February 15, 2011
DALLAS -- Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) is getting into the software-as-a-service business, offering rural telcos a hosted service that enables them to monitor the data flows on their networks, down to the subscriber level.
The tool for that is Flow Analyzer, announced Tuesday as the first part of a coming software suite called Compass. By offering Compass Flow Analyzer on a SaaS basis, Calix can reduce the capex and staffing required by telcos, says Geoff Burke, vice president of marketing for Calix. (See Calix Beefs Up Software Support.)
Unlike deep packet inspection, Flow Analysis doesn't look at the content of a data flow, only the application type, Burke says. "We are looking at the flow data, so we can see, for example, that you are using a video-on-demand service, but we can't tell you're watching Debbie Does Dallas," Burke says.
Telcos can use that subscriber data to build histories and detect anomalies that could indicate viruses, malware or other problems, Burke says. They can also try to upsell customers whose network usage is nearing its peak capability.
Future Compass offerings will address in-home monitoring via TR-69, home network provisioning and customer self-service, Burke says.
Why this matters
For rural telcos, wireline access numbers are declining and federal funding is at risk. Vendors see a business opportunity in offering ways for carriers to save on expenses or identify potential revenue streams.
"You have to prepare for lower gross margins by finding services that open up new revenue sources," Calix CEO Carl Russo said in his keynote speech at Tuesday's NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association convention here. "That's an imperative for everybody in this room."
Regarding new types of vendor services and the state of rural telcos:
Calix Beefs Up Software Support
Rural Telcos Go Toe-to-Toe With DC
— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading
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