Earthlink: EarthLink increases customer satisfaction with FlexNet Connect

Customer Profile:

Earthlink is leading US internet service provider serving more than 5 million customers with award-winning online access, communication services, and web hosting. Earthlink continues to look for services to set themselves apart from their competition and help retain their customers.

Challenge:

  • Offers updates to its subscribers 3-4 times per month with optional utilities that customers may want to download
  • Required lower bandwidth downloading techniques, staggered customer notification, and statistics on update adoption

Benefits:

Communicating about new updates to its large subscriber base while conserving bandwidth has been a cost-effective and low-maintenance way of keeping their customers satisfied with their service offering

Solution:

FlexNet Connect now offers an unobtrusive and seamless user experience to communicate to millions of their customers on their frequent updates

About EarthLink

Celebrating thirteen years as a leading national Internet service provider (ISP), Atlanta-based EarthLink has earned an award-winning reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services. According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 Internet Service Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, EarthLink is ranked highest in customer satisfaction among high-speed Internet Service Providers. Serving over five million subscribers, EarthLink offers what every user should expect from their Internet experience: high-quality connectivity, minimal drop-offs and ISP-generated intrusions, and customizable features. Whether it’s dial-up, high-speed, Web hosting, or wireless Internet service, EarthLink provides the tools that best let individuals use and enjoy the Internet on their own terms. Learn more about EarthLink at www.earthlink.net.

“FlexNet Connect makes it easy for us to deliver software and data updates to all our users thereby increasing customer satisfaction and eliminating costly support calls. It also enables us to increase revenue by understanding our customer’s needs better and by enhancing customer communication.”

Steven Huey, Director of Software Products, EarthLink

The Updating Challenge

EarthLink has over 5.3 million customers and issues about 3-4 updates per month. The updates include critical software updates to the core EarthLink TotalAccess 2004 software along with new optional utilities like EarthLink Parental Control, EarthLink Pop-Up Blocker and EarthLink Spyware Blocker. The distribution of the core software updates is critical to reducing support issues. The optional utilities help EarthLink differentiate themselves from other Internet Service Providers. EarthLink wants to notify all customers when these become available, but allow the customer to choose which utilities to install.

Additionally, EarthLink desired an updating solution capable of: distributing updates using bandwidth-friendly downloading techniques; staging an update to a subset of users before deploying to their entire user base; and gathering statistics on update adoption.

The Flexera Software Solution

Along with their TotalAccess2004 software, EarthLink distributes the EarthLink Update Manager. The Earthlink Update Manager is a self-hosted and re-branded version of FlexNet Connect used to deploy EarthLink’s utilities and updates. It actively checks for the critical software updates and optional utilities. If a critical update is found, the Update Manager will download and install the update for the customer using its bandwidth-throttling and background-downloading features. If an optional utility is found, the Update Manager will display information about the utility to the customer every 30 days and allow the customer to either install or ignore the utility. In addition to actively checking for these updates at each connection, the Update Manager can be run manually from the TotalAcess2004 menu option.

EarthLink decided on FlexNet Connect because it offers an un-intrusive and seamless user experience, the ability to update millions of end-points, as well as to download large files without taxing a user’s bandwidth. Plus, Earthlink was impressed with FlexNet Connect’s very straightforward implementation, allowing development resources to focus on core-competencies. The great responsiveness of FlexNet Connect team to EarthLink’s unique requirements was another deciding factor in favor of the solution from one of the most respected names in the software industry.

About Flexera Software

Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and maximized value to application producers and their customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive solutions — from installation and licensing, entitlement and compliance management to application readiness and software license optimization — to strategically manage application usage and achieve breakthrough results realized only through the systems-level approach we provide. For more information, please go to: www.flexerasoftware.com.