Incognito Blog

Your source for opinion and insight on network management trends and subscriber experience optimization.

Your Guide to SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2017

Denver Cityscape Colorado

It’s only a few weeks until one of the cable industry’s biggest events takes over Denver, Colorado — SCTE Cable-Tec Expo! This year, industry innovators and more than 10,000 professionals will come together at the Colorado Convention Center from October 17 to 20 to ask, “What’s the Next Big Thing?”

We’ve compiled this guide to help you navigate the show and make the most of your time in Denver. Don’t forget to say hello to the Incognito team at booth #1013 and pick up your free copy of the History of Communications poster to discover how the cable industry has matured over the years — and where it’s headed next!

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Managing the Chaos of IoT

IOT Internet of Things concept as vector illustration

We are quickly approaching a world in which most everyday devices will communicate with a vast ecosystem of other hardware that is connected and integrated with the Internet. In fact, we are almost there today.

Right now, anyone can pick up “smart” or Internet-connected lights, Fitbits, home appliances, cameras, and other hardware from the store around the corner at a reasonable price. This is a segment of technology that is continually developing, and will continue to grow rapidly over the next few years as costs decrease and more opportunities flourish.

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Enhancing Customer Care Part 4: Optimize Experiences with Accurate and Transparent Billing and Payment

Parents and kids using laptop and digital tablet in living room

In the previous instalment of the series on Enhancing Customer Care, we covered the Use section of the customer experience lifecycle. This is where operators must proactively ensure that their customers are receiving the services they have paid for, while also deploying the best infrastructure available to meet geographic needs and keep a high level of service quality.

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IoT and M2M, What’s the Difference?

ThinkstockPhotos-493536883a

We’ve heard a lot of talk about the Internet of Things (IoT) and all its benefits for subscribers and service providers alike, but there has been an increasing level of confusion going around the communication service provider industry between IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. This confusion stems from misconceptions when referring to both the similarities and differences between the two distinct concepts.

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Support Plug-and-Play with On-Boot Firmware Updates

dsl modem or router

Have you ever purchased a new electronic device, taken it home, excitedly unwrapped it and switched it on, only to discover that something is wrong and you need to phone customer support?

This scenario is all-too-common in the broadband services industry, and unfortunately, it’s usually the service provider who takes the blame. New customers will often purchase gateways from third parties or redistributors without knowing that the device’s firmware is out of date. When the customer attempts to connect this device to their network, they’re quickly blocked by an error message (or sometimes no message at all) due to expired or unsupported firmware.

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Reduce Churn with Better Visibility Over Your Service Activation Processes

Smiling couple sitting on the couch using tablet pc and watching tv

How much visibility do you have over service activation processes?

For many service providers, the answer to that question is bleak. The sad truth is that visibility over service activation processes, including errors and misconfigurations, is lacking in many Tier 3, Tier 2, and even Tier 1 organizations. Today’s operators often turn to multiple siloed systems when attempting to ensure that services are activated accurately, on time, and are working as promised.

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Enhancing Customer Care, Part 3: Broadband Experience and the Outside Plant

Bangkok city and connection with communication technology icon

In the last part of my series on Enhancing Customer Care, I described the essential role of the customer call center, which directly affects the Customer Service and Retention stages of the customer lifecycle model. Both of these stages are immediately impactful to a subscriber’s quality of experience (QoE) whenever a service issue occurs.

What’s equally impactful to the state of customer experience is how customers are using the services purchased. For the operator, this means proactively ensuring that customers receive the services they have paid for — the promised up/download speeds and bandwidth allotments, connection reliability and predictable service are being delivered.

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Broadband Providers: What Are The Implications of Virtual Reality?

Man Using Virtual Reality Headset

Broadband service providers take note, personal virtual reality (VR) platforms are going to reshape the industry sooner than you think.

We’ve seen a constant stream of VR-related news coming from major industry tradeshows, online broadband publications, and even broadband CEO blog posts. I’ll try to generalize their comments succinctly: personal VR platforms are expected to bring massive sales, huge increases in bandwidth consumption, and dramatic shifts in subscriber quality expectations. This is an exciting time for broadband service providers, but it’s essential to consider what implications VR will have on your organization.

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Enhancing Customer Care, Part 2: Customer Service and Retention

Learn why optimizing the call center is essential to building subscriber loyalty

In last week’s blog, I covered the customer lifecycle, which includes two essential categories: Customer Service and Retention.

According to research with Tier 1 partners, we discovered several themes that fall under the categories of Customer Service and Retention, such as agent handling practices, issue resolution times, and retention efforts. The work an operator conducts to optimize these essential components of the services lifecycle are directly related to quarterly churn rates.

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Enhancing Customer Care, Part 1: The Customer Lifecycle

How can operators solve the complex challenge of enhancing customer care?

Customer care is an extremely complex challenge. From a Network Engineering perspective, it is a purely mechanical challenge. From a Sales and Marketing perspective, it’s a correlation between perceived and delivered value. From the Customer Service Representative (CSR) perspective, it’s emotional alignment and affability with a customer.

With all these complex perceptions of customer care, how do we truly enhance customer care practices?

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