When exploring options for an Auto Configuration Server (ACS) device and WiFi management solution, it is critical to consider all elements that deliver true value. Weight should be placed on finding a technology solution that supports your vision. But how does one justify the price tag beyond the promised functionality? 

Vendor Independence
The first and foremost criteria should be to find a solution designed to support any device that implements the Broadband Forum TR-069 standards. The ACS should integrate with a large number of device types from different vendors, allowing for the broadest set of device choices to reduce supply chain risk and provide negotiating power when selecting customer premises equipment (CPE) vendors. Covering a full complement of WAN technologies ensures the solution is designed for any and all broadband providers. 

Security
You will want a solution that ensures maximum security from the carrier data center to the ACS, which is critical for cloud deployments. Ensure the technology has a protocol in place to analyze every device to determine whether it can support the level of transport security necessary to protect device communications. A solution that truly supports a strong cybersecurity strategy will offer a secure device proxy for customers who have legacy-managed devices the industry no longer considers secure. Providing this level of security gives the carrier peace of mind that their customers’ home networks are safe. 

Integration
While there are a number of competitors in the market today, scope of integration should be a deciding factor in determining which solution best serves your needs. Ideally, a solution should talk to your customer care and billing as well as engineering and operations systems to promote peak operational efficiency and effectively communicate across your organization through automation. Integration breeds automation – and it is core to best serve staff from the front office to the field to ensure the highest level of customer service and satisfaction. 

Total Cost of Ownership
Ensure you find a solution provider that understands how to deliver value and has a solid track record in the industry. Inquire what future development and integration is planned. Research the fee structure and what additional functionality will cost. For instance, a true enterprise approach may be far more cost effective than a best of breed approach, easily justifying the cost even further with savings through reduced calls and truck rolls alone. 

Subscriber Engagement
Subscribers expect their service to be reliable and consistent. When it isn’t, they demand simple tools to help them resolve the issues. An effective solution should be designed to reduce call volume while minimizing your customers’ time spent resolving problems and self-managing their network, increasing customer satisfaction and retention. 

Government Requirements
Providers should also consider a solution that supports advanced management capabilities such as speed and latency reporting tools, not only for assuring the service delivery network is working at peak performance, but also to support FCC required testing. The true value of a technology solution will be determined in the added benefits it provides, such as testing and robust reporting to ensure you meet the requirements for projects such as with the Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RDOF).  

Finding the perfect partner and solution is key to carrier success, but what impact does the overall value have on a service provider? Increased revenue and customer satisfaction and decreased call center volume and truck rolls. And, by empowering customers to manage their own devices, resolve performance issues, set parental controls and administer changes to their home network all from a convenient app, the carrier can deliver a truly exceptional customer experience. 

If you are looking for a solution that can offer secure, fully integrated functionality along with testing and reporting functions all in one, reach out to NISC to learn more about the User Services System and SmartHub WiFi solution at 1.866.999.6472 or at NISC.coop/user-services-system