As we come full circle on the topic of Enhancing Customer Care we get to one of the most challenging and crucial aspects of the Customer Lifecycle: Discover.
Long before Retention and Customer Service, Use, Bill and Pay, and Purchase, comes Discover. An operator may have the best infrastructure backbone, the best community involvement, or the best Netflix ratings on the market; but all of that is meaningless if nobody has signed up to the services — or understands why they should. Continue Reading
Struggles with the firmware update process are well known by Network Administrators in the cable industry. The copious tasks required to complete an end-to-end firmware update are painstaking and error-prone, often making the investment not worth the time it takes to complete the work. These manual tasks generally include:
- Discovering the device’s current firmware version
- Identifying the accurate update path
- Scheduling the update to ensure subscriber services aren’t interrupted
- Administering the update
- Verifying update success
- Post-update actions, often including error resolution
In the last part of the series, we looked at the crucial aspects of accurate billing and transparent payment processes and the potential that both of these factors have on subscriber retention rates. But before services are even deployed and a billing cycle can begin, it’s equally important to ensure that the purchasing process is a simple and frictionless endeavour for the customer. Continue Reading
Initial adoptions of DOCSIS 3.1, the highly-anticipated CableLabs specification update packing 10x capacity increases over its predecessor, have already stirred up the global broadband community. Major MSOs such as Comcast, TDC-Denmark, and Cox have started initial implementations, paving the way for service providers that look to embark on a long and storied journey with the latest catalyst in broadband network innovation. In July 2016, Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) announced their plans to upgrade their hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network with the specification. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
In today’s high-speed IP services environment, network administrators often rely on manual steps to complete the complex business processes that ensure device and network health. One of the most tedious tasks for network administrators is managing and updating firmware across a wide network of end-user DOCSIS gateways.
Firmware Upgrades: Challenges
In a typical firmware rollout, all cable modems (CM) of a specific model are told to update by the boot file. It starts with a download, even if it already has the right firmware. This has caused major resource problems in the past, where there have been instances where some devices will download large portions of the file before rejecting it. Many times the device does this every time it’s restarted. Continue Reading
Managing firmware upgrades can be a daunting task. Sometimes, engineers must upgrade thousands of devices from different brands and models across a multitude of networks. On top of that, operators require minimal to no service interruption to their customers, or they risk damaging quality of experience.
It’s no secret that MSOs are always trying to manage data, voice, and video services in a cost-effective way. Without an automated solution, configuration changes and firmware updates can add to ongoing administration costs, affecting the company’s bottom line by diverting resources and reducing cost savings. Continue Reading
In my last blog, we explored the advantages of virtualizing network and gateway functions to reduce CAPEX and OPEX using virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE). But this raised a new question: Should service providers virtualize the entire network and gateway, or is it better to adopt a hybrid approach? Additionally, how long should you wait to transition to a virtual approach? Continue Reading
Cable operators are slowly introducing newer, more sophisticated gateways, with support for TR-069, MOCA, and DOCSIS — but what can be done with all those old gateways? They’re still working, but how do you manage their firmware and ensure that you don’t end up overloading your CMTS or provisioning stack during a mass upgrade, or worse yet, end up bricking the population? Continue Reading