David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Why Aren't You My Customer?

COMPTEL had a sales training session for attendees with Stephen Schiffman. Schiffman has written 50+ books in his 35 year career...

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How Imagine Communications is Bringing Video Distribution to the cloud and Beyond

At the end of 2014 I declared Imagine Communications one of the companies to watch in 2015, specifically stating: The video industry...

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The Race to Gigabit is About Business

The cable companies racing to Gigabit networks isn't about delivering ultra-fast broadband to consumers. The Gigabit announcements get them good PR...

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Four Ways Cable Operators Can Boost the Customer Experience

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

The customer experience has always mattered, but its importance has grown in recent years. This has been driven by increased global competition, including the almost instant availability of alternations, and the rising expectations by fickle and informed consumer. Yet, cable operators have a long way to travel if they want to deliver the customer experience (CX) that consumers demand.

The Temkin Group’s Q3 2014 survey of 10,000 US consumers’ opinions about goods and services registered the lowest ranking average Net Promoter Score (NPS) for pay TV providers, a telling statistic. Internet service providers did almost as poorly, coming in only one position higher.

“As technology innovations drive shifts in consumer behavior and open new service opportunities, operators must start eliminating pain points,” stressed Alcatel-Lucent’s Nicholas Cadwgan in a recent TechZine article, Cable MSOs transform the customer experience. “This includes any obstacles that will impede their ability to launch and provide adequate care and quality assurance for those services.”

Cadwgan lays out four customer experience management (CEM) areas that cable operators should focus on.

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HP Can't Compete in Public Cloud as Amazon Machine Learning Launches

There are long-term trends in technology we all know are happening. Computers will get more powerful. More devices will be connected. Finally,...

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Citrix and Grasshopper Make a Good Pair

Citrix has many products - DaaS, NetScaler, ZenApp, SingleSignon and the GoTo suite of products: GoToAssist, GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, Podio...

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Support: It Takes a Village

January 21, 2014

Long gone are the days of simply selling a product and moving on to the next customer. Today’s competitive telecom environment (all business environments, actually) calls for providing consistent, high-level customer service and support throughout the product lifecycle. It follows, then, that support is no longer the exclusive job of the Customer Service and IT Support departments; taking care of the customer’s issues is now part of everybody’s job description.

In 1996, Hilary Rodham Clinton published her book, “It Takes a Village (and Other Lessons Children Teach Us).” In it, she focuses on the impact people outside the immediate family have on a child’s life, for better or worse, and advocates for a society that meets all of a child’s needs.

Net Neutrality Takes it on the Chin

January 20, 2014

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the rules established by the FCC to preserve the concept of an “open” Internet. The appeals court essentially supported the position of the network and Internet service providers that they should be able to manage and operate their networks without interference by the FCC. While logically that makes sense, it creates an environment where the consumer may face higher cost, poor service and even a continued loss of privacy.

Kick Off 2014 Successfully

January 14, 2014

Every year since the early nineties, I have had the opportunity to participate in a meeting where we positioned our sales teams to sell products. It is a very important event because it provides the management team of the company an opportunity to communicate strategy, priorities and new product information to sales. It is also a time to augment existing sales skills and team camaraderie. It is an exciting and very important meeting and event.

The Immediate and Foreseeable Future

January 10, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Show is a huge gathering of vendors hawking all manner of products, from small electronic connectors to large SUVs. This was my third such visit and, when it comes to new technology announcements, perhaps the least rewarding. However, there were a few things that caught my attention.

First, wireless and mobility is in. From the connected car, home, extended batteries and all manner of handheld devices, it is clear that the demand to access anything from anywhere at any time using any device is being met.

Telecom and IP get the Future Right

January 8, 2014

Over the weekend, I saw a program that compared the marvels of technology from the film “Back to the Future II” with what has actually come to pass. The film, released in 1989, looked at what we could expect 25 five years out, or in 2015, through the eyes of its hero, Marty McFly. Well, we are nearly there and in position to take inventory of the forecast and what was actually delivered.

  1. Hoverboards – Not surprising that this did not come about since the cost of such a board would have prevented widespread adoption, and the concept was really a play on the lead character’s prowess with skateboards.
  2. Flying Cars – They have been projected for years and, other than prototypes and some special applications, have not been commercialized.
  3. Dehydrated Pizza – The concept was that a pizza would be about four inches in diameter and placed into a special oven. The oven would, within seconds, cook the pizza delivering it at 12 inches and hot.
  4. 3D Movies – They got this partially right.

Thomas Wheeler takes the helm at FCC

November 15, 2013

On November 5th Tom Wheeler became the new Chairman of the FCC. He comes into the office having served as president of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984 and as CEO of mobile carrier trade group CTIA from 1992 to 2004. Additionally, he functioned as CEO of several tech startups. Now one would think that such a background would have provided him political support from a wide range of people, however, precisely because of his background people have questioned his appointment.

A Rolling Sound Gathers MOSs

November 6, 2013

Twice this week, I encountered questions about MOS (Mean Opinion Score). The first was regarding how ANPI collected MOS data to manage our nationwide IP network; the second was regarding whether this information was distributed widely throughout our customer base and channels. First, we use the EXFO Brix System to generate MOSs and, second, we only make such data available to large accounts that have an interest in the data. Perhaps now would be a good time to explain what MOS is.

Over the Top is Coming of Age

October 30, 2013

For some time, I have pointed out that broadband has improved enough over the last few years in both speed and quality to support over the top (OTT) applications and services. While true, there has still been a fair amount of hesitancy to apply this reasoning or conclusion to real-time applications. Therefore, many carriers have refused to provide hosted communications unless it has been a managed service, meaning that the carrier not only provides the cloud application but they are also responsible for the broadband and on-premise router. Others have taken this a step further and developed “fully managed” services, which also include LAN management and the installation of the phones.

US Debt Discussions Impact the Global Web Divide

October 11, 2013

The discussions concerning the US debt limit run from serious to humorous, but most Americans (63 percent, according to a Wall Street Journal poll) believe it to be “a real and serious problem.”.And that is a good thing, because when the US allows its credit worthiness to become suspect, it affects both short and long term interest rates. This makes it more difficult for businesses – particularly small businesses – to secure loans, and it also increases loan costs for consumers. However, there are international ramifications, as well.

If, as expected, politicians continue to use the debt limit to achieve political objectives, then interest rates will rise and the value of dollar will increase.

It's Showtime!

October 8, 2013

In addition to opening the month with a very successful product launch (ANPI VIP) and the introduction of the new ANPI Chief Sales Officer (Mike Cromwell) during Cloud Partners, I also attended NTCA 2013 Fall Conference, COMPTEL Plus Fall Convention and Expo and Search Marketing Expo East.

Each of these meetings offers a different experience. NTCA provides the rural telecommunications community the opportunity to learn about the changing regulatory environment, get updates on new technologies, share various experiences in the deployment of new services and network infrastructures, and develop new professional and personnel relationships. Dave Lewis, ANPI CEO, participated in an industry panel the last day of the conference.

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