Philip Bednarz

Posted by Philip Bednarz

Executive Vice President of Engineering & Operations

Philip Bednarz has published 2 blog posts.

A higher grade of service for teleworkers

We have established that in the collaborative work-from-home environment, poor connectivity impacts not just a single home worker, but rather it has a multiplier effect that impacts the effectiveness of the overall team. Introducing Workput | The Equipe IT admin panel

Equipe provides a set of tools not found in a typical residential service that work together to provide a higher-grade of service for the home worker.

First, Equipe provides the capability to select a set of work-from-home devices using a simple smartphone application. The connectivity of these devices is prioritized above residential devices during work-from-home hours on both the WiFi and broadband networks.

On the WiFi side, the system automatically steers residential and telework devices to access points and bands best suited for prioritized performance. The system also establishes airtime policies that ensure work-from-home devices get sufficient throughput.

Furthermore, the user can give simple “thumbs up”/ “thumbs down” feedback on performance. That feedback can be signaled either through the Equipe smartphone app or via plugins on popular collaboration platforms. The system takes this user feedback and evaluates quality-of-service parameters in real-time to make further adjustments.

Here is one of the places where the Workput concept comes in. Introducing Workput

Rather than just looking at the QoS parameters on a home-by-home basis, the platform is integrated with APIs from popular collaboration tools such that the system knows when a work-from-home device is online with other work-from-home devices. When one user gives a “thumbs down” on performance, the system checks all collaborating users to see if something needs to be changed on their home network. This is an important part of optimizing for team effectiveness. Sometimes my bad QoE is caused by issues on your network. Pinpointing and resolving those issues is key to improving Workput.

Equipe also protects the user’s QoE on the broadband side. The system manages a secondary WAN interface which can provide broadband redundancy or load balancing via either an LTE modem or secondary wireline interface. The use of the secondary WAN is optimized to maximize Workput while managing bandwidth costs of the secondary connection.

All of these capabilities are visible and supervised through an IT administrator dashboard.

A ClearView® on Your Next Best Action

Providing a positive internet experience to 100’s of millions of subscribers around the world is a daunting task.   Internet Service Providers (ISPs) combine DSL, Fiber, and Wi-Fi technologies with the goal of delivering reliably fast internet service.   But, when something goes wrong, unhappy subscribers require fast and efficient attention to get them back on-line quickly.   If proper care is not given, a frustrated subscriber is likely to churn to a competing service.

Information Overload

ISPs know they need visibility into how their network is operating.  It’s the only way to identify and solve issues.   Network management tools are deployed to collect, analyze, and correlate terabytes of data on network health, but when an unhappy subscriber is on the phone, a customer care agent only wants to know “What is my Next Best Action?” They need to decide, what is the one thing they should do right now to give them the best chance of getting their unhappy subscriber back on-line.   Traditional network management solutions present page after page of technical diagnostics.  What’s needed is an expert system that quickly processes all available information and comes up with a simple, actionable, next step.  ASSIA’s expert system to deliver the Next Best Action is ClearViewâ.

Understand the Decision Process

ASSIA has been deploying network management tools for 10+ years.  In ASSIA’s experience, customer care tools need a customized fit into the care operation already in place.  Without understanding how a customer care operation works, a good tool – more often than not – has no impact.   That’s why ASSIA works with ISPs to diagram the decision flow used in their care operations.    Using data on call rates, call reasons, actions taken, and finally outcomes, ASSIA analyzes customer care processes and builds a statistical model around how a customer care operation works.   We combine this model with the KPI goals of the ISP.   Is the goal to increase subscriber satisfaction, reduce operating expense, reduce repeat calls, or impact subscriber churn?   With all this information, ASSIA deploys a customized ClearView® expert system to provide the Next Best Action and improve the KPIs.

The ClearView® Approach

After modeling the customer care process, ASSIA finds the important decision points in the call center and field operations customer care flow.  These are the decision points that have an important cost/benefit impact on call center KPIs.   The ClearView® system is deployed to deliver the Next Best Action to care agents and field technicians at these points.   ClearView® relies on technical data and diagnostics about DSL, Fiber, and Wi-Fi connections, but it can also consider information about the subscriber, the service plans they have purchased, their service history, and a host of other pieces of information.   The Next Best Action is chosen from a predefined set of things that care agents or technicians have been trained to do.  Furthermore, a great recommendation is no good if it’s not used.   ClearView® can monitor for compliance in taking the Next Best Action as sometimes the issue is not that the right action is unknown, it’s just that the right action was not taken.

Machine Learning for Even Better Results

Once ClearView® is deployed, that’s not the end of the story, and it’s not the limit of the benefits.   ClearView® continues to analyze its decisions and can optimize its decision process using unsupervised statistical techniques or (with outcome data from the ISP) supervised learning techniques.   The more information exposed to ClearView® and the longer the system is in use, the better the results.

ClearView® has been deployed at ISPs worldwide and provides a variety of benefits today including

  • Reduced call handle times and dispatch durations
  • Reduced no-trouble-found dispatches (dispatches where the technician did not find an issue)
  • Reduced repeat calls and dispatches through verifying the fix after the first dispatch
  • Efficient filtering of dispatch tickets
  • Proactive network rehab to offer higher grades of service
  • Churn reduction through proactive dispatch

Click here for additional information on ClearView®.