Search past winners/finalists

Actiontec Electronics' Optim

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Actiontec Electronics, Sunnyvale, CA
Company Description: Founded in 1993, Actiontec has become a leader in high speed Internet modems and routers, shipping over 20 million Internet Access devices thus far. Our customers include Verizon, Qwest, TDS, MTS and hundreds of smaller carriers throughout North America. We continuously innovate, offering some of the most powerful, feature-rich routers in the residential market.
Nomination Category: New Product & Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Telecommunications - Service

Nomination Title: Actiontec Electronics' Optim

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and performance to date.

The proliferation of WiFi connected devices, along with the immense popularity of video streaming, places more pressure on home WiFi networks.

Given the increased bandwidth demands on home WiFi networks, it’s not surprising that WiFi-related issues are on the rise. WiFi complaints are one of the top reasons for technical support calls to broadband service providers. Top issues include WiFi speed, dead zones, reliability and connectivity/password problems. CED Magazine reported that 70 percent of broadband subscribers perceive some kind of problem when streaming media or performing downloads over WiFi.

This is a serious issue for broadband service providers. Most consumers don’t differentiate between the WiFi network inside the home and the broadband delivered to their home. Any issue with the home WiFi network impacts the end user’s overall broadband experience.

However, service providers have traditionally not been able to see what is happening inside the home beyond the managed router. Providers cannot fix what they cannot see, forcing costly truck rolls to the customer home. Compounding this challenge is the fact that when service technicians do arrive at the customer home, they don’t always have the tools to diagnose an intermittent problem, resulting in follow-up visits and increased frustration.

At Actiontec, we have been working with service providers for nearly a decade on our whole home wireless initiative, to enable consumers to enjoy fast and reliable WiFi for any device in any room in the home. Through this work, we understood the importance of WiFi management and developed a breakthrough solution for monitoring subscribers’ home wireless networks and all the wireless client devices on it.

Optim is a cloud-based solution that provides expansive views into the home network, including current and historical metrics on network equipment, client devices, and traffic. With this new level of visibility, service providers can address issues before they impact subscriber satisfaction. And when a customer calls tech support with a network complaint, the service technician can remotely diagnose the problem and know whether the problem can be fixed remotely or if a technician should visit the home.

Optim consists of both an intuitive dashboard for service technicians at the call center, as well as a mobile application that can be used by a service technician at the home (as well as by the end users themselves). It’s the first solution that was built for technicians both in the field and in the support center to troubleshoot WiFi.

A high-level summary provides a complete overview of any issues in the home network. In seconds, support technicians can identify any devices with a low signal strength, devices that are out of range, any bandwidth hogs, channel congestion and interference. Powerful historical reporting tools let technicians drill down on any device to check out details like signal strength, throughput, PHY rate, daily average connection speed, and more over any given period.

We developed Optim to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible – with the goal of helping technicians identify problems as quickly as possible whether they’re on the phone or at the customer’s house. Our engineers have developed a proprietary algorithm that integrates complex network data into a single, color-coded state of health dashboard. In many cases, identifying a problem is as simple as seeing red is bad, green is good.

Another key innovation is that unlike other competitive solutions, Optim stores historical data on WiFi performance. This enables service technicians to effectively diagnose even the trickiest and intermittent problems (such as what’s causing slow WiFi every weekday afternoon).

Optim Cloud Agents are available on all Actiontec WiFi products, from home gateways to WiFi extenders. Optim clients can also be enabled on third-party hardware via an API. These agents collect information about the connected client devices and push data to the Optim Cloud. Optim maintains a whole-home and whole-network view, giving providers the intelligence to understand and improve customer WiFi networks across their service area.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and benefits of the nominated product or service.

•First solution that was built for technicians both in the field and support center to troubleshoot WiFi
•Remote visibility allows service providers to diagnose and fix more WiFi problems remotely, without a costly truck roll
•Proprietary algorithm makes WiFi troubleshooting as easy as green is good/red is bad, so technicians can solve problems faster
•Enables technicians to identify crowded WiFi channels, weak signals, bandwidth hogs and more
•Gives service providers network-wide data to better understand how customer WiFi networks are performing across their entire service area
•Gathers and stores historical data so technician can easily figure out complex and intermitted WiFi problems
•Works hand-in-hand with Actiontec’s SmartSteering technology that enables home networking equipment to smart decisions to reduce traffic congestion and deliver a better overall user experience