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Data is the new gold! Why data driven transformation puts you ahead of the game in Industry 4.0

Contributed by Lucky La Riccia, Head of Cloud Software & Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa.

The ever-increasing pace of digital technology has transformed and created a new business climate that is moving faster than ever before. Unlike previous generations of the industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is significantly transforming the way goods are produced and delivered and moving toward an industry that is fully connected and automated. The complexities of meeting customers’ needs have driven businesses to embrace the use of analytics to remain competitive and productive.

Data is the new gold in this technology-led era, and data-driven transformation places organizations ahead of the game. Adapting and implementing the best technology without pursuing data-driven transformation will still make an organization less competitive and in danger of going extinct.

 

Figure 1: Increasing complexity requires new technology for proactive & data-driven operations

 

Data-driven transformation is an organization’s ability to make better decisions leveraging data collected at various touchpoints from human-machine interactions using technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT). It is about leveraging insights into customer behavior, market trends, and operational efficiencies—a complete shift from the previous model based on a reactive approach to one that revolves around utilizing data for close to accurate predictions. Its benefits are enormous and include network stability, which is the foundation of a good user experience; reducing the volume of work orders and site visits, leading to a reduced cost of ownership; providing the best customer experience; reducing energy consumption; and ensuring the highest security standards.

Embarking on a data-driven transformation means leveraging a robust set of digital tools, which include automation, analytics, process mining, process discovery, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI), to evolve the process execution from basic automation to awareness, adaptiveness, and eventually an autonomous state of orchestration. These lead to successful digital transformation for organizations of all sizes and create genuine business value and an outstanding competitive edge. These digital tools are essential to getting the most from data-driven operations.

The next evolution of data-driven operating models will need to support a wider variety of applications and use cases for consumers and businesses. Communications service providers will aim to provide configurable services with detailed agreements on functional and non-functional characteristics that require dynamic adaptation in real-time to deliver on these requirements. Concepts like “autonomous networks” and “intent” are needed to drive new propositions and automate networks to meet performance KPIs, SLAs, and business outcomes.

We see three main drivers for intent in building and operating new services. The first driver is the complexity and cost of operating 5G networks and beyond, which require a new level of automation—a level beyond even machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Secondly, the need to transform operations to better meet the needs of the business. Finally, the need for transparency and artificial intelligence (AI) explainability—so that we can trace back all decisions recommended and acted on by the system.

Today, Ericsson has 200 managed services contracts globally, out of which 25 have been transformed to Ericsson Operations Engine, which is a multi-vendor, multi-technology framework and the heart of our data-driven operations approach. It cuts across multiple dimensions, from processes through competence, organization, strategy, governance, data, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI).

This massive scale enables global feedback loops that we leverage to constantly evolve our processes and grow our closed-loop automation and artificial intelligence (AI) use case libraries, making it possible to handle 18.2 M work orders and 5b alarms every year with highly focused human intervention.

 

Figure 2: Quantitative benefits of the data-driven journey based on aggregated figures from 20 CPSs from Q1-2019 to Q4-2021.

 

This has a significant tangible impact on communications service providers’ operations and business outcomes. From a network performance perspective, data-driven operations reduce network unavailability by 34 percent while decreasing customer complaints by 21 percent. On the network efficiency side, the transformation led to a significant 12 percent reduction of work orders (WO) and 24 percent lesser truck rolls per node, and up to 8% reduction in energy consumption which has an important impact on CO2 emissions.

Leveraging our Managed Network Operations, we help operators transform their operations to successfully manage the increasing complexity of their networks. We achieve this by capitalizing on Ericsson’s global scale and telecom domain expertise; a proven data-driven transformation track record with outstanding results and award-winning customer references; committed service levels and predictable costs over the next 3-5 years; and the latest market artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and data insights as part of the Ericsson Operations Engine solution.

Adding people around legacy processes is not sufficient to deliver the volume and speed of change needed. A new look at data, processes, and automation is key to turning operations into data-driven ones. Transformation should not solely be focused on amending what is happening today. The real challenge lies in how to get there; it must be based on a clear vision of what the organization wants to achieve and deliver in the future. Defining this clear vision, anchored on tangible and measurable business outcomes and a solid investment plan, supported by executive sponsorship, must be the starting point.

The key to successful transformation is in the hearts and minds of the people affected. A new functional and organizational model is required to enable this digital transformation to service-centric and data-driven operations. If they embrace the vision and journey, the chances of success increase exponentially. On that basis, a smart change program is paramount and should be supported by strong and active communications and leadership involvement that engage people to propel the transformation forward.

Read more on our .com page: Data-driven operations. Does it pay off? – Ericsson

Blog originally posted on our .com page: Data is the new gold! Why data driven transformation puts you ahead of the game in Industry 4.0

Contributed by Lucky La Riccia, Head of Cloud Software & Services, Ericsson Middle East and Africa

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