CableFAX sat down with Time Warner Cable EVP Carol Hevey, arguably the senior woman in cable operations. A 29-year veteran of the MSO, Hevey runs Time Warner Cable’s Eastern Region, overseeing 17K employees and nearly 6mln customers. Additional questions with Carol Hevey appeared in CableFAX Daily.
CableFAX: With all the talk about cable’s new consumer features and products, we in the press often slight technologies on the operations side. What new things on the ops side do you use to support these products?
CH: Well, as you might expect, as the products become more sophisticated and more complex and the technology more advanced, the support systems we use in operations have needed to follow suit. We’ve made significant investments in the past couple of years to make sure we have all the right tools, right platforms and systems that our front-line folks need to support all those products. A lot of advanced monitoring systems for our networks, we can monitor devices in customers’ homes to make sure they’re online and working properly, that the services they’re authorized for are, in fact, being delivered.
As an example of tools, we have workforce management systems that we have in place now across the company and—specifically as it relates to me in our East Operations—that the technicians have access to those tools, access to information when they’re in customers’ homes to be on time and do a great job of providing a great experience to customers. And in the Call Centers we’ve invested pretty significantly in advanced systems as well, whether its systems to help support the use of our billing platforms and our customer management systems, so that our CSRs are looking at screens that contain just the information they need so that they can, in a simple way, communicate with customers; and IBRs to give customers the ability to route themselves to specialists when they need them.
Self-care has been a major investment for us, so Web portals and chats, platforms that allow customers to serve themselves. That’s a lot. That’s a very high-level overview of the systems we’ve invested in and we use now. It’s equal to the technology in the [consumer] products, I think.
CableFAX: You are one of the few top-ranking women in cable operations. How can cable get more women into senior operations positions?
CH: We are seeing more than at any time since I’ve been in the industry, more and more women on the operations. As the business has grown and technology has developed, there are more and more opportunities for women and for all people in operations in the technology space. We have a number of very talented women in our operations group at some pretty senior levels, some very, very strong leaders. I think as with anything, in operations you have to be willing to take some risks, willing to take on some of the tough challenges and do some of the things that are necessary to be successful in any part of any business or life.
CableFAX: You’ve been a stalwart on the Time Warner Cable Diversity Council. What’s on its agenda?
CH: A lot of the work we’re doing on the Council revolves around making sure we’re serving as a support group or mechanism for our business. We, as a company, are very focused on understanding our customers and our customer base—how we can differentiate ourselves from the competition and how we can serve particular segments of customers in the best possible way. And our customer base is very diverse. So it’s very important that our Diversity Council is thinking about ways and working with the business, business owners and leaders to make sure we’re relevant to all the segments of the customer base across our company.
CableFAX: What does a senior operations exec worry about when she’s on vacation?
CH: I don’t know if I’d say I worry about anything. I have a terrific team of folks along the East Coast that keep the operations running and do a fabulous job. I worry about the weather, to be perfectly honest. I’m a little concerned with the storm… with the potential for ice. When you’re in operations you’re always worried about those kinds of things. Things that are outside of our control are the things we worry about.