Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2013

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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operations Overture gIS Harnesses The Power of Information A new geographic operating system helps Greenlight Communications operate more efciently and provide proactive customer service. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities P roactive service is the key to keeping customers happy and running a network efciently, according to Will Aycock, general manager of Greenlight Communications, the municipal broadband provider in Wilson, N.C. Network operators can provide proactive service only when they know about problems before their customers do. Greenlight began operations fve years ago, and Wilson residents and businesses have enthusiastically adopted its fber optic services. (For a full case study of the Greenlight deployment, see the January/February 2013 issue of this magazine.) Aycock, originally a geographic information systems manager, developed the GIS system that Greenlight used to build and manage its network. However, this homegrown system, though highly functional, was difcult for non-GIS experts to use, which limited its potential benefts. When ETI Software Solutions, whose subscriber management, workforce management and billing software Greenlight deployed, began looking for network operators to beta test its new geographic solution, Aycock was among the frst to volunteer. He understood the potential for GIS to improve Greenlight's operations, and he was eager to test a system that his entire organization could use. Te new solution, Overture GIS, integrates ETI's data warehouse (marketed as Triad) with 76 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | Geographic Technologies Group's Vantage Points GIS software, making subscriber data, plant management records, fber and network element information, and workforce management data available on a single platform. Location-based information from external sources – such as photographs, weather data, and income or other census data – can also be added to the system. Instead of being limited to GIS specialists, Overture is easily accessible to engineering, network management, sales and marketing, customer service and executive management personnel. It provides comprehensive network and customer intelligence that network operators can use to maximize their revenue, reduce their operating expenses and improve their customers' experiences. WINNINg CUSTOMERS, IMPROvINg OPERATIONS In a recent Web demo of Overture GIS, Aycock said Greenlight's proactive approach to network management had paid of in a recent sales meeting. Te prospective commercial customer was already a residential subscriber. He came to the meeting favorably disposed toward connecting his organization to Greenlight because, he said, a network technician had recently appeared at his door to respond to an outage he hadn't yet reported. "Tat type of response generates good will and makes sales in the future," Aycock commented. | March/april 2013

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