have previously taken earlier versions of the course, the new updated version will now appear in your transcript in Calix Academy  

CommandIQ® Overview (CIQ2) 

This eLearning course focuses on installing, onboarding, and setting up the subscriber using the newly redesigned CommandIQ (CIQ2) mobile application. The course also reviews how to enable ExperienceIQ™ and ProtectIQ™ for subscribers as well as common troubleshooting techniques.  

Calix Cloud for Customer Support (formerly Introduction to Calix Support Cloud) 

This course has been updated to reflect the new user experience and workflows and is intended for customer support and field technicians who engage customers in their day-to-day job roles. The course guides you through the new Calix Cloud interface scenarios you may encounter when helping customers with their home network issues. 

Calix Cloud for Administrators (formerly Calix Cloud for System Administration)  

This eLearning course focuses on managing Calix Cloud users, applications, and flow data configurations. Administrators will be able to organize users and provide access to Calix Cloud applications to perform tasks based on their job roles. The course also guides administrators through application configurations to manage flow data from the network to Calix Cloud. 

Calix Cloud for Network Operations (formerly Home Network Management for NetOps) 

This eLearning course focuses on using the new Calix Cloud 21.1 to perform operational tasks. The course begins by guiding you through the new Calix Cloud interface and then diving into operational tasks including managing subscribers and premises equipment, managing Wi-Fi remotely and reporting.  

Calix Cloud – Troubleshooting Common Home Network Issues  

This eLearning course focuses on helping customers troubleshoot and resolve issues they encounter. The course guides support teams through scenarios in which customers call in for help.  

Calix Cloud for Marketing Operations (formerly Introduction to Calix Marketing Cloud)  

This course is intended for marketing professionals and focuses on leveraging Calix Marketing Cloud to research, plan, and execute campaigns. This course provides training on Calix Marketing Cloud and focuses on subscriber usage and behaviors. You'll also learn how to identify revenue opportunities and target and segment subscribers so you can reach them through multiple marketing channels. 

For more information, read the Calix Course Catalog or contact your account manager. You can also email


Calix Community News

Featured Blogs and Resources

Top 5 Recent Blog Posts


Each month, we highlight the top five 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. STRATA Uses Its Personalized Mobile App To Keep Delighting Members
  2. How To Deepen Subscriber Relationships With a Dedicated Communication Channel
  3. Come Fly With Me: How To Embrace New Thinking
  4. Now Your Brand Can Be as Cool as Any Billion-Dollar Consumer Giant
  5. 5 Great Examples That Prove Broadband Subscribers Will Download and Use a Mobile App

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

TAC TV Featured Video

How to Automate Network Service Provisioning in SMx

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Featured Resources

Customer Resources To Help Keep You on Track


  • CommandIQ New UI Overview and Demonstration
    11 AM EST | 8 AM PST
  • Five Best Practices for Building a Successful Intern Program
    Wednesday, March 31
    2:00PM EST | 11:00AM PST
  • How to Bring Network Reliability, Security, and Simplicity Within Reach
    Wednesday, April 7
    2:00PM EST | 11:00AM PST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for a full schedule of sessions (login required).

Release Webinars

  • Marketing Cloud 21.2 Release Update
    May 10, 2021 | 1:00PM EST
  • Support Cloud 21.2 Release Update
    May 11, 2021 | 1:00PM EST

Visit the Calix Virtual Engagements page for registration links (login required).


Recent Software Releases

New product software released in the last month:


  • EXOS 21.1.1 (GigaSpire BLAST u6, u4, u12)
  • EXOS 21.1.1 (BLAST Mesh u4m, GigaMesh)
  • EXOS 21.1.1 (XGS-PON ONUs)



  • SMx 21.1.1
  • AXOS (E7-2)

Early Adoption**

  • AXOS (E9-2 OLT)
  • AXOS 21.1.1 (E9-2 ASM3001)

* Mature status means the software release is the latest production version recommended for use.

** Early Adoption status means the software release is with select customers for field evaluation to provide feedback. This program requires Calix pre-approval. If interested in joining an Early Adopter group, please go to the Software Center (link below), browse to the desired software, and click the "Request Software" link to submit a request.

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