Belgacom IP-TV offers plug and play IP-TV experience

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Belgacom IP-TV offers plug and play IP-TV experience

Today, SupportSoft announced that Belgacom's 800,000+ broadband subscribers can now enjoy the benefits of speedy and easy self-installation of an IPTV connection with the help of SupportSoft's SmartAccess solution. The SmartAccess tool enables Belgacom customers to verify their systems for firmware, modem and set-top characteristics; configure their PC and wireless gateway; and connect all the key components together -- reducing the need for lengthy and costly truck rolls to their premises and driving adoption of the new service. Basically SupportSoft has enabled a "plug and play IP-TV" experience. Amazing...

Gee, I remember in ~1996 when I first purchased a cable modem from Nobody Beats the Wiz (now bankrupt) through a partnership with Cablevision and I was able to take the cable modem home, plug it in and get instant high-speed broadband data access. A few years later I was able to order Vonage, get a SIP-based Cisco ATA-186 in the mail and get instant plug-and-play voice access. Now you're telling me that I can soon order and install IP-TV "plug-in-play style" and that I don't have to allocate a 4-hour window for the cable guy to show up and hook me up? Wow, I can't wait to tell my impending child (due April 13th) "Back in my day we used to have to sit at home and wait for the cable guy to show up." :D

In any event, SupportSoft's is certainly a major player in enabling service providers to automate customer self-service and assisted service in order to build the most satisfying experience while cost-effectively delivering more competitive, high-value next generation services like IPTV to the market.

Below is a copy of the news release.

Belgacom Gets IPTV Customers Off to a Fast Start with SupportSoft Solution

-- SupportSoft SmartAccess Software Automates Self-Service Installation for Telco's Newest Triple Play Service--

Redwood City, CA, February 22, 2006 - SupportSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPRT), a leading provider of Real-Time Service Management (RTSM) software, today announced that Belgacom SA, Belgium's largest telecommunications company, has deployed SupportSoft SmartAccess software to speed deployment of its newest service offering, Belgacom TV. As a result, more than 800,000 broadband subscribers can quickly and easily self-install a new IP-based TV connection -- and immediately begin to enjoy unique digital programming, video on demand and other services.

SupportSoft SmartAccess software automates the self-installation of an iDTV (also referred to as IPTV) connection. The solution automatically assists in verifying customers' system characteristics, such as firmware version, modem and set-top box type, configuring their PC and wireless gateway with the latest software as needed, and providing interactive instructions to connect all the key components together. Everything needed for a successful installation is within easy reach of the customer, reducing time-consuming, expensive service calls or truck rolls to the customer premises as well as speeding adoption of this new service. Belgacom broadband customers already benefit from the use of other innovative SupportSoft software products, including automated solutions for customer self-service and assisted service.

An independent 2005 European survey[1] conducted in 6 European companies by InsightExpress, a market research firm, revealed that 81% of ADSL subscribers are interested in receiving all of their triple play services from one provider. Further, 86% of those surveyed said they believe that customer service would stay the same or improve if they received voice, video and data services from one provider, with 17% believing it will "improve significantly." Meeting this expectation can present a problem for service providers, since the deployment of voice and video services can be an order of magnitude more difficult than for traditional broadband services.

"Belgacom's goal is not simply acquiring new customers but retaining them through creating the best possible experience for any triple play service they may choose," said Walter Gelens, Marketing Director at Belgacom. "iDTV holds the potential to provide consumers with even more entertainment value than they receive through traditional TV service. And, for Belgacom TV, that value begins with successful, automated installation of an iDTV connection using SupportSoft SmartAccess."

"The Benelux countries as a group are one of the most mature and competitive broadband markets in the world. Business growth for service providers is being driven by the introduction of new, high value services such as IPTV," said James Morehead, vice president of product management and marketing at SupportSoft. "Belgacom understands through its market share leadership that technology alone isn't enough to succeed; their unsurpassed reputation for customer service has provided competitive advantage. That's a key reason why we're especially gratified that they have selected SupportSoft SmartAccess to help them maintain it."

About SupportSoft
SupportSoft is a leading provider of Real-Time Service Management (RTSM) software designed to automatically resolve IT technical problems for enterprises and enable triple play service automation for VoIP, video or broadband delivery by service providers to their customers. Digital service providers benefiting from SupportSoft solutions include Belgacom, BellSouth, Charter Communications, Comcast Communications, Cox Communications, Time Warner, TeliaSonera and UPC. Enterprises that have licensed SupportSoft software for IT requirements include ADP, Bank of America, BT, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Siebel Systems, Sony, Symantec and Thomson Financial. Managed service providers that utilize the Company's solutions to provide outsourced services to their enterprise customers include ACS, CGI, CompuCom and CSC. For more information visit www.supportsoft.com.



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