Light Reading

CHR Turnaround Includes New CEO

Carol Wilson

With the announcement of turnover at the top, CHR Solutions -- a company that made a big splash a few years ago helping small telcos get into the cloud and managed services business -- has completed what amounts to a restart aimed at creating a steadier sales pace.

James Taylor, the co-founder and CEO who took CHR Solutions Inc. to this point, is stepping down to pursue his next new venture. His co-founding partner, Arun Pasrija, will move into the top spot from his previous position as COO and president. Taylor remains the largest CHR shareholder and a member of the board of directors.

CHR moved earlier in the year to bring in software development skills to get its ambitious Omnia 360 project back on its feet and into the market. That effort, a complete billing and customer care solution for smaller telcos, was introduced two years ago, but company sources said it had some significant problems that need ironing out. (See CHR Intros New Tech Team and CHR Teams With Microsoft.)

Gary Knee, now the head of CHR's software solutions business unit, was making the rounds at the March Comptel Plus event in Las Vegas. He told Light Reading and others that the software issues are now resolved, and that Omnia 360 is in trial mode with GRM Networks, a local telco and broadband provider in Iowa and Missouri.

Omnia 360 is now ready to help rural telcos tackle some of the significant challenges they face in trying to increase service revenue in response to voice service decline, Knee said. "It is able to transform the back office and the billing system, becoming the business system they need, with all aspects of 'lead-to-cash' covered. That includes a product catalogue, trouble ticketing, campaign management, and fulfillment."

As a company that has been in the trenches with rural telcos for some time, CHR is familiar with the realities of their existence. Where once local telcos were order takers in a monopoly environment, they now must compete on the sales and marketing front against cable companies, CLECs, wireless operators, and satellite providers. Many of them lack sales and marketing skills and may be working on older support systems that lack the up-to-date data needed for targeting potential customers.

One thing CHR is pledging to offer is a set of proprietary tools that help a telco analyze its data, creating a consistent way of describing services and customer information such as addresses, Knee said. Once the data is cleaned up and centrally stored, it can be accessed by customer service reps for targeting new customers based on their current usage patterns and what the network can deliver to them.

"If you know the customer has access to the copper plant or to fiber and can get a 50Mbit/s service, then the CSR [customer service rep] can offer that service," Knee said.

CHR is also offering a full range of backup support for rural telcos on a 24/7 outsourced basis or as needed to buttress what the telco wants to offer.

Under Taylor's direction, CHR had been bold in its promises. At one point, it even guaranteed savings of up to 25% to its telco customers. There isn't yet an indication of whether Pasrija will continue in that style, but the changing of the guard isn't expected to impact the company's momentum, given Taylor's ongoing board presence.

As for Taylor, he admits to Light Reading that his skills are better focused at the startup phase of a company, and that he is looking forward to his next venture. That could grow out of his involvement in the Houston Technology Center, the $1 billion technology incubator where Taylor and Pasrija met.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/9/2014 | 11:18:13 AM
Re: Walking the Walk
James Taylor's a very high-energy, dynamic guy with a lot of vision. As he himself says, he's better at starting companies than operating them so he sees this as a natural progression for CHR.

Had they not had the earlier software blips that set the company back considerably on its roadmap, I don't think this would seem like as big a deal as it seems now. 

User Rank: Light Beer
4/9/2014 | 10:57:08 AM
Re: Walking the Walk
I recall Taylor presenting at our previous Carrier Cloud forums. Will be interesting to see what happens with CHR with someone new at the helm.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/8/2014 | 2:54:22 PM
Walking the Walk
These guys have long had a handle on what smaller telcos needed to succeed, it was a matter of delivering on the promise. Taylor tells me all is now in order, so we'll see if CHR can take off.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Wagner’s Ring
The Business Case for Open Source

11|30|15   |     |   (1) comment

Open source helps companies enhance infrastructure, undermine competitors' advantage and teach collaboration. But there are problems.
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
Hong Kong Moments
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/26/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Facebook in Africa: Beauty or Beast?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/27/2015
Cable Gives Thanks for Business Services
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 11/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.