A dynamic operation and support system (OSS) is crucial to meet the needs of today’s evolving networks. Although the networks are carrying more data and enabling more users than ever before, operators also need to simplify their OSS. Service providers need to:
- Reduce OPEX
- Remain competitive by being agile, responsive, and able to take new services to market quickly
- Manage customer experience in real time
- Ensure reliable quality of service (QoS)
Software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have changed the game. Moving traditional network functionality onto virtual machines has helped organizations operate in more agile and flexible ways. The network landscape is more dynamic than ever before, and this means that service operators now need more dynamic operations and support systems to manage the load.
NEW SYSTEMS ARE NEEDED
The evolution of new technologies and protocols to deliver customer services has resulted in the shift towards an all IP and cloud network. Today, the service provider ecosystem consists of complex inventory management systems covering specific network domains such as the access and core, giving rise to management silos of the network along with duplication of asset information and management.
Managing all-IP networks is challenging because of the nature of virtualization, connectionless IP, and the need to continue support for legacy services. This complex, hybrid world of virtualized and non-virtualized services needs holistic service assurance solutions based on a service-orientated architecture.
Today’s customers expect secure, high-quality access to the network. And rapid access to network-based data and diverse applications from any device or access medium, no matter how many networks or partners are involved.
If customers are dissatisfied with paid services or products, they will immediately switch to different providers. The resulting competitive pressure forces service providers to focus on their customers’ experience — to take a customer-centric view of the services provided and manage the required service quality.
Managing virtualized networks is a big challenge, because service providers now need to manage the virtualized services while continuing to support legacy services too. So the OSSs in place need to be up to the job — cutting edge support and operations processes and systems that can deliver the required assurance to fully complement an architecture where service is everything.
SERVICE ASSURANCE IS IMPORTANT
Service assurance becomes a more vital, fundamental system as we increasingly move to a world of SDN and NFV. Customer expectation is now higher than ever and end-users demand great connectivity wherever and whenever, so the pressure is on for service providers to deliver great quality of services.
Assurance systems integrated within OSS track service performance and make sure customer service-level agreements (SLAs) are adhered to. But assurance is also a key tool in proactively identifying network failures and initiating actions to resolve these problems.
Why is service assurance so important? Well for one thing it can differentiate service providers from their competitors. Pre-emptive analysis of potential outages is essential, and enables fast, effective response to outages when they occur.
Another crucial part of the OSS is being able to identify and communicate with customers rapidly in the event of network faults. This is where service assurance and high quality back office and OSS can add real value to an operator’s offering.
As networks increase bandwidth and carry ever more data traffic, the load increases. Having the right suitably scalable assurance capabilities in place can reduce churn and keep customers happy and satisfied.
With this focus on customers and their services, service providers can achieve:
- Increased revenues from loyal, delighted customers
- Higher labor productivity and fewer human errors from increased automation
- Improved mean time to repair (MTTR) from accurate data and analysis of customer and business impacts
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PARTNER
Service providers need a partner who can provide an end-to-end solution to address all the core elements of OSS while also ensuring the same QoS that their customers have learned to expect. To be successful, it’s imperative to choose a solution that closes the gap between customer care and the network with automated, data-driven service assurance. Analytics help simplify the service process by preemptively identifying potential problems and acting on them, lowering overall service costs.
Supported by dynamic assurance, operation teams can respond in real time and with corresponding priority to network issues that might impact customers. Critical for certain levels of service quality, real-time problem prediction and detection must happen without manually analyzing and correlating data from diverse tools.
Dynamic assurance is designed to work with other building blocks of a dynamic operations software suite — standalone or as an enhancement of a service provider’s existing OSS environment. With dynamic assurance, service providers can achieve the following main business requirements for end-to-end service operations:
- Significantly reduce the complexity of operations and customer care
- Provide an immediate, interactive and secure user experience
- Protect vital revenue streams
- Enhance customer loyalty
Customer research has demonstrated that by unifying and automating OSSs, a 30-50% reduction in time to market can be achieved, alongside 50-70% reductions in time to service, and significant OPEX improvements. The business benefits are tangible.
Motive Dynamic Assurance web page
Our authors look forward to your questions and comments.