How does using Plume customer experience management platform make conventional home and small businesses networks so special? What sets Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi system apart from other cloud-based central management systems? There are quite a lot of differences, but the biggest feature is the use of open source software, which can be integrated into equipment and solutions from different hardware vendors. This means, Plume is a vendor-agnostic solution. The source code and documentation for the OpenSync™ silicon-to-service framework is well documented. Currently, equipment from 20+ CPE vendors is already supported and the number is growing
NB! Not only does OpenSync support a multitude of hardware, it also allows Plume to integrate a variety of smart applications from different technology providers. So it is not only about making Wi-Fi experience better.
OpenSync is a software layer that helps different hardware communicate with cloud
Services are decoupled from hardware and controlled from the cloud
The end-user can use mobile application (available for Android and IoS) for controlling everything in the local network. It is great that Plume has thought of different use cases. But this isn't all. For the service provider, there are separate cloud applications for Tier 1 customer service and a NOC interface for Tier 2 and Tier 3 technical support and engineers and additional tools for more high level insights with automated KPI-s - for measuring, predicting and analyzing use of services. In addition, Plume is based on an open API. This allows the basic operations to be fully integrated with different systems the service providers are using - including self service portal, for example.
How easy is it to connect your Plume enabled device to the network - for example Plume pod? It really does not require any prior technical knowledge. All you have to do is download the mobile app, activate your account and connect the devices to the network. In most cases, the device itself detects the settings of the router/bridge environment and the MESH wireless connection if needed. Therefore, the customer only needs to enter the SSID and password in order to start enjoying the service. In addition to seamless user experience the design of plume interfaces are also aesthetic and pleasant to use.
But why do we have home users and small business applications separately at all? This is actually an important advantage of Plume - taking into account the different needs of different customer segments. Plume frees service providers from an old dilemma - either trying to serve small businesses with features designed for home users or with an overkill of complex enterprise systems.
HomePass™ includes many additional features that are easy to use at home. For example, it allows you to limit children's internet time, block inappropriate content and suspicious websites. You can create a separate (temporary) password for friends to use the Internet only, and so on. If all the needs of a company's security systems would be in the same form in a home solution, then regular end-users actually wouldn't understand them. Moreover, they would probably make a lot of mistakes in configuration.
WorkPass™ features on the other hand are designed to cater for the needs of small business owners. Whereas in HomePass only one SSID with different access levels is possible and sufficient, in WorkPass three separate network zones can be created to separate mission critical devices, employees and guests. The ease of use for small businesses who can't afford to keep costly IT personnel has been clearly thought of, when designing this product. Overall the plug and play experience is the same as with HomePass in essence.
Check out the Product Series overview video:
The main pillar of Plume platform for smart services is that it is fully automated AI-based management system that solves interference problems on the run. It adapts to the environment and evaluates the use of neighboring Wi-Fi channels, as well. In addition, the system recognizes the features of hundreds of devices and can manage device roaming between access points. For instance, It can detect phones that don't support the standard roaming protocol (many Samsung Galaxy smartphones we have tested).
The system is based on machine learning. Hence, knowledge of the features of the connected devices and their Wi-Fi antenna systems will increase over time. For example, thanks to artificial intelligence, the system is much more capable today than it was in the early years. This is an ongoing process and it is all possible with minimal human intervention. The system acquaints itself with the surrounding Wi-Fi environment and ongoing cyber attacks and actually starts optimizing itself over time from day one with absolutely every connected Plume powered network. Since there are already over 20 million active deployments of Plume all over the world then we can imagine the level to what the data science algorithms in the system have evolved. Capability to Identify events and trigger actions to remediate Wi-Fi problems and block security threats in real time is continuously improving all the time.
Let's start with how things are today with standard (i.e. not enterprise grade) internet services generally - at least in this part of the world. There is no magic, just the harsh realities of low digitalization of standard internet access services offered to consumers and small businesses. All hardware centric, the cheaper equipment the better, i.e. with reference design Wi-Fi antennas, no smarts. In case of identified security threats the common way to deal with problems is patching with device firmware upgrades - the speed of which relies usually on human factor.
Quality of Service stops with the service providers equipment, local network and Wi-Fi are left to chance. So when problems arise they are dealt with by trial and error, reactively to customer complaints. Sending technicians often comes as a last resort when customer frustration is at it's peak and even then it is not guaranteed that the problems will be solved. Even if the problem is solved, then due to changing Wi-Fi environments the same pattern might manifest itself again and again.
But what if there is a possibility to make some effortless magic and the unbelievable customer satisfaction a reality, without a need to do big investments and in a sustainable way that helps to cut costs? Plume in fact offers the tools needed for having the "magic ball and the abilities of a fortune teller" to predict and prevent problems happening in customers Wi-Fi networks as well as go back in time and see what happened some time ago. It is a cost effective pay as you go solution for starting to offer more value with working and easily manageable Wi-Fi and real-time network protection. It is possible to raise revenues at the same time by having more clearer insights into what really matters and deliver new and upgraded service offerings.
It should come as no surprise that people generally perceive local Wi-Fi connection and internet access as one service. Plume is a bespoke solution for ensuring the end-to-end Quality of Experience to internet service customers i.e. regarding the customers point of view. This viewpoint translates to an expectation of a seamless experience of using internet through Wi-Fi connected devices - tablets, smartphones, laptops, TV all the while keeping all other devices that demand Wi-Fi connectivity connected as well.
In regards to cybersecurity - the security threats evolve all the time and this demands real time protection. With Plume there is no need to deploy costly and complex firewall solutions to customers with basic security needs. Also, the service providers don't have to leave customers at the mercy of cybercriminals like sitting ducks, while waiting for their standard internet devices security patches. Plume delivers 24/7 real-time internet protection by having a vast constantly evolving knowledge base of known threats and a system for monitoring, identifying and blocking suspicious activity.
Since Plume uses open platform, then the service provider can use the internet security service that comes with Plume - Guard™ for HomePass and Shield™ for WorkPass to serve the needs of vast majority of their subscribers that know nothing about IT security. If there is already an investment planned or another choice made for making internet traffic more secure for the users, then this is not a showstopper when using Plume. It can't be stressed enough, that Plume is a holistic platform for service providers, not only servicing one specific need.
There are many specialized and robust tools for internet service providers to achieve more visibility that come in package with Plume - they are collectively referred to as Haystack™.
Here is an overview video of Haystack suite:
Frontline™ support, for example, helps operators gain unprecedented insight into home and small business Wi-Fi behavior. In addition to regular automatic optimizations, the service providers can also initiate activities manually through Frontline. It is also possible to view past states of the clients network topology in the Time Machine animation, as well as all the Wi-Fi parameters that change over time.
Signal™ is a more high level monitoring view and prediction tool of all connected customers of a service provider, whereas Frontline gives the view into a concrete network. Predictive algorithms of Signal help to identify problems before they escalate to customers complaints. It enables the service providers be more proactive in managing internet services. A feature called Resolve alerts the customers of problems and creates automated self-help workflows.
On a side note. Do these tools in any way replace TR-069 based ACS systems used by telecom operators for the provisioning and mass management of customer premises equipment (CPE)? The answer is NO. Plume complements existing CPE device management tools, with offering a lot more granular visibility and transparency to what is really happening on the Wi-Fi network. The classic tools do not reach that level in default settings. It is possible to integrate Frontline and Signal with existing monitoring and systems thanks to API capability, of course.
Panorama™ is also an important tool in the Haystack suite that completes the picture - it aggregates all the data of connected Wi-Fi devices to a single pane of glass for insights and high level KPI tracking. This kind of data is generally totally missing at this level of granularity from the reach of service providers. So again - a complementing addition of more granular data of client devices distribution and use for communication service providers data warehouse. This means more visibility and insight than only access level DPI offers, completing the puzzle with visibility of Wi-Fi connected devices - it helps to measure the effectiveness customer growth, service adoption and campaign effectiveness. In addition to Wi-Fi and network visibility it gives also access to cybersecurity report overviews of all the threats facing the network, where they come from, and who they are targeting.
Plume SaaS customer experience management platform that 3KGroup is authorized to represent as local channel partner in Finland and the Baltics is primarily aimed at telecom operators (and subsequently their customers).
Having extensive experience and knowledge in value added distribution and accumulated Wi-Fi and telecommunications competence we do:
In partnership we will find the most suitable fit for interested service providers in implementing Plume to their service offering. Be it with existing CPE devices or as Over The Top (OTT) solution.
Best part is, that we will continuously keep supporting service providers locally even after initial onboarding and integrations of Plume.
Email email@example.com or call +372 555 14 002 and find out more.
In case of additional interest, we can arrange a demo to introduce the Plume solution in more detail and answer any questions that may arise.
Plume is the creator of the world's first software-based SaaS (Software as a Service) customer experience platform for communications service providers and their customers. Plume enables the rapid delivery of large-scale new services for connected homes and small businesses.