Why DevOps and Analytics matter to Telco Operations

21 Feb, 2017 | News

This may sound “cliche”, but the world is indeed becoming more digital. Mobile technologies, machine learning algorithms, cloud, social medias and blockchain are reshaping society and the world economy. The likes of Uber and Airbnb are reinventing well-established industries. Disintermediation is the new hype, and that changes the fundamentals of the business world. No segment is safe in this digital storm. From finance to media, healthcare to telecommunications, business models are being challenged by these new technologies and by a new mindset from the so-called millennials.

Disintermediation is the new hype, and that changes the fundamentals of the business world. No segment is safe in this digital storm.

The telco world has been threatened by the OTTs for quite some time now. Revenue has migrated from voice to data, and some believe that the very concept of subscription-based revenue is at risk. In a scenario of decreasing ARPUs, what is left for telco companies? Well, quite a lot. IoT promises to 10-fold the number of connected devices, and that means additional revenue. Selling content (music, movies, games, etc) is another income stream. Either way, new capabilities will be required from them: more resilience for an increasing device base and more flexibility to deliver (and profit from) on-demand content, among others.

The biggest issue at hand is that telco companies still behave in a very hierarchical, siloed configuration. Departments like engineering, operations, marketing and IT still struggle to collaborate and evolve their offerings at the necessary speed. A more fluid and flexible organization is needed to cope with the new challenges, but that still seems a distant objective (or should I say dream?).

Luckily, technologies and best practices evolve to help. From a telco operations perspective, DevOps is definitely one of the most important tools in this journey towards resilience and flexibility. In a reality still shaped by the concepts of OSS/BSS, DevOps is an ally that adds speed and efficiency to systems in fulfillment, assurance and billing (for the ones familiar with the eTOM model). By shortening the development cycles, DevOps allows telcos to keep up with this new reality without having to get rid of legacy systems.

In a reality still shaped by the concepts of OSS/BSS, DevOps is an ally that adds speed and efficiency to systems in fulfillment, assurance and billing.

Let’s be honest. There is no player in the market willing to throw all OSS/BSS systems away because new, more complex, services are needed, or because the network is becoming more virtualized (NFS and SDN). You might replace some, but most will need remodelling at best.

Choosing the best strategy finally relies on analytics. By getting to know your operations better, you can make smarter decisions about which systems to replace and which to remodel – and what kind of remodelling is needed. Business survival has become a serious game now, and there is no more room for “gut-feeling” alone. From an operations perspective, using analytics and DevOps means knowing what needs to be done and doing it fast. From common sense best practices, such as “don’t fix what ain’t broke” (analytics) and “do it once, do it fast, do it right” (DevOps), operations can become a more efficient organization and better respond to a daunting reality.

From an operations perspective, using analytics and DevOps means knowing what needs to be done and doing it fast.

There is this new mantra “lighter, simpler, faster” that will lead you to a future-proof organization, that is ready to process an IoT magnitude of data and handle all the complexity added by on-demand services.

Welcome to Intelligent Operations. Welcome to the future.

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