This blog is excerpted from the TM Forum report “Orchestrating Broadband as a Vital Utility” by Ed Fiengold. Download the full report here.
As communications service providers (CSPs) work to solve challenges related to digital transformation, like adopting cloud native IT and migrating to software-based networks, they are on a path to supporting new critical services more capably than previous technology generations have allowed. Vital infrastructure supporting power distribution, transportation and agriculture supply chains present some of the most extreme challenges because they require 100% uptime with robust network and application capabilities delivered continuously to remote endpoints.
Understand the criticality of telecom networks
Broadband internet access is now being equated to critical utility services like electricity. CSPs’ networks are considered vital infrastructure because they enable other critical industries to operate. This maximizes the stakes for what CSPs need to achieve in terms of visibility, predictability, automation and control over networks, services and customers’ experiences.
Support critical industries at endpoints
Opportunities in critical industrial verticals like energy, agriculture and healthcare are emerging in rural areas where large-scale critical infrastructure and equipment operates. As services like energy production, power distribution, rail, trucking and agriculture generate, analyze and move bigger data workloads to the cloud – from some of the farthest endpoints in the network – “increasing the robustness of connectivity is business critical,” said Terje Jensen, Senior VP and Head of Global Network Architecture, Telenor.
Automate to address complexity & criticality
“The future is automation,” said Neil McRae, Managing Director and Chief Architect, BT. Automation isnecessary to address extreme complexity in the types of dynamically scalable, virtualized networks critical services will utilize. “If you run into advanced applications and life or death services, we can’t have the network react by human intervention,” McRae says. CSPs should apply automation to major functions like service fulfillment and assurance to move toward more zero-touch, closed loop, and ultimately autonomous network capabilities.
Members of TM Forum’s Open Digital Architecture (ODA), Autonomous Networks and AI, Data & Analytics projects are working on best practices and standards to help.
Manage the holistic customer experience in real time
The TM Forum Customer Experience Management Maturity Model describes a mature customer experience management capability as providing a realtime, holistic view of the customer’s experience. CSPs should be able to “monitor the experience of each and every customer” and “see instantly if an experience degrades at all,” explained Mohammed Fahim Momen, General Manager, OSS & Customer Insight, RobiAxiata. For delivering and sustaining 100% uptime for critical services, the customer experience should comprise live monitoring, remote control and ultimately predictive prevention.
Extend visibility & control to stakeholders
“Everyone in the world wants to know everything about the delivery of a service,” said Maria Eugenia Armijo Marchant, Integration Specialist Solution Architect, Telecom Argentina. CSPs will need to provide both customizable live views of services and networks in ways customers can consume as well as live, integrated controls. CSPs are meeting these needs for customers and partners by creating new digital-first management portals, extending controls for fully customizable real-time dashboards, and exposing discreet data and functionality via APIs such as the TM Forum Open APIs.
To download the entire report, click here.