The top engineer for Time Warner Cable Carolina Region accepted this year’s System of the Year Award at Wednesday’s luncheon.

The Carolina Region impressed the Communications Technology editorial team with its with its continuous push to improve technical operations, its willingness to test and embrace new technologies, and its smart approach to customer care and business services.

Carolina Regional VP Engineering Carl Newberry acknowledged the employees of this newly organized region of three divisions after accepting the crystal trophy on their behalf. Tech ops strength In a separate interview, Newberry discussed the regional imperative. "It’s just difficult for a division to stand on their own any more," he said. "We’re all so interconnected."

The regional or Carolina network operations center (CNOC) is one element of this success story, according to Carolina Region Executive Vice President Carol Hevey.

"By pooling our resources and investing significantly in one location, we are able to create benefits for the entire region," Hevey said. "We have used the CNOC to refine our plant maintenance practices and make us much more responsive to outages. This has significantly improved our reliability and overall network quality and integrity."

Newberry, who previously headed up engineering in Columbia, said rolling out a single tool across the entire region was one of the ways that the CNOC has broken new ground.

"When we first started this a couple of years ago, there were multiple tools. Homegrown, invented in the garage, it was just everything," he said. "You could never get any consistency."

High on Newberry’s agenda was standardizing on a single platform, in this case, on the network service manager (NSM) from C-COR (now ARRIS.) Deployed across 95 percent of the region, he said that the NSM helps the CNOC accomplish two primary tasks.

The first is to drill down to root causes of problems in network devices. The second is to scour service calls to look for clustering and identify any common weak links. In either case, the CNOC’s analysts then guide system-level technicians working within 1-6 a.m. maintenance windows to address these issues.

"We try to fix those problems before we actually have to run a service call," Newberry said. "We cancel a lot of service calls that way."

Other examples of the Carolinas’ push to improve tech ops include its standardization on a single workforce management platform and continued investment in standby powering.

"We’re going deeper every year," Newberry said. Other factors Other factors weighed in favor of the Carolina Region:

• Its strong record as a test bed for new technologies, including the implementation of innovative customer relations tools
• Its deployment of network-driven advanced services (helping to win Time Warner’s Marketing and Sales Award)
• Its rapidly accelerating delivery of business services

The System of the Year Award, sponsored this year by Alcatel-Lucent, recognizes a system or group of systems whose achievements in broadband deployment and delivery of new services serve as a benchmark in the industry for technical capability, engineering expertise, and service.

– Jonathan Tombes

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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