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Digital Operations Center for service and network automation

A new breed of service orchestration and service assurance for network slicing

Why CSPs need to evolve to full service and network automation

It’s no secret that consumer value creation possibilities are almost exhausted. To remain relevant and continue to compete, it’s time for communications service providers (CSPs) to offer digital services and turn their attention to vertical markets. Manufacturing, enterprise campuses, smart cities, transportation, logistics, healthcare, and gaming hold new revenue opportunities. Connectivity is a natural entry point to these markets, ABI Research estimates an opportunity, of up to $43 billion, just for network slicing

Your biggest challenge? To realize the opportunity, and unlock the value of your network, you need to offer customer-centric and tailored slice-based services at speed while managing cost and complexity. Operability that traditional network operations approaches fail to deliver.

To support the new way of doing business and to create value for your customers driven by dynamic business needs, you need to evolve your Network Operations Center (NOC) with service and network automation.

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The technical imperative for service and network automation

It’s no longer possible to manually manage, assure and operate services at scale and end-to-end over multiple domains, technologies, and vendors. The traditional network operations center (NOC) - and yesterday’s siloed and technology-focused tools and processes - cannot operate the dynamic networks and services of the future.

To support network slicing based services on complex networks, cost-efficiently and at scale - and access the $43 billion opportunity - the operations support system (OSS) and networks themselves need to evolve so CSPs can unlock the value of the network.

Simplification from technology to business focus is required and service and network automation needs to be based on business intent and contracted SLAs.

Video series
future of operations

Future of operations

Prioritising automation

Creating a successful "building block" strategy for AI and automation initiatives

Introducing a new and comprehensive approach for integrated, end-to-end service lifecycle management

To expose the rich capabilities of your network as consumable services for your customers - and to do this at scale - requires numerous activities like service orchestration, service operations and service assurance. Although these activities are intrinsically related, they have traditionally been separated at the process level and at the tooling level. Going forward, you need to bring these steps together into a single, integrated round-trip set of processes to achieve scale and cost efficiencies.

Our industry refers to this as "managing the service lifecycle" and it has never been more important that these steps within the lifecycle are tightly integrated. We see two important developments that can be leveraged:

  1. Virtualization techniques have made 5G-era networks much more complex and as we move toward more disaggregated architectures, this complexity will continue. But these virtualized networks and disaggregated architectures are software- driven and therefore programmable.
  2. This programmability is what enables automation. And automated service lifecycle management is the mandate for successful cost efficiencies at scale in the 5G era

We see this as a stepwise evolution, not a “big-bang” that needs to happen all at once. We visualize this below. The traditionally separated OSS fulfillment and OSS service assurance processes move from left to right over time to eventually become fully integrated with the addition of service orchestration capabilities. We see steps along the way that deliver tactical returns while supporting the left-to-right movement are proving to be a successful strategy within the marketplace.


Controlling costs, delivering value

TL Vishwanathan

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Telecom Needs with TL Viswanathan

Understanding customer-centric automated operations

As we move toward this integrated service lifecycle approach, the atomic functions for service orchestration and service assurance based upon a common data model become integrated steps in a single round-trip.

Service orchestration and service assurance for network slicing use cases

Network slicing is an important technological development that CSPs look to capitalize on. It provides a way to offer differentiated services with guaranteed quality of service across common network infrastructure. This is much more efficient than previous techniques to “nail up” or dedicate infrastructure resources to support differentiated service requirements.

Various industry organizations have contributed toward standards that ensure that CSPs can avoid vendor and technology lock-in as they architect their approach to network slicing.

CSPs will not employ network slicing for all services they offer. But for those services that they do, CSPs will need to automate the process to design, deploy and assure network slices to be cost effective and ensure they meet contracted SLAs. The complexity and dynamic nature of network slice-based services is far too complex to leave to manual operations.

Further, CSPs need to be able to abstract the network complexity, and expose the network slices to the market, in order to let business customers flexibly and easily subscribe to a slice, configure the SLAs based on the needs of their customers in support of new business models (B2B2x).

Network slicing – originally a 5G mobile networking concept -- has extended beyond that scope. Effective network slicing operations platforms must enable CSPs to leverage all their network infrastructure investments across the various domains of access, transport, core and cloud.

One important example of the evolving scope of network slicing is the concept of 4G/5G network slicing. Nokia introduced this technical innovation in early 2020 as a way for CSPs to begin their adoption of network slicing with their existing broad coverage of 4G networks while they ramp-up their 5G deployments. Other examples of the extending scope of network slicing include things like Fixed Wireless Access services and transport networks as services.

Automated network slicing

Automated network slicing


Network Slicing explained


Overcoming the operational challenges of 4G and 5G slicing at scale

Changing how business does business is likely the greatest benefit that 5G can bring. Karl Whitelock reveals how working through the operational details of 4G/5G network slicing today can prepare CSPs better to provide full 5G SA network slices "at scale" in the future.

Read the blog by Karl Whitelock.


Nokia Digital Operations Center for service orchestration and service assurance

Nokia’s award-winning Digital Operations Center is a modular solution comprised of Orchestration Center and Assurance Center leveraging a common Unified Inventory. It’s this combination that gives you the ability to manage the entire service lifecycle by designing, delivering, and assuring digital services and 5G slicing at scale and speed.

The Digital Operations Center is a solution that can be used in a fully automated, round-trip, closed-loop mode but it also has a rich user-interface layer for manual activities. This is important to enable gradual development, testing and use of automated steps as required by each respective deployment.

It’s a fully cloud-native platform that is built to support multi-vendor, multi-domain, and multi-technology environments across any cloud deployment model. Per its role within the CSP eco-system, Digital Operations Center supports numerous standards where and as they apply to include TMF, ETSI, MEF, 3GPP, BBF, ONF and IETF.


Introducing Digital Operations Center from Nokia

The Digital Operations Center’s primary role within the CSP eco-system is to:

  • Manage the full end-to-end service lifecycle to include the design, deployment, and assurance of services to meet contractual Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • Abstract the complexity of the underlying network to expose its capabilities northbound to commercial/business support systems on an intent-based level
  • Provide southbound interface and oversight to network layer systems so they can support the design, deployment, and end-to-end service assurance.

By closing the loop between traditionally separate service orchestration and service assurance processes, you can intelligently manage the full-service lifecycle to drive the most optimized use of infrastructure resources, limit overprovisioning, control fault management, enable network automation, service automation and service optimization.

DO Center

Nokia Digital Operation Center

FutureNet Word Awards

Nokia wins award for service orchestration automation


Digital Operations Center - Nokia Expert Interview

Why choose Digital Operations software for service orchestration and service assurance?

How the Nokia Digital Operations Center helps you to tap into the 5G opportunity and to unlock the value of your network

Cost savings

Control total cost of ownership

  • Reduce expenditures and control costs with closed-loop automated service operations that natively integrate service orchestration and service assurance functions.

Deploy on any cloud

  • Adapt to future business opportunities by utilizing the integrated development environment, cloud-native microservices and containerized architecture.

Benefit from openness

  • Leverage key standards and open source projects for service and network automation such as TMForum, ETSI, MEF, 3GPP, BBF, ONF and IETF.

Get to market faster

  • Design, deploy and assure tailored services cost-efficiently and at scale.
  • Benefit from browser-based user interfaces designed per user role
  • Access an extensive library of service templates, policies, network automation workflows and multi-vendor integrations.

Enable new business opportunities

  • Replace siloed, technology-focused processes that cannot cope with sliced-network demands.
  • Access new verticals and leverage the 5G opportunity.
  • Realize 4G/5G network slicing opportunities and support billions of 4G devices today.

Adhere to service level agreements

  • Include automated business policies and SLA assurance with a common service model across service orchestration and service assurance.
  • Enable design-optimized business decision-making.
  • Expand into new, vertical industries with confidence.

Business benefits of service and network automation


Shorter time
to resolution


Tickets solved in close-loop with reduced errors and lower costs


Faster time
to market

500 x 

Faster service



3 x

More effective
network utilization

Customer case studies for service and network automation

Telenor & 5G VINNI: Proving the potential of network slicing with zero-touch service orchestration

SPTel, Singapore: Faster go-to-market for 5G services with network automation and service orchestration

How to enable faster go-to-market solutions for 5G deployment and automate the service delivery process in one of the world’s most demanding markets.

Explore the SPTel case study

Indian wholesale CSP: Enabling digital value chain offerings with network automation

Launch on-demand services rapidly to the market with automated operations. Need for a future ready, hyper-elastic environment with ease of operations based on new Network-as-a-Service architecture

Learn more about service and network automation

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