Coopelesca sees Open as a great technological ally and is aware of its contribution to the growth and positioning of its brand in the Costa Rican market.
Coopelesca is the leading electric power and telecommunications company in northern Costa Rica. Currently, the company manages over 98,000 power customers and controls more than 65% of the telecommunications market in the region.
After positioning itself as the leading provider of electric power, Coopelesca decided to enter the telecommunications sector. This choice involved making technological changes, setting up new infrastructure, and learning how to adapt core processes to ensure the quality of these new services.
Coopelesca needed a flexible CIS which could support broadband, analog TV, and digital TV alongside its existing electric power services. In this context, the company selected Smartflex as its multiservice solution for power and broadband.
Currently, Coopelesca manages power, broadband, and TV with one solution, allowing enhanced integration between business lines and lower operating costs. Thanks to Smartflex, Coopelesca minimizes time-to-market when setting up new products and services, allowing it to quickly grow and adapt in the dynamic telecommunications industry. Furthermore, Smartflex generates a single invoice for multiple services and provides customers with online information about portfolios, payments, billing, and service requests, while also keeping them up-to-date with the status of field operations.
Smartflex allowed Coopelesca savings in operational costs, as well as increases in the quality of the information used to support customer management processes.
Analog and digital
Managed by a single commercial system, with one invoice and unified accounts.
The transformation of Coopelesca into a telecommunications service provider required overcoming several challenges, such as designing, building and operating a telecommunications network.
The project also posed the challenge of transforming the commercial operation of an electricity service provider into a utilities and infocommunications provider.
New products and services
Twelve years ago, only 6% of households in the northern zone of Costa Rica had access to cable TV and just 2% had internet.1 Coopelesca, which was just an electric company at the time, saw this as an opportunity to expand into the telecommunications market and help close the country’s digital divide.
First off, the company began a thorough planning process and came up with a high-level strategy for the project. During this step, Coopelesca decided that Open should be its technological ally in this mission due to its extensive industry knowledge and experience in the utility sector.
One of the main features which set Open Smartfelx apart was its ability to support the commercial management of electric power and telecommunications in a single solution. By consolidating customer management processes for both business lines, Coopelesca saw the
opportunity to integrate useful information which could be used to provide a superior customer experience.
“This project was the result of a strategic decision to find a top-quality platform which could serve as our basis for the delivery of new products and services, helping us to achieve our vision of expanding beyond electric power.
We were also looking to improve our management processes by incorporating best industry practices and addressing technological obsolescence in our information systems to help us become more competitive. After making our evaluation, we decided that Smartflex was the right solution for that purpose”.
– Oliver Vazquez, IT Manager
To transform into a telecommunications service provider, Coopelesca had to overcome several challenges. As an electric company, one of the most important tasks was finding an efficient way to build and operate a telecommunications network alongside power distribution infrastructure. To minimize the costs of running a dual network, the company decided to house communication equipment in substations and use the new fiber network for power system communication.
“The energy communication network was basic, wireless, and oriented to SCADA systems, but the new telecommunications network, which is based on fiber for transport and distribution, and coaxial for access to the residential sector, allowed us to meet both customer and company needs. We built the first hub three years ago in an independent area of a substation building“.
– Edward Herrera, Assistant Manager of Infocommunications
Alongside the consolidation of physical infrastructure, the company was confronted with the challenge of upgrading its commercial systems to cover both power and communications services. Coopelesca decided that it required a single commercial management system which unified customer accounts and generated a single invoice for services from both business lines. It was these needs that led the company to choose Smartflex, a dynamic solution for companies operating in multiple industries.
With this solution, Coopelesca managed to quickly expand the number of subscribed telecommunications services within its concession area; with subscriptions to digital TV services and internet each now over 60%. The company, which was previously operating only as an electrical business, has now successfully expanded into this new market, becoming the leading telecommunication company in the region and enjoying a market share of over 65%.
After helping Coopelesca achieve its vision of expanding into the telecommunications sector, Smartflex continues to support the company’s evolution. The agility and flexibility of the solution combined with the expertise of Open’s consultants allow Coopelesca to quickly model and deploy new products and services, giving it an edge in the competitive telecommunications industry.
“The flexibility provided by Smartflex is very valuable. We were the first cable operator in Costa Rica to let people subscribe to TV and internet services
– Edward Herrera
Coopelesca sees Open as an important technological ally and a great contributor to its growth and the positioning of its brand in the Costa Rican market. If you want to know more about this story or how Open can help you streamline the operation of your business, contact us.
1 According to a report by PROSIC (The Information and Knowledge Society of the University of Costa Rica)
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