Access Incognito's library of Guides, Tips / Tutorials and more.

Save OPEX and Improve Subscriber QoE with Simple DOCSIS Firmware Management

Published on 17 Jun 2016

Reducing OPEX while providing consistent quality of service and quality of experience for subscribers is no easy feat. For operators looking to improve DOCSIS firmware management, the challenge is to reduce downtime while ensuring subscribers receive necessary firmware updates that may be required for new services, devices, or just as part of regular upgrades.

DOCSIS Firmware Updates: The Cost to Your Business

How much does it cost to implement annual firmware updates across your network? Factors to consider may relate to internal resources, impact on subscriber quality of experience (QoE), and ongoing troubleshooting. For example:

  • Engineering and operations labor required after-hours to implement firmware updates
  • Time taken to create and manage in-house firmware solutions, which may not be integrated well with your device provisioning solution
  • Batch firmware upgrades that may result in failures and customer service interruptions, leading to increased call volumes and unhappy subscribers
  • Slower troubleshooting and diagnostics for firmware-related issues and service outages

Subscribers today expect fast service delivery and proactive problem resolution. As your company grows, an automated and fully integrated DOCSIS firmware solution is even more important so that you can scale up without affecting subscriber QoE.

Faster, Smoother Firmware Updates and Simplified Management

The Incognito DOCSIS Firmware Management Solution integrates directly with your Incognito device provisioning and lease storage solution, allowing for the seamless and automatic update of network-wide firmware information.

This solution provides an easier way to schedule and automate firmware updates in off-peak hours, with an easy-to-use network-wide inventory and detailed firmware history to simplify upgrades, downgrades, diagnostics and troubleshooting, and reporting. This results in significant cost savings while minimizing impact on subscriber services and QoE.

This DOCSIS Firmware Management Solution lets you:

  • Schedule multistage updates ahead of time for specific service windows (such as off-peak hours) to reduce the risk of subscriber service interruption, while also reducing the resources required from your engineering and operations teams
  • Configure updates based on device model, vendor, MAC address, or firmware version, and choose how many devices are updated per minute within a campaign to limit the potential for failures or prolonged subscriber downtime
  • Run test updates and receive statistics for failed or stalled operations, as well as detailed reports and access to inventory history for streamlined diagnostics and troubleshooting

When Could You Use an Automated Firmware Solution?

Example 1: Problem Firmware on Your Network

An administrator is aware of ongoing customer complaints related to firmware from a particular DOCSIS device vendor and model, which is affecting subscriber services. Without an integrated or automated solution, the administrator needs to:

  1. Create an inventory to see which subscribers are affected
  2. Eliminate the problem as quickly as possible for the affected devices, while minimizing the impact on subscriber services
  3. Monitor the firmware update process overnight to ensure success

With the Incognito DOCSIS Firmware Management Solution, the administrator has a network-wide device inventory — including firmware version history — at their fingertips. This enables faster identification of devices requiring firmware updates, simply by selecting the device vendor and model type. The update can be tested and scheduled to run automatically in off-peak hours, over several nights, with statistics available for failure and success rates.

The result is a seamless upgrade for affected subscribers, reducing customer call volume and boosting subscriber QoE without increasing expenditure.

Example 2: Upgrading to a Higher Service Class

A customer service representative (CSR) or retention officer may choose to move a valued customer to a higher service class to allow the subscriber to take advantage of faster broadband speeds or access a new, revenue-generating service. This service tier is supported by new firmware, and an update is required.

When an upgrade is required for retention purposes or by customer request, it needs to be as quick and painless as possible. In this scenario, an efficient, low-cost upgrade can boost subscriber QoE, but any problems or delays may actually increase negative subscriber sentiment.

Automated, scheduled updates will make the firmware update process as seamless as possible. The Incognito DOCSIS Firmware Management Solution can be used to set batch or individual firmware upgrades, while the device inventory allows for faster troubleshooting — enabling administrators to quickly access information about existing firmware, upgrade and downgrade history, failures, and more.

The result is simple identification of firmware problems and faster delivery of new services to enhance the customer experience and improve retention.

Discover how improved firmware management can minimize customer interruptions and improve subscriber quality of experience on your network by speaking to an Incognito solution expert.