The below case study was originally published in the Fall issue of the NTCA publication, Rural Telecom Magazine. The original publication can be found here.

In serving the rural community, providers are consistently asked to deliver reliable broadband connections to those who need them, to provide high quality customer service, and to create teams that can deliver on these initiatives. As companies work towards achieving their goals, they must arm themselves with the necessary equipment and software in their toolboxes to serve the rural community and to serve them well.

STRATA Networks was founded in 1948 to deliver telephone service to the rural communities in the Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah. They have made it their mission to provide top-level customer service to the roughly 25,000 customers they serve in a tri-state region that includes parts of Wyoming and Colorado. They work to serve their community by providing telecommunication solutions, wireless coverage, and broadband internet. To accommodate the needs of their growing customer base, STRATA Networks needed an OSS solution that would streamline processes and advance operational efficiency across the company. Since 2012, STRATA Networks, has chosen Mapcom’s M4 Solutions to do just that, leveraging over 17 modules and integrations with M4 to plan, build, manage and report on their growing service areas in one complete view. Their company wide adoption of M4 Solutions and its services has helped STRATA to grow efficiencies by reducing backlogs of ticket assignments, which has allowed them to invest more time in providing services and upselling opportunities, and to adjust tickets out in the field.

Arming CSRs With Valuable Customer Information

The first step to providing top-notch customer service is to arm your customer service representatives with the data they need to accurately relay information to the customer base about their current and potential services. STRATA employs M4 Services Manager to allow CSRs to visualize their service areas and quickly determine which areas are eligible for upsells and qualified for other services.

M4 pulls billing and service availability data into one view so CSRs can provide quick and accurate information on customer calls.  Before M4, STRATA’s CSRs relied on consulting with Engineering for all service requests.  With the implementation of M4 Services Manager, their CSRs are now able to communicate and schedule changes within just minutes, which allows them to be more responsive to customers in a timely manner.

 Real-Time Changes in the Field

While CSRs are working hard to drive efficiencies in the office, the techs and engineers must mirror those efficiencies out in the field. To enhance productivity, STRATA utilizes M4 Workforce and M4 Mobile Tech to assist their techs in the field. Together, these modules eliminate the need to call back into the office from the field for every ticket.

Today, technicians can make notes, adjust charges, and assign changes from the field reducing the amount of time at the ticket site and preventing disruptions back at the office. Workforce and Mobile Tech allow technicians to view their tickets, adjust assignments, and update statuses from a mobile device in order to stay in touch with shifting priorities throughout the day.

Unlocking Data to Drive Action

With the combination of M4 Services Manager, M4 Workforce, and M4 Mobile Tech, STRATA was able to create data relationships and automate processes that weren’t available to them in previous systems. Processes relied on a single administrator to execute and reports were run on a case-by-case basis by the database administrator.

Now, the database administrator sets up and runs automated reports that combine all the necessary data for business leaders to  track company wide performance and efficiency. These reports also provide additional data to assist STRATA in strategic planning and applications for funding that will help continue to expand their community outreach and service offerings for years to come.

Operational Efficiencies in the Future

With the correct tools in place, companies can help drive operational efficiencies both in and outside of the office, like STRATA Networks has been able to. Their companywide adoption of modules that drive efficiency will allow for future growth in their organization and improved customer service.