Broadweave's HR Problem

In their report to the city, CCG noted that there were a significant number of HR issues leading to the deteriorating customer service situation at iProvo. They noted that "almost universally the telecom employees dislike or distrust the retailers" and observed that telecom employees were also at each others throats on a regular basis and to resolve it would "require management directive". Certainly neither retailers or their customers were served by this rivalry both within the NOC and towards retailers.

So how then is it possible that Broadweave plans to take these same people who caused this problem, the telecom employees, and force them to work both with each other and employees from a retailer, Veracity, without significant operational headaches? It seems to be that the old rivalries with each other and this retailer will continue to manifest themselves, likely moreso since, according to my sources, a majority of iProvo's employees are strongly opposed to this sale.

It's especially concerning since we hear a lot about the executive team and almost nothing about the management team; we have absolutely no idea how long Broadweave will be dysfunctional as it deals with these HR problems. During that time, customers and reputation will be lost, the latter of which takes significant time to regain. I do not think a company so young and small has the experience to successfully handle this kind of integration; even giants like HP and Sprint have failed at this task.

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12 Responses to Broadweave's HR Problem

  1. Tom says:

    When I worked in the Utopia NOC the agents from the other service providers would comment on how hard it was to work with the iProvo NOC. I have no clue how they treated the Service Providers (except for what the SP’s said) but I know when I called them on something they were some good guys and knew their stuff. Actually knew more than I did.

    Now the Veracity techs were pretty good when they called in, which was rarely. But they are going to have to ramp up fast to take over the whole iProvo subscriber base and that means hiring a bunch of new people to support their customers. So expect iProvo’s service to suck for awhile. How long depends on Broadweave and what they hire. $7/hour or $12/hour.

    Where will the techs be too? In Provo or elsewhere. Hard to troubleshoot a network if you do not have access to it.

  2. squash says:

    Broadweave has already commented publicly and are contractually bound to have support out of Provo.

    I find it a little strange that your are on one hand saying “this sale shouldn’t go through because the existing system works”, and on the other saying “this sale shouldn’t go through because the people running it can’t get along”.

    I think there is a better chance of Broadweave resolving the things in the CCG report then the City of Provo has. These are the very reasons the model doesn’t work. When there is a problem, the service provider can’t touch the network, the network owner can’t touch the services, and in mstar and xmissions case, they don’t own the voice or video infrastructure. There are three parties involved and it makes troubleshooting very difficult. The purchase resolves all those issues as Broadweave owns their own infrastructure and can point only to themselves when a problem arises.

    I sincerely believe the sale gives the iProvo network a much better chance of succeeding then if the city had chosen some other route.

    Who knows how many interested parties would have come to the table had a clear RFP been issued, but that brings other problems. If the city had said “we are selling the network”, it would have spooked current subscribers, service providers would have fled, and the value would have been greatly diminished. I would have been surprised if the city could have gotten anywhere near the price Broadweave is paying. Besides, the RFP and other public statements were obviously clear enough that at least 6 offers were made. How many do you think would have been appropriate and would satisfy you??

  3. Jesse says:

    I’m not saying it shouldn’t go through because the existing system works. Anyone who’d say the status quo is acceptable is out of their fool minds. Ignoring the consultants’ recommendations on fixing the network and selling to this shady operation, however, seems like a hasty and poorly-made decision. As I’ve stated many times, I’d be merely disappointed if it were being sold to a qualified buyer.

  4. string cheez says:

    The city council has said over and over, Broadweave is coming in and doing exactly what was suggested by the CCG to the tee! What does this suggest? Maybe that Broadweave has done their research knows the model that will make the system work, will get the right engineers, and other operational people in line to make it successful. As with any PRIVATE company, if someone doesn’t pull their weight they are removed. This is different than Government run situations where you have to drop the ball 30 times, run your car through the city hall, blaspheme about the Mayor, get written up another 20 times, then get moved to another city position, not fired.

    Jesse your analysis of HR skills seem about as ill faded as your knowledge of business transactions, business management, and overall common sense.

    The more you try to pigeon hole the inevitable, the more you increase your obvious ignorance regarding the subject.

  5. Tom says:


    What has broadweave done? They are already in charge and making changes? Or are they saying they will do what the CCG report says?

    And the government crack.. you are sorta correct. But anyone high enough in the company can screw around all they want. Its the peons that take the blame and get the ax.

    almost ignored you as a troll but curious what broadweave had done. DONE.. not said but DONE.

  6. Jesse says:

    string cheez: I don’t think the city council has said any such thing, or at least I haven’t heard it in the meetings I’ve been to. It just seems to ask for trouble to be mixing together groups of employees that have a poor working relationship instead of bringing in outside people. It would be entirely different if either the iProvo or Veracity people weren’t on-board. Putting bother under the same roof, however… that sounds like trouble.

    As Tom noted, there’s a lotta “gonnas” and no “haves” at this point with precious little detail as to how Broadweave plans to turn the former into the latter. Dodging behind NDAs and company trade secrets is rather tiresome with this much public money on the line.

    I have found it amusing that Veracity and Broadweave both have sock puppets on here posting with various pseudonyms. If I’m so off-base and irrelevant, it seems like a waste of time to try attacking me, doesn’t it? I’m not phased and my regular readers know better.

  7. Jeremy Neish says:

    “When there is a problem, the service provider can’t touch the network, the network owner can’t touch the services, and in mstar and xmissions case, they don’t own the voice or video infrastructure. ”

    Who cares about voice and TV? The future of both of those technologies is the internet anyway. I think iProvo should stay as is and just open the network to many more ISPs. Including those that are internet only, since that is the true strength of the network anyway.

  8. scoop says:

    Interesting observation:
    “Who cares about voice and TV? The future of both of those technologies is the internet anyway.”
    I partly agree with you. But, until everyone in the world has internet then subsequently softphones with the ability to call to their neighbors/family/etc. via IP address and not phone number, the telcos and their voice switches are still required. This may be closer than we think, but still probably 20-ish years away.
    So in the distant future you may be correct, but in the near future (which is where IProvo and UTOPIA need to turn things around) voice DOES matter and so does video. Without all three being offered on these networks they will not make the money they need to sustain their networks.
    It has been asked, in one of the other threads, “why can’t a customer have one SP for data then another SP for voice services”. That is a really good question, because if IProvo or UTOPIA offered that option to their SP’s it would be a lot easier to allow companies like xmission onto the IProvo network.
    As for the HR problems, who knows how many employees from IProvo, Nuvont and MSTAR will move to the Broadweave company. According to the reports Veracity has been promised “no layoffs”. Have any of the other companies as well? Maybe there will be no integration? Does Veracity and Broadweave have the amount of employees to do this without taking on employees from the other companies?

  9. employee says:

    I work at iProvo and the employees are not “at each others throats”. We work very well together, now the relationship between management and employees, that is another story. The reason the people here mistrust the providers is their wanting to hire the cheapest techs they can find, put them on the front line without any training, and then blame the fiber any time they can’t fix a problem. Not to be cocky or anything, but we are dang good at what we do. We are not the problem.

  10. Jesse says:

    employee: The CCG report seemed to paint a contrary picture of operations in the NOC, primarily that employees would rarely perform duties outside of their title and that competition for titles was a regular occurrence. If they’ve been misrepresenting the operations there, it’s good to know about it.

  11. wraptur says:

    scoop –

    Half truth:
    ” … It has been asked, in one of the other threads, “why can’t a customer have one SP for data then another SP for voice services”. That is a really good question, because if IProvo or UTOPIA offered that option to their SP’s it would be a lot easier to allow companies like xmission onto the IProvo network.”

    Actually this is not true UTOPIA does allow for different service providers to offer different services. The problem is two fold:
    1) First ‘education’ – on the part of customers that they can get differing services from multiple providers over the same infrastructure.
    2) Second ‘business’ – on the part of the service providers. The do not allow the customer, or at least advertise if they ‘allow’ it, because it does not make business sence or cents 🙂 to them. (which hey that’s business)

    That’s why there is definite advantage to having lots of service providers so as to allow for innovative products to be offered which fosters competition and choice.

  12. iprovosupporter says:

    I’m very curious to see how this buyout is going to shake out. I could see the structure of the new Broadweave company be a little upside down. With Broadweave being the buyer, I imagine their employees will be in charge (VP of this, Director of that). Then, with the commitment of “no layoffs” for Veracity employees, they will fill in below them. Then, if there’s any room left at the bottom, they may pick up a couple iProvo employees.

    Problem with that is that the Broadweave employees are the least qualified and experienced of the bunch (see the other 200 posts before this one). Veracity has been at this for a while, and the iProvo folks have been doing this since the beginning. It will be interesting to see the new company take shape. Does anyone know if the Veracity/Broadweave deal is off if the city council turns down the sale to Broadweave? It’s almost worth opposing just for the sake of seeing the mess that would create for all this.

    Another thought…as far as iProvo, the real financial problems have been due to the dynamic duo, Billings and Garlick. According to Ashdown and other potential service providers, it seems to be them that have kept them off the network. (I’m guessing Ashdown and Billings may be political rivals) Funny thing is, that they are the only ones who will be keeping their jobs (at least until the election). So much for going down with the ship.

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