Communication service providers (CSPs) must keep pace with emerging trends and technologies from mobile 5G rollouts to the massive amount of IoT devices and sensors needed for new business applications, smart cities, and Industry 4.0 use cases. At the same time, CSPs must continue to deliver uninterrupted, high-quality services fast enough to meet the requirements of today’s gigabit society.
This can be achieved by operating a hybrid network infrastructure based on a mix of physical, logical, and virtual resources, and passive inside and outside plant infrastructure provided by many different suppliers.
While hybrid infrastructures offer service providers more possibilities than traditional infrastructures, they also increase complexity due to various technologies, storage locations, billing models, and dependencies between the individual infrastructure elements.
The three most common challenges that arise when managing hybrid infrastructures are outdated inventory management systems, poor data quality, and a lack of visibility throughout the network.
To overcome these challenges and successfully meet the changing requirements of the digital world, CSPs must utilize a comprehensive database of all assets, resources, connections, and dependencies to feed their planning, operations, and service assurance and fulfillment processes. A unified resource management solution across the hybrid infrastructure network will provide greater visibility into digital infrastructure, eliminate data silos, and improve data quality throughout the organization. Ideally, CSPs should look for a management solution with the following features and capabilities:
• Geographical Mapping – GIS capabilities can improve operational efficiency and add location intelligence to the different use cases.
• Real-time Inventory – An accurate and up-to-date inventory of all physical, logical, and virtual network and service resources will improve the utilization of all network resources and enable CSPs to make confident decisions about how to plan, build, deploy and manage the business. High performance data reconciliation and delta calculation mechanisms are required to synchronize with the network to keep data accurate.
• Process Integration – As-is documentation of network resources and the planning of changes, transformations, and rollouts must be closely linked and integrated. This requires that planning data is always based on as-is data and that workflow integration manages the relevant processes and ensures that status changes in the planning process are directly reflected in the as-is documentation for the next planning iteration.
• Data Sharing – A unified resource management solution must provide this data to all other relevant IT/OSS systems, which need specific parts for the different operational use cases.
• Comprehensive Reporting – Real-time reporting and dashboarding is needed to ensure all legal and compliance regulations are met, to support capacity management use cases, and to provide comprehensive reporting for all relevant fulfillment and assurance use cases.
FNT’s unified resource management solution, FNT Command, can significantly improve data quality through reconciliation of hardware and service data from the network, data consistency checks, and comprehensive management of status changes along the entire lifecycle from design and planning to rollout, operation, and finally decommissioning. Equipped with higher-quality data, CSPs can run faster impact analysis and gain accurate insights into available capacities.
Utilizing accurate as-is documentation to automate design, planning, and rollout phases, as well as the creation of work orders based on planning protocols, will significantly minimize errors and manual reworks. Immediate impact analysis is also necessary to optimize service assurance and reduce mean time to repair (MTTR). This way, in the event of a technical failure or service interruption, all necessary information about the affected services and customers will be immediately available. Additional capabilities such as end-to-end signal tracing, visual analytics, and flexible integration with other systems are important characteristics of a future-proof solution.
Our white paper “Best Practices in Telecom Infrastructure Management” details the actions and best practices six leading service providers took to improve their network infrastructure management processes and highlights the business outcomes they were able to achieve. Download the white paper here.
We are always looking for ways to improve. If you need more information or would like to get in touch with our experts, contact us here.