Innovating by improving business processes was a recurring theme of this week’s Minnesota Telecom Alliance Convention and Tradeshow in Minneapolis. The cloud and web applications are driving many of the efficiency improvements for not only operators, but their suppliers and consultants. A few of the stories from MTA are in this issue, while others will be revealed in future issues of the Viodi View. In the meantime, check out this trailer video for the ViodiTV channel that appeared on the convention hotels.
Rosie Berg of Pinnacle, a publisher of directories and web applications, pointed out in her MTA presentation that it takes a team to keep up with social media. She provided an overview of the many online tools that are available for an operator to stay in contact with its prospects and customers. One take-away, in a conversation with her after her presentation, is that social media channels are increasingly important for customer service, even if the dirty laundry is sometimes exposed. Read the Korner below, for my first-hand experience with the importance of a well-monitored and responsive social media strategy.
There is this thing called a halo effect,” said David Seda, Vice President of Marketing for Calix. Seda says that customers perceive operators which offer gigabit services as being cutting-edge. As such, gigabit service is lifting the perceived value of operators’ other services. Seda also talks about the increasing importance of software in transforming the network from a pipe to a broadband ecosystem where the operator can rapidly address customers’ needs; needs that the customers sometimes don’t even know they have.
Stanford President John Hennessy Educating SBU Alumni on Broad Range of Topics (Stanford = Silicon Valley) by Alan Weissberger
Stanford president, John Hennessy, treated the Stony Brook University Alumni audience to an enlightening seminar on many diverse and interesting topics that spanned education, technology and the value of liberal arts/ reading classic literature. Not only was his presentation crystal clear and very informative, but his relaxed style and down to earth discourse made it most enjoyable as well.
AT&T Outlines SDN/NFV Focus Areas for Domain 2.0 Initiative by Alan Weissberger
As previously reported, AT&T’s future Domain 2.0 network infrastructure must be open, simple, scalable and secure, according to John Donovan, AT&T’s senior executive vice president of technology and network operations. But what does that really mean? And what are the research initiatives that are guiding AT&T’s transition to SDN/NFV? What is particularly intriguing is the idea that AT&T’s 4,600 central offices and the power to create a cloud-based network around those points of presence.
NTT Com Leads all Network Providers in Deployment of SDN/OpenFlow; NFV Coming Soon by Alan Weissberger
While AT&T has gotten a much press for its announced plans to use Software Defined Networking (SDN) to revamp its core network, another large global carrier has been quietly deploying SDN/OpenFlow for almost two years and soon plans to launch Network Function Virtualization (NFV) into its WAN. NTT Communications (NTT-Com) is using an “SDN overlay” to connect 12 of its cloud data centers (including one’s in China and Germany scheduled for launch this year) located on three different continents.
- @AjitPaiFCC Norman Borlaug, the man who saved more lives than anyone in history, would have turned 100 yesterday.
- @MattatACA @RepAnnaEshoo To Speak At #ACA Annual Washington Summit | #AmericanCableAssociation http://www.americancable.org/node/4713
- The Viacom negotations are getting down to the wire. Messages on many independent operators’ web sites expressing their concerns, including this excerpt, “While we are restricted from talking about specific rates, Viacom demanded a rate increase that is 40 times the rate of inflation over last year’s fees for the same channels you get today!”
- This is a big deal, as with the power of the independent operators and their local operations, Sprint’s network has the potential to have a reach that extends virtually everywhere.
- #cornpalace in Mitchell, SD just mentioned on #TheBlacklist here is what it looked like when I visited this Midwestern landmark.
- Here are some pictures from this week’s MTA Convention
The @Viodi Twitter handle is supposed to be for industry-relevant items, but sometimes it is used for things that are seemingly a bit off-topic. Traveling home from MTA and inspired by Rosie Berg of Pinnacle, I figured that Twitter might be the easiest way to draw attention to what looked to be a potential log-jam at American Airlines MSP gate. With only two agents and about 25 people in line, it was clear they needed help.
This incident triggered a thought on how one of the more interesting demonstrations at International CES 2014 could be used to improved customer support when the kiosks and computer systems just don’t seem to work and when a human touch is needed. The above video provides a clue as to the potential use of a technology that is intended to eliminate travel and how it could be be used to help customer support.