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Today’s market conditions are more and more demanding: a multitude of new technologies and partners need to be
managed; in...
We are looking for OSS solutions
that can be used by multiple
organizations even across country
borders. The implementatio...
Comarch: But how can you support process deviations and individual market characteristics of different countries with
a co...
Let me give you an example. A corporate customer uses fixed network IP VPN services provided by Vodafone to connect
its br...
Comarch: What kind of data source do you use to monitor network and service quality? Do you have a dedicated quality
manag...
Why Comarch
Next Generation Service Assurance (NGSA) improves corporate customer
satisfaction in Vodafone. Decreasing reve...
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How Large CSPs Like Vodafone Utilize Comarch OSS To Cope With Todays Challenges

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Interview with Oliver Birnbaum, Head of Network & Service Assurance Systems Engineering, Vodafone Germany.

Comarch-based Next Generation Service Assurance Solution allowed Vodafone to consolidate the Fault & Service Management systems of three countries and is now shared by Vodafone Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic. Download the full article from Comarch technology Review to learn more about NGSA possibilities and key features!

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How Large CSPs Like Vodafone Utilize Comarch OSS To Cope With Todays Challenges

  1. 1. Today’s market conditions are more and more demanding: a multitude of new technologies and partners need to be managed; increased competition requires new operational models, and so on. How do large Communication Service Providers such as Vodafone cope with these challenges? What is the role of OSS in this competition? What kinds of OSS capabilities are expected for the future? An interview with Oliver Birnbaum, Head of Network & Service Assurance Systems Engineering, Vodafone Germany. Comarch: The telecommunication market is under enormous pressure. Customers expect more and more, which drives investment needs especially for data services. Yet revenue figures have stopped growing due to increased competition, market regulation, and the economic downturn in many parts of Europe. OSS & BSS are seen as key enablers to help Communication Service Providers to cope with the above factors. Mr. Birnbaum, what are the key challenges facing you? What are the expectations for Network & Service Assurance systems and your team? Oliver Birnbaum: Cost reduction and continuously increasing operational efficiency are musts. We therefore need to replace existing legacy tools with scalable and open OSS solutions that offer a rich set of capabilities to automate operational processes and can be shared across different technologies and organizations. Comarch: What does “shared across different organizations” mean? OB: Increased operational efficiency is a key expectation for OSS. But reducing maintenance costs and investment needs is of equal importance. Simple consolidation of tools is not enough. We are looking for OSS solutions that can be used by multiple organizations even across country borders. The implementation of our Comarch-based Next Generation Service Assurance Solution is a good example for this. The system has been used to consolidate the Fault & Service Management systems of three countries and is shared by Vodafone Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic. How large CSPs like Vodafone utilize Comarch OSS to cope with todays challenges
  2. 2. We are looking for OSS solutions that can be used by multiple organizations even across country borders. The implementation of our Comarch-based Next Generation Service Assurance Solution is a good example for this. The system has been used to consolidate the Fault & Service Management systems of three countries and is shared by Vodafone Germany, Netherlands and Czech Republic. ___________________ Oliver Birnbaum, Head of Network & Service Assurance Systems Engineering, Vodafone Germany
  3. 3. Comarch: But how can you support process deviations and individual market characteristics of different countries with a common Service Assurance solution? Don’t you lose flexibility and slow time to market due to dependencies and high coordination needs between the different projects? OB: Initially, our internal customers had these concerns as well. In reality, though, we were even able to shorten time to market for new services due to the simplified OSS architecture and the modular, CMDB-based solution approach that has been implemented with the new Service Assurance framework. A good example for a quick and cost efficient adaptation of the solution was the migration of the Network Monitoring for Vodafone Netherlands from their former Fault Management system to Next Generation Service Assurance. This was completed in just three months. Comarch: Oliver, you mentioned a “CMDB-based solution approach” that was applied when implementing the solution. Could you expand on that just a bit? OB: Efficient management of converged service offerings became a real challenge for operations over the last years. Service delivery chains were getting more and more complex. It is quite common that you have multiple internal and external parties involved in these service delivery chains. IT Mgmt. GE CZ RO NL NGSA KEDB/Correlation/ Impact/RootCause Analysis NGSA Mediation User RO User CZ SA DE GUI Server BMC Remedy Site Access DB BMC Atrium IT Mgmt. BMC Atrium User GE User NL IT Mgmt.CRAMER (mobile network) CRAMER (fixed netw.) Change Management Site Access Management Customer Care Tools Corporate Customer Info Management Service Mgmt. BMC Remedy Alarms Alarms Site Server IT Mgmt BMC Remedy Vodafone Czech Vendor specific Element Mgmt. Systems Vodafone Netherland Vendor specific Element Mgmt. Systems GUI Out age Events Enterprise Service Bus IP Network Management Systems CMDB 200-350 parallel sessions NOC Dashboard Network Element Management Systems IT Mgmt Systems Inventory Data Sources Trouble Ticketing Change Mgmt. Data SourcesAlarm Clients SQM PDRs NGSA Inventor y & Service Model Cache TT Comarch NGSA & SQM Central Vodafone NOC in Romania, Local Markets Vodafone Germany Vendor specific Element Mgmt. Systems Vodafone Germany PM Data Sources Active Probing Passive Probing Customer Experience Management
  4. 4. Let me give you an example. A corporate customer uses fixed network IP VPN services provided by Vodafone to connect its branches to a central data center that provides all needed IT applications. The customer’s sales force uses 3G/4G based mobile data services to access order management tools and other IT systems. Without capabilities to perform automated, service model driven impact propagation, nobody in the NMC or SMC would be able to manually predict the potential impact of equipment outages in the fixed or mobile network for this or other corporate customers. Thanks to the CMDB-based approach that has been introduced with the implementation of the Next Generation Service Assurance framework, we are now able to proactively notify our corporate customers about outages or potential service degradations that may impact their business. Comarch: Your example is a corporate customer-related use case. Not all Telecommunication Service Providers focus on corporate customers as much as Vodafone does. Is there another business benefit you could realize based on the service model driven assurance approach? OB: Increased competition requires a strong focus on customer satisfaction, which is directly linked to the perception of Network & Service Quality we leave with our customers. Automated root cause analyses and impact propagation minimize time to repair and time back to service. This is a general advantage of our solution approach, independent of customer segments. Of course, top customer satisfaction cannot be achieved with purely reactive measures. Proactive monitoring of network and service quality therefore plays an important role in our service assurance philosophy. The Next Generation Service Assurance Solution provided by Comarch supports this aspect in an ideal way because embedded Service Quality Management capabilities enable a continuous monitoring of KPI’s & KQI’s associated to our customer service offerings.
  5. 5. Comarch: What kind of data source do you use to monitor network and service quality? Do you have a dedicated quality management team that does this monitoring? OB: We use all kind performance data sources to feed SQM. These range from network KPI’s based on NE counters, which are collected and processed by our umbrella performance management system, up to event based data records provided by active and passive probing and customer experience management systems. Depending on the measured object, the incoming data is automatically converted into KPI’s and KQI’s that are linked to the monitored resource and customer facing services. And to answer your second question: There is no need for dedicated service quality teams for online monitoring, as SQM provides capabilities to perform a continuous threshold monitoring that automatically creates SQM events. These are presented to the NMC/SMC teams as any other type of network or service alarm. Of course, SQM alarms may require different follow up activities, but these are typically carried out by second level functions or a specific Service Quality Team, which are triggered by the first level after initial analysis. Comarch: Oliver, that sounds pretty impressive. So what level of automation do you think can be realistically achieved? How would you describe a typical operational scenario at Vodafone in 2016? OB: From a functional perspective, the OSS capabilities needed for 2016 are not that far away from what I have described. The main focus of our most recent OSS initiatives is to further increase the level of automation. This is achievable to a large extent by improved utilization of the OSS capabilities we already have. Let me illustrate this with an example. Today we may automatically suppress, filter, and correlate 60% of the incoming network alarms. However, the majority of the remaining 40% of alarms are still handled manually by operators, even though in principle we have capabilities to automatically process them. The devil is in the details. Automatic service impact propagation and creation of trouble tickets is no longer considered fancy, from a technological perspective. The master question is how we can get and maintain the needed knowledge in the systems. How to efficiently maintain service models needed for automated service and customer impact analysis? How to capture the expert knowledge that is needed to automatically initiate the right recovery activities? In 2016, the majority of alarms will be processed 100% automatically. Manual operator intervention will only be applied for unknown types of events or specific alarm scenarios that require more thorough analysis. For all other types of events, collection of additional information needed for recovery purposes, as well as execution of basic recovery measures, will be executed automatically. And this of course includes the automated creation of trouble tickets to second level or third party functions, such as field service teams if needed. Only in cases where these activities fail or in cases of alarms that require manual user interaction operators will be involved. Comarch: Thank you very much Mr. Birnbaum. Oliver Birnbaum Vodafone Germany, Head of Network & Service Assurance Systems Engineering
  6. 6. Why Comarch Next Generation Service Assurance (NGSA) improves corporate customer satisfaction in Vodafone. Decreasing revenue due to increasing competition and additional EU regulatory measures puts huge pressure on operational costs and process efficiency. At the same time Vodafone’s strategy to increase its corporate and enterprise customer market share places even more strain on operational teams, who must already face the strong demands of enterprise customers, including individual SLAs and customer specific monitoring. telecom.comarch.com More information: telecom.comarch.com Comarch Headquarters Al. Jana Pawla II 39 a 31-864 Krakow Poland phone: +48 12 646 1000 fax: +48 12 646 1100 e-mail: info@comarch.com About Comarch Comarch is a global supplier of IT products and services for the telecommunications industry and has been present on the market since 1993. Comarch provides solutions in the areas of BSS/OSS, M2M and Cloud Service platforms, as well as a range of Managed Services. Comarch’s uniqueness lies not only in the compliance of its products with industry standards, but also in the flexibility and high competences of its engineers. Having comple- ted projects for over 50 telecom operators, Comarch has accumulated vast experience in the fields of designing, implementing, and integrating IT solutions. Current customers include Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, E-Plus, MTS or KPN.

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