OpenVault leverages cloud, analytics to help operators right-size their customer tiers

OpenVault is working to help cable operators place their broadband subscribers in the correct tiers in order to further monetize their services.  

OpenVault collects subscribers' usage behaviors and puts them into data sets that provide cable operators with the tools to right-size their broadband subscriber services. OpenVault will be showing its latest technologies, including a new "Revenue Accelerator" at the NCTC's upcoming Independent Show in Anaheim, Calif.

"All these solutions are designed really to do of a couple things," said OpenVault CEO and founder Mark Trudeau, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "One is to drive incremental revenues, and two is to drive costs down, all with the idea of increasing profit for cable operators."

OpenVault provides cable operators with a set of command lines to put on their cable modem termination systems (CMTS) to collect Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) data that is then pushed back to OpenVault. OpenVault can collect the data, which includes traffic counts, at the subscriber level, every 15 minutes to see how much bandwidth each cable broadband subscriber is using.

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OpenVault also does simple network management protocol (SNMP) polling with the CMTS to measure and cull statistics on the utilization levels for every interface.

"Another big component is actually a file that the operator themselves sends to us, typically nightly, with subscriber-level data," Trudeau said.

All of the analytics of the subscriber data can be used to either notify subscribers when they are approaching the threshold of their data usage if there are data caps in place, or provide information to the service provider for marketing purposes to upgrade a user to a higher tier of service.

"We measure all that for the operators and then what our Revenue Accelerator product does is it helps them micro-target their upgrade candidates," Trudeau said. "This can have just really massive impacts on their revenues, to be able to truly not just micro-target the upgrade candidates, but also provide their reps with the ammunition they need and the visibility they need into their customer's behavior and into their homes so they can intelligently talk to a subscriber."

While OpenVault's Revenue Accelerator will officially be announced at the Independent Show, it can also be used by Tier 1 cable operators. Trudeau said the Revenue Accelerator was a culmination and blending of OpenVault's data gathering technologies.

Since OpenVault's business model is software-as-a-service, it doesn’t require hardware installs with cable operators. The cloud model also allows OpenVault to quickly deploy its solutions.

"We leverage Amazon Web Services," Trudeau said. "This is all cloud-based from the data collection to all the secret sauce of the analytics. We even have the ability to take action on a policy module on an abuser on the network. We can slow down a specific abuser's speed without touching the operator's provisioning system."

Trudeau said that OpenVault, which is privately held, competed against Arris ServAssure, which also does SNMP polling, and other vendors that also collect IDPR data.

"The operators themselves are also competitors," he said. "They have internal processes that involve pulling data from a number of CMTSs, entering that information into a spreadsheet and different things. By the time that's all done, the data has changed.  It just takes too long because it's a very manual effort.

"We're able to share lessons learned and build reports over time at the request of the operators so the solution really keeps building on itself. Our customers aren't competitive. They serve different markets so they're willing to share lessons learned and good ideas with their peers. We try to sit right in the middle of all that."