Telcos are realizing that the silo-based network, service and customer management that may have seemed sophisticated a decade ago are not going to be up to the challenges of the 2020s. This is largely because the IoT and 5G have changed the telecommunications landscape, and demand a radical re-thinking of network and business models if they are to yield up their promised rewards.
Intelligent assurance OSS will be a must
This is likely to mean a greater shift from the physical to the virtual, with the cloud, virtual network functions and software-defined networking all playing key roles in re-shaping intelligent assurance and analytics in the telecommunications world. Only in this way will operators be able to fully utilize opportunities that are offered by, for example, network slicing and edge computing, and move towards advanced models of quality assurance in telecommunications.
A new generation of telecom assurance
Enhanced automation of processes is also going to be required. The AIOps concept, as defined by TM Forum, is likely to become a must for operators as manual processes in integrated service fulfillment and service assurance are taken over by AI and ML-based solutions. AI and automation will have an effect on many processes within telco business operations, from managing customer experience, SLAs and KPIs, to the use of sophisticated off-site field service management software and IoT devices for automated predictive and preventive maintenance, diagnostics and repairs.
One major change in telco integrated assurance and analytics to date has been the rise of cooperation – in three different ways.
Routes to quality assurance in telecommunications
First, the organizational demands of adapting or building networks, optimizing them and delivering enhanced customer experience haves already led to partnerships and alliances between operators, national authorities, and hardware and software vendors. One notable example is ngena, the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance.
Second, telcos are moving towards greater cooperation within their own organizations, as, for example, the line between roles such as CIO and CTO begin to blur.
Finally, cooperation takes the form of integration in terms of intelligent telecom assurance and analytics. This requires “joined up thinking” for the kind of comprehensive network configuration that treats marketing, product and service design, network and IT planning, network and IT operations and security as elements of a single organism – the telco itself.