Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance (ngena) is a global alliance formed by leading international telecommunications service providers, which will enable its members to provide hybrid VPN services worldwide, based on a shared network approach. The ngena service delivery platform is built around SDN and NFV, service orchestration and process automation. This will provide each of ngena’s alliance partner’s multinational customers access to a global, secure, easy to deploy, stable and scalable hybrid VPN network, which is supported by each local alliance partner’s network. Altice, Century Link, Deutsche Telekom, Neutrona, PCCWGlobal, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom, Telstra and more than ten other telecommunications service providers have already expressed their commitment to work together on the development of ngena. More about ngena and their alliance partners at: http://www.ngena.net/.
The business need
The number and reach of global enterprises is rising continuously and they demand comprehensive and worldwide reliable connectivity. Telecommunications service providers across the world are facing the difficult task of meeting the constantly growing needs of such clients with their current offers.
In order to address this challenge, leading international telecommunications service providers joined ngena, an alliance based on the principle of sharing network assets between partners globally. Combining an innovative business model with an advanced service delivery platform based on software defined networks (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV), ngena will also broaden its VPN service offer with further value added services.
This approach is revolutionary and will shake up today’s VPN service delivery methods, which are based on legacy networks that involve extensive manual processes.
As a result of this cooperation, ngena members will provide their multinational customers with global hybrid VPN services which are highly standardized and uniform among all ngena members, thus ensuring a consistent service experience. The aim is that ngena will provide a global business network that is innovative, highly standardized, quicker and easier to deploy, of the highest security standards, more stable and less complex than any other solution available on the market.
From the IT perspective, ngena needs highperformance systems that are flexible in responding to fast changes as well as supporting and unifying BSS/OSS processes across the alliance. Therefore, the company was looking for one solution combining billing, CRM, self-service, order management, fault management, service fulfillment and assurance.
Comarch’s BSS/OSS solution met all those requirements, and was selected to help ngena to facilitate the management of NFV/SDN networks and automate key processes such as selling, ordering and launching VPN services globally.
Launching VPN services in a very short timeframe is one of ngena’s differentiating assets. In order to meet this goal, ngena was looking for a comprehensive system that would enable the sale and delivery of services within less than 12 months from the project start. This was a challenging timeline given the scope and level of innovation of this project. The company needed a trusted BSS/OSS provider that would not only be able to adjust the solution to the alliance’s sophisticated needs, but also to act as a partner and complete the implementation on time.
A brand new alliance based on a new business model required a greenfield approach that would best utilize the wide range of possibilities, a challenge that Comarch was happy to take up.
The contract between ngena and Comarch was signed in June 2016, and the project is still ongoing. The project is being implemented using the agile approach, and subsequent phases will be completed pursuant to the current agreements between Comarch and ngena. Comarch BSS/OSS platform is expected to be integrated with modules provided by Cisco, the ngena technology partner for the global SDN platform with end to end orchestration and NFV-based services.
The chosen solution is based on a catalog-driven approach, with the fulfillment, assurance and billing processes steered by rules defined in the common product/service catalog and service inventory, spanning all the layers (customers, products, services and resources).
The implemented Comarch BSS/OSS platform consists of the following modules:
- CRM for Telecoms - enables a 360-degree customer view in real time, and automates sales, marketing and customer care processes.
- Self-service Portals - (both GUI and API) enable alliance partners to take responsibility for the plan, build and run phases of a customer solution, from the initial design and quotation process to the order and fulfillment status, up to the ready for service notification per site. Additionally, these portals enable alliance partners to get a real-time and transparent view of enterprises’ running VPN services to support their daily service operations responsibility.
- Customer Order Management - allows easy management of service orders during the fulfillment process.
- Convergent Billing - enables ngena to charge for any service type in real time, and facilitates the development of new business models in cooperation with partners.
- ITSM Service Desk - a comprehensive solution organizing the work of engineers responsible for incidents and problem handling as well as change management. It is a bridge between the customer perspective expressed in Customer Trouble Tickets served by Comarch CRM and the service/resource perspective provided by the OSS modules such as Fault Management, Performance Management and Service Impact Analysis. It guarantees short mean time to repair and improved customer experience.
- Performance Management - is the module responsible for gathering, aggregating, processing and monitoring raw data from the resources. It is rigorously integrated with other assurance modules to support efficient analytics of the current state of the network.
- Service Fulfillment, built around a central product and service catalog, automates and accelerates the service delivery process, reducing time to market.
- Next Generation Service Assurance allows early detection of network problems and enables ngena to predict and calculate customer service impact.
The implemented system will allow the efficient and timely delivery of global VPN services for enterprises all over the world. Comarch’s BSS/OSS solution is expected to support all of ngena’s key processes, such as sales, customer and partner management, service assurance, and network inventory management. Moreover, the new platform will encompass a wide range of BSS/OSS functionalities, allowing a shorter time to market for enterprise services and the simplification of processes related to global provisioning. This will additionally improve ngena’s alliance partners’ competitive position.
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