Over 59 % of the global population goes online at some point of time today. Add to that, the complex web of smart devices that consumers use ranging from smartphones to wearables and home automation devices and digital assistants. There is a growing connected ecosystem worldwide.
As the world moves into a massively connected digital ecosystem, telecom businesses are under pressure to spruce up their digital infrastructure to facilitate the constant availability of the internet for their customers. This is driving them to make investments in specific-purpose technology. As one would expect, these disparate technology solutions don’t always integrate seamlessly with each other. This brings several problems in its wake. Telecom companies are forced to turn to point solutions from each of their original solution providers to address these challenges, driving up Capex as well as Opex spends.
In the face of this crucial problem, one of the breakthroughs in enabling telecom businesses to deliver uninterrupted services to support the massive growth in internet traffic is the rapid adoption of Network Service Automation (NSA).
While NSA isn’t the only answer to enabling a seamless digital ecosystem, it is definitely a good starting point for telecom businesses to amplify their digital connectivity solutions. Telecom businesses need to leverage their existing capacity and complement it with automation of their networks to unlock value like never before. For this, they need to have a clear understanding of the ROI from NSA.
Let’s delve into an analysis of the benefits and ROI from Network Service Automation.
Operational Savings from Faster Diagnostics
An automated network can identify root causes or locations of issues and report to or notify the concerned teams about problems early in the cycle. This will enable technical teams to analyze and rectify the issue before it turns into an operational hassle. When such errors take time to be manually identified and rectified, there is a higher chance of end-user service getting disrupted due to inefficient operations of the core network of the telecom service provider. Also, early identification and rectification of faults in the network can prevent expensive network equipment from being damaged due to incorrect operation for a prolonged duration. This will improve the life of these devices and will ultimately also add to cost savings through easier maintenance.
Enhanced SLA Fulfilment
Meeting Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) made in customer contracts is of prime importance for telecom players. A failure to deliver on terms agreed in the SLA will result in substantial penalties as well as a loss of business. Automation will help ensure the optimal utilization of the available network resources to ensure the best possible service levels are maintained. With NSA, it will become easier for telecoms to have a highly responsive and available network infrastructure that they can monetize continuously and satisfy all SLA’s made with customers.
Faster Incident Management
Enabling preventive maintenance and autonomous diagnostics form a key part of the NSA solution set. Another key benefit of note is the empowerment of technical staff to respond faster to incidents as the network will autonomously monitor and identify any faults in real-time. It will also be possible for autonomous repair maneuvers to be carried out by the network in cases where human physical intervention is not needed for the restoration of the network. Best practices and mechanisms devised and deployed for maintenance once can be intelligently put into use, again automatically, within the network for future incidents of similar nature thereby saving valuable time and ensuring higher availability of the network. This will ensure better standards of service delivery and higher customer satisfaction.
Smart Network Provisioning
Provisioning a new network for a subscriber or enterprise often requires extensive manual effort and enforcement of standard network management policies and protocols. This is true at a much larger scale when telcos have to roll out new products, services, and offerings. It may take days or weeks for these large networks to be provisioned resulting in deferred revenue realization from the utilization of these services by customers.
With NSA, telecom providers get the opportunity to virtually and autonomously provision network capacity on demand. With minimal human effort and faster and transparent enforcement of best practices and security policies, customers too get to enjoy the benefits of the tweaks in the network faster. This will result in the faster time to market for new connections and will help telecoms realize revenue from their operations faster. With automation, all facets of the network provisioning including logging actions and tracing service paths can be autonomously captured and recorded for future analytics and network improvement initiatives.
Savings on Human Effort
In all aspects we covered so far, the significant reduction of human effort to help manage and run network operations smoothly is evident once NSA is introduced. This savings in the form of human capital translates into better utilization of staff for higher-value tasks rather than engaging them in tedious and repetitive manual monitoring jobs. The automated network capabilities also mean telcos require fewer people to operate resulting in lesser manpower requirements for continuous operations. Telecom businesses can save significantly on wage bills, employee recruitment, and turnover costs that they would have incurred in the case of manual management of networks.
Network service automation delivers ROI to telecom businesses in more ways than one. If we factor in other benefits like the growth in customer trust through guaranteed SLA’s and faster provisioning, the ROI will grow further. In today’s highly competitive market, telecom businesses know that they must prioritize their IT investments. Deploying NSA is one way to accelerate ROI growth from their IT investments and ensure a steady stream of loyal customers to guarantee growth.