Listening to and Learning from Your Customers to Unleash Innovation – #Summit23

It is a fun time thanks to the many opportunities that a Fiber to the Home platform creates, so said Gary Johnson, GM/CEO of Paul Bunyan Communications in a February 2023 ViodiTV interview. For Calix, the challenge is to prioritize which opportunities to pursue to help their customers, such as PBC, maximize the value from their respective broadband platforms.

In the above interview, Michael Weening, President and CEO of Calix, describes Calix’s recipe to help their customers. Speaking at the ACA Connects Summit 23, Weening indicates that Calix’s engineering teams work closely with their customers to solve problems, discover opportunities, and drive innovation. Central to this effort are the six customer advisory boards that help them direct their development efforts.

The advisory board that Weening leads, which consists of approximately 50 CEOs, General Managers, and COOs, helps informs his views on their needs and the needs of their customers. He provides an example of an influential phone call with one of those advisory board members, Allo Communications’ Brad Moline.

Moline’s idea to support students on the wrong side of the digital divide with easy-to-use, community wireless service was a fundamental input into the evolution of Calix’s platform.¹ Weening relates a funny story of how their conversation began on a national holiday. The outcome is what Weening calls an “opportunity to completely transform how we educate children.”

¹ Moline talks about his vision for transforming education by using their network and partnering with educators and others, such as eduroam, in this video and this video filmed at the 2021 Calix ConneXions conference.

Author’s Note:

For the past 11 years, it has been a privilege to help tell the stories of the work that Calix customers are doing to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas. From the Mississippi headwaters to the Vermont mountains to the South Carolina Lowcountry to the Florida swamps to the California Gold Country to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, it has been quite a journey. For those unforgettable and life-changing experiences, thank you, Calix, and thank you to all the Calix team members that were with Viodi on that journey.

ViodiTV coverage of the 2023 ACA Connects’ Summit courtesy of Calix.

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