Nokia’s AIOps approach - delivering automation and intelligence everywhere
The 5G era drives CSPs to reinforce their value
Communication service providers (CSPs) are at an inflection point in our industry. Do they continue to sell connectivity while bandwidth demands increase and ARPUs decrease? Or do they take full advantage of 5G and expand their value proposition? With accelerating pressures around cost, scale, and quality-of-service in 5G, CSPs must move quickly to new operational and business models or try to win with cost-cutting measures alone.
The difference between 5G and earlier access generations is that 5G is not just another upgrade. Instead, it’s the intersection of innovative technologies such as cloud, edge computing, AI/ML, and the Internet of Things. As hyperscalers push further into the telecom space, there’s more urgency than ever for CSPs to strengthen their value proposition in the expanding digital ecosystem.
To address these challenging dynamics and unlock their networks' actual value, CSPs need trusted partners that can guarantee intelligent, secure operations to simplify network complexity and to monetize 5G services. Deploying automation and AI to respond to business intent will be foundational to each of these goals.
AI and automation in operations: Together but separate
Digital transformation impacts every part of the CSP’s business, especially OSS/BSS; and one of the prioritized steps in OSS/BSS upgrades is to automate. CSPs continue to invest in automation software for both operational efficiencies (i.e. cost savings) and agile service delivery (i.e. new revenue streams). They understand that the use of AI in operations (AIOps) is an imperative step towards more autonomous and self-healing networks; and today, CSPs are trying to determine the best approach to integrating AIOps and other intelligence techniques to scale PoCs and trials successfully. Without a doubt, AIOps is positioned as the next frontier in value creation for CSPs.
However, AIOps in telecom can get…complicated. It’s not uncommon to hear some industry pundits refer to AI as the shiny new technology for CSPs, meant to improve network automation as it stands today. But integrating data analytics and other intelligence techniques into network operations is not new. For a while now, CSPs have been using machine learning to optimize operations and to support essential use cases, such as root-cause analysis, auto-time series forecasting and alarm pattern recognition. These are clear examples of how intelligent, secure automation embeds data engines powerful enough to perform advanced tasks that are not explicitly AI-driven.
That said, CSPs are trying to determine what role AI should play in the network. With intelligent and automated operations, CSPs can already correlate network performance events to create a closed loop environment and “fix things faster.” However, CSPs want to become more proactive and prescriptive around network faults – and this is when AIOps can come into play.
AIOps will help CSPs leverage all the events in the network, past, and present, and use them to predict the future to prevent issues before they happen. That’s quite the value proposition to sell to CSPs; and to take this one step further, AIOps will enable CSPs to use network analytics to enhance the customer experience (CX) overall. For example, network insights can be used to support CX use cases such as network planning, roaming cost reduction, and energy efficiency improvement.
The takeaway is that when AI and automation work well together, network performance is optimized to a new level, and the customer experience is enhanced to a degree CSPs have not been able to offer before. AIOps will allow CSPs to secure their customers’ data and gain their trust; it will drive intent-based automation for better business outcomes; and it will help CSPs monetize current and future 5G investments. By delivering automated intelligence everywhere across the network, CSPs will be able to claim a more assertive position in the increasingly open digital ecosystem.
Nokia knows AIOps: Where, when and why for CSPs
Most CSPs are well-versed on the projected benefits of AI in operations. The issue is that there are several different ways in which CSPs can deploy AIOps, all with varying benefits, risks, costs, and timeframes. Backed by decades of OSS/BSS expertise and Nokia Bell Labs AI investments and other data science techniques, Nokia is in a unique position to help CSPs know which AIOps method to employ, when to use it, and why.
Ranked #1 for network automation software by Appledore, Nokia’s Digital Operations automation software is designed to help CSPs design, deploy and assure services across the service lifecycle. China Mobile saw a 20% reduction in energy use when it deployed Nokia’s AVA for Energy solution, delivered via SaaS. Nokia also helped Vodafone detect and remedy network anomalies before Vodafone customers were aware of any issue. These select examples can also be used in combination; Nokia has shown how we’ve united our knowledge around automation, AI, and other intelligence techniques to help CSPs create value in a connected world through AIOps.
Figure 1. Nokia’s AIOps approach - delivering automation and intelligence everywhere
Nokia’s AIOps approach helps drive its AVA Intelligence Everywhere strategy
CSPs need to grow beyond offering traditional connectivity services, to offering new digital services over B2B2X models; and they must do this while faced with sustained pressure to manage costs. With this reality, CSPs must apply AIOps to the three main challenges they have today:
- Securing the network, especially as its perimeter blurs due to software-defined networking
- Automating network and service operations for cost efficiencies to recoup 5G investments
- Monetizing services to be seen as a valuable link in the telecom supply chain.
Secure. Automate. Monetize: These are key areas for CSP investment – and they represent Nokia’s R&D priorities in the year ahead. To solidify our BA strategy, these priorities are tied closely to our widely recognized AVA brand. AVA has proven market success with 20+ innovation awards and strong associations in AI & network analytics.
By leveraging the compelling combination of our Nokia Bell Labs innovation and data science expertise, plus our proven results from customer deployments, Nokia is a leader in the real-world application of AI and ML. We will deliver automation and intelligence – across the network, services, and directly to the customer with our AIOps solutions and services. And we will help CSP secure, automate and monetize their current and future 5G investments with AVA Intelligence Everywhere.