Monetizing your optical network through network slicing and bandwidth-on-demand automation
In our last blog post, we discussed how optical network operators can leverage wholesale business channels to accelerate the delivery of service capacity — and drive revenue growth in new markets.
Now let’s explore how you can leverage automation to seamlessly abstract the infrastructure layer of your optical network, to provide the required automation to those who will implement on-demand service slices in the network for end-subscribers. The result is an automated workflow that can be tied into the business ordering process to simplify and accelerate the fulfillment process for wholesalers and end subscribers.
Key tasks for network slicing and bandwidth-on-demand automation
To deliver automated end-to-end services in your optical network, you need to:
- Abstract hierarchical tenant relationships between operators, wholesalers and end subscribers
- Quickly onboard services and service specifications, then advertise the services throughout their distribution channels
- Orchestrate subscriber or wholesale orders from the business support system (BSS) directly to the optical layer
- Enable service scheduling, calendaring, activation and termination
- Compute optical links that fully implement the SLA intent and adhere to scheduling constraints requested by the subscriber or wholesaler
- Report on service performance to assure subscribing tenants that SLAs are met
- Use open standards to deliver seamless integration with BSS platforms — and automate this process.
The result is a fully automated bandwidth-on-demand experience per service slice for prospective consumers of connectivity. This enables you to focus on your core competency where you have better market penetration while also expanding sales easily through your channel partners. You can continue to build out in areas where capacity is needed while also streamlining the service inventory and fulfillment processes through these sales channels.
Optical connectivity service delivery can be lengthy for many network operators because their present mode of operation is very manual — resulting in time-to-revenue delays. To recognize revenue quickly, network and service automation is key. This point was discussed in detail in our previous blog Reduce optical service fulfillment times from weeks to minutes with network automation.
The following sections explain in more detail the required tasks to quickly deliver automated end-to-end services in your optical network.
Abstract tenant relationships and onboard services
What you advertise and who you advertise to matters. Building administration boundaries and rules for network operators’ internal business groups, wholesalers and end subscribers of capacity enables each entity to gain visibility of the locations in the network and types of connectivity that matter most to their business. This automated value chain enables operators and their wholesale partners to target the connectivity services that offer the most differentiation to their customers and maximize revenue growth potential.
The Nokia WaveSuite Service Enablement (WS-SE) application enables network operators to automate the infrastructure connectivity and use their network assets to expand service offerings as well as channels to market. Nokia WS-SE is used to advertise service offerings and fulfill connectivity service demands between end subscribers and the wholesaler, and between the wholesaler and the network operator. The result is increased service consumption and revenue potential from the optical network.
Quickly onboard and advertise services
Network operators need a repeatable and timely approach to ensuring new inventories are available to advertise to their hierarchical tenants. Nokia WS-SE provides easy-to-use, graphical, procedural workflows to reduce the time needed to onboard and advertise new services. These workflows capture all network locations and inventory from the optical network.
Orchestrate orders directly to the optical layer
Northbound ordering systems (e.g. for customer relationship management or billing) that are integrated in the BSS of wholesalers or end subscribers provide the details of the service requests needed to drive revenue or operate their business. Automation to support the orchestration and integration of functions into the BSS accelerates delivery time to support their business models. This automation also enables connectivity directly into the network operator’s optical platform without any complexity.
Using WS-SE northbound interfaces, any hierarchical tenant can seamlessly connect with the built-in automated workflow to fully digitize the end-to-end connectivity fulfillment process into the BSS.
Enable service scheduling, calendaring, activation and termination
Cloud-neutral hosts, wholesalers and enterprise subscribers all need network connectivity slices on demand. Quickly automating this process is a significant challenge for network operators who are introducing automation. In addition to delivering network connectivity slices, operators need to schedule activation and termination of network resources to maximize utilization in the network.
Media industries and cloud-based hyperscalers require flexible, pre-scheduled bandwidth for emerging use cases that drive calendared or premium services. Examples include special events for the NFL Super Bowl or the FIFA World Cup, or Android/Apple iOS software upgrade pushes to cell phones. For network operators, these use cases provide opportunities to offer new, premium services to expand revenue, and operators recognize the need for automation to deliver the use cases.
With Nokia WS-SE, network operators can quickly orchestrate service orders from each of the tenant applications derived from each of the respective northbound BSS ordering systems. This orchestration quickly fulfills the bandwidth usage requirements of specific SLAs for tenant applications. This bandwidth can also be re-used in future by others in the hierarchy to drive new revenue.
Compute optical links that meet SLAs and adhere to scheduling constraints
Adhering to SLAs is critical to network operators because there are financial impacts when SLAs are not met. Both subscribers and wholesalers who order services rely on the operator to complete the transaction by considering all network layers when the link carrying the service is provisioned. Nokia WS-SE automates service fulfillment by establishing the connections and links in the optical network to guarantee compliance to all scheduling constraints of anyone in the hierarchy.
Report on service performance
Subscribing tenants want reports on service performance, so they know that SLA objectives are being met. Nokia WS-SE provides all the necessary assurance visualization and reporting for all wholesalers and subscribers in the hierarchy. Dashboards show SLA conformance, and contextual reports based on SLA metrics show tenants that they are getting what they paid for.
Use open standards
While network operators continue to use optical systems from various suppliers, automation capabilities can help them simplify end-to-end connectivity. Because wholesalers and other consumers of connectivity within the virtualization hierarchy do not own any infrastructure, it is vital that network operators shield them as much as possible from any exposure to supply chain issues and also provision the connectivity service as quickly as possible.
Network operators require automation capabilities to decouple the dependencies of various supplier systems. Southbound open APIs in the network such as the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) Transport API (TAPI) enable an end-to-end service view across multiple equipment supplier domains and abstract details of each supplier’s equipment. Nokia WS-SE supports these open, standards-based APIs, ensuring seamless integration with the optical management layer and allowing it to provision the end-to-end link.
Now that we know how to use automation to advertise service inventories within the optical infrastructure directly to wholesalers and end subscribers to scale business service revenues, future blog posts will describe automation use cases that can help you better diagnose and troubleshoot network problems — to deliver on existing SLA commitments and protect revenue streams. Stay tuned.
Blog series: Automating optical networks for success
Solutions: Insight-driven optical networks
Video: WaveSuite Service Enablement: Automate and accelerate the delivery of optical services
Application note: WaveSuite Service Enablement: A new service view for optical networks
Application note: The Nokia WaveSuite automation environment: automating networks with innovative business and network insights
Data sheet: WaveSuite Service Enablement