Are broken inventory systems stalling your automation strategy?
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You are about to launch a new dynamic service offering for your end customers. But it’s quickly becoming apparent that this new service will create yet another layer of manual processes and operational complexity.
You know that you desperately need to automate your processes to keep up with customer demand, and your competition.
But with an existing operational model hindered by mutiple fragmented legacy BSS and OSS systems, and related processes that rely on flat files and spreadsheets, you’re not even able to keep an accurate inventory of your network resources and services – much less automate the workflow of your operational processes.
So you’re stuck with swivel-chair operations, manual troubleshooting, and long service lead times.
It’s hard to see the path forward.
The foundation for automation: an accurate, unified inventory
The road to your successful automation strategy is built on a solid inventory foundation. As I detailed in my blog last week, a growing number of customers are beginning to take advantage of the ability to federate information from multiple inventory systems and other related OSS systems to form a complete and current visualization of their network, spanning multiple operational domains. To help our customers achieve this, we have introduced the Blue Planet Inventory and Network Synchronization solution (INS).
Blue Planet INS provides a 'single source of truth' for all inventory data by performing three key functions on a continual basis:
- Network auto-discovery: Both physical equipment and logical services across multiple layers are discovered automatically by interfacing with domain controllers, NMS, or directly to devices. All network technologies and vendors are supported.
- Inventory data federation: BSS and OSS data is collected and synchronized with the discovered network data and normalized into a single federated data model.
- Auto-reconciliation of data discrepancies: Discrepancies are displayed, grouped, and filtered using an intuitive GUI. You can even automatically reconcile data discrepancies based on user-specified business rules and policies, giving you confidence that what you’re seeing is both correct and comprehensive.
The result is real-time visualization of both the physical network assets and the logical customer services, unifying your IT and Network operations. And unlike legacy, monolithic inventory solutions, Blue Planet INS is packaged and delivered to solve a specific customer problem - namely the lack of an accurate and unified view of your inventory - leveraging an open micro-services architecture and REST APIs that enable deployment into existing, multi-vendor environments with minimal disruption.
“The Blue Planet team understands the challenges of having multiple, legacy inventory systems and the adverse impact on business processes. By gaining a single view of our network assets and systems, INS is an optimal way to transition to automated operations which ultimately drives greater agility and stronger customer satisfaction.”- Kevin Coyne, Chief Operating Officer, FiberLight
A clear path to automation
The business impact of a solid inventory foundation can be truly transformative to all aspects of network operations: improving order-to-service, trouble-to-resolve, and plan-to-build time intervals. In addition, a more complete view of the network improves the ability to identify stranded assets and improve CapEx efficiency.
Since every customer’s environment is unique, we’ve created an OpEx savings calculator that allows you to estimate the operational impact and potential savings that INS can have on your network. Entering values associated with a medium-sized network in this tool, our calculations show a that operators can reduce service order fallout rates by up to 40%, and decrease trouble-to-resolve processing times by up to 30%.
With Blue Planet INS, the path forward to a more automated operational model now lies clearly before you. An accurate, unified, multi-layer inventory view can accelerate service fulfilment and troubleshooting processes, simplifying your operations and satisfying your customers’ heightened expectations for a better quality of experience and faster response times. Taking this a step further, imagine the leap forward in operational savings and customer satisfaction if you could then federate services and customers via network visualization? My next blog will talk about how Blue Planet can help you achieve just that.