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Åsa Broman COS Customer Success Director
Åsa Broman, COS  Customer Success Director
Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and what is your background?

Hi, I am Åsa Broman. As you may guess from the strange letter in my name, I am Swedish, but  I currently live with my family in Palo Alto, California. I lived and worked in the Bay Area about 10 years ago as well, and the US feels like a second home, so it feels great to be back! For almost 25 years, I have worked in telcos and other infrastructure-related companies in a wide range of roles. The common denominator for those roles has been to connect people and bridge the gaps where teams or companies have different perspectives or competences. And no matter what my title has been, I have always been close to the customer. 

What caught your interest in COS Systems?

I was part of the big broadband and fiber rollout in Sweden, where the majority of the citizens got fiber access 10-20 years ago. Those investments have been crucial to reaching equal Internet access for everyone, including the possibility to take part in the digital transformation in all aspects of society. COS delivers a unique tool that can make this infrastructure improvement happen a lot faster and providing a better customer experience. With the current explosion of fiber rollouts in the US, I couldn’t resist joining the ride.

What are your goals for the coming months?

Full speed ahead – I am getting to know our customers through a number of implementation projects that we are running, and at the same time, getting familiar with the product and its (many) features. I am also looking forward to meeting my colleagues. We are spread out on three continents to support our customers in the best possible way. 

Why should people contact you and press the “connect with Åsa” button?

Don’t hesitate to connect with me if you are interested in broadband rollout or for any other reason connected to the experience I have from different fields.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I love traveling. Many years ago, before I started a family, I went on several backpacking trips on a shoestring around the world. During those travels, I experienced many odd and memorable situations. On our honeymoon, we were backpacking in India and went on a camel safari in the desert. The starry sky was supposed to be amazing and super romantic. This particular night, it got overcast and ended up pouring for the first time in four years. Traveling is a lot like life in general – unexpected things happen that totally can change the path you anticipated from the beginning. This actually makes both living, and traveling, an exciting adventure. 

 

#5 is a special day, as it is Marcus’ birthday! We won’t reveal how many candles are on his birthday cake, but he’ll probably tell you if you reach out to him. Below, you find a short interview with Marcus to get to know our latest addition to the team and our new Senior Sales Executive a bit better. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and what is your background?

Hi! I’m Marcus Kitchens. I started my career as a GIS Analyst for a Houston, TX based firm after graduating college and interning @ Esri. After working in Houston for two years, I joined NISC as a MapWise Support Specialist. At NISC, I helped their members solve any mapping questions/concerns that they had. While @ NISC, I focused on the Telecom side of things. I spent three years @ NISC before I had the opportunity to work for Esri as an Account Manager for Local Government out of the St. Louis Regional Office. In this role @ Esri, I helped cities/counties (under 50k in population) in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky modernize their ArcGIS platform. I worked in this role @ Esri for (almost) 5 years before joining COS Systems as a Senior Sales Executive. I’m ecstatic to be a part of this great team @ COS Systems and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What caught your interest in COS Systems?

COS’ end-to-end-automation approach is what ‘caught my interest.’ I’m a big fan of automation when it comes to helping people with their work. The GREAT team spirit and the dedication to customers at COS Systems piqued my curiosity, too. I love working with a fun team dedicated to helping their customers. So – COS Systems was a no-brainer. The chance of participating in Fika may have played a role, too 😉 

What are your goals for the coming months?

To learn as much as possible about how our software works and how our software can help deliver services to the community! Also, I look forward to meeting my COS Systems colleagues and getting to know them.

Why should people contact you and press the “connect with Marcus” button?

We want to connect as many people as possible to fast and reliable internet. However, building, running, and operating fiber networks that can offer just that is extremely complex, and we have made it our goal to make it as automated, effective, and viable as possible. As part of the Sales Team, I would love to have a conversation about how COS Systems can make your job easier. No matter if you are a traditional operator who wants to offer your subscribers a better customer experience or if you own an Open Access Wholesale Network and want to increase take-rates and extend the number of services on your network – we can help automate your processes from beginning to end; from broadband survey and demand aggregation to zero-touch provisioning and automated, (wholesale) billing.

Tell us fun facts about yourself.

I can play the piano! I have 2 long-haired dachshunds that are a bundle of cuteness, but both of them keep me busy with their shenanigans. I LOVE riding bikes whether it’s mountain biking, gravel biking, road biking, or even an exercise bike! I love it all when it comes to biking. One of my dreams is to follow the Tour de France in person. I’ve been watching it on TV for 20+ years with my dad. I would love to see it in real life one day.

A lot is happening in the industry in the US at the moment – The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed internet access and to bridge the Digital Divide, and our US team is growing. To be at the right place at the right time, our CEO Mikael Philipsson has moved from Sweden to Florida and below you find a short interview with him where he tells us about his plans for the coming months:

Good morning Mikael, you moved from Sweden to Florida a couple of weeks ago – can you tell us a little bit about your background and your move to the US?

Good morning! Well, first of all, it is very exciting to be here in the States as it makes it much easier to drive our expansion in the US and Canada. We moved here at the beginning of August, so we have had some time to get used to the nice and sunny Florida summer weather. We already feel at home, and being closer to our US team is amazing.

My background is within the telecom industry, where I’ve spent a good 20 years. My main experience is from the operator side, as I was the CEO of a fiber operator that built fiber infrastructure across the Nordic region, addressing large enterprises and offering wholesale fiber to large carriers. About ten years ago, the company made a strategic decision to move into the residential market, and since then, has addressed millions of homes with it’s fiber-to-the-home offering. 

With this background, having personally faced all the challenges you meet when scaling an FTTH business, I got very attracted to what COS had developed, and that quickly made me take the step from my initial position on the board of directors to taking on the role as CEO a little over two years ago.

COS’s software was built during the crazy fiber race that started in Sweden in the early 2000s when there was a need for solutions like COS Business Engine that enable extremely fast growth through automation and optimization of both the revenue side and the network operations. This combination is unique and what operators, who are the same situation as we were 10 years ago, are dreaming of.  

The fiber race is taking off here in North America now, so this is really the place to be. We have been active in the US since 2013, and we have an amazing team here. We are expanding as we see a strong demand from fiber operators in the need for software to support their growth and optimize the KPIs driving their business. 

What are your plans for the coming months?

I will focus on growing the team here, meeting up with customers/partners, and attending several conferences: in mid-October, I will attend INCOMPAS in Tampa and Calix ConneXions in Vegas at the end of October. 

Finally, I am really looking forward to using my and the team’s joint experienc and software suite to help operators in this market to excel in the fiber race and to avoid the mistakes we made. Fiber infrastructure is a game-changer and hugely impacts all aspects of our society as exactly everything is digitized. COS Systems has an active role to play in this fiber race. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I and the team don’t want to miss!

Don’t hesitate to connect with me!

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, and what is your background?

Hi! I’m Marcus Kitchens. I started my career as a GIS Analyst for a Houston, TX based firm after graduating college and interning @ Esri. After working in Houston for two years, I joined NISC as a MapWise Support Specialist. At NISC, I helped their members solve any mapping questions/concerns that they had. While @ NISC, I focused on the Telecom side of things. I spent three years @ NISC before I had the opportunity to work for Esri as an Account Manager for Local Government out of the St. Louis Regional Office. In this role @ Esri, I helped cities/counties (under 50k in population) in Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky modernize their ArcGIS platform. I worked in this role @ Esri for (almost) 5 years before joining COS Systems as a Senior Sales Executive. I’m ecstatic to be a part of this great team @ COS Systems and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

What caught your interest in COS Systems?

COS’ end-to-end-automation approach is what ‘caught my interest.’ I’m a big fan of automation when it comes to helping people with their work. The GREAT team spirit and the dedication to customers at COS Systems piqued my curiosity, too. I love working with a fun team dedicated to helping their customers. So – COS Systems was a no-brainer. The chance of participating in Fika may have played a role, too 😉 

What are your goals for the coming months?

To learn as much as possible about how our software works and how our software can help deliver services to the community! Also, I look forward to meeting my COS Systems colleagues and getting to know them.

Why should people contact you and press the “connect with Marcus” button?

We want to connect as many people as possible to fast and reliable internet. However, building, running, and operating fiber networks that can offer just that is extremely complex, and we have made it our goal to make it as automated, effective, and viable as possible. As part of the Sales Team, I would love to have a conversation about how COS Systems can make your job easier. No matter if you are a traditional operator who wants to offer your subscribers a better customer experience or if you own an Open Access Wholesale Network and want to increase take-rates and extend the number of services on your network – we can help automate your processes from beginning to end; from broadband survey and demand aggregation to zero-touch provisioning and automated, (wholesale) billing.

Tell us fun facts about yourself.

I can play the piano! I have 2 long-haired dachshunds that are a bundle of cuteness, but both of them keep me busy with their shenanigans. I LOVE riding bikes whether it’s mountain biking, gravel biking, road biking, or even an exercise bike! I love it all when it comes to biking. One of my dreams is to follow the Tour de France in person. I’ve been watching it on TV for 20+ years with my dad. I would love to see it in real life one day.

#1 is a really cool feature update! We have significantly extended the Area functionality in Business Engine. When expanding your network, you can use the demand aggregation features to allow potential subscribers to take surveys or pre-signup, making sure you build where you have committed subscribers. The Areas’s, often called “Fiberhoods” or “Service Zones”, status determines what the potential subscriber will be presented with when they search for their address in the Marketplace, and you can now define these yourself! Perhaps your fiberhoods go through the statuses show interest, signup, installation, connectedThis update makes it even easier to tailor service offerings and promotions to these unique areas, even after build-out. As a bonus, we have made it possible for you to choose your own colors to indicate the status of the areas on the admin maps, and creating them is even easier with improved import and editing functionality.

Good news everybody – order at COS has been restored and our all-around talent Spencer is back at the office!

After spending time away from us and doing something even more meaningful (being a full-time dad of three), Spencer has finally returned to the office and is ready to put his mind to and focus on how to connect the unconnected.

In order to write this piece, I’ve asked several colleagues what Spencer’s actual title is and what he’s especially good at. The answer won’t surprise those who know him but it seems from Sales to Customer Support and Business Development, he can do it all and he does it well! He might even be able to build the trenches to bury fiber conduits but I’m not sure…. 

So welcome back to the office Spencer!

How long have you been gone?

Spencer: About seven-eight months.

What’s your title?

Spencer: [Laughter] I’m not sure….*

What did you miss the most about working at COS?

Spencer: Warm coffee, the contact with our client’s and Ander’s jokes.

What are you especially looking forward to?

Spencer: Meeting new colleagues*, COFFEE!, playing padel, hearing about new customers and other COS updates.

*Like me, yey

You’ve been working at COS Systems for almost six years, what do you think we’re best at? 

Spencer: We’re not only a  great group of hard-working passionate colleagues but we also know how to have fun together when we are not working- Fika, Padel, some beers, etc.

I agree, thanks for taking the time to chat Spencer – now let’s get some coffee! 

If you want to know more about Spencer or (re)connect with him to talk about your fiber projects and needs, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

LinkedIn e-mail +46 72 557 39 90

 

*Note: Since our interview, Spencer has been promoted to Head of Technical Sales Support, congratulations!