Multiple System Operators (MSOs) are at a critical juncture in the ongoing war for broadband subscribers. They often rank at the bottom of customer satisfaction indexes. Their traditional business is under attack from video streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But they have a powerful asset in the battle for broadband supremacy – high-speed access to customers. How can MSOs take advantage of that asset?
At SCTE Cable-Tec Expo last week, there was a common theme around improving the subscriber experience for cable broadband customers. There are business issues to be solved around customer interaction, pricing and billing models, and content partnerships for the MSOs, but as the business models shift for MSOs, there has already been significant culture shifts in many cable operators.
There were quite a few presentations around the concept of evolving to DevOps models within the engineering departments of MSOs. DevOps isn’t a new concept, but it is becoming more popular as a method for allowing MSOs to be more agile in getting services to market faster – something that is absolutely critical in the “Internet Speed” world we live in. One of the sessions I attended discussed how DevOps has dramatically improved the Cloud DVR services offered by several MSOs, because they were able to react to customer feature requests and bug reports much faster – which helps improve customer satisfaction (i.e. it is a good thing!).
I presented at the event for the second year running (a big honor BTW considering how few presentations are given at the event), this year focusing on Procera’s award-winning ScoreCard solution. ScoreCard (in case you missed it) provides broadband operators with real visibility on the ACTUAL experience that they are delivering to their subscribers. See the example below:
If you want to know how and why we built ScoreCard, download this free Heavy Reading white paper.
Imagine if your broadband operator knew if you were having a bad video experience before you called them to complain. What if they knew exactly why there was a problem, and could fix it before it became a systematic issue and caused you to start looking for a new provider? That would change the game for MSOs and put them in a positive light if broadband “just worked.” Subscribers only focus on when there is a problem, so if you keep problems away, you keep the subscriber happier. Most MSOs measure uptime as “The physical plant is up!”, and that is insufficient in today’s competitive landscape.
I also want to call out one other presentation that was a great example of how data can be used to help operate an MSO network and deliver a better subscriber experience. Mariela Fiorenzo of Cablevision S.A. gave a great presentation on how Cablevision used “Small Data” to make sure that they can deliver Netflix to their subscribers with high quality. This is exactly the kind of data the Procera’s solutions can provide, and Mariela applied some creative analytics to the data to make sure that Cablevision is keeping up with subscriber demand.
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