Meet Taylor Communications
Based in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, Taylor Communications provides a range of broadband and telephone services, using a rural microwave network and VoIP technology, with coverage spanning over 55 square miles.
The WISP used to receive regular complaints about slow Internet due to customers saturating their plan speeds using bulk applications like software updates and video streaming. These services tend to dominate the connection and negatively impact real-time applications such as gaming. To solve this, Taylor Communications needed a system that could limit the negative impact of heavy applications and ensure a good customer experience at all times.
Taylor uses Powercode for billing, and previously used a traffic management platform installed in its network core to enforce customer plan speeds. Ray Taylor, CEO of Taylor Communications, first heard about Preseem in the WISPTalk Facebook group. After speaking with fellow WISPs, and learning more about the power of Preseem firsthand, he decided to implement the system throughout his network.
Taylor saw results in the network immediately after deploying Preseem. Customer support calls about slow Internet decreased dramatically, resulting in time and cost savings among L1 and L2 support staff. The platform has also enabled the company to make investment decisions with confidence, as a result of the comprehensive metrics produced and compiled by Preseem.
Implementing the solution has allowed Taylor Communications to take advantage of new sources of revenue. By highlighting customers in need of network upgrades, Preseem has allowed sales staff to target these customers for upselling.
Results of Using Preseem
After deploying Preseem in their network, Taylor Communications has experienced the following:
- Time savings for L1 and L2 support staff
- Customers are experiencing better internet speed, meaning less of them are leaving
- Increased sales opportunities via upsell of structured cabling and Wi-Fi solutions
- Ability to make better financial and network investment decisions
Proactive QoE Monitoring
Preseem’s detailed QoE metrics have allowed Taylor Communications to increase its workflow efficiency. Just by looking at the graphs produced within Preseem, support staff are able to see how a subscriber connection is performing and assess the actual user experience. Preseem’s QoE metrics have also allowed Taylor to validate customer speed complaints, which has been especially useful when talking to gamers experiencing service interruptions.
Since using Preseem, Taylor Communications has become proactive in diagnosing network issues, sometimes before customers even realize there’s a problem! As a result, they’ve been able to base plant upgrade decisions solely on the network information provided by Preseem. This has allowed them to make better financial decisions and make investments where they’re needed most.
Taylor’s sales staff are also able to help improve subscriber QoE by suggesting in-home network upgrades where appropriate. With Preseem, sales staff are able to see where subscribers would benefit from internal network upgrades, allowing them to upsell subscribers on new hardware or other network solutions. Here’s the workflow of how Preseem supports upselling at Taylor Communications:
- A technician who regularly observes metrics within Preseem flags a customer that has issues unrelated to the Taylor plant transmission network.
- The technician confirms the issue by looking at Wi-Fi signal levels within Taylor’s cloud management platform. If the device has a low signal, a ticket is created.
- A member of the sales team calls the customer, informing them that additional access points, cabling, powerline adapters, or other solution will improve the Wi-Fi coverage around their house.
- If the customer accepts the sales proposal, additional profit is earned as a result of the insights provided by Preseem!
QoE Optimized Traffic Shaping
Before Preseem, Taylor Communications used a management platform installed in its network core to enforce customer plan speeds. This platform maintained basic burst and limit capabilities, and worked by throttling customer usage to enforce plan speeds. The company regularly received calls from customers with complaints of slow Internet, however, often pointing to the inability to watch Netflix when someone else in the house was engaging in a data-intensive activity.
Taylor was initially surprised by the complaints it was receiving, as it offered plans with speeds greater than 30 Mbps. However, they soon determined that their upstream speed to CDN nodes allowed fast downloads to easily saturate connections within a household. As a result, every time they received a customer complaint, an L1 technician would check the live throughput of the customer’s connection and find that it had flat-lined.
By getting the customer to stop Internet-intensive activities, such as a large game or file download, interactive sessions like streaming video or surfing the web would start performing as expected. Nevertheless, these calls were burdensome, not to mention frustrating for subscribers. After introducing Preseem’s QoE monitoring and traffic shaping, Taylor noticed a dramatic drop in ‘my Internet is slow’ calls to its L1 staff.
As a result, their support lines are no longer tied up by complaints about slow Internet from customers. Also, the Taylor Communications team is now able to make decisions around network design and business processes that help minimize future support calls.
The following graph shows tickets created and marked as resolved by Taylor Communications’ L1 support team. Each of these tickets represents between 20-60 minutes of technical labor, which is classified by Taylor Communications as “wasted time and labor cost” for these types of calls.
Taylor installed Preseem in July 2019. As you can see above, they experienced a rapid drop in ‘slow internet’ tickets immediately afterward. With Preseem in the network, subscribers no longer felt that their Internet was slow or lagging. Preseem automatically manages the connections within each household to give everyone a fair share of Internet usage.
Though other traffic shaping options were considered before deciding on Preseem, Ray Taylor felt the alternatives were too granular with respect to their control options. “With Preseem, you just set it and forget it, since it’s completely automatic,” he said.
Preseem’s API integration with Powercode also means that the platform is able to pull in customer plan speeds. This means no more error-prone, duplicate data entry! In addition, Preseem considers access point (AP) throughput limitations, automatically giving equal share between the subscribers on the AP and users within each household. This enables interactive flows like VoIP and Internet browsing to get through smoothly without being affected by bulk flows like streaming video and large downloads.
Working with Preseem Staff
Taylor said the Preseem onboarding process was fast and easy. Preseem offers customers a 30-day free trial, recommending that new users first let Preseem capture data over the course of a week, before switching on QoE Optimized Shaping. This allows customers to see the performance of their network before and after Preseem takes effect, thus demonstrating the true impact of the platform.