Cox Rolls Out Emperative

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Proving again that provisioning has become a top priority among cable operators, Cox Communications Inc. said it has deployed Emperative Inc.'s "ProvEn" software engine and its new "Cable Modem Express" product across its Mid-America region.

The deal is a large one for Emperative because that Cox cluster-made up of former TCA Cable and Peak Cablevision systems-has about 814,000 customers and 1.14 million homes passed. Emperative said the agreement was worth more than $1 million, but declined to be more specific.

Roughly 50 percent of that region will be enabled for cable-modem service by the end of 2001's second quarter, said Jeff Strout, director of IP services for Cox Mid-America.

Prior to tapping Emperative, Cox used a homegrown provisioning product, Strout said.

"We've been using autoprovisioning elements for some time, but we found that our solution would not scale," he said, adding that installation of Emperative's software would be completed across the region in about two weeks.

Strout called autoprovisioning an "absolutely critical" element of the installation process as the cable-modem market moves to retail.

So far, about 80 percent of the cluster's high-speed subscribers take the auto-install option, while the rest ask for a professional installation.

While Emperative's ProvEn software engine fosters billing and customer-care elements for cable-modem services, the company's new Cable Modem Express product assigns Internet-protocol addresses and handles cable-modem activation, Emperative president and CEO Abraham Gutman said.

Gutman said Emperative will handle more than 1,500 provisioning transactions for Cox's Mid-America cluster, but is designed to scale much higher.

"We're prepared for one to two orders of magnitude, even that would be easy for the system to handle," he said.

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