CASE STUDYWEHCO Video needed to transition subscriber services anddiagnostics from another provider.We helped them througha successful conversion.“We were very impressed withZCorum and the time they took beforehandto map out all the details of each stepin the transition”-Bob YoungVice President of EngineeringWEHCO Video1.800.909.94414501 North Point Parkway, Suite 125Alpharetta, GA 30022ZCorum.com TruVizion.comFacebook.ZCorum.comTwitter.com/ZCorum
WEHCO VIDEOSMOoth TransitionsW E H C O N E E D E D A P R O V I D E R W H O W O U L D B E A B L E T O S E A M L E S S LY T R A N S I T I O N A L L O F T H E I R C U S T O M E R S O V E RTO A NE W SYSTEM.THE CHALLENGEWEHCO Video, a part of WEHCO Media, is a diverse communicationscompany with interests in newspapers, cable television and internetbusiness. Headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, they began operationwith one newspaper in 1909 and have grown to operate twenty fivenewspapers and 13 cable television companies in 6 states. WEHCOVideo provides cable TV service, broadband access, and digital voiceto their subscribers.In 2010, the provider of managed broadband services they had beenwith for several years was unexpectedly acquired by another companyand things began to change. The changes resulted in WEHCO’sdissatisfaction with the level of service from the new provider.Disappointed with this turn of events, WEHCO began thinking of achange of their own.WEHCO had been happy with their original provider for subscriberprovisioning, cable modem diagnostics for their network, and emailservices and end-user support for their subscribers. After theacquisition though, it became apparent they would not be receiving“We were very impressed with ZCorum and thetime they put in beforehand to map out all thedetails of each step in the transition.”Bob YoungVP of Engineering at WEHCOthe level of customer service and engineering assistance they wereaccustomed to. A further blow came when they realized that thediagnostics software they were using to manage their network wouldno longer be supported. They would have to transition their entirenetwork to the new platform used by the acquiring company if theywanted to continue receiving software and engineering assistance.WEHCO’s frustration grew when, to improve their service reliability,they requested to have multiple, local servers that were backed upregionally. This was not something the new provider was willing todo. And when WEHCO requested static IP addresses for businesssubscribers, the provider would take days to fill the order. With theselimitations looming, WEHCO began researching other providers.While WEHCO had good reasons to make a switch, they were alsoconcerned with how a conversion could negatively impact theircustomers. Their large customer base was distributed amongseparate cable systems in several states. They knew that a projectof this magnitude would be complicated and the transition wouldrequire extensive planning. Choosing the right partner was imperative.As WEHCO launched its search for a new provider, they had threerequirements for their candidates.1.It was important that their subscribers not experienceany extended outages during the changeover.2.They also wanted the conversion to be completed ina timely manner, not drag on for months.3. Finally they wanted a partner – not just a vendor—acompany that would be willing to work with them ontheir specific needs and be prepared to grow as theygrew.WEHCO did extensive research and talked to their peers in theindustry for recommendations to help them find a well-establishedand reliable provider they could count on. They arranged an initialmeeting with ZCorum and were impressed with the approach taken bytheir staff, including ZCorum’s Vice President of Technology, BuddyBertram. Instead of trying to fit WEHCO’s circumstances to ZCorum’scapabilities, ZCorum was focusing on understanding how WEHCOdid things. ZCorum would use that information as a starting point forplanning a smooth transition.the SOlutionOver several meetings before the conversion, Buddy and his teambecame immersed in the technical aspects of the move, and spenttime compiling a comprehensive study of each system. As part of thatprocess they worked closely with Bob Young, WEHCO’s Vice Presidentof Engineering.“We were very impressed with ZCorum and the time they put inbeforehand to map out all the details of each step in the transition.” BobYoung, VP of Engineering - WEHCO
A detailed project plan was created, including identifying all thetasks necessary to convert subscriber email accounts and modemprovisioning to ensure minimal customer impact. The primary goalwas to get the conversion done quickly and minimize the time thatsubscribers would be receiving services and support from two differentorganizations.After each conversion, ZCorum conducted continuous testingthroughout the day to ensure everything was working properly. Eachmorning, WEHCO customers were able to connect and use theirbroadband service just as they did before. Bob Young was impressedwith how ZCorum handled the conversion and expressed high praisefor the ZCorum team.For optimal results and minimal interruption the WEHCO-ZCorum teamdecided that the modem provisioning should be transitioned over timeto ensure a smooth transition of broadband service at each of WEHCO’ssystems. It was decided to convert two complete systems per weekuntil all were transitioned over. Customer email would be transitionedall at once, and would be done just prior to the conversion of the firstcable system. Sufficient time for pre and post conversion planning andtesting was also incorporated into the overall project plan.“I was unexpectedly surprised. The pre-planning that Buddy and histeam did obviously paid off. I can’t tell you what they might have donedifferent to have made it any smoother, which is a testimony to howwell it went.”At the outset, ZCorum began building the process of integrating theirsubscriber management system with WEHCO’s ICOMS billing system sothat step would be in place by the time the transition began. ZCorum’smarketing department began working on the messaging that wouldbe used to communicate with WEHCO’s customers. This messagingwould ensure that all subscribers were kept in the loop regardingchanges to email, as well as the scheduled maintenance windows andexpected service impact prior to each system’s conversion.THE RESULTSThe conversion of WEHCO’s broadband services went smoothly. Allcustomer-impacting work was scheduled in the very early morninghours. This would limit any effects of the transition to the fewestnumber of subscribers. Short periods of downtime during the scheduledtransition windows did not last more than thirty minutes to an hour.After such a successful initial collaboration, WEHCO and ZCorum havecontinued to work together, forging a strong partnership focused onensuring the best possible broadband service for WEHCO’s subscribers.Weekly conference calls are held with their teams to discuss currentand future projects. In addition to the weekly calls, WEHCO corporatestaff and the General Managers at each cable system have a ZCorumBusiness Account Manager (BAM) that they contact directly for help orto have questions addressed.All of WEHCO’s goals and requirements were successfully met byZCorum, and WEHCO is now receiving what they were lacking, a partnerwho listens to their needs and works hard to provide needed solutions.“We’re very happy with the level of service we and our customers nowreceive from ZCorum. We’re big fans of their TruVizion diagnosticssoftware, which is much better than what we had before.”The Bottom LineZCorum transitioned WEHCO’s entire broadband management system with minimal disruption to subscriberservices. WEHCO now receives the level of support they need to keep their network on track and their subscribershappy. They have the assurance of diagnostics software that is fully supported and continuously updated with newfeatures. WEHCO feels they now have a strong partner that listens to their concerns and cares for their success.
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1.800.909.94414501 North Point Parkway, Suite 125Alpharetta, GA 30022ZCorum.com TruVizion.comFacebook.ZCorum.comTwitter.com/ZCorum
subscriber management system with WEHCO’s ICOMS billing system so . that step would be in place by the time the transition began. ZCorum’s marketing department began working on the messaging that would be used to communicate with WEHCO’s customers. This messaging would en