It is probably mostly coincidental that Northeastern Kansas telco Tri-County Telephone Association (TCT) has upgraded its IPTV back office middleware at the same time Google Fiber rolls out Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) TV in Kansas City. More likely, the upgrade is for the same reason every small telco is improving its IPTV service: The competition is just tougher everywhere.
The official word from TCT is that it chose APMAX IPTV middleware from Innovative Systems because it was "putting the customer experience first above everything else," according to a news release.
"The capabilities that the Innovative solution gives us to reach out and touch the customer from our back office to help them over the phone is critical in the customer experience," TCT General Manager Dale Jones said in the news release. "Without having to send out a service technician, which takes time and costs more, we are helping our customers in a timely manner and reducing our own operating costs."
Both are important factors for a rural player such as TCT, which is among 29 independent telcos in the state. In operation since 1963, TCT, like every telco, faces increased competition from outside cable and satellite services as its legacy voice business declines in the nine Kansas counties it services. It just doesn't help that Google has set up its grand voice, video and data experiment in the same state.
"Today's business is nothing like it was in the past," Jones conceded. "If you are going to attract and retain video customers you have to give them the technology that is going to drive that experience."
APMAX, said Innovative, provides some of that technology with "fully integrated billing, automated provisioning, financial and staking and mapping solutions."
- see this news release from Innovative Systems
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