Clearcable's Reliability Leads to a Long-Term Relationship with Great Lakes Data Systems
May 4, 2018
Garrick Russell, the President and Chief Operating Officer for Great Lakes Data Systems (GLDS) first started working with Clearcable in 2004; the same year the Canadian telecommunications consulting company was founded. At that time the partnership was one borne out of obligation. Russell said the client mandated that GLDS and Clearcable work together.
GLDS offers best-of-suite broadband billing, customer management, and provisioning solutions for Cable, FTTx, Satellite, OTT and WISP. The American-based organization consists of forty-one employees and currently has over 3 million subscribers globally.
“Clearcable had some tools in place and we were being asked to integrate with those tools” said Russell, who has been running the daily operations at GLDS since 2006. “In this particular situation Clearcable’s job was to take instruction from us. So, for one service provider they required specific services be added, moved or changed on the customer premise device within the customer’s home.
“The integration itself went very smoothly and we were impressed with the flexibility of Clearcable as a company, and we later came to learn that was because they were more about solutions than selling products.”
That was a very important fact for Russell and he thought the two companies would be able to work well together.
“MOST OF THE COMPANIES WHO ARE IN CLEARCABLE’S SHOES ARE INFLEXIBLE… CLEARCABLE DID INVEST IN THE PLATFORM AND BECAUSE OF THAT WE WERE ABLE TO DO THINGS WITH THEM THAT WE COULDN’T DO WITH SOME OTHERS.”
“Clearcable would write anything we wanted them to write, however we wanted them to write it” said Russell. “They would write the way we wanted to use it. We weren’t used to that flexibility, and we thought it was in our best interest to ensure that future projects brought that same flexibility to the table.”
“Most of the companies who are in Clearcable’s shoes are inflexible,” said Russell. “Those other companies come to the table with a set product, we hand them our specifications and tell them to write to our specifications, and they do only what’s necessary and never fully invest in our platform. On the other hand, Clearcable did invest in the platform and because of that we were able to do things with them that we couldn’t do with some of our other partners.”
Russell added that diagnostics is an area where this is most common. He explained that a technician in the field will run diagnostics on a customer’s modem using their own measurement device, whereas Clearcable’s customers can leverage the GLDS app to get all the details they need.
“We work together with Clearcable to integrate that entire experience into our handheld app, so that when a technician is using our app and we poll a device, it sends a command to Clearcable, who actually does the polling, and then that command comes back from Clearcable with all the data that we need, and we present it to the user with our app.
“So, they are able to do things like that, which to this day no other GLDS partner does, except Clearcable. When we see things like that, over time it’s obviously tempting to want to see them everywhere.”
And that suits Clearcable’s president and founder Rob McCann just fine. Clearcable was founded on the principles of integrity, reliability and innovation. And the relationship with GLDS is clear example of the reliability McCann wanted as part of Clearcable’s principles.
“We have many of ways we can do business with partners,” said McCann. “by far the easiest to be good friends, recommend each other, and work nicely together. If one of us is successful, then both of us are successful. That’s what has really worked well with GLDS.”
“CLEARCABLE MAKES US MORE SUCCESSFUL, MORE STICKY WITH THE CUSTOMER…SO WE LIKE CLEARCABLE BECAUSE THEY DO THINGS ABOVE AND BEYOND AND MORE DEEPLY THAN ANY OF OUR OTHER PARTNERS.”
Russell was on his way to Kenya to see the Wananchi Group, a client for the past six years. The president of GLDS said he would not have considered going after the African customer if not for the backing of Clearcable. This is a great example of the long-term relationship his company has fostered with Clearcable.
“We had this vision of what could be done, so I called Rob and said, ‘what do you think?’,” said Russell. “The challenge was around voice where we needed real-time authorization of voice services from our billing system and it was by far the most complicated integration we have ever done with a vendor hands down. Rob said he could help us, so Clearcable put the hardware in place and we deployed there six years ago. Today they are still our valued customer.”
Russell said that Clearcable makes GLDS, which has implemented over 800 solutions in 47 countries and 49 US states, look good to it’s customers, which holds all kinds of benefits.
“Clearcable makes us more successful and more sticky with the customer because when we sell a solution that is fully integrated, that gives technicians a 360-degree view of the customer out there in the field. It makes it very difficult when nobody else does that to leave us and to go to another billing system,” added Russell. “So we like Clearcable because they do things above and beyond and more deeply than any of other partners.”
To date the two companies have worked together over twenty times, and that number will continue to grow.