Solid as a Rock: EPlus Broadband and ETI Software

Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) FTTH division

JACKSON, TN Over the past 13 years, Jackson Energy Authority (JEA) has built one of the nation’s largest, most advanced fiber optic broadband networks. Serving over 40,000 residents in western Tennessee, today Jackson Energy Authority is one of few public utilities in the United States offering customers all major utility services from one company: electric, gas, propane, water, wastewater, and broadband services.

It all started in 2004 when community leaders realized the economic importance of high speed broadband and advanced telecommunication services. Their journey to build, operate and grow the network illustrates how teaming up with the right partners can make all the difference.  

“Our philosophy at JEA is to minimize multiple vendors and work with those we trust and who have outstanding track records,” said Ben Lovins, Sr. VP, Telecommunications Division, EPlus Broadband, JEA. “ETI’s performance is solid as a rock.”

EPlus Broadband, the fiber network created by JEA, had to first tackle the problem of how to activate and bill broadband services without costly swivel-chair provisioning. They turned to ETI Software Solutions to integrate and manage broadband services on Day 1. ETI quickly integrated to JEA’s existing billing system and solved two business-level issues: faster service activation and more accurate billing, thanks to flow-through provisioning. 

Automated provisioning proved to be more than necessary as subscriber growth was even greater than anticipated. Within 5 years, EPlus Broadband had a triple play take-rate of 25 percent.  Operating more efficiently to better serve their customer base became a priority, and ETI was brought in to help solve the challenge.

The solution? JEA converted to ETI’s end-to-end triple play billing system, replacing their legacy telephone billing system. JEA soon had a comprehensive B/OSS solution that supports triple play services, from order entry to rating to activation to complex telephone, video and data billing.

Vision360 BSS also includes an optional utility billing integration that gives JEA the ability to provide a single bill statement for both utility and telecom services. “By keeping the utility and telecom systems under ‘one pane of glass,’ we eliminate CSR dual entry which in turn reduces errors and increases productivity,” Lovins added.

JEA continued to grow and “future-proof” its network. As they looked for ways to streamline activation and device management, ETI’s Vision360 ACS became a natural solution, since it was pre-integrated to their operational and billing systems.

 “Because our devices are integrated with our back-end systems, ETI has created a simple yet sophisticated way for our customer service team to access the details of the equipment in the home without frustrating the customer with technical questions,” explained Lovins, “Empowering CSRs to access devices by subscriber name and service locations shortens service calls and expedites resolution of common situations such as forgotten passwords or RG re-boots. This translates into less escalation, fewer truck rolls, reduced expenses – not to mention a better customer experience.”

The time soon became right for EPlus Broadband to add advanced analytics to keep operating efficiently, identify new streams of revenue and provide stronger customer service and support. ETI’s Vision360 Analytics platform integrates data from all platforms into a live map and customizable dashboard to simply visualize data patterns.

“Service assurance is our number one priority at JEA,” confirmed Lovins. “We use ETI’s visual analytics platform for a myriad of operational and marketing tasks: to streamline our outside work force, manage network incidents/alarms, better target sales in our market, to simplify our mandatory FCC reports and to accurately map and track our fiber records.”

“And because this is all integrated fully with our ETI service activation and billing platform, we are able to customize dashboards and 1-click reports, giving our team complete transparency into our system and improving service assurance across the board,” he said.

ETI has once again shown that they have the experience and commitment to provide solutions that support our goal of delivering exceptional telecommunications services our customers desire coupled with best-in-class customer service,” concluded Lovins. “ Additionally, the platform continues to be valuable in our drive to constantly improve operational efficiencies – an additional, critical factor in our ability to remain competitive in this ever-changing industry.”

Our philosophy at JEA is to minimize multiple vendors and work with those we trust and who have outstanding track records. ETI’s performance is solid as a rock and our relationship has been and continues to be strong.

Ben Lovins

Sr. VP, Telecommunications Division, EPlus Broadband, JEA
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