During November, MYCOM OSI had the opportunity to participate in a number of events in the Middle East, North America, Africa and Europe. Although these events varied in scope, from general telecoms interest to specific topics such as NFV (Network Functions Virtualization), they all shared some key messages from Communications Service Providers (CSPs). In terms of requirements for Service Assurance solutions in particular, the messages from CSPs converged to three main themes: flexibility, scalability, and reliability.
CSPs have always favored Service Assurance solutions that could be customized according to their needs, and especially solutions that would be flexible enough to adapt to changing and often unidentified future requirements (‘the unknown unknowns’). Without a doubt, the telecoms industry is still characterized by a great degree of change as well as uncertainty when it comes to technology evolution and, more importantly, customer behavior and commercial success.
Furthermore, many CSPs have seen in practice – for example, in the 3G and more recently the 4G rollouts by mobile operators – that certain Service Assurance solutions were unable to support the business requirement for network expansion or new/differentiated service introduction. In such cases, the lack of scalability meant that CSPs had to invest not only in new network equipment, but also in new solutions. This type of experience has led CSPs to focus more on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of solutions when they make purchase decisions.
Finally, with end-user expectations and ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) pressure at their peak, CSPs cannot afford to experiment with their services offering and to risk upsetting their customers by investing in unproven solutions. Today, more than ever before, CSPs require dependable Service Assurance solutions to manage their complex network infrastructure in order to provide the optimal customer experience consistently.
Flexibility, scalability, and reliability: three main themes for Service Assurance solutions, three key characteristics of Service Assurance itself in today’s telecommunications networks.