To deliver better experiences, launch innovative services and drive business growth, communications service providers (CSPs) are investing in 5G, SDN/NFV, Cloud, IoT and AI/ML-powered communications networks that will be much more dynamic than today’s largely static networks.
But this change is driving new operations complexity. To unleash the potential of these new networks to drive growth, CSPs are recognizing the imperative to transform key systems and process areas, and network facing operations support systems (OSS) is viewed as a top priority for modernisation.
A recent survey polled executives from 50 of the world’s tier-0 and tier-1 CSPs to gain insights into operations management priorities and improved automation designed specifically to help accelerate growth. 42% of respondents said that automation of service operations would be critical in reducing service delivery inaccuracies and order fallout, and improving service performance, a key foundation for growth. Meanwhile. 36% of respondents highlighted the importance of improving the experience of enterprise customers, an attractive growth segment for CSPs worldwide. 32% also viewed automation as being critical to rapidly innovating, launching and scaling new services.
Over 90% of the survey respondents said they would actively invest in new operations automation capabilities in the next two years (if they are not doing so already) to overcome limitations of their existing OSS. The top issue identified by 72% of the respondents was the lack of real-time contextual information for orchestration and assurance. This was closely followed by the prevalence of closed and monolithic systems, stated by over 70% of the executives. Over 50% also stated that their OSS solutions are not capable of handling the proliferation and ever-expanding mesh of multiple network technologies and domains.
The survey revealed strong willingness by service providers to embrace new OSS solutions and technologies to automate their operations, and highlighted several key areas for investment. The top priority, pointed out by 62% of all survey respondents, was closed-loop operations and ‘zero touch’ lifecycle automation. Additionally, 40% of respondents viewed federated inventory and 5G network management solutions as being important, a reflection the desire of CSPs to capture growth opportunities resulting from the rollout of the latest network technologies.
Interestingly, 76% of respondents highlighted tighter integration of BSS and OSS as a key priority, indicating strong demand from decision-makers for flow-through service management and monetisation capabilities to automate and integrate operations from the user-engagement layer all the way to the network.
It is clear that CSP executives have high and diversified expectations for automation of their service operations and OSS. Next-gen OSS, such as the Amdocs NEO Service & Network Automation Platform, can help CSPs turn these expectations into reality. Key capabilities include : business-driven service design, integrated with the commercial catalogue for end-to-end service and offer definitions; contextual cross-domain orchestration, integrated with charging for flow-through monetisation; real-time, active and federated inventory, seamlessly connected to relevant source systems for an accurate view of all network resources and services across all domains; and last but by no means least, closed-loop assurance leveraging rich data sources and using design-time policies and AI/ML to support uninterrupted service experiences.