The New World of UX in Network Management

How did we get here? Through networking tools and control solutions that were ‘built by engineers, for the engineers.’

Further, if we focus on a better UX for only next-gen technologies and developing more comprehensive solutions for those we can classify as ‘greenfield,’ what happens to the networks and associated customer services that are already in place? We don’t like to bring up legacy ‘brownfield’ these days when we talk about digital transformation, but this infrastructure reflects 90 percent of the revenue and Day 2 customer touchpoints. We are not suggesting that an autonomous networking experience be enabled for legacy SONET infrastructure as an example (self-driving for the carriage?), but at least extend a uniform UX for visibility and control across these otherwise dated network assets.

How did we get here? Through networking tools and control solutions that were ‘built by engineers, for the engineers.’

So, as a restatement of the mission at hand… our ‘strategic evolution’ must also consider the complexities of open and disaggregated greenfield, generations of brownfield that already exist, and a transformation of the associated UX not just for those that currently operate and maintain these networks, but also that of ‘new users’ that can now be enabled to ‘drive’ (when the self-driving or flying option becomes a reality for a new generation of drivers that would have never driven before).

Our journey

As we move forward and begin to look around the next corner, we’ve become increasingly aware of the limitations that have been holding us back. The current state of the industry’s network management software solutions—and how we approach the management of large-scale networks—needs to evolve along with the technology. This is critical to any user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) conversation.

A Customer Defined Experience® or CDX®, transforms this. Here’s how:

Figure 2: Personalized information
click to enlarge

Customer: The core of all good UX is to realize real people will be using these tools and every company, network and person is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Defined: Every network is different, so your CX and UX solution will need to be flexible and customizable to fit the needs of your network. As mentioned earlier, both new greenfield expansion as well as legacy brownfield infrastructure need to be considered.

Experience: Just because your network is complex doesn’t mean that complexity needs to be a burden on your people. Do the upfront work to leverage the right tools so that you have a good foundation on which to build for the future.

Also, focus on the user with an understanding of their role and goals. Give them a voice for what’s important to them so that the experience is personalized to them. This involves a deep understanding of the objective of the user, rather than just looking at what data is available and keeping the end goal of all users in mind. Ultimately, trying to serve the needs of all serves the needs of none.


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