The Industrialization of Network Automation

Contributed by Mike Thompson, Global Network Automation Practice Leader, Nokia

The backbone of our modern society relies heavily on robust and efficient networks. As someone privileged to guide a team of highly skilled professionals offering automation solutions for transport networks, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of automation in meeting the ever-growing demands placed upon network operators.


Automation: A necessity, not an option

Gone are the days when manual processes could keep pace with the dynamic nature of today’s networks. The increasing complexity and scale demand rapid responses and impeccable reliability, which manual processes simply cannot deliver. Automation offers the responsiveness, predictability, and scalability needed to navigate the intricacies of modern networks.


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Navigating the challenges of automation

The benefits of automation are clear. They have been discussed extensively in the past decade.

Its implementation, however, isn’t without hurdles. Automation goes beyond mere tool adoption: it isn’t just about replacing CLI/scripts with a new tool. Acquiring the necessary skills is also crucial. Moreover, effective project management is essential for a successful automation journey. Addressing these challenges head-on ensures a smooth transition towards automated operations.


Holistic approach to network automation

Automation requires a holistic transformation encompassing people, processes, and technologies. At Nokia, we’ve developed a comprehensive approach, underpinned by 50 predefined use cases. These use cases not only streamline operations but also drive tangible business outcomes, empowering operators to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and explore new revenue streams. They cover all aspects of the network services lifecycle: equipment configuration, service fulfillment, network assurance and traffic optimization.


Proven results speak volumes

The impact of our automation use cases is not speculation; it’s backed by quantifiable results from real-world deployments. Reduced labor time by 86%, faster time-to-revenue by 88%, and significant decreases of 85% in error processing and 71% in mean time to repair highlight the tangible benefits our approach brings to operators’ bottom lines.


Real-world success stories

Real-world success stories underscore the transformative impact of our automation solutions. Take, for example, du, a leading operator in the UAE. Faced with the challenge of provisioning and upgrading thousands of routers annually, du turned to our automation use cases. With our approach, du can provision IP routers four times faster and upgrade six times more IP routers in a given maintenance window. These results, coupled with error elimination and enhanced scalability, highlight the significant advancements in efficiency and agility achieved through our automation solutions.


Industrialization of automation

Central to our approach is treating automation use cases as products, each with its lifecycle. This approach enables to reduce risk, speed up implementation, ensure predictable results and reduce cost to maintain network automation. By combining cutting-edge technologies with professional services, we deliver tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of each operator.


Empowering operators with NSP

At the heart of our automation strategy lies the Network Services Platform (NSP), a comprehensive solution empowering more than 1,000 operators worldwide. From infrastructure configuration to service provisioning, network assurance, and traffic optimization, NSP provides a unified platform for seamless automation across diverse networks.


Conclusion: Embrace automation for a brighter future

As we navigate the complexities of modern networks, automation emerges as a beacon of efficiency and reliability. For operators seeking to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving landscape, embracing automation is not just beneficial—it’s imperative. With proven solutions, tangible results, and a commitment to driving operational excellence, we invite operators to embark on their automation journey today, shaping a future where networks are agile, resilient, and ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

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