CableLabs’ Subsidiary Kyrio and SCTE•ISBE Combine Expertise
This week Kyrio staff attended SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Cable-Tec Expo is an important event for our industry, bringing together a diverse group of technical and operational staff, technology creators, and suppliers of technologies created for use in the field—all at one industry event. It’s a way that we “connect the dots” for the broadband, wireless and security technologies Kyrio works with every day.
The testing we perform in our labs is one of the most valuable and insightful functions Kyrio provides to device manufacturers and service providers. We go to great lengths to understand how wireless and broadband technologies will perform in customers’ homes and businesses before, during and after they are deployed, often in millions of locations.
But nothing takes the place of seeing installers and technicians actually use the technologies we work with—hands on, in the real world. Frequently the best way for Kyrio staff to understand a day in the life of a field service technician or installer is to participate in a ride-along program. We do this because some of the best information about the technologies Kyrio tests in the labs is to see it in action by technicians in the field.
Now we’re taking this connect-the-dots approach to a whole new level. At Cable-Tec Expo 2018 yesterday morning, we revealed that Kyrio and SCTE•ISBE are working closely together to leverage our respective experience and knowledge in testing, certifying, securing and installing broadband and wireless equipment.
The first two areas of focus are Wi-Fi and DOCSIS® 3.1. Security is another potential area of collaboration. A cross-functional team is now being formed to solidify these areas of collaboration and provide ongoing guidance of our work together.
Kyrio will collaborate with SCTE•ISBE to create content, training and guides on the innovations on which Kyrio works. These resources will be made available to SCTE•ISBE members, enabling field and operational staff to have insight to ensure the successful deployment of technologies and their ongoing operations. Kyrio and SCTE•ISBE will also elevate problem areas experienced in the field (such as Wi-Fi in the home, for example) and share insights from the testing we perform. All of this will take the form of new videos and other educational formats for technology training and knowledge sharing. Together we can collaboratively investigate challenging issues, better understand how technology works in the field and influence testing and specifications processes during technology development.
What’s unique about this collaboration is what our two organizations bring together. SCTE•ISBE’s members are from the operational side of the business. This includes installers and technicians—people who work in the field, install the technology in customers’ homes and businesses. They have in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience seeing the technology work, which helps them develop troubleshooting techniques when challenges occur.
Kyrio works with technologies during their development, when products are ready to go to market and in cooperation with buyers and manufacturers during procurement, lab testing and field trials. Kyrio has unique insights into how the products are designed to work, how well they meet specifications, their level of interoperability with other devices and as part of the larger network, and which use cases operators and manufacturers intend to support when products are deployed.
I’m excited to be working with Mark Dzuban, President and CEO of SCTE•ISBE, to bring the capabilities of our teams together in some unique and powerful ways. Stay tuned to both Kyrio and SCTE•ISBE channels for news and updates resulting from our work together.
NDA Vendor Forum Takeaways: Working with Kyrio
Guest blog post by Mitchell Ashley, President and General Manager of Kyrio. Last week I had the privilege of unveiling the new Kyrio at the NDA Vendor Forum. The NDA Vendor Forum is an annual event for us to brief the supplier community on all the activities at CableLabs, Kyrio and UpRamp. It’s a great opportunity to get up to speed on where the industry is headed and its priorities. As the leading innovation resource for everything networkable we provide technology solutions and enable new marketplaces for safer, better and faster ways to network. So businesses and their customers can thrive.
NetworkFX is now Kyrio
Today we are announcing the re-branding of NetworkFX to our new name, Kyrio. The driving strategy of Kyrio is to expand the impact of technologies created at CableLabs, beyond the well proven technology transfer model that's made CableLabs a successful global cable industry R&D organization.
Kyrio (then NetworkFX) was founded in 2012 to bring our managed Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security services to industry associations, device manufactures and businesses beyond the traditional cable market. The same managed PKI service securing cable devices and broadband networks for the past 15 years now secures the Wi-Fi Alliance and OpenADR smart grid ecosystems and large enterprises.
So why Kyrio? The origin of Kyrio comes from the Greek word kyrios meaning "lord" or "master", representing the deep technology heritage and skills of the the people at Kyrio and our collective industries. Our name also embodies the curiousness that drives us to bring new technologies and services to market.
Since 2012, Kyrio has expanded into additional service offerings. In addition to managed PKI security services, Kyrio provides the Go2Broadband service, wi-fi testing services, and piloting a wi-fi roaming hub service with wi-fi network providers.
Visit our newly launched website and blog post to learn more about us. And thank you for welcoming us as we reintroduce ourselves as Kyrio.
Mitch Ashley is President and General Manager at Kyrio.
Insights From Creating A Collaborative Workplace
In 2013, CableLabs embarked on an ambitious project to re-imagine its Louisville, Colorado location into a work environment that better aligns with CableLabs’ growing innovative culture and strong sense of collaboration. Traditional high walled cubes and offices were no longer conducive to the level of interaction, flexibility, and innovation that CableLabs’ team members, projects, and visitors need.
CableLabs’ CEO Phil McKinney articulated three “must achieve” goals, establishing the underpinnings of the architectural design and function of the remodeled space:
- Teamwork/Collaboration – Support, encourage, and foster communication and collaboration
- Growth – Accommodate our growth within the existing building constraints
- Excitement/Energy – Create a new and exciting space with team member amenities such as open space, natural light, and café style gathering areas
We remodeled while still using the building. Teams were moved across the street into overflow offices during the different remodeling phases. One year and six days from initiating construction, the three phases of remodel construction were completed within budget, with all staff relocated into their newly remodeled work environment on January 6, 2015.
In the same 79,186 sq. ft. Louisville office space, the redesigned floor plan:
- Increased the number of available seats from 204 to 237 modernized workstations
- Increased scheduled and unscheduled meeting rooms and informal gathering spaces from 27 to 70
- Eliminated all offices, relocating staff in lower height 6'x8'workstations (including all executives and senior managers)
- Increased video conferencing capable rooms from 2 to 5
- Added open, flexible work areas for project, experimentation, and innovation work
Experiment early, apply learnings - During 2013, CableLabs opened a new Silicon Valley office and lab facility in Sunnyvale, California. During this time, experiments were also set up in various parts of the Louisville, Colorado building with lower height cubicles, open style meeting space furniture, glass wall modular partitions, whiteboard wall paint, plant walls, AV, and other ideas under test. Some ideas worked and others were failures. All of those experiences were invaluable in setting the direction for the Louisville workplace redesign.
Strong team with collaborative relationships - One year construction projects rarely complete on time and within budget. The tone of the remodel project was set up front; collaboration and teamwork are essential to our success. This greatly influenced the selection of the architect, construction, project management firms, and other partners, resulting in very strong, collaborative relationships across the remodel team. This proved invaluable in many aspects of the project including logistics and coordination across the three construction phases, communicating with and intently listening to staff during the project, getting decisions made quickly, managing construction noise during business hours, resolving unexpected problems as they occurred, managing within the budget, and dust mitigation in the office areas, labs and computer rooms.
Create abundant meeting and collaborative work areas - The new workplace design very intentionally eliminated offices and lowered cube walls to create more openness and increase communications and transparency. The approach also created concerns about whether meeting areas, and quiet locations for work, phone or conference calls, and discussions were sufficient.
To foster this new collaborative style of work environment, six types of work areas were designed into the new floor plan; scheduled conference rooms, unscheduled 2-4 person huddle rooms and phone rooms, small furniture amongst cubical areas, café style open seating areas, and flexible workspaces such as the Garage and the Carport. Since occupying the remodeled space, team members report they rarely if ever have difficulty finding a place to meet, talk, or work.
Self-forming teams innovate solutions - With the move to all workstations and no offices, staff expressed concern that they would spend too much time searching for available huddle or phone rooms. A challenge went out and a small, self-directed team formed consisting of a few engineers, developers, and administrative staff. Utilizing Agile and Lean techniques, the team quickly created the Huddle web app. Using IoT motion and door sensors, floor plan jpg images, and information already in Active Directory, Huddle provides a quick at-a-glance view of available huddle and phone rooms. Huddle also makes it easy to locate team members’ work stations, meeting spaces, printer locations, and staff contact information.
A second example occurred with the redesign of the lab work area. This was not part of the original office space remodel scope, but technicians working in the lab expressed their desire to create more meeting space, decrease equipment noise, and add similar workstations to their work area. A self-forming team of lab technicians and engineers came up with the plan and budget. The team proposed and then implemented the solutions themselves, reorienting portions of the lab, decreasing noise, and repurposing a small storage area as new meeting space.
Work style change is cultural change - Changing from high cubes and offices to a more open, collaborative and flexible workspace is as much, if not more, about culture change than it is about moving to a new floor plan. The new work environment changes our work style, increasing the frequency of and number of locations for interaction. It pulls staff out of cubes and offices and into visible meeting and unscheduled work areas, increasing opportunities for creative collisions amongst staff of different disciplines and skill sets. In many ways, moving to this type of work style is something that can only be fully appreciated by experiencing and working in an open office environment. Staff with experience working in startups and other tech companies can assist in this culture change by sharing their experiences with others, and talking with coworkers about reducing distractions in this type of environment.
Mitchell Ashley is Vice President of Information Technologies at CableLabs.