Last week I talked about the importance of fast-tracking DOCSIS firmware updates. But from a cost perspective, do you know how much are you spending annually on DOCSIS firmware management? For too many service providers, the answer is no.
Consider the resources and costs associated with network-wide DOCSIS firmware updates.
- First, there are the obvious costs — the time taken to create an inventory of device types and firmware versions currently in use. In larger operations, this may take half a day or more via SNMP queries.
- Then there is the actual process of manually updating firmware — perhaps using an in-house solution to track the results. Even with various databases and in-house solutions in place, firmware updates are generally considered to be time-consuming and are usually completed outside of regular work hours to avoid interruptions to subscriber services during peak hours.
- On top of the actual updates, there are additional costs associated with the time taken to complete firmware-related administrative tasks. For example, without a system in place to track firmware versions or failures, your team is unable to quickly diagnose problems or troubleshoot in a timely manner, prolonging customer interruptions and increasing negative feelings about your brand. Over time, this can add up to a significant cost and even impact customer retention.
Clearly, a slow, resource-intensive process is going to cost your business more than a lean, integrated option. OPEX reduction and cost savings are vital to remain competitive — but this shouldn’t come at a cost to the subscriber experience.
From a quality of experience point of view, every aspect of the customer experience should be made as seamless as possible while still ensuring cost effectiveness. Firmware is no exception. An automated system to schedule, track, and report on firmware upgrades and downgrades is essential to achieve this goal.