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Gaining Service Agility

Telco_Editor

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Author: Rolf Eberhardt, Lead for OSS Service Orchestration, CMS at HPE

The urgency of OSS transformation

Today’s telecommunications industry is undergoing a radical transformation driven by new technology, new demands on the network (in terms of capacity and performance), and higher expectations from consumers. Communications service providers (CSPs) are focused on enhancing agility to bring new services to the market faster to counter eroding market-, wallet-, and mind-share as applications become more important to the consumer.

At the center of this transformation are three key technologies—software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and cloud. Traditional monolithic telecom infrastructure is being replaced by software entities that run on commercial off-the-shelf hardware—aided by virtualization technologies and cloud-based deployment and delivery models. SDN is driving automation and real-time programmability for the network infrastructure. Together, these three technology initiatives are transforming the CSP infrastructure into a highly programmable entity that has the potential to be personalized in real time and on a massive scale.

The reality for most CSPs, however, is that for the foreseeable future, the infrastructure will remain in a hybrid state, a mix of traditional network infrastructure (physical) and virtualized (NFV-enabled) infrastructure. The same challenges exist for the operations domain as well.

In order for CSPs or their customers to reap the benefit from this investment in infrastructure transformation, this endeavor needs to be synchronized with a corresponding transformation in the way the network is operated and services are created and delivered. OSS provides the link between business outcomes and the NFV innovation.

As NFV proof of concepts (POCs) mature into commercial deployments, it’s becoming increasingly urgent to transform the operations support system (OSS) to cover both virtualized and traditional infrastructure. This is particularly challenging because operational processes and OSS’ are highly customized for individual CSPs, and transforming this is a challenge for both vendors and CSPs. Today’s business process and data model standards neither take virtualization into account nor are they designed to support the levels of agility and programmability that the transformed infrastructure provides.

 

From CSP to DSP

The digital service provider (DSP) generates its revenue using digital services (on top of connectivity and VAS) using its own infrastructure (both physical and virtual) as a foundation, but doesn’t restrict itself to these network boundaries. Instead, the DSP broadens its portfolio with offerings from outside its space. Dynamic, highly individualized services are the future of our industry.

Digital Service Success Factors

1.  Service-focus instead of resource-focus

2.  Complete service operations: Fulfillment + Assurance

3.  Model-based instead of coding

4.  Simplification of configuration, integration, deployment, maintenance drives cost and transformation

5.  Hybrid approach (legacy and the new world). Don’t forget the installed base!

 

Fail-Fast, the new buzzword in product management, demands accelerated product development and go-to-market in early stages.

Large, volatile portfolios cannot be maintained by hand, they must be maintainable at low costs, ideally to the point where any kind of service can become self-healing. Operational structures with separate Fulfillment and Assurance organizations fail to achieve this goal.

And last but not least, the inherent complexity of these highly-meshed products demands a new way of development: moving towards intent-based modeling supported by devops principles.

 

Revenues increase with service agility

Virtualization and cloudification will redefine the communications industry. They enable service agility, driving revenue through new services and reducing time to market. Innovative communications service providers (CSPs) will create service marketplaces where users can choose their offerings a la carte and deploy instantly. They will bring together their telecom offerings, as-a-Service offerings, expanding into related industries. Competitive CSPs will:

  • Shorten time to market for new services
  • Make operations more flexible
  • Implement network functions virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) for resource efficiency and network agility

 

HPE Service Director

HPE Service Director addresses these three business objectives. It’s a single, extensible, and modular product that supports design principles including:

  • A production system for dynamic services across physical network functions (PNFs) and virtual network functions (VNFs).
  • Unified operations across Fulfillment and Assurance, implementing the closed-loop and analytics.
  • Functions configured through a single service catalog. The service model, describing the services in the catalog, combines data, relationships, and policies that reduce needs for coding.
  • A common inventory between Fulfillment and Assurance ensures quality and accuracy.
  • A single pane of glass user interface improves productivity by giving multiple stakeholders access to information—from operations to sales.
  • HPE Service Directors architecture is built with pre-integration in mind. New capabilities can be added with minimal additional configuration effort. This extensibility lets the platform grow with client needs.

Visit us at our HPE website, and follow us on Twitter at @HPE_NFV and @HPE_CSP.

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