February 23, 2017

The transition from Network Operations Center (NOC) to Service Operations Center (SOC) and the value of a Dynamic Network Topology modeling

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Mina Massoud

Principal Consultant, Tieto

The transition from Network Operations (NOC) to Service Operations (SOC), changes the focus from ensuring the smooth operation of the network to understanding and safeguarding the quality experienced by key consumer services and individual high-revenue customers.

To effectively manage complex services running on complex infrastructure, network operators need to understand how logical and physical elements deliver these services to their customers. However, these elements come from multiple manufacturers, are often managed by multiple operators and varied technology domains. Operators often have good systems to visualise a manufacturer - or technology specific portion of their network. But, an end-to-end perspective requires operators to access multiple applications. In any case, these views do not generally show how the elements link to a specific customer or service.

Multiple customer and network data sources are one challenge, the difficulty of keeping this joined-up information up to date is another. Ontology, one of Tieto’s partners in the area of OSS and Service Assurance, enables frequent and regular updates of the network and customer dependency data. This provides an effective base for analysing impacts in real-time due to faults and changes and allows dynamic enrichment of network device and customer service views with fresh state information on-demand.

Besides, the arrival of network functions virtualization (NFV) further complicates the maze of dependent element participating in the delivery of services, and increases the rate at which those elements can change.  Data from the “classical” domain is complex and messy while data from the NFV domain is very fast moving.

Ontology uses the Semantic Processing Core to search through your sources of customer, service and technology inventory to construct a Dynamic Network Topology Model encompassing:

  • Real-time service and topology changes.
  • Complex services.
  • Varied equipment from different manufacturers.
  • Multilayer and multi-technology connectivity.
  • Multi-operator networks.

Data sources comprise whatever is necessary to get a full picture of the topology, the customer and services that lie in between, including CRM, Network Management Systems, orchestration components, your device configuration files or even records kept in a spreadsheet. Now, you can instantly visualise how your network is serving your customers, and it’s always up to date.

By applying semantic models and rules, Ontology can link up all the data about your network. The Semantic Processing Core searches through network layers to build a hierarchy of dependencies between the layers. The end result is that you can drill into your topology from a single view. You see all your services, implemented on across all technologies and vendors, in all layers without the need to access multiple systems.

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Benefiting from a cross domain dynamic network topology

Ontology provides service operations teams with an up-to-date picture of how a customer’s network and services are configured, and a complete and consistent view of the customer themselves through a single, intuitive, search-based interface. The result is that customer service representatives are better informed and more credible to their customers, which leads to quicker dispute resolution, faster provisioning, happier customers and increased up-sell revenue.

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