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Enabling Automation of Service Operations Centers (SOC)

Contributed by Jithu Raghavendran, VP – Telco Transformation & Automation/AI Solutions, MYCOM OSI & Anuj Jain, Director – Solutions, MYCOM OSI

It is not enough to visualize the network resources, and their performance to see how the end customer is perceiving the service quality. Communications Service Providers (CSPs) need to track service and customer experience perspectives to avoid customer churn, using advanced Service Experience Assurance solutions. Service Experience Assurance is an important concept to maintain committed QoS and manage the SLAs of customers, especially those of enterprises.

As telecommunication technologies are evolving (5G Standalone, MEC, NFVi, FWA, Broadband etc.), data volumes have increased and network functions are becoming more virtualized and complex; it is increasingly difficult to obtain end to end visibility (of the network, IT, infra and applications) on service quality. This means that Service Assurance using traditional approaches needs augmentation.

To ensure high accuracy with end-to-end visibility (near-real time), precise root-cause identification and appropriate problem resolution, CSPs need a next-generation ecosystem, which can go hand in hand with technology evolutions (mobile, fixed or enterprise) and ready itself for the next-level of information correlation (End-to-end network, IT, infra, alarms and events) to obtain the customer’s  service experience perspective from multiple dimensions.

To consume data from multiple external systems and be part of CSP’s complex ecosystem, next-gen Service Experience Assurance systems should embed Automation by default so that the customer’s service experience is improved by an order of magnitude. This will provide reduction of MTTx for faster resolution, higher network availability, maintaining QoS through less manual intervention etc.

4 key steps to achieve automation in a Service Operations Center (SOC)

 

The next generation of Service Experience Assurance should have the following major functions for enabling autonomous operations of a Service Operations Center (SOC):

MYCOM OSI is an Exhibitor at FutureNet World 2024
  1. End to End visibility: Different GUI views should be available to enable end to end service quality visibility as per different SOC user role requirements, based on region, GIS, area or device.
  2. Auto correlation: Correlation of multiple data sources and information to identify the root-cause or any service impact. In addition, capability to provide/assess affected customer or services should be offered.
  3. Dynamic network inventory and topology management: The system should be capable of managing the network and infrastructure inventory and topology information changes in near real-time for NFVi based network operations.
  4. Auto ticketing: The system should be able to identify the root-cause of service degradation based on correlation of multiple data (performance, fault, events and network topology) and based on root-cause; it could generate the auto incident ticket to external systems with detailed descriptions: owner-group, work order etc.
  5. Service level management: The solution should offer visibility to SLA targets, status, and penalty evaluation for better customer experience visibility.
  6. Vendor and technology agnostic: It should be capable of handling multi-vendor and technologies.
MYCOM OSI EAA based SOC workflow automation flow chart

 

Enabling these automation functions efficiently in Service Experience Assurance systems, along with the expertise of telecom knowledge, can lead to timely, accurate and fast decisions or resolution, leading to higher operation efficiency (lower MTTx).

In an industry undergoing rapid digital transformation, the Service Experience Assurance system needs to enable CSP operations to be more proactive, predictive, and autonomous in nature. A near future evolution is augmenting the Service Experience Assurance system to predict the root cause and remediate for closed loop systems to further improve customer experience and operational efficiencies. The CSP’s goal would be to use such a Service Experience Assurance system to achieve their vision of Dark SOC/NOC and make it fully autonomous. This will be a big step forward in meeting their end customers’ objectives efficiently and with high quality.