Agility. Customer experience. Reliability. Reduced opex.
All of the above are things that communications service providers want and need to deliver in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. The good news is that network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) can help them do that. However, NFV and SDN can’t do it alone. Communications Service Providers (CSPs) also need more dynamic operations and support systems, as Kevin Kuo, director of Motive Operations at Nokia (News - Alert), wrote in his TechZine posting, Dynamic OSS for today’s service assurance needs.
Next-generation operation and support systems (OSSs) are required to address the extreme dynamism that NFV and SDN will enable. That’s not to mention the fact that CSP (News - Alert) networks for a long while will consist of a mix of legacy infrastructure and virtualized network functions (VNFs). So automated support systems can help CSPs handle all that while lowering the opportunity for errors and improving mean time to repair windows. In fact, studies have shown that by unifying and automating OSSs can produce a 30 to 50 percent reduction in time to market, 50 to 70 percent reductions in time to service, and significant operational expense savings, Kuo notes.
At the same time, operational support systems will need to work at the application/service layer to ensure customers are getting the performance they expect and that their services are meeting the agreed-upon SLAs. As Kuo explains, service assurance is important both to help CSPs avoid unhappy customers and prevent churn, and to build customer loyalty and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
“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,” Kuo says. “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.”
With customers having more knowledge and access to options at their finger tips, and as many products and services become commoditized, assuring compelling customer experiences has become critical of creating sustainable differentiated value. This means CSPs need to be proactive as well as reactive, i.e., agile, as well as operationally efficient. And, to create what should be profitable experiences knowledge is power. And, much of it is in the network waiting to be leveraged.
Edited by Peter Bernstein