Assuring smart industry
Smart industry is causing a tremendous impact on how services will be delivered and managed. Smart industry expects cars, homes, cities, factories, and devices to be more efficiently and reliably connected, governed by quality criteria much higher compared to the traditional communication services. Because of the wide variety of users (energy, health, robotics, manufacturing, automotive, etc.), the specifics of each enterprise need attention too, says Sandeep Raina, global VP, marketing at MYCOM OSI.
As communications service providers (CSPs) offer connectivity services for their enterprise customers who are either delivering or consuming smart industry services, network slices will play a critical role. Enterprises will consume the network slices or parts thereof to achieve the agility in creation, delivery, alteration and retiring of services. This requires a re-definition of how services will be monitored in the future, and how the enterprise experience will be protected. The traditional service quality management systems, therefore, need to evolve.
Moving on from traditional service quality management
In comparison to traditional service quality management (SQM), the concept of Experience Assurance supports advanced connectivity services for enterprises, using service quality impact analysis, service analytics and an enterprise portal. At a high level, it addresses the following needs of an enterprise:
1. Connectivity assurance, which means assuring the connectivity at all points of time. For this, the service provider offers their enterprise customers a possibility to monitor and analyse the connectivity offered and monitor the performance of their SLAs, through tools, such as an enterprise portal. This allows the enterprise to alter and adjust their network and service needs on-demand.
2. Experience analytics, which help the service provider to take informed decisions about its services using AI/ML for service predictions and trends. This can include applications and devices for business insights, and predictions of service usage and geographic distribution by consumers, to support creation of new services.
3. Service quality impact analysis, which helps a service provider to anticipate service problems, prevent network bottlenecks and helps to protect service level agreements (SLAs), especially for 5G and enterprise services. This also focuses the service provider’s operational priorities on service-impacting problems. The system assigns high importance to service reliability and service availability as key service KPIs (key performance indicators). It also assigns importance to proactive maintenance in a high scale operational environment.
4. Automated root cause analysis. In traditional service quality management, when service degradation happened, a service impact or what-if analysis and root cause analysis were offered, but more needs to be done now. By employing automation, the service provider reacts faster against potential service failures Also, by automating root cause analysis the parent alarm can be quickly identified.
Extending assurance to the enterprise user
Experience assurance, as a bundle of capabilities mentioned above, can offer operational benefits to the service provider and enterprises alike, through service performance and reliability improvements, leading to protection of SLAs. With a proactive and pre-emptive remediation, customer complaints too can be reduced. The use of enterprise portal extends the management and prevention of SLA breaches and, in the near future, will act as a tool for self-assigning network resources as per the enterprise’s needs.
In summary, for successful long-term assurance of Smart Industry services, Experience Assurance, as an evolution of a Service Quality Management system, offers a dynamic, predictive, more transparent and agile system to help the service provider assure the experience of the enterprise.
The author is Sandeep Raina, global VP, marketing at MYCOM OSI.