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The January 22, 2004 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Making Life Simple -- An Interview With Motive

Just one year ago, Motive Communications completed its acquisition of BroadJump, a provider of broadband software for DSL, cable, and wireless broadband providers. The companies appear to have achieved the difficult task of integrating the product lines of the two companies and then going on to win the business of such service providers as Telus, Cox, NTL and many others. As of September 2003 their software had been implemented by service providers to manage connections and support for more than 20 million broadband subscribers worldwide.

As we have read the many press releases about companies in the service management business, it became clear that this is an exceedingly complex space that touches consumers, communications service providers, hardware and software technology companies, and cuts across people, technology and processes. To get a glimpse into this industry, we interviewed Kenny Van Zant, Executive Vice President, Consumer Business Unit, whom we first met when he was one of the founders and COO of Broadjump. Kenny explained that in the world of system and service management, some companies concentrate on specific processes, like auto-provisioning, billing or call centers; others like Motive focus on "holistic service management".

Motive's direction is to "focus on the more critical processes that have the biggest impact" on deploying and supporting broadband services. This includes getting the services to customers, configuring them and making them work, supporting the customers and their service providers. With home networking on its strong growth curve, Motive has a service specifically for home networking, which helps with configuring and installing broadband and home networking to multiple PCs and residential gateways. It handles all the CPE integration work--addressing, authentication and a myriad of other details--that customers can't or don't want to do on their own, and service providers can't afford to do without automated tools. Their tools enable information to be gathered directly from the connected devices within the home, and then used to guide subscribers and, if needed, customer service representatives (CSRs) through complex home networking processes. The solution has been licensed by Telus, Sprint and Verizon, among others.

After our experiences at Home by Design in rapidly setting up a complex networking environment with loads of different end-points, we sympathize with installers and especially customers who don't have the technical knowledge and experience to deal with the problems they confront in making broadband, home networking and different devices all work together seamlessly. Although the configurations and kinds of devices Motive supports would not have covered all that we were doing, we enthusiastically support efforts of companies like Motive, whose goal is to make life simple for the consumer and more profitable for the service provider.

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