Apologies for the gap in publishing, with the birth of my son, Liam, on the 28th Nov, and a rush of end of year projects; I’ve just not had the time. But with the holidays coming up, I have a backlog of material to publish 🙂
Today I had an experience that is critical to a theme of this weblog on how operators can remain relevant as service providers.
I asked Verizon for a cablecard so I could record programs on my DVR (Digital Video Recorder), they were due to come round this morning, they did not. It appears a dispatcher was required to confirm the appointment, it would have been nice for them to have let me know, but they did not. As they’re my telephone, internet and TV service provider they should have been able to contact me; there are enough presence indicators so show I’m connected to their network; and they could have sent a message to my voicemail, mobile, STB or even email. So half a day of my life wasted waiting for Verizon, a spoiled Christmas surprise for my wife and not even a Saturday appointment.
Compare this to my experience in getting Amazon on Demand working through my DVR. I connect to the internet, entered my credentials, and within minutes a vast library of content is available, and a couple of great titles already downloaded; at least the DVR is not completely useless this weekend. Its just a sad example of why customers are increasingly turning their backs on operators as their preferred service providers. Telcos need to utilize their networks much more effectively in the basics of customer relationship management. The network APIs I’ve discuss for use by third party developers should be used by their internal systems as well to avoid the poor experience I had today.