Service providers are on the path to digital transformation. The key to achieving an efficient, profitable business is seamless, automation-assisted operations. Getting to that desired state is no small feat for service providers whose networks and processes have evolved over time.

Mastering complexity across multiple domains

The challenge starts with meeting changing customer demands for services while facing a significant need to refactor, replace, and retire complex legacy network infrastructure and Operational Support Systems (OSS). With growing adoption of NFV and cloud-based services, network infrastructure has become a complex mix of both virtual and physical technology; however, Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) abstracts that complexity. MDSO leverages open APIs and software control, interfacing with controllers across multiple domains of multi-vendor devices, while providing a single programmatic interface to business systems. In this way, order-to-service workflow can be simplified and automated for rapid end-to-end service fulfilment.

Federating operational systems and network data

Next, the network has to keep running to support those services. OSS have typically been designed to handle specific workflows, with highly customized software. Network design and capacity planning are done by separate tools. Static inventory exists in spreadsheets. Neither reflect the current network state. There are fault management systems, collecting alarms and performance metrics, yet no quick way to prevent or resolve troubles.

What is needed is federation of multiple data sources and synchronization of planned and real-time data, to obtain an accurate view of the network and its services (without creating yet another system or database). Blue Planet Inventory (BPI) is a flexible software platform that federates data from service providers’ multiple legacy OSS, reconciles it with real-time network data, and presents it in a single dynamic view that reflects the current state of network and service resources from end to end.

The dynamic visibility provided by BPI helps providers simplify and optimize key operational processes. With confidence in the underlying inventory integrity, sophisticated analytics and policy control can be used to inform and automate plan-to-build, order-to-service and trouble-to-resolve workflows. The net result: an elevated user experience and better utilization of network investments.

Transforming business with agile operations

In combination, orchestration, inventory federation, analytics, and policy control are the building blocks for digital transformation – turning operations from an OPEX tax into a powerhouse asset. Service providers can leverage SDN, NFV and Cloud technologies to achieve greater levels of automation, deliver more dynamic services, and respond more quickly to customers’ rapidly changing requirements.