One day in 2001, Yuval Brisker was stuck at home, expecting a cable TV technician to arrive for a service call.

First he waited.

Then he waited some more.

Brisker reflected that people all over the world were stuck in the same position, wasting hours without knowing when — or even if — a service person would show up, reports CNNMoney.com.

I thought, ‘How come people have to sit around waiting in a world where we’re connected by cell phone and where we can track a package online? Why has this problem never been solved?'” recalls Brisker.

With that question in mind, Brisker launched TOA Technologies two years later in Cleveland. TOA provides field services management software that allows companies to track and schedule their technicians more efficiently. Customers can go online to get updates on a technician’s arrival time, much like they can track a FedEx package. Or they can receive the information as a text message, an automated phone call or an e-mail.

TOA’s software has attracted such customers as Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and ONO, Spain’s largest cable TV provider. So why, after five years, are most consumers still waiting for the cable guy to show up?

Because telecom companies are slow-moving behemoths. It’s daunting to change how they operate and manage thousands of people in the field. “These companies have to go through a pretty serious transformation, both operationally and culturally,” says Brisker. That’s not an easy sell — especially in the cable TV industry.

Photo by Comcast.