Deliver Digital, Deal with Data

The bottom line is that digitization requires a data aggregation and control point applied as close to the data sources as possible.
The challenges optimizing this new set of OSS requirements are considerable. For instance:
  • Multiple Network Data Records need to be merged from a customer perspective to create a unified Customer Service Performance Record. These records more and more coming from a hybrid of "legacy" network elements and new software defined elements.
  • The control plane must be linked to User plane records;
  • Data must be correlated in real-time;
  • Data must be enriched with location information; and
  • State needs to be kept to understand who is where when a negative impact occurs.

It’s in part because OSS Mediation is both adaptable and easy to deploy that using mediation to handle the above is an attractive option. Telcos can quickly use it to gain control over their businesses. Mediation technology is inherently designed to acquire and process extreme volumes of data records from a large variety sources.  It has the ability to correlate data from different network segments in real-time.

Mediation can also optimize performance by supporting new KPIs. This enhances competitiveness. Data records collected from network elements contain information that is related to quality of experience, actions and behaviors, and performance taking place in the network. Telcos can use Mediation to create and categorize the specific metrics they wish to track in collected network data and then calculate KPIs for each one in different dimensions.

For instance, valuable information such as the actual Quality of Service that a specific customer segment is experiencing can be quickly and easily seen, or how network elements in a crowded geographical area are performing.  Such dynamic KPIs are a cornerstone of both effective customer experience and network management.

Again, agility and speed are attractive. Calculations are based on easily configurable service models that specify the relations between the various entities, eg. metrics, dimensions, and KPIs themselves. Configuration of the service model is done via an open API, so no business logic need be involved.

Another salient feature of Mediation is its ability to handle real-time data sources. Designed to cope with both batch data (CDRs, XDRs, logs, etc.) and real-time data flows (Active-Passive network probes, AAA systems; basically, socket-based performance data from any network node). Data-in-motion can easily be converted into valuable real-time actions.

The bottom line is that digitization requires a data aggregation and control point applied as close to the data sources as possible. This must preserve existing data flows, but at the same time, allow new applications and services to react to new data in different ways. Implementing this allows the utility to more quickly provide new services and introduce innovative business models in meter-to-cash processes. It shields legacy IT investments from changes which drive up incremental costs. It enables new ways of interacting with customers and at the same time identifying and extracting monetizable events. It creates smarter business intelligence based on real-time data availability.

Telcos that want to digitize would to do well to start by considering the answers to three key questions:

  1. How can I offset the exponentially increased cost of new ways of doing business by maximizing the performance of my network assets as effectively as possible?
  2. How can I overcome the limitations of siloed data sited across assets that result from a legacy IT that may prevent me quickly accessing data I now find is critical?
  3. How can I manage network assets in a way that ensures new services can be identified and launched quickly enough that I can lead the market, instead of reacting to the strategies of my competitors?

Instead of thinking in old world terms like Operational and Business support applications and systems, the era of Digital Support Systems powered by Smart Data is arriving. Achieving profitable transformation and commercial success depends on providing the right answers.


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